Saturday, July 12, 2008

New decor + no bed of roses

Some new decor and a book, all thanks to the generous relatives in Kirkland.Monkey and Toucan having a chat.

New apron hanging on wall.

A book about things that are more fun that spending a week on the ventilator.


Life off the ventilator hasn't been a total bed of roses so far, although Calin's health is continuing, slowly but surely, to improve.

First of all, having stiff tubes stuck down her throat gave the vocal chords and swallowing muscles a bit of a trial, so Calin doesn't really have her voice back yet and according to the nice speech therapy woman who stopped by this morning, it may take a couple days. Until the swallowing and gag reflex are working full speed, it's recommended that she stick with ice chips and crushed popsicles through the mouth, and brown goo through a feeding tube that was re-inserted through the nose. This feeding tube is small and soft compared to the air tube she had, so it shouldn't interfere with the recovery of her fine-tuned eating and speaking skills.

Second, when the ventilator was taken away, so were the drugs that she was on to help her tolerate it, and it seems that with their absence comes a bit of withdrawal. This has included what Calin described as paranoia and feeling suddenly scared yesterday afternoon. She asked me to spend the night in the hospital for moral support, and I think that made us both feel better, even though it meant I got to witness a fit of tossing and turning starting around 4am during which she described feeling "incredibly jittery" and wanting to "jump out of my skin." Damien, the very deep-voiced nurse, was awesome and helped her through it. She got a visit from two slightly tired-looking residents, and an EKG, and didn't seem to have any other issues, so she was given extra Ativan. The Ativan helped either through it's anti-anxiety and relaxant properties, or by being similar to some of the drugs she was on before, or some combination of these factors. The doctors also suggested that jitters could be related to the steroids that she was on as part of the pneumonia treatment, which dropping down today and will only go a few more days. Either the heavier dose of Ativan or the lack of good sleep in the night has had Calin slumbering away pretty steadily for the last 6 hours.

All in all, it hasn't started out to as the most relaxing July weekend that Calin and I have ever had, but I'm sure she'll weather these troubles just like she's weathered so many before. And this episode will be added to the larder of stories to talk about when the voice is full strength, the lungs are fully healed, and Calin and I, along with Monkey, Toucan, and lots of you readers, are sipping lattes and lying on a bed of roses somewhere exotic on the world party circuit.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Ian we were sorry to have missed you when we stopped by to see Calin on Wednesday! We are thrilled to hear the big tube is out and are praying for you both continually! May the jitters and discomfort be short-lived! We were happy to step on the elevator at the same time as Campbell and get to meet Maria and see the great "chopstick art" that she was showing Calin.

Big Hugs and Best Wishes,
Jeanne (for the Schaffner 4)

Andrienne said...

Calin, Ian, those steroids are it! When I had to take them for my autoimmune issues, I thought I was going to come unglued! Coming out of your skin is the exact side effect!!!!

It will go away, but not without more anxiety than you think you are capable of experiencing. For the sane person it is the most disconcerting - because it makes you feel like you are crazy.

Anonymous said...

Dear Calin and Ian, I attended a wonderful seminar on Mac use at the Cleveland Park Library this Sat. afternoon when the good news came. Sounds like the journey to Oz, ever a new challenge. Was that Maria CM doing chopstick art? That reminds me, that last Sunday, Seelye and I heard great music of spoons at the Kutztown Festival.(PA) You place them back to back, one fixed with handle between index and middle fingers, the other pinched between thumb and index finger- and tap away, preferable against the thigh. It was great fun. But now, after the Mac workshop, I find my Google is in Greek! Love, Julie and Seelye in DC.

Ian said...

Saturday night, with the help of more regular Ativan, half doses of steroids, and more distance from the Fentanyl and Versed, Calin and I both slept well.

Sonja and Laura were gracious and caring hosts for the dogs of the weekend. After so much fun, the dogs were likewise happy to go hang out with Wendy and her family including Stanley the dog this afternoon.

Graham said...

When we're sipping lattes in a bed of roses, can the woman on the top half of the World Party book cover come along?

Anonymous said...

For the last couple of days it feels like we have been in Seattle -- lots of rain and gray skys.

Can't wait to get up there to see the sun without the three digits (100+).

We're so proud of you. With anything worth achieving it is the baby steps each day that get you to your goal! Thinking of you.

hugs from the Millis-Wights