Sunday, October 09, 2005

Says she's miserable, Away from work a few weeks

I didn’t make it to the hospital today, as I was still dealing with this stomach thing. Both kids seem much better, though. Fortunately my cousin stayed overnight last night and helped with the kids while I was feeling cruddy, and my folks came over this afternoon. Also while I was feeling cruddy today, my neighbors mowed & edged the lawn, swept, dusted the cobwebs off the house… it’s incredible what people will do for you if you neglect your property and let your house become the biggest eyesore on the block. Seriously, though, thanks! What a blessing!
Now on to Denise:

I couldn’t find out anything earlier today. Every time I called, it was “Call back in 10 minutes.” Finally tonight, I was able to get some info from the nurse. Denise was off the vent for as much as a four-hour block of time. She’s resting tonight and going to get a unit of blood. Temperature went up to 101 today (101.4 last night), she had the cooling blanket earlier. Heart rate is hovering in the 120s, but hopefully the increase in blood volume will lower the heart rate. Blood pressure was at 113 systolic. She’s been shaky again today, possibly due to the electrolyte imbalance (we hope no neurological problems due to infection or all that she’s been through). Tube feeding was set to 60cc/hr (that’d down from yesterday, I believe). Liver function continues to progress toward normal, and kidneys are doing a decent job. I hope that tomorrow we can hear results from the spinal tap (good results, that is). Her mom added that she was there during a time when Denise had a speaking valve in. It didn’t last very long. What looked like blood was coughed up with the usual secretions. Denise said “I love you” a couple times. Denise also said either “Tell Phil I’m miserable” or “Can’t you tell I’m miserable?” Her mom couldn’t tell which. Either way, I’m really frustrated that I couldn’t be there with her.

Before this post, I was replying to an email from someone in Nigeria that’s the widow of a slain dignitary that selected ME, out of billions of people all over the world, to be her most trusted contact in moving several million dollars out of her account (10% of which I would get to pocket for myself), so as to not be unfairly taken by the vulturous ex-business partners of her deceased husband. She wanted my contact information. I provided the name, phone number & address of a direct-mail marketing firm that sent me some unsolicited junk mail yesterday.

In a much more important communication, I received an email from someone a while back in response to my anxiety about how to juggle everything that’s going on. As far as emails, he’s a man of few words, and what he has to say is worth listening to. “God has given us all limits as a blessing. Recognizing and embracing yours helps you, Denise, and the kids. I will pray so.” Tomorrow I will not be going to work, starting a leave that I anticipate will last for several weeks. The computer lab’s my baby, and I’ve nurtured it since it had Apple IIe computers in it (I’ve been there 12 years). Someone else pointed out that I’d worry about the computer lab & curriculum while I’m gone. It was also pointed out to me that Denise is all about being mommy, and she’s worried about the kids while she’s gone just as much, if not more, than I’d be worried about the lab. Kids win. Use up those sick days while Denise is at a hospital far away. Be daddy. The kids haven’t seen me much more than they’ve seen Denise. So I’ve been trying to get back to our regular routine lately so as to provide some stability, structure, peace, security, etc. A big part of me is relieved that I can be the first person the kids see in the morning, drop them off at day care for a few hours, spend time with Denise, then pick them up and be with them the rest of the day & night until they go to bed. Denise exhibited some relief that I would be with the kids as much as possible. I might arrange having someone at my house for a few hours after the kids go to bed so that I can drive to the hospital again at night a few times a week to visit with Denise, too.

Sickness and death are evil. But I’m glad that while we’re dealing with one and scared of the other at times, I’m encouraged by hearing a few times about how our situation has been beneficial to other people and/or their relationships in one way or another. God’s got a way of redeeming evil in order to pull something good out of it. Today a friend called & the conversation turned to how the kids were doing. She said she loved the times she’s taken care of them, and gotten somewhat attached. This is a real kick in the pants for her. See, she’s a little younger than me, but has had a heart condition for the past few years that’s life threatening. As a result of knowing that she could die at any moment (a boat we’re all in), she’s realized that she’s been sort of distancing herself from loved ones so that they won’t be crushed when she’s gone. Caring so much about my kids might be an icebreaker of sorts. I hope that my situation benefits her & her loved ones. Who knows… maybe her situation will help someone that’s reading tonight’s post.


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