Monday, July 17, 2006 - 11 am
Note: This post updated at 12:30 pm today with new info about blood donations for Mike
[Left: Why Mike is the "worst person ever." Right: Why Mike is the "best person ever" (one of the many reasons)... read on for anecdotes to match the images].
For those of you who haven’t read the comments in response the last post, Amy J. has a wonderful suggestion. Mike is going through a lot of blood product very quickly right now. You can donate blood to a) be sent directly to Michael if you’re a match and b) to restock the supply for the American Red Cross.
Mike has been a dedicated supporter of the American Red Cross for years, so this is quite appropriate. His blood type is O Positive. If you are O Positive you could literally be an integral part of helping Mike fight this disease.
NEW INFO: If you are O Positive and would like your blood to go directly to Michael, I have authorized this within TJ Univ Hosital's blood donor office. You can donate within the TJUH donor office no matter what kind of blood you have, but obviously, it will only go to Mike if it's a match. I talked to a woman named Nancy there today. I will be signing the appropriate forms this afternoon, but you can still donate and request it be sent to Mike before they have my official signature. It takes some time to screen the blood to get it to him anyway (like 2 days). This donation center is on the 8th floor of the Gibbon building in room 8230. Call 215.955.7791 for info. If you talk with Nancy, she'll remember who I am since we just spoke.
Gibbon Building, Suite 8230
111 South 11th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19107
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Friday,
Volunteer donors are welcome.
You can also donate to the American Red Cross:
700 Spring Garden Street
Philadelphia, PA 19123-3594
Current situation is as follows: They are putting the arterial line in for hemodialysis as I write this (11 am). The dialysis will start mid-day today and will take several hours, I think. (Additional Note: as of 12 noon they were struggling to insert the line and had already worked at it for 2 hours. The neurosurgery team had called in the trauma tream for help since they are used to placing such lines under even trickier circumstances.)
Last night, he had four episodes of seizures starting at around 4:15 am. However, he is not in “status” which means he’s not in the perpetual state of seizure. (From Neurologychannel.com: “Status epilepticus is prolonged, repetitive seizure activity that lasts more than 20 to 30 minutes.”).
He is still tachycardic, meaning high heart rate. It’s been about 120-130, yesterday 130-140, and last night for a period of about 45 minutes it was in the 150s. it’s tricky because anytime they alter the dopamine or primacor to help the heart rate come down, the blood pressure drops too low. They were considering weaning him off the primacor, but at one point yesterday, there was air in the line and in the seconds that Sharon (his nurse) took to resolve the problem, his numbers went haywire.
He is truly like a house of cards right now.
Thank you for all your great Mike anecdotes and for all your wonderful notes. People are saying that I’m somehow impressive in how I’m handling this – but the only way I am holding my shit together is because of you ( and Bax). Truly. Because of the generosity of others and the moments they take to say something sweet or just be there. That’s how we’re getting through.
Two funny Mike anecdotes that always makes me laugh:
The first was a couple years back, before I was pregnant with Bax. Mike and I were in bed at about 11 at night. Mike had ESPN on and I was reading Time or Newsweek. I think I was reading something about the war or something and I had some deep thought (at least in my estimation) about the whole situation and I started talking to Mike about my profound observations.
Since we were sitting up in bed, I wasn’t’ looking directly at him, but was talking to him with magazine in hand. Mike gave me all sorts of signs that he was listening: “Mmm-hmmm..” “Right.” “Exactly.”
And then, all of sudden, from out of the corner of my eye, I see these green bars on the television screen start climbing to the right. He’s got the remote in his right hand, out of my sight, and is slowly edging the volume up on sports Center!
I was like, “Are you kidding me! Are you really drowning me out right now?”
He turned to me and gave me his “I’m so cute you can’t be mad” grin, biting his lower lip, eyebrows raised.
“Ummm….. I love you?” he said, tail between the legs.
A couple of days later, while we were at a dinner party with the family, I told them this rogue remote control story, but the part of it that has stuck with us to this day is how I prefaced the story while at the dinner party.
“So, everyone. What to hear why Mike’s the worse person ever?”
It’s a great segway – and we continue to use it in our household. You should try it in yours.
Another great one that still makes me laugh. Baxter was about 2 months old. In the crying crying crying phase that all infants are in. It was about 2 am, Baxter had been crying all night, we were delirious from a lack of sleep. In those early days, Mike was wonderful about fetching the baby from the crib, bringing him into our room, and just rocking him, ssshhhhing in his ear, swaddling him tightly and holding him until eventually he would fall asleep. But this night, Bax was inconsolable. Mike would get him settled after a long bout of crying, would put him back in his crib, tiptoe back into our room and right when we would exhale, “Waaahhhh!!!” from the other room.
This particular night, we were loopy. So discouraged, so tired. After the fourth round of crying, Mike retrieved little bundled baby Baxter and walked into our bedroom. Our closet door was open. Mike looked at me, looked at the closet, looked back at me with an “I have an idea” look on his face. He walked over to the closet and pretended he was going to toss Baxter inside. His expression was perfect. No words, just a “can we stick him in here? It’s worth a shot! No one will ever know,” with the addition of a shrug and an “eh??”
I laughed so hard. I remember keeling over in the bed, hugging Mike and kissing him all over his face. We were sooo tired and yet Mike was there with the joke. Always there with the joke.
That’s why I love being with his sister. She’s so much like Mike that way. Irreverent and lighthearted. We’re looking through Mike’s chart yesterday, and she comes across a report from the renal team. It included the word “Icteric.”
“What does that mean?” I asked her.
“It means yellow skin,” she said.
We both started laughing before the joke was even made. Mike, Diana, and Deke are all half Chinese. Yes it’s true. Mike’s birth certificate (from 1967) says "Race: Yellow." I shit you not. I’ve seen it.
Diana joked that we should tell the nephrologists that Mike’s not icteric – he’s Asian.