Wednesday, June 8, 2011

PT Day 17, by David

There are changes in My Little Darlin over the past 24 hours that have me cautiously optimistic bordering on contained excitement.  Until she is awake, alert, talking and smiling at me in her normal way I will not be at complete ease, BUT…..   This morning her nurses were so excited with (all of her care givers are following her with anticipation) that they had her arterial blood gases (primary test used to determine how good her lungs are doing  and what changes to make on the ventilator) waiting on the bed for me to look at and immediately came to tell me when I walked in the room.  They were very good on 50% O2. This was decreased to 40% (remember this was a target number, TIGT).  The ventilator rate was also decreased to allow her to do even more of the work of breathing (TIGT).  Her weight has come down almost 20 pounds in 2 days (I do not recommend this method as a diet).  This means she is starting to mobilize the fluid she has accumulated during this ordeal.  In other words the extensive swelling of her entire body is getting better (TIGT).  Her GI tract is growling (positive poops, TIGT).  The lab work available by this mornings 6 am visit looked good.  She had some fever again yesterday afternoon but it was less than the day before.  Her white blood count is normal.  She remains heavily sedated but she clearly responds to stimulus such as turning and I have been told opens her eyes to voice although I have not seen this.  Although she opens her eyes but there is still no eye contact/recognition.  I suspect and pray this is due to the heavy medication she remains on.  I still have that underlying fear of what kind of unknown neurological effects she may have from her brain injury.  Will have to get her off the heavy medication before we can find out.  TIGT to have several positives, she is still not out of the woods but she looks to be on the right path.

There was a recent post asking if the Clay County Prosecutor needed to be contacted to express concerns,  This is still being investigated per the Clay County Prosecutor.  I know witnesses have been interviewed as recently as yesterday.  I believe for this to be done right it has to be done right (this phrase could be called a Davidism but be patient  - for now).  I have also had several suggestions regarding legal counsel.  I have had legal counsel since day three that I have full confidence in.  If anyone has any ideas I will refer you to her.  I can not concern myself with the legal side of this.  My wives health is truly the only thing I am concerned with or have the energy to think about.

The verdict is in, solemate rather than soulmate remains.  I wish I could say I was intelligent enough to have thought this up as a play on words or the earlier accidental play on words regarding poot followed by stop and smell the roses but as My Little Darlin likes to refer to me I am just a Labrador Retriever.  Just happy to go along with whatever.  She is the brains of our team.  The travel and adventures we have done has been all her.  She gets me outside my box all of the time.  For example the latest adventure we had was just last month.  This was called the Global Scavenger Hunt.  She had been trying to get me to do this for a couple of years.  This was the kind of trip that would put any seasoned traveler on the edge.  I do not remember how many countries we visited in three weeks but it was around 10.  She and I had only a backpack.   We never knew which country we were going to until shortly before leaving for the airport.  An example was the first leg.  She and I arrived in Los Angeles I think on Friday, had a meeting that afternoon 3-4 ish, were told about our 1st destination and left for Seoul, Korea around 10.  Arrived in Seoul and within 2 hours were given a book of objectives to accomplish without outside help.  We could only use a map and or guide book and ask locals.  Yes language could be difficult.  I speak southern english and bubba.  I am the introvert, Jan is the extrovert.  She did most of the talking.  We traveled this city and country for two days then repeated something in several countries over and over and over.  A couple of times we were told to find our way to the next country with local transportation.  We had to figure it out on the fly.   Other countries/cities included Philipines, Indonesia (Java and Bali), Singapore, India, Turkey, Spain, Portugal and New York.  Means of transportation we used included horse cart on busy streets, side cart motorcycle taxi, city rail transit so crowded you could not turn, cross country train in 90 degree plus heat with windows that would only partially lower (there were people on these wearing jackets  and people sleeping on the floor, they at least had a newspaper for a mattress) and intracountry and intercountry bus.  Everyone asks about the food.  Best food we had was is a small train station in one of the third world countries (tasted like chicken).  Everyone asks were we afraid.  Most people are kind, good and helpful everywhere.  We felt safer in these far off places than you could in most large urban cities in the USA.  We saw people so poor that few in this country could imagine but they had a smile on their face.  The slums of Mumbai probably the worst.  Jan had these small sheets of stickers that she would give to children everywhere,  When she started handing them out in the Mumbai slum it became like pirana, the children were so excited to get them.  I think Jan liked giving them more than the children liked getting them.  I think the biggest thrill she got during this trip was when we spontaneously got off the bus in a small town called Faro, Portugal at 2 in the morning with no place to stay. We saw a blinking light that said "Hotel" on a side street.  Knocked on the door, got a room although the bathroom was down the hall.  We got a prize for this one for finding the cheapest room.  It did have wi-fi though.  We plan to do it again next year so got to get her out of here ASAP.  I love My Little Darlin and have plans for more adventure with her.  If you want to do something DO NOT PUT IT OFF, YOU MAY NOT GET THE CHANCE.


Wear a yellow shirt Friday

I love My Little Darlin, she is my solemate


  1. David and Jan,

    My prayers are with you. I cannot know your pain, but my heart is breaking thinking of you both suffering like this. My ire has been raised and I will not forget. As a nearly full time bike commuter I know this could be me or any one of the folks I see here in Boise. I have shared your blog on my Facebook and will share it on my wordpress blog as well. Much love and good wishes to you both. Lisa B, Boise, Idaho.

  2. David, the love you feel for Jan is very evident in your writing. May that love help her as much as any medicine or treatment. May that bond give you hope. Brain injuries are terrifying, but the brain also has an amazing capacity to heal, to route around damage and repurpose healthy areas, even in adulthood. Recovery can be extremely slow, but never let that daunt you. A journey of a thousand miles begins with one small step. I know a woman who suffered a bad stroke, but her husband's love and patience and care helped bring her back. She drives again, and does their taxes, and regained her vocabulary. I read "My Stroke of Insight" by a neuroscientist. She had a terrible stroke, lost the ability to speak, walk normally, work, but she did recover. It took eight years but she is now an author and speaker, and walks fine. Her mother's love healed her. Her mother taught her to walk and talk and do basic math again, just as she had when she was a little girl. She writes that even when she couldn't understand speech, right after the stroke, her mother hugged her, and that made a world of difference because she felt safe and loved. She writes about specific things that help patients with brain injuries recover in the last chapter. I will drop off that book at your store this weekend. Love heals, and you have so very much of it. I'm sure Jan's will to live is greatly strengthened by your bond. You and Jan are in my thoughts.