Today you are going to have your PEG tube put in. It is placed with an endoscope and the result is a tube leading from your stomach through a small hole in your belly and a tube is put in place until it is healed and a hole to the stomach exists between your skin and your stomach. This can be maintained for as long as you will need it.
A resident is in to answer my questions. He tells me you have another urinary tract infection. Not surprising since you have to be catheterized every 6 hours. You are back on antibiotics. Thankfully, the kidney ultrasound from Tuesday is normal!
Nicole is your student nurse. She is very nice and attentive. She was your nurse yesterday too. She and the some of the other students have read your story of the first few days that I posted on the wall of your room. She is obviously a fan of yours.
You ask for more water ... repeatedly. Your mouth is so dry and I expect sore. Lips were very chapped yesterday. The condition of your mouth probably doesn’t help your voice at all. Hopefully the PEG tube will help your mouth heal and enable you to get your voice back.
The paramedics come to take you away to the Victoria General (another hospital down the street) to do the PEG.
While you are gone, the recreational therapy assistant, Megan, stops by. She introduces herself and details what recreational therapy does for you. Essentially they use various tools to help you get some skills back. It could be just talk, or play mental games like ‘Connect Four’ or other physical games. She says that her supervisor will be in later this week to talk with you.
I ask her about TV, radio and ipod. She thinks the ipod is a good idea, but she cautions me on the TV and radio. “They may steal sleep from him. Perhaps a little later when he is able to stay awake a little longer.”
While you are away, I go for a walk. I mail your disability insurance papers and pick up a key for Lenore’s apartment for the weekend.
Dr. Walling had to fill out your papers for the disability insurance. On part 8 where it insurance company asks for a ‘Prognosis for recovery’; Dr. Walling writes: ‘Guarded - should make further improvements but will not be complete.’
I know he has to be realistic and perhaps even a little pessimistic, especially to the insurance company. But seeing these words in writing evoke a different reaction in me then when I hear the same words. I only hope, that when you are able to see this form, you will dig deep and get the strength to disprove it.
When I get back – you are back … with several student nurses fussing over you – you are very sleepy. You were given a sedative. It’s too bad, you would have enjoyed all the attention.
Nicole is doing your mouth care. She obviously enjoys her new profession. She is taking great satisfaction in getting your mouth looking and feeling better. You, in your ‘drunken’ state play tongue hockey with the sponge swab that she uses to clean your mouth.
The PEG comes out of the middle of your abdomen about 5 inches above your belly button. I know exactly what the children will say. “My Daddy has two belly buttons.”
It is interesting that your first belly button (umbilical cord) gave you the nutrition you needed for your first life. And the second ‘belly button’ will give the nutrition you will need for your second chance at life. I think that I will always see your scars as gifts, not as defects.
I love your scars.
You are snoozing from the drugs. Morphine is the drug of the hour. You snored, happily, for the first time since this all began. You looked good and comfortable.
Nicole tells me that the strike date is set. NSCC strike will happen on Oct 20 – I think. The students and teachers are not the only losers. The patients lose out too.
Last night, I was still thinking about the woman organ donor that Marsha worked on Tuesday. For me, the word harvest was a good word … No, it was a great word… It meant to me everything good about the Earth, as it nourishes us with life. Wholesome, Nutritious, Healing, Restoring.
On August 30 and 31 – it became a horrible word – a word that would catch in my throat every time I’d say it. And yet, I felt I had to say it because I thought, at the time, the more I heard it, the more I could come to terms with what was going to happen. I thought it would help propel me through the stages of grief and get me to acceptance sooner. I felt by hurting more then, I would hurt less later. It’s weird the way one’s sense of logic is skewed at a time of extreme emotion.
My heart aches for her family and for their pain. I wonder if they will ever be able to say the word ‘harvest’ again.
Physio Jill was in to visit. You were soundly asleep after the PEG surgery. So, no physio today. I asked her how much do you have to improve before you get promoted to the rehab hospital. She said you have to be awake the majority of the day and tolerant the wheel chair for more then a few hours as well as have better communication skills.
“He has made steady but slow progress over the past month.” She said. She won’t commit to a time frame but she did describe your progress as slow … that scares me a little. She can’t help but compare, in her mind, to other stroke victims. Slow doesn’t sound good.
Yesterday, you got a homemade card in the mail. It’s from John and Karen and their family. On one side is a beautiful rainbow. On the other are the lines to a poem about rainbows. As I read it to you I realize that it’s the words to the song ‘Rainbow Connection’. It’s quite touching:
Why are there so many
Songs about rainbows
And what's on the other side
Rainbow's are Visions
They're only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide
So we've been told and some chose to
But I know they're wrong wait and see
Someday we'll find it
The Rainbow Connection
The Lovers, the dreamers and me
Oddly, later in the day as I wait for Tara and Quinn to finish their piano lessons. I overhear Chella’s Daughter, Sheena, sing this very song with a student of hers.
A crazy coincidence or another rainbow connection?