I got up early and headed over to George Washington Hospital. I made my way to room 311. I poked my head in to see Anthony reclined in a standard hospital bed, his head cocked back at an angle watching a TV hanging from the ceiling.
He was happy to see me.
He told me that they were adjusting his medications and trying to stabilize his blood pressure. “They say they are gonna release me today but that all depends on getting my blood pressure way down.”
Our conversation was intermittent. His concerns and thoughts were clearly visible on his bearded face.
“I’m just waiting on breakfast now,” he told me somehow trying to make conversation. He was not too happy about only being able to order from the heart healthy menu.
I spent about 30 minutes there and his breakfast arrived. I was hoping that I could talk to the doctor or nurse but they didn’t visit him during that time. It was about 8:30am and I needed to head to work, so I decided to leave and let him eat his breakfast – a surprisingly good looking egg white omelet.
I called Anthony later that evening. He was actually being discharged when we spoke at about 6:30pm. “I’m tired of being pricked and prodded,” he said a bit out of breath.
I’m glad he is doing better and being released. But I would be lying if I said I wasn’t very concerned about his health. Anthony is overweight, has high blood pressure and some other health challenges – all of which are complicated by his homelessness. How can he try to change his diet living on a few dollars a day and sleeping on the sidewalks of our nation’s capital?
I’ll update you in a few days – Anthony and I have a meeting set up for 10am on Tuesday.