Friday, June 22, 2012

40 Days, 40 Nights

Just so you know, this is not the blog I was going to write.  I have a "really good one" in my head, but I can't manage to get it written.
This is just an update for those who do not follow Facebook.
We have now been in Chicago Rush Medical Center for 40 days.  Actually, Taylor is in the rehab section of the hospital at this point. 
After having a full posterior and anterior spinal fusion, healing has been slow.  Taylor has gone from being on a vent for 14 days, then to a trach and all the while on a feeding tube (NG tube---goes through his nose, down his throat, into his stomach.)  
   The really really good news is that the trach is out..  Now we are waiting and working with him on swallowing.  The photo is of Father Stephen, a Chicago priest, who was sent to the hospital room to do a blessing/healing for Taylor's throat.  Two of my friends in Athens who are Catholic (and who know ALL of the patron saints) contacted him and asked him to come.  It was a sweet blessing---as all blessings are.
      So......we wait and hope and cajole.  So much of how this is going to work is based totally on Taylor's body doing its own work.  There are no pills, no exercises, no magic medicine to make the swelling in this throat go down so he can swallow.  It's one of those things over which we have no control---and you can imagine how that puts me in a tail-spin.
       Those are the facts.  I hate that darn NG tube but on the other hand, I am grateful that he has gotten nourishment.  This little guy has been an amazing trooper.  And let the record state that I will NOT be finding any more neurosurgeons for him---ever.  This is it.  If this surgery does not make his pain better, then well, we'll just......we'll just ....handle it.
       I don't know when we will be going home to Athens.  We left there on May 13.  I have forgotten what my kitchen looks like---but not how it makes me feel. 
        So many lessons.  So many stories.  So much learning.  So much growing..  So much grace.  So much mercy.  So much gratitude and deep thanksgiving. 

Friday, June 1, 2012

Being Here Now

Whew.  Crack the whip.  Remember that game?  I feel like we've been on the outside of the running line and have been flung off; we are sailing in the air out there somewhere.  What planet are we on?
     Taylor is in a regular room at Rush Hospital.  I actually cried when we left ICU late last night because the nurses were all hugging us goodbye.   Oddly enough, it had begun to feel like home.   We had heard one another's stories about sisters and vacations and parents in role-reversals.  It was probably time to leave.  Right?
       Mr. Tay-man still has oxygen feeding into his trach.  His has a feeding tube (which actually just came out accidentally).  Darn it all.......another procedure to put that dang thing back in.  Oh, how we wish he could swallow and have his food/drink go down the right way---and not go into his lungs.   I am surprised that Joe and I are still speaking.  Divorced though we already are, we  still function like friends----as we should.   But this situation taps into every stress button imaginable.  Is it human nature to need somebody else to blame?  I love that bumper sticker that reads, "I am NOT  saying it's your fault; I am just saying I blame you."   That pretty much sums up a lot of how I am feeling.  Ok, saying it out loud and "owning it" is the first giant step towards changing it.  (I could probably use a good weekend retreat along about now----maybe Outward Bound or something that would involve tight-rope walking across a huge gorge---you know...."to build character". )
         So, here is how I am handling the stress today:  I am going to go to State Street in Chicago, find a Nordstrom's and buy some new Mac lipstick.  Is that called lipstick therapy or just denial therapy?  Either way, it's about $20.00 worth of good self-care.  AND!  I have found a hair salon in Lincoln Park from one of the ICU nurses.  So, Monday, I am going to have my hair cut.   Let me just say that this feels mighty frivolous given the gravity of what is really going on in this room, but I MUST balance this out somehow.   You get me, don't you? 
       That's it from the 12th floor of Rush Hospital.  I am typing and Taylor is watching Homeward Bound for the 100th time.  I am mother of son who had a trach in his neck so he can breathe.  
Where is that lipstick I think I so desperately need???