Just when I let my guard down and think that roller coaster we are on is smoothing out a little it peaks another climb and drops. When you are as close to someone as I am to My Little Darlin (in case I have not said this before, she is my solemate and I am a lucky man to have her), and it is already unexplainably painful to know what happened to her and to she her in the condition she is in day after day, any small negative puts me into a tailspin. Yesterday this was something as simple (or complex, however you look at it) as fever. Her temperature was as high as 102 F. Do not know why, but the why is what I fear. She is well covered by antibiotics but there are plenty of potential sources for this in her condition. I have seen her this morning, her fever is gone and my anxiety level has tapered back down to its' baseline high (which is my new normal). There are some good things today but I get nervous talking about these fearing that this will bring bad luck (it is bad luck to be superstitious, get it ;). In addition to her normal temperature she had good blood gases and her oxygen has been decreased to 50% (TIGT). The ventilator is set to give her so many breaths per minute. When she was on the paralytics it did all of the work of breathing for her. Off paralytics this rate is decreased to let her do part of the work. This rate was decreased further this morning. The goal is to get her to do all of the work of breathing. Boy is she gonna fuss at me about telling this but she had a poop (not a misspelled poot, TIGT) aka growl. May she continue to have many more. She has been tolerating tube feedings, these were off this morning. I did not ask why but likely because she is going to get a PEG (gastrostomy tube, tube placed through her abdominal wall directly into her stomach) this morning. This will be used to feed her until she can eat normally on her own. She currently has a nasogastric tube (tube through her nose to her stomach). This is uncomfortable if one is aware (and hoping she will be aware in the near future). Putting the PEG in will allow removal of the nasogastric tube. It can easily be removed when no longer needed. SWIM JAN SWIM.
A close friend of mine reminded me last night of another Jan story. We went to New Zealand a few years ago. Great country and Great people who live for adventure. We rented a car and drove all over the North Island for a week. Not difficult to spot an American driving there. Every time one of us uses the turn signal the windshield wipers come on (everything opposite, they drive on the WRONG side). We landed in Auckland after a very long flight, checked into the hotel and immediately Jan took off for the Sky Tower, I followed. The Sky Tower is the tallest building in the southern hemisphere. You can jump off it and Jan was on a mission to do just that. She put on a super suit and headed up. I went up to an observation level and looked out the window, it gave me that queasy feeling in the stomach we have all had. A few minutes later there she was hanging several hundred feet in the air in front of my eyes with a giant smile on her face. She did it again and told me I should do it. I said no, I explained that I had sky dived before so it would not be much of a thrill for me (I lied, too scary). She also knew that the birth of bungee jumping was in New Zealand so you can guess what our (her) next mission was. Off we went. She drove, did not trust me on that side of the road (you should see her car, it is beaten up so bad I tell her she needs a tank). In our search for the prime bungee jump we did some white water rafting and off road jeep riding New Zealand style, we were having a blast. Jan found the bungee jump. It was a 50 meter jump over a river. I had not planned to do it (I am a sky diver remember). They weigh you first to determine the bungee needed (she would not let me see her weight;). While they were strapping her ankles in, you go head first, I walked to an area that I could best see the jump. It looked to me that she balked a little (she denied this) but off the platform she flew. It was pretty cool watching her. When she came up from the river she was grinning from ear to ear and talking excitedly about how much fun it was. Although I had been a sky diver (my excuse) and told her I did not think it could compare to that excitement (bungee jumping is scary!!!), she goaded me into it. I went through the same setup Jan did. While getting set up they asked if I wanted to touch the water and they would adjust the tension accordingly. I said sure why not. Off the platform I jumped (I did not hesitate by the way, should have turned and run). Diving head first 50 meters up is stupid, I am just saying. It was like slo-mo seeing the water get closer and closer to my face. My hands hit first, then my face, head, shoulders, chest and I stopped at my waist. I do not think New Zealanders understand what touch means. It was not over. The cord rapidly pulled me back out of the water which turned my nostrils into a very efficient water scoop. I was still trying to get the water out of my head when I saw Jan in the same place she had seen me. She was laughing at me and that was when she told me she had lied it was not fun but It had been the scariest thing she had ever done, she just wanted me to do it. In retrospect it was a great day. When she gets through this ordeal I will bungee jump with her all she wants. LIFE IS FOR DOING STUFF. Do not wait to do the things you want to do. You may not get the chance.
What happened to My Little Darlin has been handed over to, I think the correct term is, accident reconstructionist. It is still being thoroughly investigated.
Thank you all for your concern, support, friendship, prayers, texts, visits, calls, posts etc. With all of the support, what was done to Jan will produce increased awareness and changes for the better. Knowing there are so many out there that care is definitely helping us get through this.
Wear a yellow shirt on Friday.
SHARE THE ROAD, GET OFF THE COUCH
I love My Little Darlin Jan