Sunday, April 23, 2006

[Photos: (L) Mike posing for sketch comedy group Bad Hair's program, summer 2004. (R) ...and you thought these guys were in charge of the White House. Boy were you wrong. Read way down below, folks*]

*I realize some people (not our sick sick friends, but others on the periphery) might find it somehow offensive that I find humor in the things that are coming out of Mike's mouth these days. Listen, people: If I weren't laughing, I'd be crying. Besides, let's be honest - If we weren't laughing at this stuff, Mike would be extremely disappointed in us all. How does that saying go? It's funny... cause it's true.]

Today's entry is a long one. Mike's condition in a nutshell: Good. Confused. Alert. Content. Sense of humor intact. But confused.

Not a lot of action at the hospital today. As one nurse aptly put it, weekends at the hospital are like “lost days.” Nothing really happens… you're just in a holding pattern until Monday when the bustle starts up again. Hopefully that bustle will include radiation therapy to zap this stupid f*cking tumor. (S.F.T.)

I did accost one of the head residents in the hallway as I am wont to do. He said he imagines we'll start radiation early this week and get Mike stepped down to a different unit soon. The possibility of getting into a rehab program like Magee is less likely if he's still in the high priority NICU. To get that ball rolling, he has to be stepped down.

I'll tell you - I like the residents a lot. They are all good guys (and yes, all guys). But they have this incredible knack for saying a lot but not saying anything at all. I can talk to them for like 5-10 minutes and when we're done chatting I realize… I have acquired zero new information. It's a remarkable talent.


Note to self and others: How Mike is doing on one day is not an indicator of how he'll be doing the next day. Today Mike is quite good. He's still extremely tactile and antsy, but showing more signs of his “old” self in his wit, humor, intonation and expressions.

I asked him a bunch of the standard questions and he answered them pretty well (said the hospital was Thomas Edison instead of Thomas Jefferson, but not bad). Today I told him the story of how a couple of days ago when I had asked him who I was he told me I was his girlfriend and that we didn't have any kids yet. This afternoon, when I told him about this incident, at first he didn't believe me.

“When did I say that?”
“A couple of days ago.”
“Did you slap me?'

Kevin, Diane J., and I had a good laugh.


I brought in some of Bax's toys - the kinds with crinkly parts and rattly parts. Mike enjoyed tooling around with them a bit. At one point he was pulling at his wires and I threw him a Manhattan baby Sparkle Dragon (the one Sash and Dee got for Baxter). “Here. Mess with this instead.”

He looked at me with slight contempt. “I know what you're doing.”

“What am I doing?”
“You're just trying to tide me over.”
Kevin laughed really hard, “Boy is he onto you.”


Both yesterday and today when I asked Mike how many kids we have he said three.

Yikes. Hell, no.

When I asked what their names were he said there's “little Mike,” and that we don't know the other two's names yet. Uh-Oh. Is this confabulation or premonition? I suggested to him that he's thinking of his own family - with himself and his brother and sister. He responded agreeably as always, “Yeah. Maybe.”

On a similar note, one of the nurses, Cathy, asked if I had looked into getting a sperm sample to have stored for the future. Part of me is like, “Are you in-SANE? Another baby?” But another part of me thinks about the great results Mike and I got with the first one and maybe I do want the option of another one. Someday. Not now. G*d, not now.


Today while on speaker-phone with Diana (his sister), She asked how he was feeling. He said he was feeling pretty good and then started another sentence very slowly and deliberately.

“It's weird…to be…. cognizant of an alternate reality.”

She replied, “I bet it's really weird not knowing what's real and what's not.”

He agreed and seemed satisfied that he was understood. I also asked him how he felt about his current situation. He said it was a drag that he wasn't fixed, but that the situation wasn't terrible.


Today rather than asking, “What's the Magee Center?” I asked him where he would be going after he left the hospital.

“Another hospital.”
“What kind of hospital?” I asked
“A fun hospital.”
“Be more specific.”
“A fun brain hospital.” He said.
“What do they do there?”
“Rehab and therapy.'

Well, I'll be…

Anyhow, he's sleeping in the bed right next to me right now. I just like being with him.


After Mike ate lunch, we shared a few kisses and I could see the sparkle in his eyes.

Then, all of a sudden, he said, “I can't believe what just happened to us!”

“What happened?”
“We just had dinner with the president, got debriefed and got the boot.
“We did?
“Yeah - I mean, she's our childhood friend, but she's the president.”
“Who?' I asked.
“Anne who?”
“Not Ladenson. Annie.”
“Annie, our babysitter?”
“Yeah. “
“Mike, she's not the president.”
“She's not?”
“Then who is?”
“No! Still?” He asked.
“Booo!!… Can't we put actions in motion to change that?” he asked completely honestly.
“Yeah, we can vote for someone else in 2008.”
“No.. I mean… aren't we political insiders? Can't we put actions in place to make sure we win in 2008?'

