Tuesday, June 30, 2009

When I arrived at the hospital tonight I could hear Chris laughing from halfway down the hallway. As I turned the corner there he was visiting with his two favorite people on the planet, his kids.

I haven't said much about his kids and that has been intentional...the main reason being that I went through "this" when I was his daughter's age, except my Dad died in the hospital.

I remember how all of the adults showered me with niceties and platitudes...they thought that they were protecting me somehow..but it clobbered me like a tsunami and altered the course of my Life.

They will have to grind their own way through the myriad of possible outcomes and ensuing implications of this event. Their Uncles and Aunts are there at the ready. This comeback is a team effort.

Seeing the smile on Chris's face tonight while he was with them says it all. When he comes back, for the most part it will be for the three of them.

Tonight Chris was very chatty and goofy..we laughed at a lot of his zany madcap ramblings..I wasn't always sure that I should be laughing but it was better than crying. Who knows if he'll have any recollection of his natterings?? I doubt it.

He told me about some really weird sh*t that he said happened today, but I just reminded myself that his brain had been unplugged, he is working his way back, and every now and then he's going to be making up some wonky crap, and that's Okay.

His BP was taken while I was there and it's still nice and low..he's eating well, I fed him a couple of chocolate bars, he's sleeping better, getting rehab. I reminded him how amazing it is that he has come this far...
3 weeks ago we were all still living on pins and needles.

Now Chris is quite interested in his mental rehabilitation..he makes jokes about how he is going to bust-out of the hospital. He is soooo ready to get out of there and he told me that there isn't any reason why he can't go on to the rehab centre...
which will be great because it is a ten minute bike ride from my house :)

So we're all still hoping that any day now, we'll find out that Chris can be transferred over here .

((Any day now, any day now, he shall be released))

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Here is a photo of Chris and his brother taken this weekend.

As you can see Chris has had his hair cut and he was also out of the hospital gown and wearing shorts & a real shirt..he looked pretty snazzy!

To be honest I had taken a few pictures before but Chris looked pretty beat up and out of it so I didn't post them. I took them so that later on I could show Chris how far he has come.

I probably shoulda-woulda-coulda posted a few of the ones that I cleaned up to look like this..

because I'm sure that most of you were anxious to see how Chris looked..
seeing is believing.

Today Chris was in a very good mood.
We called my good-lady-wife on the cell and I tried to encourage him to chat with some more people but he said maybe tomorrow.
He is still a little concerned about his ability to speak which btw has really improved during the last week and a half.

Throughout our visit he was joking around, laughing, and being

Chris makes an effort to display his ability to reach over to his tray, take a drink off the counter, have a sip and put it back. He seemed more comfortable today, he wasn't squirming around as much.

Chris was very chatty today and in between schmoozing the nurses, he had a running commentary on each of his roomates. There appear to be a few glitches concerning his adherence to, how shall I phrase this, proper hospital internment etiquette.

Let's just say that some of his societal modification "filters", the cognitive governors which moderate our interaction with others, and enslave most of us during our adult lives, seem to be a little off kilter at the moment.

I'm not certain how the Doctors have defined this behavior, but I am believing that it's another tick that will just have to work it's way through.

Let's face it there are statistics and patterns but brain-attack victims make their way back on their schedule. The brain is a mysterious mystical organ. I wish that I knew more but honestly, I never expected Chris to just wake up and hit the ground running.

Oh I'd gladly take a miraculous recovery, but realistically, I was anticipating a few months of weirdness...for lack of a better term.. I think we were all glad that this was going into the long-haul because the alternative was unthinkable :(

Chris and I also discussed the news of the day (what else, Michael Jackson) and the weather (Weekend Monsoons have lifted) and the appalling youthfulness of the Hockey draftees.

I wanted to take him out for a stroll but the single "chair" in his ward was occupied until after lunch. He was much more calm and compliant than a few days ago and he didn't argue with me about trying to get out of bed.

So this week the physical stuff is stable so now we are waiting and hoping that any psychological damage is mending too.

