|Courage, my love.|
Today was a good day.
A day as good as circumstances provide, but in this case, it was good nonetheless.
My little brother smiled today. Not just once, but several times. The sense of humor is back. The light in his eyes is unmistakable.
Thank you Dilaudid. You sweet, sweet painkiller.
Brian is one of the unfortunate few who's post surgical epidural did not work. They had it turned up to an 8, and it was doing nothing to relieve his pain. This was so apparent yesterday, when he was needing to press his PCA (Patient Controlled Analgesia) every 6 minutes to try and get ahead of the crippling pain. His pupils were like pinpricks. He was incredibly out of it, and it wasn't doing a damn thing. It was awful to watch. I felt so much sympathy, because abdominal surgery sucks balls, you guys. Except when I had it, my epidural worked....a little too well. So well that they had to turn it down because my legs were paralyzed, which was freaking me the fuck out. I was given Dilaudid shots (which hurt like a bitch) to deal with breakthrough pain, and they worked like a charm. But next time I'm totally asking for a PCA. I mean seriously, why mess around?
Today, they finally figured out that someone had miscalculated his dose. Instead of 0.4, he was only getting 0.04. Um, that's a HUGE difference. They finally found his sweet spot, and within an hour, he was noticeably happier, more energetic, and pain free. We had him up walking hospital ward laps. I unhooked my first NG tube (one that wasn't my own anyways), and got him moving. Moving is incredibly important after a major surgery. It gets your blood flowing, and simply stated, you recover faster. A wee walk like this, dragging your IV pole around for 5 minutes, can take a lot out of you. It's a weird process, but when your body is healing, its energy is focused entirely on that, meaning other small ordinary tasks are ridiculously exhausting.
But, one step at a time.
Today it was four walks. Today was about celebrating pain relief. Today was about hope, and the light at the end of this tunnel. Today there were visitors, and smiles, and high fives. Today he was anointed with oil, and the burden was handed to God. Today he listened to the playlist I made him before I came over, of all the new music I wanted him to hear, and he liked it. Really liked it. Because I am awesome at music.
Brian has got a few more days feeling like he is a science experiment. The NG tube will be in there for 3 more days. He's got a few lines delivering goodies like saline and vitamin K into his system. One by one, these things will be removed, and inch by inch he will start to feel like himself.
|Arthur is the coolest.|
Of course, I'm all about playing the "It Could Be Worse" game. I met a lady the other night who had been in the hospital for 7 months. SEVEN MONTHS. And, only a few months prior to this, it had been a 4 month stay. Oh, and it was because she had necrotizing gastritis. Which, plainly put, is a nightmare of endless proportions. Oh, and then someone who shall remain unnamed told me about a lady who had necrotizing faciitis of the VAGINA. And there is more to that story, but maybe you're eating. And now you're dry heaving. And now you hate me.
Basically, it could always be worse, amiright?
Sure. It could always be worse. But I wish, more than anything, for this to be a minor blip on Brian's long life. I wish for these painful memories to become a distant past, and that everything that comes will outshine these darker days. Life is not to be wasted lingering on the bad experiences. You have to take the bad with the good, and it's my hope that though this is the road less traveled by, it will make all the difference. Life is sweet, life is precious, life is good.
I'm regretting having to leave him again tomorrow. I feel infinitely better when I'm sitting vigil by the bed, just there to smile, reassure, commiserate. I've been here, I whisper. It gets better. Every day gets better. It makes me feel better to be there, and I know he appreciates me too. Not to mention Gina, who sleeps in a chair by his bed every night (now THAT'S dedication), and my mother, who spends hours and hours and hours just being present, and quiet, and there. And my dad, who is a restless creature, who cannot simply sit still, because he is cheerful, and because he is dad.
I've always been my brother's protector. I feel a bit ferocious about it. I always have been. This has been hard. I just want to take it away. And also, I look like shit. Worry and fear, though these feelings have alleviated somewhat, have created furrow lines, teenage style hormonal breakouts, and a dreary looking set of bags under my eyes.
But, it's getting better. I feel my heart getting lighter. I feel the fog lifting.