I explained we weren't political insiders and he seemed a bit down. I tried to preoccupy him with his diced peaches. “Maybe that will make me feel less sad.”
“Why are you sad?”
“Because I just realized we're the same as everybody else. That's not sad?”

Well said.

A few minutes later, I looked over to see Mike playing with one of Baxter's toys, laughing at himself. I asked why he was laughing and he replied, “Here I am, future president of the United States and I'm playing with this stuffed toy!”

“You're the future present?”
“Well, actually, I am president of the United States. I survived an assassination attempt.”

Then later….

“So who's the president, Mike?”
“You. As of right now you are the president and I'm the vice president. You have all the constitutional powers of war. Cause we haven't changed the constitution at all."

At this point, I realize we're stuck in the “president” schema - he's running in circles, doing laps in his brain around all these political concepts. So, why not just play along.

“What kinds of things should we do, Mike?”
“We should get out of Iraq and get the U.N. involved cause we don't want responsibility for Iraq. That's a mess. Depending on how things go in Iraq - we should probably get the World Council to take responsibility for Iran. We should figure out a way to set it up such that the World Council can find a way to take authority for certain countries.”

[By the way, I am sitting in a chair next to his bed typing all of this as he's saying it. No embellishment included.]

“Who do we know in the World Council that can help us?”
“I guess I would talk to your Dad to find out what is the current read regarding who would want to step up. If the UN split tomorrow, how would Iraq and Iran split up?”

A bit later, I was ready to leave and the nurses were in the room. I told Mike and the nurses about how the blog has been helpful in arranging help with various things like lawn-mowing. I told Mike that Ray and Craig from discmakers volunteered to help out. He started laughing really hard - like normal Mike laughing. When I asked what was funny, he said with an emphatic hand gesture,

“Well, it's a HUGE lawn!”
“It's not that big. What lawn are you thinking of?”
“The White House lawn.”


Before I left we got him squared away regarding who is the President and who's not, how we do not belong to the “Bush-Young” family as he suggested. He was very quickly steered in the right direction on these things.

I think sometimes he is literally dreaming while he's awake. Like this time. After we got his whole president-fixation straightened out, he very quickly dozed off.


Anonymous said...

I think what's going on with Mike's brain is so awful and yet still reflects his inner intelligence and and a sense of humor trying to rise to the top.
I love your sicko sense of humor. If you lost it, it would be really bad.

Love, Robin

Susan said...

The DC saga continues... dialog from tonite:

Me: Where are you, Mike?
Mke: "In a hotel in DC."
Me: Is it nice?
Mike: Yeah. Very nice. Good room service.
Me: What are you doing in DC, Mike?
Mike: "I have to find a wife." Hmmmmm...

On a secondary note... i brought him some feely things to play with. as i suspected, he LOVED the gewwy, blue porcupiney thing. and he loved the link toys i brought. he got right on them clipping them and unclipping them. I didn't talk much with him at that point cuz he seemed focused on the toys...

However, when i was leaving, i asked him if he knew who i was and he said Aunt Rose. At least this time I wasn't Beth. But there's always hope that he has a long lost, crazy Jewish aunt named Rose somewhere...

The Brain said...

He has to find a wife? a $&*%^$ wife?


And uh... sorry susan. I don't think he has an aunt Rose.

I will say this, though, if it's any consolation - When our sitter Annie rang the doorbell this afternoon, Bax ran to the door saying, "Suzah? Susah?" Yes, that's you. Suzah.

Anonymous said...

Danna - I'm with you - you've got to laugh. I know Mike would want that. He's so buoyed by your love; even when you're not there he's looking for you, the "wife."

I must say I got a little excited thinking I might get to be president, even just in Mike's fantasy. That lawn would certainly be a bitch though.

I feel certain that every jew has an Aunt Rose, so maybe that's something from Bobbi's family? Maybe she'll let us know.

(not President) Anne

mary said...

the white house lawn comment made me laugh so hard I peed a little...



Mr.Harry Green said...

You know, I think I'd prefer Mike as our "Decider" In Chief. Even in his current state, he makes a lot more sense than Ol'George B. I'd certainly rather go duck hunting with either one of you guys than with Mr. Cheyney. Duck hunting? Who am I kidding? I'm a Jew from Scarsdale.

Maybe our laughter is the path Mike needs in order to find his way back home.

Love to you, Baxter and Mike,

Larry Freedman

Jenny S-G said...

Mike for President!