Last week, when we first got to the hospital, I spent a lot of time talking with the family of the woman in the bed across from Uma. (There are four beds in the Neurological ICU.) When you spend a lot of time in a hospital waiting room, you end up spending a lot of time with other families who are in the same boat as you are, and you end up accidentally hearing a lot of what they're going through because there isn't much privacy--you hear their conversations with the doctors, you hear their hushed conversations, you ask questions of your own. It's, like, immediate bonding. So, anyway, last week there was this family--it was a man and woman (I remember that the woman's name was Theresa, but I forget her husband's name) (so let's call him Ron for the purposes of this blog entry because it's easier to call him Ron than to call him "the guy whose name I don't remember") and their teenaged kids--this dude with a total huge blond fro, and a bright young woman with a big smile. Ron's mom had a brain tumor and that's why they were at the hospital. We shared our stories and would often check in with each other, I'd ask them "how's your mom?" and they'd ask about Uma. Then I went back to LA for a few days and when I came back to New York, they weren't at the hospital anymore. I didn't know what had happened to their mom, how she was doing. They were just gone. And I've been wondering about them, hoping their mom/grandma was okay. And then today, I was walking back to the hospital after having lunch with Erica, Eleanor, and Bill, and I noticed this huge blond afro walking towards us and suddenly realized it was Theresa's son, and there was Theresa's son, and Theresa too! I yelled out "Theresa" and she looked at me like "who are you" for a second because the only context she has for me is that stupid waiting room next to the ICU, and then I asked her how her mother-in-law was, and she suddenly recognized me, and she asked me how Uma was, and she was so happy to hear that Uma had opened her eyes yesterday and was blinking responses, and she told me that ever since her mother-in-law had been moved out of the ICU they had been praying for Uma every day. Which moved me because we're all so fragile and we have these random moments with random people out in the world and they saw Uma in her hospital bed and they have so many of their own traumas to deal with right now, and just the fact that they've been thinking of Uma too...yeah, I found that moving and was so grateful and, honestly, I almost started crying there on the street--not, like, sobbing, but for a second I had the Claire Danes wobbly lip thing going on. Theresa's mother in law is still in a scary place--they removed the brain tumor, but it's growing again--so I'm going to think of her and hope that the tumor goes away.
I had several moments alone with Uma today. They lowered her sedatives way down yesterday--which was why she was able to open her eyes and blink responses to us--but today they had to raise her sedatives again to let her continue to rest and heal. So she's mostly been sleeping, but her eyes have opened several times when I've been in there and I feel like she's starting to come out of this. (I've discovered that the small part of me that has OCD tendancies is incredibly satisfied by the act of praying and and visualizing and meditating, and I keep saying, over and over again in my head, "please let Uma Nithipalan have a full neurological recovery") (I say her full name in my head in case there are more Umas out there, so that nothing gets confused) (I've said that phrase at least a thousand times today and I'm going to keep sayin it)
(on a complete side note, and I feel like it's okay for me to mention this because I know that when Uma wakes up and reads this blog entry she's going to know that her damned brain aneurysm didn't prevent me from noticing, but there are so many freaking hot men in New York) (it's impossible to walk down the street without almost literally bumping into at least a dozen of them) (it's like New York is just one big giant gay singles bar) (I swear) (a couple of weeks ago, I went to Akbar with Uma, and she told me: "the only time I ever remember you're gay is when we go to a gay bar together because suddenly you're checking everyone out") (well, Uma: you should come to New York with me sometime and walk around the city because then you'll constantly be reminded of my gayness) (of course, we're in New York together right now, but this so totally does not fucking count) (you've gotta wake up and you've gotta get those neurological functions of your fully revved up, and then we can walk around Chelsea and you'll see what I mean)
(one of Uma's nurses, this woman named Nancy, I think I mentioned her in my last blog entry, the one I wrote late last night, but I was so tired when I wrote it that I don't remember what I wrote, but anyway--when she talks to Uma, she yells really loud, like: "HEY UMA! ERIK'S HERE!!! DO YOU WANT TO SEE ERIK!?!?" And I love how bold and loud she is when she's talking to Urp because her attitude is like, "you are going to hear me whether you want to or not," and I know that a lot of you who've been reading my blog are out there praying for Uma and visualizing her wellness and doing the little tasks I've been asking you to do, and please keep doing that, but add some Nancy-type yelling. Like, don't just yell out for Uma to wake up, but really fucking YELL IT. Okay, cool.)