Friday afternoon, April 14, 2006

[View from Mike's room - Looking East across 10th street towards the Ben Franklin House]

I'm feeling blechy today. Just a little distressed. I left yesterday thinking that we'd come in today and find Mike doing a jig or something. No such luck. I mean - he is more alert and answers the standard questions correctly (It's april, 2006, he's in T. Jeff hospital, he had brain surgery....). But he gets stuck on things sometimes and asks over and over. I correct him and he says, "Oh, ok." And then immediately asks again. "Can I have a fork?" "No, mike, you're not allowed to eat solid foods yet." "Ok." "But can I have a fork to eat with?"


It would be a freaking riot if I knew it was going to end soon. But I don't know that.

There's something devastating about watching this brilliant and talented man sit in front of the television and turn it on and off and on and off and on and off and then watch the blank screen. "Mike, the TV's off." To which he replies matter-of-factly, "No it's not."

Fortunately, Mike's sister, Diana, sees the glass half full. (I, the pessimist, always leap to worse case scenario). Diana has been reminding me to think about the brain as any other body part that needs to heal. It is true that he gets more confused the more tired he becomes. So maybe the brain just needs time to chill out. Diana also said that Mike's head has been in surgery so many times in the past month, it just needs to heal. Since his cognitive abilities appear to come and go, she's fairly optimistic about his recovery.

I'm just afraid. That's all.

He did make a couple of jokes today. I was testing him on what they did yesterday in surgery. He remembered the shunt part, but forgot that they had replaced the brain bone plate. I tried to give him a hint, "They replaced something that they had taken out."

"Car keys?"

Given how confused he's been and how deadpan he is, I wasn't sure that it wasn't an honest guess. So, I used the magic trump card we invented years ago as a solution to the constant joking in our home:

"Truth, Mike?"

"No... not truth. Ummm... a clock?"

"Truth, Mike?"

"No... not truth. Ok, I forget what they replaced."

"Part of your skull."

"Oh... well... I'm glad they put it back, I guess."


Anonymous said...


Thanks for keeping us all informed. Hang in there and remember that even the anesthesia can make a person a little foggy. I am sending lots of good vibes and prayers your way.


Anonymous said...

Dear Danna, Baxter and Mike,

Diana is right. Mike has had nine surgeries. It is time for him to rest for six months. The body is a wonderful thing. We need to give it t..i..m..e!

AND it is so frustrating to wait (not a typical positive trait in a Duffy/Goldthwaite).

Honey, think of it this way: It took nine months to grow baxter....it will take up to nine months to regrow Mike's brain.


Love you so much.

Mom and Dad..Dave and Andrea

Deke Young said...

Being that I am a "Young" and that everything in the US Army is done alphabetically, I have the patience of a plant (Battallion weigh-in. Everyone on the same scale on the same day.)

Hopefully all those days standing in line, like his graduation ceremony, will help him see things through.

Anonymous said...

we should flash mob in the parking lot construction space so we can wave to mike en masse'. anyone up for it??? name a day/time.

Anonymous said...

Dana, totally understand your fear. But Mike does need time to heal. Be patient and give him more time. HUG HUG!