Saturday, November 19, 2005

First family meal in four months, Seizure questions, McD's

Today's lunch was the first meal that we've eaten as a family in four months. For other reasons, it today was a much better day than the previous couple of days. She sounded more animated, said she felt more alert, had a bigger appetite, and some lab results turned out a little better. Nightly gastro tube feeding has been discontinued (but the tube's still in). PT assisted her in taking five steps, and she's getting to the point where she can roll herself from side to side. It's a workout, but she can do it.
Earlier today she asked me to bring her a burger and an A&W root beer. She only ate about a third of the burger, but tonight she ate most of her pork & spiced peaches dinner (a favorite whenever we go to Cracker Barrel). I asked her what ideas she had for Thanksgiving this year. She said that if I wasn't going to smoke a turkey (nope... I finally rusted out our smoker and threw it away last spring), then a HoneyBaked ham sounded good. So it seems that the key to unlocking her appetite is hog... see the pattern? Ham for Thanksgiving, pork tenderloin for dinner, craving a hamburger for lunch (eh... close enough, right?). By the way, when we say "HoneyBaked," we don't usually mean that actual brand. We fake it by getting a cheap-o ham, rubbing it with sugar & pumpkin pie spices, then hitting it with a blow torch to bubble & crystalize the crust. Try it with the kids sometime... pretty fun.

The only downers that I'm aware of today are that she gagged on a pill & vomited a little after breakfast (was puke-free for about two days). And she's concerned about having seizures. Me too. But I reassured her that she's on anti-seizure meds (to seize the seizures, I suppose), there are blankets taped to the bed rails to protect her, and there's a sitter there during the night shift to keep a constant eye on her. Denise asked me questions about the seizures. She remembered blacking out once, remembered "somehow figuring out a number" for when she was going to die, and also remembered exclaiming "Heaven!" because she thought she was going to die. She doesn't remember saying things over & over, though. I'm encouraged by seeing her appetite and strength increase, even if ever so slowly. I'm also encouraged by how "with it" she was today mentally.

This morning I took the kids to McDonald's (gasp!) for breakfast & playing on their playground. Understand that I was raised on In-n-Out Burger, and McDonald's isn't even a blip on my fast food radar screen (except for the fries & the Shamrock Shakes in March). Any time she suggests McDonald's I say "No" and we go somewhere else. Mean? The kids will thank me later. So to Gracie, it was a big, BIG deal that I was taking them to McDonald's. She asked if I was being *brave* by taking them there myself. Thinking she was talking about my dislike of the food, I said "Yes." Later, while we were eating our breakfasts, Gracie exclaimed, "Daddy! There's a clown on your cup! You can turn it and not see it!" Sure enough, on my cup of orange juice, was a big ol' Ronald McDonald. I said, "It's alright... it doesn't bother me, but thank you for letting me know, Gracie." She asked, "Are you not afraid of clowns anymore because I'm not afraid of clowns?" Then it hit me. When Gracie would ask why we couldn't go to McDonald's, I'd joke around and say that it's because I don't like clowns. That coulrophobia bit has saved me from having to eat at McDonald's many times, but today I blew my cover.
Clowns still creep me out, though.


Blogger Call Me Grandma said...

Thank God Denise is improving. It sounds like a slow process but she is improving. God Bless you and yours.

November 20, 2005 4:44 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank you for the great laugh of the morning! And what a tearful moment for your family to have dinner must have been so special!


November 20, 2005 10:07 AM  

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