Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday October 14 – Holding Hands with Friends

At breakfast we discuss what to do for Halloween. Juanita has offered them to do a sleep over on Saturday for Halloween and bring them to Halifax the next day. That sounds like a good plan. Then they don’t miss the fun of trick or treating and yet still get to see you.

Tara decided, a while ago, that she was going to be a Math Duotang. She has even drawn up a design. I just have to round up cardboard for her to work on it. A math duotang may be a odd choice but last year she was a AA battery complete with a flashlight head.

Quinn wants to be a juggling clown. He doesn’t know how to juggle yet but we are going to see what we can figure out.

I called the nurses station and asked about giving you oral water – ice chips etc. No, you can’t have anything by mouth. There is too high a risk of aspiration. We don’t want another pneumonia. The nurse promised to check about other alternatives for us.

I worked at the veterinary hospital today but in my absence, you had some visitors:

Anne emailed me with the following about her husband D’Arcy:

“D’Arcy had two short, but good visits with Chris today.”

“When he arrived at about 10:30, Chris was on top of his bed, awake. He was dressed and wearing his running shoes, on top of his covers, but covered with his magic blanket. D’Arcy walked in and said, “Hi Chris” and went to his right side (because he forgot that he was supposed to go to his left). He told Chris, “It’s D’Arcy” and Chris said “It’s nice to see a friendly face – everyone here wants something from me!” Chris put his hand out and D’Arcy held it. D’Arcy told him that he had dropped our van off and was in the city for an appointment and wanted to come and see how he was doing.”

“D’Arcy couldn’t understand everything Chris tried to say to him, but thought Chris was asking about the folder under his arm. D’Arcy explained that he had brought his marking with him to the city to keep him occupied at his appointments.”

“He went on to tell Chris about his Angels winning against Boston (to which Chris gave a thumbs up) and said he thought that they were playing Philadelphia next, but Chris corrected him to say that they’d be playing New York. He teased him and said that he always thought that Chris was a Red Sox fan. After about ten minutes, knowing that visits should be kept short, D’Arcy told Chris that he was going to an appointment, but that he would come back to see him. At that point, D’Arcy said he looked like he was ready to go to sleep, but as he left, physio was arriving.

“D’Arcy called me after he left Chris and filled me in on the visit. I had asked how he looked and D’Arcy responded, “Like Chris.” He noted that his hands were pale and his lips looked chapped (which is how mine always got during my hospital stays when the kids were born!). D’Arcy did not notice that he had any tubes connected to him at all. D’Arcy was certain that Chris knew him and felt that he was genuinely happy that he had come by to visit.”

“The second visit was shorter. He arrived shortly after lunch, around 12:45. Two nurses were in his room changing his bed and Chris was (still?) awake. D’Arcy gave Chris the report that he has to get a splint for his wrist because he’s been diagnosed with carpel tunnel and his arm goes numb when he runs now. Chris asked D’Arcy something, but D’Arcy couldn’t understand his question. (Maybe he was asking him to be part of his Cape Breton relay team next year?!) D’Arcy talked a bit about what was going on and told him that he was going back to Truro shortly. Chris very clearly said “Thank You” to him for stopping in and D’Arcy said that we would come by to visit him again. They shook hands and D’Arcy patted him on the shoulder before leaving.”

“He’s really glad that he went.”

“He felt that Chris was definitely cognizant of his surrounding and his visit. He says they carried on a conversation as much as a man who mumbles along with a man who’s re-learning to speak can while holding hands!”

Garth and Brenda Stewart visited too but you were sleeping. They left a note saying they were there and that you are thought of often at St Andrew’s church.

After work, Tara and I go on a mission to find good juggling balls. We can’t find any in Truro. I think I might try to make some with rice as a filler. It will give me something to do on your sleepy days.

Quinn and I googled ‘juggling’ on the computer. We found a web site that has a video lesson. We both experiment with our new juggling knowledge. I’m hopeless at it. You always made juggling look so easy…it’s not. Quinn is determined like you – I expect he will figure it out.

Craig, the guidance counselor from the children’s school, called. He has been keeping up to date on your progress via the children and the blog. From his talks with Quinn, he feels he has a good understanding of your situation.

He had a great idea to allow Quinn (and Tara) to express their worries. A ‘Worry Board’. A place where Quinn can write down or draw a picture that reminds him of his concern. Then, I can talk with him about the worries and hopefully put them to rest. And when he tries to expresses his feelings then I can validate them.

I like the idea. I think Quinn will embrace it. It’s kind of like the ‘ear tug’ that you started with him. He can initiate the discussion without actually really talking about it.

When I got home, one of the three letters to Rod Carew was returned. It reminded me to re-send it to Rod Carew via web site again. Maybe his mailbox is empty. Or maybe he is too busy right now with the post season games to check his web site. (I believe he is still a batting coach for the Angels.)

Often my strong sense of logic over rides my hunches. But it’s hard to believe that the past 6 1/2 weeks of events, as they have unfolded, have not been some part of a divine plan.

So I will choose to have faith. Rod’s letter will get to him when you are going to need it the most. And his reply will be magically timed with the toughest hill in your marathon of recovery.

All the little events that have lead us to this point are like little seeds of potential life. When they are planted in the fertile ground of faith, they germinate into a massive jungle of vines …or in your case … hopefully - a network of neurons healing your wounded mind.


  1. We got good juggling balls at the gift shop in the Discovery Centre a couple of years ago. You might want to check in there if you're visiting... Otherwise, I'll dig ours to lend you and perhaps D'Arcy can give Quinn a lesson!

  2. considering how many balls you keep circulating in the air (your attention on chris, the kids, the house, vet practice, your own health and all your loved friends) ... i'd say your an amazing juggler. don't underestimate yourself, gwen. YOU are amzing and you have a lot of strength behind you. kaila says annie loves it at her place ... another worry off your plate. i'd say chris is not the only juggler in the family ... be well.