Friday, June 26, 2009

This ordeal is fast approaching week 6 so Good News needs to travel fast.
Here is an update from a sibling;

Yesterday one of the physiotherapists told Chris's Mom that
"Chris will be able to walk at some point!"

The Physio is not sure when or how (and Chris may need a cane) but he will walk.
Chris is also getting some increased sensation and movement in his arm.

The Speech Therapist said that Chris's swallowing mechanism is perfect.

Chris is now eating solid foods. She said that "his speech is improving hugely" and has started some speech therapy with him.

Chris will be in the hospital at least another 5 days, he has 4 days of antibiotics left, and then hopefully he can move on to the rehab centre and get a fresh start on his recovery.

Make a wish, cross your fingers, light a candle, petition the favour of the personal deity of your choice, do whatever it is that you do, but, let's get Chris out of the hospital.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Guess who has figured out how to hoist his body into a sitting position, hook his strong left leg over the edge of the bed, and launch his body onto an unforgiving hospital floor. The 24/7 constant care folks are back to make certain that Chris doesn't attempt this again.

Last night he was happy to see me for about 5 minutes..then his mood changed drastically as he became agitated and determined to get out of bed to go to the bathroom on his own.

Unfortunately, for the time being anyway, it is physically impossible... but try telling him that..he was quite stern with me and was less than impressed with my rebuttal. I had to gently contain him (man is he ever strong) and received an earfull of very bad words for my efforts.

That's OK because I believe that his fierce countenance and determination will allow Chris to make huge strides in his physical rehab. He calmed down after several other attendants convinced him to delay his expedition. Whew!

There seems to be a rhythm to these visits UP/down/UP/down but Chris is making progress..I certainly wasn't prepared for his current Houdini routine? I can appreciate that he wants to get out of there..well no I can't imagine how MUCH he wants to get out of there.

I will keep asking Chris if he is ready for some new visitors..I think that would do him some good, but so far he insists on waiting until he is in a better place..which I interpret as meaning the Rehab Centre as well as a clearer mind. Until then I will keep mentioning those of you who email & comment here. He needs to know that he is special...

..and speaking of special, his little episode last night is evidence that the mental and physical reconstruction sort of see-saw independently. My guess/wish is that the two will soon intersect and then Chris will be off to the races.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Last night Chris was in very good spirits and we watched most of the Goldeyes (local Baseball Team) game on his TV.

Chris made the mistake of asking me how I was doing and he laughed as I kvetched about the heat n'humidity, the cankerworms denuding all the Elm trees on my street, the longest day of the year already behind us, all trite and ridiculous considering where we were...
we both instantly recognised how tedious and pedestrian my woes sounded and laughed.

I have always loved the expression,

"If I had your problems, I'd burn mine",

and if there was ever a time to invoke that adage, this was it.

I always sent Chris tons of funny/ridiculous/weird stuff and this was one of his favorites.

Last night Chris chuckled away as various hospital workers strolled by and chatted with us. We had a good laugh when one worker asked if Chris was my Dad..awkward..but I said no, he's my Grandpa!

It was great to hear him laugh because for years we would get together weekly to sip n' bitch about the same bloody things..start off with personal issues and digress our way down to the generic universal irritants: weather, traffic, global-politics, religious fanaticism yada-yada-yada..(obviously the topics and rhetoric were proportionate to the amount of discussion fluids being ingested :)

We'd rehash our ridiculously simple solutions to all of the endless circle of Life crapola and get it out of our system. My main objective was always to exasperate "Mr Devil's Advocate" because Chris would thrive on taking the other side just for the hell of it.

I had no choice but to construct the lamest, most outrageous, arguments to dismatle his veneer thin position. Once I got him to crack, laugh, and abandon his ridiculous, indefensible stance, we could move on. That was a great way to cauterize whatever "BS" Life was throwing our way that particular week.

