Saturday, October 31, 2009
I realized today that know one really knows about where we are living and what our room looks like. First we live in a 20 bed hospital. It originally was a hotel and has beautiful marble in the lobby, stairs and hallways. We live in room 204 and look out the front windows of the hospital on the busy street. We took a lot of time when we first arrived trying to make our room look as comfortable as possible and not look like a hospital room. That was a huge priority for me. I wanted it to have a local Indian flavor to it along with the creature comforts that make life a little easier.
Our room is the size of a dorm room - probably 15' by 20'. We have Monica's room, my room, a kitchen, social area, medicine area, changing area and therapy area. Monica's room is the hospital bed that has a hand crank to move the backrest up and down (no electric comforts). We bought her a quilt that has a beautiful bright cheerful elephant pattern in between two muslin pieces of cotton. She loves it. She has five stuffed animals in her bed along with her favorite pillow from home. We moved her bed against the window which runs the length of the room. The window has a sill that she has put all of her everyday items and nick knacks on. There is a night stand next to her bed that plays her iPod and there is a clock that we brought from home. She also has a hospital bedside table (our kitchen table) that she uses for her computer, to do cognitive therapy and occupational therapy exercises, to eat meals off of and for medicine. Under her bed is her suitcase with all of her clothes for our stay that she pulls out whenever she needs to change. We truly are living out of our suitcases. There is not ONE drawer in the whole room or bathroom. The other two suitcases under her bed are the carry on luggage we brought FILLED with medicine. I pull those out when I need to refill medicine containers.
My room has a little wire rack, that was supposed to be for the bathroom, I use next to my foam fold out bed. It is a chair when not the bed, but I have to have three little pillows on it under my legs or I slip right off the chair onto the ground. There has been some laughter with that graceful move. Right now I am typing on the chair and my knees are actually higher than my chest sitting! My bed is pretty funny too. I have to have the bottom of the bed flipped under so Monica can use her chair to get to the bathroom. I feel like I sleep in a U shaped position with my feet always higher than my head. If my bed is flat then there is not enough space for her to back up into the bathroom with the wheelchair. (Our choice because I could arrange the room differently.) I am right next to the free standing closet which has full length mirrored doors. I wake up looking at myself - it is never a pretty sight to see yourself so clearly before you get out of bed. Next to the closet I made a table out of six boxes and covered it in a shawl. We use this as our medicine table and next to it I put her "legs" that I carry in a bag (her calipers and shoes).
I now know you all will be truly jealous of our kitchen. Just imagine the things you can create here! We have a 18" by 30" counter. A glass shelf on top of that which is 12" by 24". We have a toaster and a 2 cup kettle. A dorm refrigerator that we have filled with just water, jam, 6 eggs (I bought a skillet), and boxed milk. There is a larger wire rack filled with food and I purchased a couple of bags to also put snacks in.
Our bathroom has a beautiful granite countertop and a sink that I use to do the dishes in. Next to the sink is what we all call the showlet. There is a toilet and then the shower is open next to it. We have to squeegee the whole floor after every shower. We do have a plastic chair, which we use mainly outside in America, that came with the room and we use it in the shower for Monica to sit in. If we have company I wipe it down and bring it in the room - some one visited us recently to ask questions about our experience here and they never knew they were sitting on our shower chair! They do provide a shower / commode chair that we gave back to them.
The room works and we get along great. If we didn't it would be a problem. I sleep with ear plugs because she needs to go to sleep with the music on and the headphones do not stay on her. Because she sleeps more (yippee skippy for the stem cells!) our bed time is midnight. When we went to Germany our bedtime was never the same time and often we were playing cards at 2:30am till I passed out. This has been such a better trip for me because she sleeps more. I am beyond thrilled. The only thing about our whole room situation I forgot to mention is the wheelchair. It is in the middle of the room all the time. On our next trip hopefully we will come WITHOUT the chair! I'll write more about where we are living in the next blog. We love and miss you all!