Moved from Fifth Floor to Third

Upon reaching the hospital after Mass, and taking the elevator to the fifth floor, we discovered Rose was not in her room.

Inquiring at the nurse's station, we were informed the doctor in charge wanted her on the third floor. The nurse explained that Rose was only put on the fifth floor yesterday because of lack of space on the third. They had not only taken her but the bed and all, including my goosedown pillow which she said was so much more comfortable than the hospital pillows which Rose suspected of being filled with rock. We then found her in room 365 and she smiled a little as we came in, relieved that we had tracked her down.

But just the short hour that we were gone, she had been moved and the team of doctors, including the head doctor (whom we still hadn't met), had been in and really went over her thoroughly. We were so disappointed because there were so many things we wanted to ask about, and trying to get to talk to this head doctor was as hard as breaking into Fort Knox.

Between trying to find out what these doctors accomplished in this one hour and reporting things to the nurse's station, I felt the nurse should know about what was happening, because Fran and I noticed Rose's every movement. She began to ask us to repeat everything we said. Her headache grew much worse after the blood transfusion. Her urine bag looked as if it had black coffee in it, and she began to have ringing in her ears. This is why she was asking us to repeat things.

All of this I felt the nurse's station should be aware of, but after making so many trips out there I felt the need to apologize. One young nurse came out from behind the desk, put her arm around my shoulders and said, " I understand, because I know you are her mother. We both knew, and I am sure Rose was aware that her condition was critical. But I also knew they had an intensive care unit on that floor, and they didn't say anything about putting her in there, so I began to assume that maybe some of my fears were groundless. But for the two days she was there, she was never able to eat anything from the meal trays, which always arrived on time.

At one point on Sunday afternoon Fran was standing beside Rose's bed with himself between her bed and two large windows which looked out over Cleveland. When she turned her head to look at Fran, naturally she had to see the daylight shining in, and this increased her headache. The hospital didn't want the drapes closed, so I told Fran to stand in my place at the foot of the bed so she could see him, and thus be more comfortable. As always she asked me to repeat what I had said, and then she smiled and made a funny face (which was her custom, when she wanted to be impish) and said, " Who wants to look at him?" About this point in the afternoon she would doze off for short periods. Fran would go to her side and sit on his heels so his face would be on the same level as hers. He observed her every movement, and decided that during these periods she was having no pain.

One of the doctors came in during one such period and said he thought she was in a pre-coma stage, which nearly scared the two of us to death. The next time this happened, I asked Fran," What did he say about pre-coma?" At that Rose's eyes flew open and she asked me to repeat what I had said. So I leaned down and told her we were talking about the lady in the next bed. She looked at me very doubtfully, and said, "You can't lie to me, Mom." Through the course of our conversation I explained to her that her older brother Greg had called and said he planned to take some time off every day and come to see how she was behaving. His office is in downtown Cleveland.

It was now evening and beginning to get dark, and she said, "Mom, why don't you sit down? You look so tired." Not wanting her to know how tired I really was, I replied, " Cleveland is so beautiful at night." Again she closed her eyes, and didn't know I was there.

This type of thing must have been why the nurse would come in periodically and shake her awake and say, " Mrs.
Brickner, what day is today?" After a few times like this, Fran said, "Better still, what is tomorrow?" Rose promptly answered, "Our wedding anniversary." Visiting hours were over at eight o ' clock, but they didn't say anything to us and we hesitated to leave without making sure that maybe one of us should stay the night.

Upon going down the elevator to locate the young doctor who had last looked at Rose, I tried to make small talk with another lady, and said, "This is quite some hospital." She answered by saying, "It is a house of horrors! " And on the very next day I was to experience this very same feeling.

When I located the person I wanted to talk to, he assured me that we should go back home and if there were any changes he would call us.

I called home twice during these two days to keep my family informed and to calm their fears.

Rose knew we were planning to go back to Tiffin, and I wanted to re-assure her that we would not go back home and maybe only come weekends. We were prepared for her to be there for an indefinite time, so Fran said, " Hon, I will come down every day and once or twice a week, I will bring your mother along so she can visit you all day and stay over at the motel and then go back with me the next day." Rose seemed very pleased with the arrangement.

So we leaned over the bed to whisper good-bye. Her husband kissed her tenderly, and I said, " We are going back to Tiffin now, Rose, and the next time you wake up, we won't be here.  You won' t be afraid, will you?"

She answered, " No, I won't be afraid."  Then as we turned to go, she said, "Mom." On my turning around, she said, "I love you, Mom." My heart danced up into my throat and I could hardly talk. Here was my own little girl, a grown woman, and a mother herself. I quickly said, " I love you too, Rose, and the one thing I want most in this world is for you to get well." We left quickly after that, for I just could not trust my quivering lower lip.

(End of Chapter 3)

I Love You, Mom