So hearing Chris laugh means a lot to me. After a while he started to nod off..and snore...it's getting late...but he did wake up when an orderly and I started discussing the logistics of keeping Hugh Hefner sufficiently jacked on Viagra..
sneaky little bugger, Chris is always listening.

I just wanted everyone to know that Chris was having a very UP evening and it was quite a relief after the last weekend. I apologize for nattering about our relationship but when I think about Chris I think of LAUGHTER.

This week the family should get an indication of when Chris can advance to a rehab facility..it's time to move forward and everyone is hoping and praying that any of of Chris' outstanding medical issues have been stabilised/neutralised and that he can take the next big step.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Saturday morning was very emotional. I felt compelled to not sugarcoat the incident and try to convey the sadness and frustration that Chris is experiencing.
His world is upside down and inside out.

I know that there are going to be mood swings and good days and bad days, but this morning, the enormity of the situation was overwhelming...and he was letting it out. You feel so useless standing there holding his hand and uttering those cliched positive phrases.

On one level you appreciate that he is cognizant of his predicament but you can't help but be angry/frustrated/saddened by the gut wrenching anguish of the WHY WHY WHY???

Chris is now in a room directly across from the Nursing Station and his window view is gone..he commented last week on how he wanted a change in scenery.

I just thought of this now..Chris has seen about 6 or 7 room mates come and go so in his mind he probably feels like everybody else is getting better and getting out! He was very interested in the 3 other patients in his ward room..he kept remarking on how they would get out before him.

What Chris really wants is to get out of the hospital. He's been there for 5 weeks now and I think that his appreciation of his progress is being overshadowed by his feeling of imprisonment.

He still has some confusion about the here & now but the single most consistent aggravation is his feeling of being trapped.

This week the Family is hopefully getting an overview of his condition and some semblence of which factors are delaying his advancing into a rehab facility. If Chris could get out of there it would definitely lift his spirits and he could feel like he is making some real progress.

Chris kept asking me "What do they want me to do?"..with regards to getting out of there...and I told him what everyone else is saying...be positive and look ahead, work at rehab (Chris said he always does more than they ask :)...and that other people have come back from the same place..so it's not impossible. Easy for me to utter. I'm not lying there trying to unwravel my universe with damaged pathways!

I told the visiting Neurologist (in the hallway out of earshot) that part of the reason that this "patient" is distraught has to do with the fact that he was especially meticulous at gathering information.

Not only was he a professional reporter, but on a personal level, Chris was preternaturally attentive..he zoned in on what the other person was saying.

He listened..I know that a few fellow reporters are reading this but I'm sure that you can appreciate what I'm trying to say. Most of us 'pedestrians' aren't quite as careful about listening..plus I should add a special disclaimer for Chris because my wife always noticed that for a "male" Chris was exceptionally accomplished at listening to what she was really saying :)

So for a hardcore info collector and analyzer this fuzzy state of existence is completely unacceptable. I personally think that Chris is far more frustrated than an average person because he had such high functioning information gathering habits and talents. So I completely understand why he is so f*cking mad!

I am really hoping that this week, a few more synaptic pathways open up and that Chris will start to recognise himself a little more..gain a little more confidence in his recovery and abilities. If he can start to feel a little more control over his circumstance then he can build on that.

Friday, June 19, 2009

I have been to see Chris a few times this week and he is making progress.
His language skills and physical abilities are getting stronger...
quite remarkable considering where he was at only weeks ago.

Chris is trying to manoeuvre through the implications of his stroke which can be quite overwhelming at times, but I am encouraged by his resolve to get out of the hospital and go home. He has definitely had enough of being away from his own space.

He complains of not being able to get enough rest at night because of all the noise...which sounds odd because we think of hospitals as "quiet spaces" but when you are sharing a room with other patients (I think this is roomate number 5?) there are coughs, moans, beeping machines, intercoms, and various caregivers coming and going at regular intervals...who need to communicate and be understood so they usually TALK LIKE THIS.

Nothing terrible to report on the medical side the MRI and other tests have been regular so that is good. Chris recently talked to his Father and out-of-town siblings on a cell phone...which was brilliant...so maybe he'll feel up to talking to some other people soon.

