Sunday, November 15, 2009

Saturday November 14 – Dream of Possibilities not Problems

You slept like a baby from 10 pm to 4 am when you had to urinate. Then you dozed off again quickly and awoke at 7 AM. I know all this because I was awake most of the night. I couldn’t get comfortable. My back was sore. I periodically looked at my watch and spotted every hour as it ticked by throughout the night. My body is telling me that it was a bad idea to have stayed the night. I can’t do that again.

I tell you that my back is bad this morning. You lecture me. “You need to learn to accept help from others. I have learned this. You can’t do it all.” Wise words – I know them but I haven’t lived them. When will I learn?

I head home for a few hours to freshen up and get drugs for my back. Martha stayed with the children last night. When I got home she had everyone up and fed and ready to go. Tara is off for her run with Marianne on the Cobequid Trail. They ran 5 kilometers. Tara says that Marianne asked her to walk a little – Mmmm – I’ll have to ask Marianne how it went.

Paula, fellow parent at the school, came over to help out with yard work. What a welcomed sight. Harold, our neighbor, has been doing a lot of things in the garden. But those few extra things – help. Last week Valerie, from work planted some plants that I had bought but didn’t get into the ground and today Paula is putting in some bulbs. It’s nice to know that my beloved garden is being cared for.

I suggest that you make some calls to Ottawa but you don’t feel up to it. You are tired or you think you are tired.

Time is still a hurtle for you to over come. When you sleep – you might sleep for 5 hours but it seems like 5 minutes and when you are awake for 5 minutes, it seems like 5 hours.

Your bowel issues are starting to be a problem. Today, you had your second enema. I don’t think that this problem is a direct cause of you brain injury. I think it’s because you are getting almost 1700 calories over night and these calories trickle into you stomach at the rate of 120 mls per hour. There is no bolus feeding that would simulate meals better. I wonder if that and the PEG tube interfere with your gut motility.

Currently there are no barriers to food but I think that more fiber should be included in your diet to help the BM problems. A meat lovers pizza was probably not a good choice – although, I think you ate only one slice. I doubt that was the culprit.

We get Martha off to Ottawa by plane. When we get back to Truro, I get Quinn’s much needed shoes and a watch for you. It’s a large watch with a clock face that can be read easily. Hopefully, this will help you keep track of time better.

During our little shopping spree, Quinn found a toy he has wanted for some time. Tech Decks. Little finger skate boards. He decided to buy a package with his own money. There were two types; one for five dollars and two for ten dollars. He decided on the double pack so he could play with friends.

I bought it for him, with the promise to pay me back later. When we got into the car, he wanted to open the package. I said no – and explained that the Tech Decks belonged to me and until he paid for them he couldn’t open them. He didn’t like this news. After a few minutes of quiet, I said that if he wanted to, I would let him open them if he promised to pay me and extra dollar. “It’s called interest. Grown ups pay it all the time when they can’t wait for something.” I explained. Quinn didn’t like the sound of this scam – and said “No way, I’m not paying anymore then ten dollars. I’ll wait until tomorrow.” I smile, hopefully he just learned a little about delayed gratification and financial management.

After shopping, I drop off the kids and get a few groceries. One ‘To do’ list is finished. That feels good. Now other ‘To do’ list is started. Get on snow tires – heads the list.

I’m drained physically.

I visit with you for a few hours.

I talk with Laura and Marie, your nurses, and share with them my suspicions that the night feeding is not helping you. I think they interfere with interest in real food at normal mealtimes. It’s hard to be interested in eating breakfast when you have been fed all night via the tube. I discuss this with Laura, your nurse. She will put in a request with the dietician to reconsider the feeding schedule. If you don’t eat enough calories the natural way by the time you get to rehab, then they will want to bolus feed you so feeding doesn’t interfere with your therapies. It makes sense to look at this now.

I must confess that feel a little jealous over you with all the visitors you have had these past few days. I’m glad that you had visitors, but I also miss just being with you. Talking and sharing. I cherish tonight and the few hours we have together alone before I go to bed.

We talk about dreams – what’s the dream and what is real. Lately, I have noticed that sleep is good. When I sleep, I can escape for a while. I never usually remember my dreams, but I have a sense, in the morning of peacefulness, hope and energy. It’s hard to know how long this reality will last. No two brain injuries are the same. And no two patients are the some – therefore no two recoveries look the same. This makes it impossible to see the last chapter of your story. Sleep and dreams will get us through that time and help us deal with the outcome.

We talk about the possibilities that will emerge from this part of your life. “Don’t think about the losses, think about what you have gained.” You describe yourself as an underachiever. Achievement in the school setting means nothing in real life. I don’t know how a marathoner can be an underachiever. As a young person you have been labeled that. But that was then and this is now. I am proud of you and what you have achieved.

When I get home I notice the scent of cleaner in the house. Things look cleaner but I’m so tired – I can’t figure out what has changed – I know someone has done something good to the house.

I did notice a new addition to the garage, a tool holder peg board on the wall. I sense that Fran and her fellow fairies have been at work.

I go to bed early, Tara and Quinn and Annie are spending the night at Juanita’s with the cousins and Fran. For tonight, I am placing myself on the bench. My gut feels queasy and I’m exhausted and sore. I load up on tylenol and ibuprofen and go to bed. I need lots of rest to recharge myself for later.

As I left your bed earlier, I said have sweet dreams. Dream about your possibilities not your problems.

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