Monday, May 22, 2006

[Photo: The sign I bet Mike's new roommate's wife wishes she could post. Read on.]

Today Mike showed a lot of his personality – in his expressions, gestures and comments. However, he was tired, and slumped to the left with a significant tremor on his left side. Mary Carpenter came by and we tried to aid him in eating his lunch, but he didn’t have much of an appetite.

I cut his hair today –
man does his hair grow fast! I used his electric trimmer and he helped me figure out how to use it. I then finished off with a tiny pair of scissors. I uttered, sort of to myself, “I think I actually like cutting it better with these tiny scissors, even if it’s taking forever.”

“Of course you do,” Mike said.

“What do you mean, of course I do?”
“You’re Danna.”

“So? What does that mean?”

“It means you’re a little OCD,” he replied with a smile.

Nice. Never has insult been so enjoyable.

The N.P.s would like to put the foley catheter back in.
Right now he has a less invasive kind (Texas), but they fall off and don’t work well. Lots of people are wondering why they’re not trying to get Mike off the urinary catheter or encouraging him to figure out how to go by himself. Unfortunately, Mike’s brain and body are not communicating with each other right now about any of those lower functions. It’s likely due to the pressure on the interior frontal lobes, and I believe the surgeons are anticipating that that will come back once the cysts are drained (that’s what I am so hoping. I can think of no other issue that speaks so symbolically to one’s lack of autonomy than this one). For now this means he needs a catheter in. In addition to the logistics involved, the nurses need reliable urine samples every 6 hours for the tests they’re running – you know, the wild goose chase for good sodium and potassium levels.

I actually got him from the chair to the bed by myself. It was quite a project. But it was nice when he was standing up with his arms around me and we hugged for a minute.

If you’re going to visit Mike, which I encourage you to do, he has a new roommate whose wife’s attempts to control an unfortunate and uncontrollable situation almost rival mine. One example is a big sign posted outside the door that says “Visitation Reserved for the following people ONLY: followed by the names of herself and her children.
I actually paused a second and thought, “Am I allowed in?”

Just know that it doesn’t mean you. My hunch is, by the way the sign is written, there are some specific family members that they don’t want to have access to him.


Heide said...


Keep up the good work. You are an example of never ending love and energy. I value our friendship and never stop being inspired by you. W-O-W.

My dad's partner, Alice, is going thru some complications due to a hip replacement. I have learned so much from your blog, that Im calling in some connections I have to give a second opinion in her medical treatment. See how far reaching your experience has gone in helping others?

Can Baxter be any cuter in that photo?

Ok, sorry for the ramble, I had a couple glasses of wine and I should be sleeping. Isn't that the best time to ramble and gush?


karenle893 said...

Baxter is sooooooooo
I just needed to say that again


Diane C. said...

Hey Danna,

After visiting Mike on Saturday, I came away with an observation regarding Mike.

Mike's efforts to help out as much as he can, when he can are another sign of the Mike that is "in there".

When the nurses asked him to try to get up, Mike did. He explained as well as he could where any difficulty was in doing things (the chair leg was in the way).

He is as active as his condition allows him to be in helping to manage his own care.

Simply put, Mike is great.