I woke to being jostled about by Maggie while she mumbled something my earplugs prevented me from hearing. She grabbed my hand and placed it on her shirt which was drenched with sweat. I pulled my earplugs (which have been our only defense from the racket of the ceaseless hospital goings-on) and Maggie told me she thought her fever was down. As she changed into a new, dry gown I re-arranged her bedding, removing the wet ones and changed the basic organization from chaotic to orderly – at least the best I could do at 1:45AM through squinty eyes. She had certainly made a wreck of her bed.
Nurse Jennifer confirmed that her temperature was down considerably – 97.7. The 11:30PM visit from the vitals nazi put her last temperature at 102.1, considerably higher, which prompted Nurse Jennifer to give Maggie some Tylenol. For whatever the reason – the antibiotics, the Tylenol, just good ole fashion time – Maggie’s temperature was down and she was definitely feeling better. Even with the 2AM squint the sparkle was back in her eyes. And, not surprisingly, she was a little chatty. Eventually we got things settled back down and returned back to bed.
I had forgotten how tough sleeping is while in the hospital. The earplugs are little spongy sanity-savers, the anti-Babblefish – as they expand to fit they dial down all the distractions into a barely-perceptible background buzz. The earplugs offer little defense, however, from the relentless visits from the vitals nazi, who insists that the room light be on to check temperature and blood pressure. Maggie’s bed-side mechanical companion clicks, buzzes and whirs tirelessly, and occasionally complains about low fluids with a disturbing series of earplug-defying beeps silenced only by a visit from Nurse Jennifer who, despite the insistent beeping, can never seem to come quickly enough.
It’s morning now and Maggie thinks her fever has returned. We’ll know soon enough. And I saw Dr. Loukas walking the halls when I went out searching for more precious heating pads so I’m sure he’ll be visiting soon.
The vitals nazi just confirmed that her fever is back – 101.4.