Many Lands, Many Hats: Day 6 (Nov. 9 2008)

In Uncategorized on November 10, 2008 at 5:09 am

I never was the type to get a Eurail pass and do the 20 countries in 20 days post-college wanderlustful voyage. Always seemed an absurd way to explore the world. But I will tell you, these last few days feel like one completely whirlwind Eurail experience. Today we have hopefully abandoned the nation of troubles and trepidation and arrived in a much more even terrain. Alex had quite a great day compared to the last 48 hrs.

I am happy to say that this is the first post where Alex and I discussed what was going to be written. This is fantastic! Not only is she directing the nursing staff (when she can – other times it seems more like pleading) in terms of her needs, wants and desires, now she’s getting her hand on the pen that writes this blog.  Well, a wee bit anyway. She even corrected my spoken grammar, as I often say she is “doing good”. Henceforth, she tells me, the phrase is “doing well”. And she is very eager to get involved in the news about her that makes its way to you.

Firstly, Alex wants each and every one of you to know that she is absolutely thrilled with your well-wishes (as I’ve mentioned before). She keenly looks forward to being able to see you and tell you this in person. Secondly, your kind words are being read to her by me everyday, and I can tell by the light in her eyes that you all mean the world to her. She might be a little fuzzy from the painkillers, like when she asks me to reread the odd note so that she can fully savour it. But she (as you know) has a very sharp mind and is taking in all of it. Her memory for details astounds me when she recalls stories about many of you. Stories that I’ve never heard before, and which entertain me and fill me on on parts of Alex’s history. It’s so sweet how me telling her story begets other stories that get shared between us.

So…all of what’s to come comes in a bit of a hurry tonight, as I’ve been at the hospital for twelve hours and am feeling like I am sitting on the ragged edge of nowhere. I’m beat.

Alex got rid of another tube today. They removed her arterial line. This is sort of like the opposite of an IV, in that it comes out of an artery and is used to draw blood and check blood gas. One tube at a time, eh.

She was very happy to see her physiotherapist from the “pre and post” Transplant Gym come by this morning. This woman’s name is Lianne and she helped out Alex in what they call the “treadmill room” to get her ready for transplant.  So great for Alex to see a familiar face, and the feeling from Lianne is mutual. I can tell that she is very proud (and protectful) of Alex. I can’t say enough about the people like Lianne that make this such an immensely more bearable experience. These folks really are like angels.

Lianne did a physio session with Alex and told me after that she thought Alex was doing really well. She was quite amazed that Alex spent only one day in ICU, and said that she was making fast quick progress through the first stage recovery. Alex just sat and didn’t say too much about the pronouncement. She is too entrenched in pain and discomfort to fully believe it. Her old habit of thinking that exercise will deplete is hard to shake. Used to be exercise only made her feel more tired, with little incentive to carry on as her old lungs detereoriated. Now with new lungs, she has to convince herself to work hard so that she an continue to gain strength and work even harder. Old habits…

Next, my highlight of the day. Alex got up in her walker and walked around the floor. Imagine walking with 200 pounds of potatoes on your back. A constantly shifting bag of potatoes. That’s what she did. Did a full lap. First time I’ve been able to see her walk after the transplant, and it just made me so proud of my darlin’ I can’t even find the words!

I went out and bought her a present on Yonge Street at lunchtime. A cool little portable DVD player and some fun old TV shows on DVD to watch. Now she’ll have something to distract her as she sits in her room when she needs it. Listening to music was a little too much for her. It must be hard for her to listen to people sing as she hasn’t really tried yet. Soon. In the meantime it’s easier to watch a screen dance around, I think. 

Another highlight later in the day was the fact that she got her pills down. She was in a much better mood throughout the day, so she wasn’t nearly as stressed as yesterday and could swallow the pills with only a little help from me. She reminded me that after all, she’d been swallowing pills since she was a kid. She can take care of herself, okay!?! Hmmm…gone are yesterday’s dreams of being a “pill coach”, I guess.

So I’m not a pill coach anymore. Or at least for today anyway. Maybe in another country on our rollercoaster journey. Although I have been a lover, a comrade, a friend, a nurse, a janitor, a confidant, an advocate, a persuader, a diplomat, and a target all in one day today. So now I am a tired man, and within the next ten minutes I hope to be a dreamer. And I hope to have a sweet dream about my redheaded gal too. 

Good night Everyone.

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