He is still quite self conscious about being talked about and gets mad at me if I check the bedside journal while he is pretending to sleep :) He also has Batlike audio sensory so you can't even whisper things in the room that you don't want him to hear..
he hears everything!

Chris is getting wheeled out-of-doors by his steadfast Aid and biggest supporter, his Mom, who is there nuturing him every single day. She is quite proud of how well his physical and mental conditioning are coming along.

Chris is very lucky to have her, she is a Force Of Nature in action.

As I mentioned earlier, Chris is entering a routine and he continues to improve (ever-so-slightly) on a day by day basis, so these posts will be less frequent. The other "thing" is that as Chris becomes more cognizant of how much I'm blabbing about his recovery, the odds are pretty good that he'll get pissed off with me.
Most of you know that Chris is a fairly private person and when he finds out about this Blog, he will kill me!

Anyway, until that day arrives, I'll try to sneak out snippets about his recovery.

Monday, June 15, 2009

I visited Chris for a few hours this evening and he slept through most of it.

I found it easier to understand his speech tonight..not sure if anyone else feels that way but he seems to have less hesitation and more confidence when articulating . That being said he was a little down today and he did complain about a few things..as he is well entitled to do.

His attending Nurse was brilliant as she took his bp (119/90something btw). He was quite despondent about his situation at that particular moment and She said, "Chris, 3 weeks ago you couldn't talk and now we're having a conversation".
He smiled back..the light bulb moment was evident.

Chris gets to go out-of-doors now so that must feel fantastic. He told me that physio is hard work. I said that it will be worth it and eventually he will get out of here..he still just wants to go home NOW!!

He was sleepy and the few times that he did hang out he seemed to leap from understanding his predicament to zany notions about who was visiting him in the hospital. I can see from the bedside ledger who has been there...he added about 5 people to today's roster..which is awesome, plus he mentioned that some of them were still out in the hallway..

which is cool...
whatever it takes for Chris to reboot & reconnect is working so I'll just smile.

I tried to explain that he needs to listen to more music but he informed me, in no uncertain terms, that perhaps I needed to "listen" to more music. :)
Maybe tomorrow eh?

I ran into an old friend who went through a stroke rehab with a relative and as many of you have written (and thanks for all the encouragement)..
this is about baby steps, micro-bursts of progress, regressions, plateaus and every victim of a brain attack seems to find their own pace..
there doesn't seem to be too many patterns or nice, tidy, little pie charts to follow.

Chris will get here when he gets here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Chris was wheeled out-of-doors yesterday and felt the sun shine on his face for the first time in weeks! He said that it felt wonderful.

Last night we watched game 7 of the Stanley Cup. Chris kept calling a lot of offsides that the refs apparently :) missed but he seemed to really enjoy the game.

He was teasing one of his sisters when I arrived. Chris was telling jokes and making funny expressions..really goofin' off.

I want to mention that I told Chris that I had to leave by 10 to go to the airport and pick up one of my daughters who was returning from a trip to the East Coast. When I told him which daughter he looked at me and said the name of my other daughter...which is really amazing because the other daughter was there the week before!! Now that surprised me and reassured me that Chris is quite focussed.

On the other hand Chris has some wonky ideas about who is actually visiting him in the hospital..and despite my initial attempts to clarify the situation he fiercely maintains that certain out-of-town siblings are in fact wandering about the hallway and coming and going throughout the day.

So now I just go along with his scenario and quickly change the subject to avoid his stern consternation...yes I suppose that is called enabling but wth..
the guy just rebooted his entire brain!

Overall I am greatly encouraged by his cognitive abilities and the progress that he is making on the physical side. His spirits are up..he even made a joke that I can't post :)..so I am assuming that we are now entering the months of rehab. As far as I know the latest results from the MRI are not back but the other tests were all "normal" so here he goes. It's weird but Spring was very late this year too..almost as if it was waiting for him.

