Universal: Chapter 9
I’d never taken care of a post-operative patient before, but fortunately, I had a little brochure from the hospital to tell me what to do.
The first day was pretty easy and I wasn’t too worried because Pam was with me. I made sure Eric was comfortable and took his medications on time and I brought him food. He was pretty loopy from the pain meds, which was a good thing I guess, because the alternative would have been that he was in pain.
He was nothing like when he first came out of the anesthesia though. He told me he was in love with me and asked if I had a pimp. I didn’t even want to know what that was about.
Just before dinner, Pam took off. I didn’t want her driving alone late at night, but I sure hated to see her go. I was left alone with Eric, and while he seemed to be doing fine, I was a little nervous about having all the responsibility left to me. I had the number of his surgeon in case I had any problems, but still, I felt the pressure.
I ordered room service for us for dinner and we ate on the bed together. After dinner, Eric took a pain pill and I watched a movie on the sofa. When it was over, I was flipping around, looking for something else to watch when I heard Eric say, “You don’t have to stay over there. We can watch it here.”
“I didn’t know you were awake,” I said.
“Come over here and watch.”
I turned off the TV I’d been watching and climbed onto the bed and turned Eric’s TV on. I started looking for something to watch again and turned to Eric and asked, “What do you feel like watching?”
He was looking at me, not at the TV and said, “Thank you for doing this, Sookie.”
I set the remote down and said, “I should take a look at your incisions.” I turned on the bedside light and he raised his t-shirt and lowered his pants a little. He’d had laparoscopic surgery and so only had three tiny incisions—one was in his belly button. He was lucky because this kind of surgery had a much easier recovery than the one where they had to make one big incision. If we’d waited any longer to get him to the hospital, his appendix could have burst and then the laparoscopic surgery wouldn’t have been an option.
“I guess they look okay,” I said.
I turned out the light and got up to get my sleep shirt and toothbrush. I went into the bathroom to get ready for bed, and when I came out, Eric needed to use the bathroom as well. I helped him get up, but he could do everything else on his own, thank goodness.
I found an extra pillow and blanket in the closet and got comfortable on the sofa, but when Eric came out he said, “Sookie, don’t sleep there. Just stay over here with me.”
“I don’t want to disturb you,” I said.
“You won’t. I want you here.”
I put the blanket and pillow back and got under the covers beside Eric. It was a king sized bed, so I wasn’t worried that I might roll over and hurt him.
He picked up the remote and found a news program that we watched for awhile. I was getting sleepy, but stayed awake until it was time for his pill again.
Once he’d taken it, I got my phone out of my purse.
“Who are you calling?” he asked.
“No one. I’m trying to figure out how to set the alarm. You’ll need another pill in four hours.”
“Oh, there’s no need for that. I’ll wake you up. Maybe I can go longer.”
“Are you sure?”
“Yeah, I’m sure. I promise I’ll wake you.”
“Okay, then I might just go to sleep. You can watch TV though if you want.”
I put my phone back into my purse and set it back on the nightstand before turning on my side, facing away from Eric. He continued the show he’d been watching, but I did notice he’d turned down the volume. It had been a long day for me on very little sleep, so I was out like a light in no time at all.
When I woke up, I was on my back and Eric was gripping my hand. I looked over at the clock.
“I think it’s time,” Eric whispered.
It was twenty minutes too early. “It’s not time yet. Twenty more minutes.”
“Does it hurt?”
“Like a motherfucker.”
I turned to face him and lay my head close to Eric’s and held his hand with both of mine. He was on his back, facing the ceiling. I couldn’t make out his expression, but I could sense the tension in his body and his hand.
“What can I do?” I asked.
“I don’t know. Tell me a story.”
“Okay, … um … ”
“Tell me where you grew up.”
“That’s easy.” I started when I was born in Bon Temps and by the time I got to when my parents died, it was time for the pill. I had been watching the clock and then Eric’s jaw clench while I spoke and was relieved when I was finally able to give him what he really needed.
As he relaxed back into sleep, I stroked his hair and continued my story until I was certain he was out again. Then I settled back under the covers and took his hand in mine and quickly found sleep again myself.