Wednesday, May 17, 2006
[Yay! Lame photos taken today by two lame smooshers with my camera-phone. Mike was g.r.e.a.t. today. If we keep heading in this direction - we'll get there.]
Today is a great day for Mike. Apparently he was sleepy this morning, but early this afternoon, he was fantastic - the best I've seen him in weeks. Scott Greer visited at noontime, and was soon joined by Scott McCormick and Kirk Love. They started joking around and Mike joined right in. He did a lot of Mike-isms and made a lot of great facial expressions and hand gestures that were very Mike. At one point, we had the TV on and Mike demonstrated for everyone the "TV face" - the "duh" face he gets as soon as the TV is on.
The guys started talking about baseball and Barry Bonds and I asked Mike if he liked Barry Bonds. He said yes. Scott said sarcastically, "Oh, did you guys used to date?" and Mike laughed and in his totally typical Mike way shrugged a little and said,
"We weren't as much dating as... experimenting. It was college."
Then the guys joked about the various aspects of Barry Bonds that Mike must have found sexy... to which Mike added, "And then there was the earring." It was great.
There were too many little Mike-isms to even list!
The Physical therapist came in around 3 pm as I was about to leave. Mike got up and walked a bit and looked great on his feet. The PT, Mary, asked what I thought about Mike coming home if he continued to improve and get stronger each day. I couldn't tell if she meant come home before radiation is over, or come home after radiation. She said that if they're doing PT every day while in the hospital, maybe he won't need rehab.
Now, before freaking out at this person and saying, "Are you kidding? He has no short term memory, hasn't had his sodium stabilized for more than 5 days and is incontintent... and you want him to come home?" I took a deep breath.
Just to be clear here - It's not that I don't want him home, I would l.o.v.e. Michael to be in our house, or on the deck, in his own clothes, sleeping in his own bed. But it's not even a possibility right now without a nurse.
But before laying into the PT, I held back. I know enough about this whole hospital thing by now to know that statements like this one sort of come out of left field sometimes, without discussion with the neurosurgeons, without consultation with the brain rehab people, without a look back at the stability of his numbers over the past weeks. She's seeing him improve physically day-to-day, and she's thinking, "this poor guy. He's doing great! He would be happier at home." I told her that Andrews isn't even interested in Mike going to Jefferson's rehab floor over the Thomspon building right now - let alone home. He wants him right where he is, to keep him under observation and to get radiation each day.
I also explained that the idea of enrolling Mike in the Magee rehab program wasn't as much about his physical needs as his cognitive and visual needs. No matter where Mike ends up after the drains on the cysts in a few weeks, he will need to relearn how to do a lot - in the face of short term memory deficits, fatigue, and severe vision impairment. In my mind, rehab was never about getting Mike able to move around again, but to get him to be as autonomous as possible in light of his neurological deficits and to have a period of time to assess his daily needs by professionals. She gave a big nod and said, "I'm glad I asked. I just wanted to sort of figure out where you were at." I'm glad I didn't waste my energy flipping out .
Finally, I had a wonderful dream last night. That Mike had gotten better. Not 100% perfect better, but way way better. No memory issues, body functioning well, sort of tired, but funny and able to take care of himself. In the dream, we were all just crying and hugging him and each other. It felt so good. It was the first time I've had this dream. Maybe we're turning a corner here.
Mom and Dad left this morning. I'm now officially flying solo. I spent the morning doing the budget, figuring out how to cut back, cancelling magazine subscriptions, writing overdue thank you notes, making some changes to make Baxter and my life simpler. I think I can do this. I'm shocked that I feel this way, but I do.
I really think I can do this.