You all know probably a lot more about what's been going on in my life for the last week or so than I do, but in a nutshell this is what I think went on: I went in for a routine follow-up brain MRI on 1 July and was feeling short of breath; next thing I knew I was in the ICU at the UW Medical Center, intubated and fighting a nasty form of pneumonia (I did catch in passing that the brain MRI was a big improvement). Evidently, when people are intubated, they find this to be upsetting, so all sorts of antianxiety and antiremembering drugs are administered to keep the patient, who is necessarily mute and being fed through the nose, calm. Or a modicum of calm. The effect this appeared to have on me was to make me seem wide awake and lucid at times, and dangerously paranoid at one other time (which I'll go into later). I did somehow manage to email my cousin Laura of the Matching Socks on her birthday—I would totally have meant to, but was completely unaware that I'd done it. Anyway, Happy Birthday Lo! There are also bits of evidence—in my handwriting, unfortunately, of other things I felt necessary to dictate.
I'm almost out of steam, though, so I need to get to my point, and quickly. Once one is intubated, as I said a feeding tube is also placed through the nose. I happen to know first hand how uncomfortable this is, because I pulled mine out in a fit of druggedness, and it had to be put back in. Which did not involve anesthesia, Anyway, when a person in unintubated, she doesn't automatically get to eat normally again. The esophagus has been taken over for up to weeks by a rigid, alien snake-thing, and it has completely forgotten how to tell the difference between breathing and swallowing. These are vitally important differences in sustaining life, so a protocol has been developed to retrain the appropriate functions. The protocol is simple: small ice cubes, plastic spoons, grape popsickles. Since I tend toward small bites and lots of chewing anyway, this test of whether or not I could eat through my mouth again went swimmingly. I'm not sure Ian would've fared so well.
Okay, time to nap. Amazing just how weak the human body can become.
And one last thing, Ian, you sweet, funny thing have so earned rights to post to this blog. Thank you for being so sensitive, so generous, so you.