Thursday, June 1, 2006
[Photo: The "pouffy" or is it "poofy" or "poufy?" hat. Mama and Bax at graduation on May 15. Thanks to my sister, Jae for the photo! ]
Saw Mike this morning from 9:15 until 10:45 am. He looked really good. Not eating a lot, but quite responsive and happy.
I talked with the woman from the Magee center who helps coordinate patients' enrollment in the acute brain injury rehab program. She was very kind and knew of Michael's case from when we were in talks with Magee about a month ago.
The main question right now is, is Michael ready for a rehab program immediately following radiation next week, or should we go to some intermediate facility to let him heal up some more before he starts rehab. I want him to get the most out of his rehab experience, so would hate for him to begin too soon if he's not ready. the poor guy has had sooo many surgeries, followed by 6 weeks of radiation. his midbrain region is very swollen. I'm sure he could benefit from down-time. If they would send a nurse home with him, he could be here. But I have no idea how that would work. I can't imagine him going straight from the NICU to home. But at the same time, maybe if he were up and moving and doing therapy and exercises right away, he'd actually heal faster and have more energy as a result. There's no right answer here.
We shall see. We shall see. Once again, all we can do is wait.
I went to UDel today to meet with Lance to start brainstorming our summer research plan. We have 3 fulltime research assistants (undergrad incoming seniors) who are going to be working for us, coding and cataloging episodes of the Daily Show, doing literature searches, helping plan effects experiments. It's very exciting. It was refreshing talking about work and being reminded of that part of my life. It is a big part of who I am and I have done very little of it for 2+ months.
As I was talking about the future and teaching and upcoming conferences, I had a weird realization that my expectations for the next couple of years are going to need to change - totally change. I knew this, but I hadn't given much thought to my academic life enough lately to consider the changes I'll need to make. Little things, like... When I go to academic conferences - who takes care of Baxter? I'm usually gone 3-4 days for each conference and in the past, between communication, political science, and public opinion organization, I've attended 4 and sometimes 5 conferences each year. I had always assumed Mike would take care of Bax, or they would both come with me and I would attend conference meetings in the day and be with them in the evenings. But now what? And teaching?
I got a great teaching schedule for fall - Wednesday night seminar from 5-8 pm once a week. But, not knowing if Mike is going to be able to care for Baxter alone - cause let's face it - we have no freaking idea who Mike will be in September- I imagine I'll have to have a sitter those evenings.
These things aren't a big deal. They don't change my quality of life. But it is weird that I hadn't yet given any thought to how this situation altered the logistics of my career.