I think that this blog will now turn to a weekly posting schedule (unless warranted) and that in itself is great news! I am so encouraged by the last few days because Chris had such a good attitude.

Friday, June 12, 2009

Tonight Chris was joking around and in good spirits. His speech is still a little slurry and he does need to concentrate, but he is managing to convey most of his thoughts with aplomb. Chris watches intently to make sure that you are paying attention...which he has always done for as long as I have known him. One of the most intriguing things about Chris has always been that he actually listens to people and expects the same courtesy...imagine, in this day and age?

We discussed sneaking in the Gondola Pizza and watching the Stanley Cup finals and he was quite particular about it not being too hot. (It's still too early for Za but at our weekly meetings Chris would eat an entire LARGE pep/mush no problemo)

I know that he was feeling good tonight because Chris imitated my "laugh" which his roomate and guests enjoyed. Very funny.

Chris told me some interesting things, some of which didn't make make any sense but wth, I nodded and told him to keep talking. He smiled as if he knew what was happening and said that he wanted to punch me :) ..which is a sign of affection because Chris was totally convinced that both of his brothers were waiting in the hallway and said that he was going to punch them too :) He had a huge grin on his face and said that his brothers could take it but I couldn't :(

I asked Chris a few things about his day and he mentioned that the physio was hard. I asked him if he dreamed at night..he said No.

They were wheeling him off for another MRI @ 8:45 so I walked alongside his bed to the elevators, waved goodnight, and told him not to cheat on his test! As the elevator doors were closing I could hear him imitating my laugh again..
very funny.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Last night I watched the 2nd & 3rd periods of the hockey game with Chris. I moved the curtain divider because Chris had a new roomate who desperately wanted to watch the game..Chris smiled at him and we had some genuine old-timey male bonding.

Chris was quite enthralled and remembered quite a few of the players. I made a remark about the size of a player being interviewed by a certain very tall CBC sportscaster, and Chris knew and told me exactly how tall that guy actually is.

The fact that he could grab that file in his head was comforting.

Chris was quite talkative and was all smiles at first but he suddenly made some very emotional remarks about his current predicament...a lot of WHY's? were tossed about. I've been waiting for this sort of thing to surface and it seems to occur more often with his daytime visitors.

His Mom and three sisters all live here and they have been incredible, vigilant, advocates. Both of his brothers have been amazing too but they live out of town. Chris was asking about them last night.. the short term memory is a little fuzzier and he was a little confused about when they were there last.

I told him and mentioned how awesome his brothers have been and he smiled.
I said it's interesting that one of them is so zen, uber-calming and peaceful and Chris said "Yeah, Peaceful" ....and after a brief pause, I said that the other was more like Foghorn Leghorn large and in charge and Chris roared...
A real honest-to-god out-loud laugh.

A short time later the mood changed and Chris became visibly angry...
I read in the journal that Chris had had a rough day. It's hard to watch him struggle to comprehend the situation and he is frustrated with his speech but he needs to let it out.

I was trying to sound encouraging. I told him that we all believe that he will be able to get up and go home. Chris grabbed my arm and asked "Why me and not you?" and for whatever reason I blurted out that my gene pool specializes in sudden heart attacks...we both laughed out loud.

I also tried to settle him down with a few songs on the discman/headphones that have been stuck in my head since this whole terrible thing started. Now I have forced Chris to listen to hundreds of songs over the past 30 years. Chris especially loves to hear an acoustic guitar at the forefront of a song (he plays his own) and he really liked these songs by Colin Hay ( Men At Work) the first time that I played them for him.

Lately I've been listening to them over an over..
the first one is called Beautiful World here...
and the other is Waiting For My Real Life To Begin

It may be overly optimistic to hope that Chris can zip through this anger phase.
As painful as it is to witness it is also a sign that my old friend isn't just laying there in a cloudy haze helplessly waiting for another setback...he is working through the realisation of his predicament.

This IS happening.

I tried to assure him that "THIS" is not where he will end up..

there is a long road ahead and there will be emotional outbursts from everybody.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

This evening I read in the bedside journal that Chris managed to lift up his uncooperative right leg during his physio!

