Saturday, July 15, 2006 - 9 am

Brief update on Mike's condition: His C.O. is still good and high (6.0). They've been able to drop the dopamine a bit as a result. Urine output is still low - barely any, actually. He's still in full blown DIC and multi-system organ failure. They are considering transfering him to the Gibbon building (which we know all too well - between 10th and 11th and sansom and chestnut) because he needs dialysis. More to come later today.


Couple of thoughts from this morning’s nice hot shower.

In talking with Jessie yesterday, she said something that I’ve thought a lot about (thank you oh wise Jessie). She basically said that Mike’s got no reason to leave. None. Zero. He has a baby boy, a wife who loves him and with whom he’s got no drama or trouble. He has the most intelligent, funny, irreverent friends in the world, family who is there when he needs them. He has so many things that he enjoys: cooking, movies, dinner parties, walks with Bax and me, going for ice cream, Saturday drives to somewhere fun, the zoo, amusement parks, his job at Discmakers, BBQing, fantasy baseball, football games on Sunday afternoons, Comedysportz, … this is a guy who lives and loves life too much to ever willfully throw in the towel.

It’s true, we could have all said to Mike something along the lines of what I told him, namely if it’s time for him to call the game, we’ll be ok if he calls the game. But it wouldn’t matter! How could it? Yesterday, he had visits from Me, his mom, his seester, Jen Childs, Megan Bellwoar, Michael Hollinger, Susan D’angeles, and other people who visited later in the day. And he’s IN there. So, every person who talks to him is like another reminder of how f*&king great life is here. As you know, Mike and I are pretty devout secularists – Mike even more so than me. Like Jessie said, “What could be better out there than here?” And in Mike’s mind, I know the answer is an unequivocal “nothing. Nothing could be better.”

So if Mike passes away, I don’t think it will have anything to do with will. It will be that his failing body has won the fight. And if he pulls through this which is still very much in the cards?

Well, I’ve thought about of how someone might be profoundly changed by this experience – you know, having met death and all… but then I think about how Mike might be different. Now, assuming that him pulling through this is accompanied by no serious damage to his brain or personality changes, I guarantee that Mike would be like “do-dee do-dee do. Yeah, I met death. Want to put in a movie?”


I have also thought a lot about something my friends Tresa told me. She shared how when her father was critically ill over a period of about a year, she made multiple trips home to Minnesota thinking that this was it. Each one was accompanied by grief and pain and tears. But the roller coaster continued for months. After a while she made a decision. That she was only going to grieve for his death one more time - that is, when it actually occured.

This has helped me so so much. Each time I go in and see Mike all hooked up, I could fall apart from grief. And sometimes I do. But, he's still here. He's in the game. This is so drawn out and exhausting, perhaps we should all just get off the roller coaster as best we can and watch it - up and down up and down... but so far each down is followed by an up. There may be a time to grieve. Maybe soon, maybe in 70 years (I can say this cause Mike's grandmother is 107 years old). But it's not here yet.

Anyway, thanks Tresa for this important piece of advice. It's helped me a lot and I'm putting it here because I'm hoping it will help others, too.


Jenny S-G said...

Hi Danna,

I want to second Tresa's wisdom. When my Mom was ill, there were good days followed by bad days. On the bad days, I was certain that "this was it" and it was heartbreaking, but then she would have a miraculous rebound, and I would fill with joy and hope. But rounds of that wear on the soul, and you no longer know if you should trust those feelings of foreboding when things go bad, nor do you feel you should let yourself really feel hope on the good days (since, who knows when the next bad thing will come).

It's incredibily difficult to just be at peace with whatever change in condition comes along. At least, I was never able to achieve it. Each change brought emotion, and it just was - it just is.

It's okay to feel hope and joy on the good days and fear and worry on the bad. If you can remind yourself that there are likely going to be more of these good and bad days, ultimately that is the basis for hope, and we should and are continuing to hold out hope for Mike. As my mom (who was a bit fat ;-) used to love to say: "It ain't over 'till the fat lady sings."

Anonymous said...

Hey Danna

We've been hanging on to every word of your blog for months. Every high and low, every joy and sorrow has been shared by our family. We haven't said much but have been constantly plugged in to your thoughts.

Pat has been in the dialysis business for a long time and wants to remind you that the condition does not always remain permanent. If they can get his systems back on line, his kidneys can follow. He knows lots of great people in that field and if he can help, just let us know.

I know that you are secular and I respect it. But, just as I'm not a Mormon, when the church out in Utah offered to pray for my recovery, I accepted without hesitation. So, I know you won't be angry if I pray for you guys. You never know, HE just may be out there after all.

Keep good thoughts..........know that so many people love you. And, most important.........I'm ain't gonna start singing anytime soon.


Patricia Dunn said...

Hi Danna,
We have never met, but I have heard alot about you. I am Bill Dunn's (Mike's friend from Penn) wife. I wanted you to know that we are thinking of you and Mike every day. When I read the blog I only wished that we had met before because I am in awe of your strength and intellect and ability to cope. I am so very sorry for the three of you that you have to deal with this stuff. I know your beliefs, but as a Christian (not an obnoxious one though), I am praying and sending good karma. This sucks and I am so very sorry. Please know that you are respected and loved and that a whole lot of people are so happy that you are in Mike's world and the world in general.
With all the support we can give,
The Dunns

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