Thursday, July 26, 2012

the Good and the Bad of it all

Saints come in all forms. The lady at the counter who says water is free- not what would you find in DC, or the charge nurse who gives you a smile and says your brother is charming.

Charming? Imagine how he would be if he were not laid up having just had a stroke. Charming? You have no idea. 

The PA who has a smile on her face, or the specialist that takes more than forty five seconds to explain the big words- those are all saints in my book.

The family friend, who came by to deliver casseroles and ends up spending the night to help with the kids, answer the phone, and maintain the low level of chaos- that is a saint. The friend who has not been spoken to in months calls, calls, and calls asking to be helpful- and being sincere- another saint.

The clients, counterparts, and comrades who are praying to their Higher Power for a man they have not met- saints.

We get to see the good in so many people as the bad in this world can help bring it out and make the sun shine.

The good of it is that Brother is improving. What was once inoperable can now be operable. Initially, he could not move his left arm, feel his left side, or walk. By the end of the first day, he could shrug his left shoulder. Then he could "flop his flipper" -- meaning he could flip his left arm, but with no control. Yesterday- oh, yesterday! Yesterday, he could raise his left arm to make his elbow parallel to his shoulder and then rotate his arm above his head before reversing this same action.

Simply put, it was amazing.

Last night, he was discharged from the Neuro-ICU and moved to the Heart and Vascular Institute- a brand new facility in Augusta that people fondly have renamed "The Taj." Because all hospital waiting rooms need a shiny grand piano and all hospital rooms need to be larger than my last apartment and have a flat screen television.

We are making forward motion. And that is vital.

Today they will be performing a nuclear test on Brother's heart as the initial heart cath they planned would be too stressful on his kidneys.

There are more "things" to report, but I cannot place where to put them in a level of importance. For instance, they did an echo of his heart yesterday- both trans-thorasic and TEE to be precise (trans-esophageal echocardiogram... how's that for paying attention?!). The TEE helped to see what was going on behind his heart and confirm that (a) the episode has completed the cycle (read: more strokes were not on the horizon and more clots were not forming- like hurricanes off the coast of Africa) (b) his heart muscle was doing what it was supposed to do and (c) his blood was still moving.

The test confirmed that the stroke "cycle" -for lack of a better word- had completed and there were no hurricanes on the African coast. It also showed that his heart is strong- very strong- and blood is moving. However, it did show that his blood is thick. They used the word "sticky." In my childish mind, I pictured the Elmer's glue from LMC's art box. Blood thinners are now in order.

With that test and the impending test, the doctor's have politely- but firmly- said No Visitors. And I get that. He's not wearing undies. That should be a rule of thumb- when someone is without undies- No Visitors. So noted.

I will try and update once we have the results from the test. 

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