His bp is still in the 140 range, he is eating things like scrambled eggs and awake for longer periods of time during the day. This evening he slept through most of our visit although he would occasionally peek over to see if I was there and he kept thanking me for coming??

I've tried to find a way of not discussing most of the agonizing emotional trauma that Chris is experiencing..as I'm certain most of you can appreciate. Every day he is clawing his way back to the external world...he has so much to process and despite our cheerleading Chris has a monumental task at hand controlling this avalanche of reality.

Now I personally believe that Chris is the type of guy who will be striving for the 9oth percentile but put yourself in his position? He has to somehow stay positive, face reality, while re-organising his neurological circuitry.

Tonight when he said "Sorry" as in causing all of this, I couldn't believe it...he's still thinking of others!

Chris tells his family every day "I want to go home".

I won't deal with specifics but there are are some troubling symptoms that something may still be posing a possible threat to his vascular system. Chris is doing very well on the rehabilitation front but internally there may be a few more hurdles. You know what? Everyfrickintime we get some good news there always seems to be something else going askew and every-single-time Chris has managed to inch forward.

He is back under 24/7 constant care as a precautionary measure and we are all hoping that the evidence points towards damage that occurred during the past weeks. As I said, Chris has managed to keep moving forward despite discouraging evidence from tests and everchanging data and images from within his body.

I don't want to mislead anyone..despite all of the good news, Chris is certainly not out of the woods yet..BUT, he appears to be stronger, for longer periods of time and he is persevering. We've been trained to expect all of those hospital miracles on TV to only take one hour and it just doesn't happen like that.

Chris is fighting as best he can, he has the prerequisite intestinal fortitude, he has guts and pluck..not to mention tons of love and support from near and afar, and dedicated professionals doing all they can..he just needs a real chance.
So far Chris has made the most out of a very bad situation and truth be told I would expect no less from a man of his caliber.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Tonight Chris was very alert and he laughed quite often...with his smile and his eyes. When I arrived he had just received a wonderful makeover from his fabulous SIL and his brother was giving him the gears and Chris looked relaxed and relieved.

Chris is off the 24hr constant care, eating soft food, and apparently Monday he may be getting into a chair for some rehab!! His bp had been nice and low so hopefully this is another base that he is ready to round.

I watched him follow the first period of the Hockey game and I showed him that his soft restraints were untethered so that must mean that he has been trained..
he laughed...as I tied him back up!
and we both laughed at the constant care charts because I explained that these forms were used to document what his watchers were doing while they were in his room...mostly sleeping. Chris seemed to enjoy the joking around and I asked if he was ready for visitors and he said "not yet."

Chris seems to be making very good progress now and hopefully all the healing that needs to happen behind what we can see is on schedule. I think that his family is ready to watch Chris start making some real gains next week. This evening (Saturday) Chris looked much stronger to me.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Day 19 and Chris continues to make progress. He has been ingesting the jello like it's going out-of-style OK but he did eat 3! and his blood pressure remains consistently lower.

According the Physio Therapist, Chris was able to offer some slight resistance with his uncooperative right leg! I don't want to jump the gun but that must have been very encouraging for Chris.

We've all been encouraged by the fact that he has had sensation on his right side (especially when his Mom is rubbing his arm) but we have been informed/cautioned that motion is another matter.

Still I was surprised (as in Fist Pumping surprised) but I know that I need to temper that by saying it is still very early in the rehab process and there will probably be as many ups and downs as there have been getting to this point.

It's very hard straddling the extreme whatif's looking for a place to land because we all want Chris to get a decent chance at a 99.9% recovery. Mr. Tenacity will give it his all because as most of you know, he is averse to idling and generally eschews the philosophical approach of I'll just sit around and wait and see what happens.

I don't want to speculate on this until I know more because Chris is just beginning his rehab and I hope...I know that he is full of surprises. He seems poised to give this physio a fair shot now that his bp is down and he is getting some nutrition.

