At the sound of the tone…

There is a different kind of rhythm to the hospital at night. There’s a quiet that you expect to accompany the small hours, but it only serves to accentuate the sounds that do exist. The orderlies are taking care of the detritus that accumulates during the course of the afternoon. A patient cries out. The nurses whisper words of comfort. The intravenous pumps beep their alarms. In each room, the soft sounds of a TV.

Periodically the door opens, the light sneaks in and vital signs are taken once more, waking the patient, waking the caregiver. We negotiate the timing of the meds to consolidate as much as possible, eliminating staggered administrations and minimize the sleep interruptions. Little by little, the floor quiets down again, the sounds of sleep take over once more, broken only now and again by the needs of those living with disease. We feel grateful for the relative ease of our journey as we see the struggles of our neighbors as we stroll the hallways.

It’s been a long day. This cycle of RICE has been for the most part uneventful. There was an 40857_18679_20140722_155734_display_displayexhaustion this weekend… brought on by too much activity and the mix of beneficial poisons. Those zombies had nothing on our patient. Thankfully that has passed. The counts were good and yesterday we were able to complete the first day of the cycle as an outpatient. Today we’re back at North Shore for the overnight chemo marathon.

With this cycle again come the hiccups… with a vengeance they are back. This is a combination of the Decadron administered and a delay in dispensing the Thorazine, which, in itself, is just a product of today’s hospital admission process and unavoidable bad timing.

Ah, but we can’t let this opportunity pass.

We amuse ourselves with recording the hiccups and playing them back. As we hit replay, Rich’s hiccups coincide with the recorded ones like an echo and this in turn makes us giggle all the more. Giggling, it seems, brings on more hiccups. We’re in terrible danger here… there’s the potential for total chaos brought on by hiccups, of all things.

While it’s sad that our roommate has pain, we’re thankful that he’s on methadone to alleviate it. He therefore pays no attention to our nonsense. He’s apparently looking for the green horse. He has his own concerns.

When the spasms get to be annoying, we try the Rooibos tea and it settles the hiccups nicely. The combo of the medication and the tea seems to be an effective tool. Our seal may not be barking so often this cycle if this holds true.

It could be, however, as a result of our silliness we just may have a new ringtone recorded for our phones.

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