Monday, November 21, 2011

The 12 days of Nancy (day 27)

Today, Nancy sleeps. Apparently, she's been pretty much out of it all day, and everyone seems to agree that sleep is a good thing. She's finally comfortable enough to sleep soundly, and her healing and recovery will speed up with more of it. Everything continues to improve, except her muscle strength, which can't be evaluated when she's asleep. Her kidney output is steadily increasing, even though she had dialysis again today. Yes, the pee prayers have worked.

I do think she is depressed, and perhaps feeling beaten down and withdrawn after nearly four weeks in the ICU. I took Nancy's sister Janet out to dinner during the nursing shift change, and we had a little time to talk about the whole thing. It's a lot, and I cannot imagine how Nancy feels, unable to move her arms or talk for weeks. On the way home tonight, my restless mind started to catalog everything that Nancy has been through, and it's a pretty horrific list. Even put to music. Now that I've destroyed "The Twelve Days of Christmas" for myself, I might as well share it. The numbers are accurate.

In the year 2011, the fates have given me...
        twelve weeks of steroids
        eleven rounds of dialysis
        ten teams of specialists
        nine cardiac episodes
        eight different catheters
        seven antibiotics
        sixty blood transfusions
        five months in the hospital!
        four major infections
        three rounds of chemo
        two spinal surgeries
        and a stem cell transplant for leukemia!

Oh, ouch. It's far easier to be present with what is today than to try to take in the totality of it all.

There is some more good news. Janet tells me that her oncologist thinks she will move out of the ICU soon, probably before Thanksgiving, possibly even tomorrow. Now that is something I can give thanks for.


(PS - another friend left dinner goodies on my doorstep tonight. I can't tell you how I smile when these things arrive. And I now have enough food to carry me into Thanksgiving. Although the applesauce probably won't last past breakfast :)

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