I hope to visit later today...

UPDATE: 1 pm

Chris looked pretty good and he was propped up watching the telly with his Mom by his side. He almost laughed out loud when I came in and threatened to change the TV channel to a 24/7 Lou Dobbs station (Chris is not a big fan of bluster and indignation)..it's very encouraging to see his face light up a bit.

I stuck his glasses back on so that he could see a little better and when he tried to scratch his nose we both noticed that his soft tether was back on..which means that he was doing something that he wasn't supposed to be doing last night.

The Physio came in and put him through some rehab..she is so positive and exhorting and it was great to see Chris getting some exercise.

One further note to the sense of feeling on his uncooperative right side, apparently Chris can identify points on his right side that the Doctor was touching...even on the bottom of his feet.

I know that I seem to be painting images in very broad strokes and as you can imagine the family is now trying to absorb tons of information from many specialists. For every two bits of good news there always seems to be a caution about optimism and then a small setback occurs...it is simply a roller coaster ride and there seems to be as many new things to worry about as there are events to celebrate...
but I told Chris not to worry, we just keep moving forward..
a little bit more every day.

It will be comforting when Chris is able to get into some sort of routine and he can concentrate on specific tasks...
hopefully that can start happening next week?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Just a quick note before I get to the hospital.
Right now everyone is trying to get answers that aren't yet available.

Yesterday and today this ongoing catheter/UTI situation seems to have been at the forefront along with the fact that despite being under surveillance 24 hours a day Chris pulled out his $%#@ feeding tube again!

The good news is that Chris' blood pressure (130s) is now back in the normal range which is very good news.

Chris seems to be sleeping for about 18 hours a day with brief intermittent periods of calm wakefulness, but we are all anxious for the physio to start.
Because we're dealing with the brain there is no magic crystal ball...
which is frustrating enough for all of us waiting on the outside so I can't imagine what it's like for Chris?

It's tough to sit back and wait to see how much of the damage is going to be present and to what degree it can be amended through rehab once Chris is able to stay awake for any length of time.

I suppose a positive way to look at this is that we all seem to be fairly comfortable that Chris is moving on to the next step so we shouldn't lose sight of that.
For a week we were worried about getting to this point.

I'll try and write some more when I get back and read the bedside journal.
I hope that I can get Chris to talk to me. I want to know what he is thinking?

I know that all of this second guessing doesn't help and although it is difficult to idle, the truth of the matter is that there is a lot of waiting to be done and there isn't much that we can do about that.

PART TWO posted at 10:14 PM

It was comforting to see Chris with the bed tilted up watching the Hockey playoffs.
The O2 and feeding tubes had been removed. They successfully handfed him some sort of jello stuff which he told his sister tasted awful..but he could swallow it!

He could move his head and neck around..his left arm was untethered and he could scratch his nose..he had his glasses on and he had been shaved so he looked better.
He said "HI" and smiled.

I sat and watched the game with him..I got him to smile (laughed with his eyes) a few times.
I told him that I was going to sneak in a Mushroom/Peperoni Pizza from Gondola (his favorite) and he also grinned when I mentioned that how great it will be to see the 8,000 ROUNDUP commercials during the game..it's a Canadian thing.
The biggest grin came when the NHL President was being interviewed but I can't tell you what I said in mixed company..but it was worth seeing the smile.

I asked him if he had any cravings (no), if he felt more awake in the middle of the night (no), throat hurt (no) and a few other things. He said it hurt when he had to go to the bathroom which I totally understand considering what he has had to endure during this recent catheter debacle. He still has a foley which he agitated by rubbing his left leg against it. He was quickly given something for his discomfort, tucked in, and instructed to go to sleep.

All in all I felt encouraged to see that he was up trying to watch the game..he dozed on and off..plus he "got" the jokes and seemed more rested. Having all the tubes out of his nose was great and hopefully he can eat normally and I can sneak that pizza in.

Chris you are amazing...we had a good visit and you cheered me up buddy.