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For As Long As It Lasts
Lake Ontario
Jennifer
07/11/2012, Kingston, Ontario

The view from the sun room on the 7th floor over looks Lake Ontario. Its hard to tell if Al likes going there for his walks. Some times we see kite borders. Very fun to watch.

Yesterday Al increased his endurance both sitting bed side and his time in a chair. Ideally Lisa wanted him in the chair for 2 hours but Al could only tolerate it for 1 1/2 hours. He was feeling down yesterday and I believe it is because of this new infection. He was taken to xray to have a PIC line inserted that will give more efficient delivery of the antibiotics and blood can be drawn from it as well saving more pokes to his body. It was installed to the under side of his upper left arm, so he can't fiddle with it. Yesterday was the first since ICU that he expressed wanting any thing by mouth. I will speak with the powers today about where we are in terms of considering a swallowing test.

Can't believe its been 2 weeks we have been on this new journey in our lives.

07/11/2012 | Nancy
You look lovely in the picture Jen. I am glad you get out and do some nice things. What a nice view at the hospital. I hope the worst is behind for Al and you. Day by day, we hope for Al to get better.
Best Birthday Gift
Jennifer
07/10/2012, Kingston, Ontario

Despite the circumstances I had a lovely birthday. My day was full of birthday calls, cards and gifts. My Sister arranged for us all to meet at a down town restaurant (Pasta Shelf) for a dinner and I finished my meal with a huge slice of decadent chocolate cake ( I shared it).

Al's room mate and his wife had tickets to Mamma Mia but because Harold was too sick for a pass I was offered the tickets at a hideously reduced price. So after supper my friend Donna accompanied me to the KROCK to see the production. I fell asleep singing Abba and woke to SOS this morning after a sleep that would rival the dead.

Funny how the best gifts come in such non-tangible form. Yesterday Al sat bedside without incident. And he struggled a bit to find his new center of gravity, but Lisa his Physiotherapist talked him through where he needed to place his hand and what to work toward. After sitting up several minutes he was air lifted into his chair and we strolled to the sunroom and Al had a couple of visitors. We have now moved into goal setting, so the goal is to start sitting bed side once a day and get into the chair for longer periods, building strength and endurance. Lisa was very pleased with today. I was also excited and deemed the sitting success a highlight and my best birthday gift.

Al has developed an infection in his blood which is being treated with intravenous antibiotics. Seems there is a continuous circus of small things to overcome. His sodium and electrolytes are remaining stable and that is great news.

07/10/2012 | Mike

(SLURP!)

That cake looks yummie!

Great news that Al is making some discernable progress. It's only a matter of time before you can be back cruising and enjoying things together again.

Ain't it amazing what they can do in hospitals these days.
Aqua Terra
Jennfer- sunny and hot
07/09/2012, Kingston, Ontario

I took the weekend off from blogging. Al did a lot of sleeping and resting. Not much therapy happens during the weekend. The high light seemed to be the new Phillips shaver I purchased for him, it works well. Al was agitated during Saturday night and mucked around with his catheter which is irritating him. The sodium levels are where they should be and he is responding appropriately.

I was treated to a pre-birthday brunch yesterday at Aqua Terra, it was lovely. I am optimistic this week will shape into something good.

07/09/2012 | P&P
Happy Birthday young lady. Many more.
07/09/2012 | Tonia
Nice picture!! You all look beautiful!
07/09/2012 | Nancy
Happy Birthday!
Domino effect
Jennifer
07/07/2012, Kingston, Ontario


The brain is such a complex piece of machinery. If one thing is out of balance it creates a domino effect.

Today was a better day, Al was responsive and puckering for a kiss and was back to using some words. It turns out that Al's blood pressure was up so he was given a drug to help that but the choice of drug made the sodium levels in his body go very low. This was absolutely the cause of his lack of a willingness to engage in anything over the past three days. The drug was stopped and changed and this morning the improvement was mind-boggling. To quote a good friend, former employer who happened to have been an endocrinologist "Yes low levels of sodium can really cause great changes in brain and body function. Getting it back to normal will be a big help, and yes the pituitary and all parts of the brain do not like surgery. There is every reason to expect that as the swelling subsides and healing occurs, the gland function should return.". Charles just really confirmed what Dr. Wallace was telling me.

Asking about bringing in Miss B had become moot and I know once Al gets to rehab. she can visit. The day was sailing along smoothly until his physiotherapist Lisa with the aid of her assistant tried Al at sitting at the bedside again. Unfortunately he suffered a small seizure and so physio was aborted just for theday. He is fine now and seizuring is very common post surgery. This should not be taken as a set back. With the weekend on us again Al will rest and keep healing. The weekend will no doubt whiz by faster than a teenager past curfew with beer on her breath and we will be into a new week of therapy and progress.

07/07/2012 | P&P
Thank you Tony!! (We put a lot of stock in him from finding keys and glasses to just making the day go better). Jen, we are so happy to hear things are turning better for Al. Give him a special hug from us.
P&P
Fiona Margaret
Jennifer
07/06/2012, Kingston, Ontario

Fiona Margaret

Two floors below Al this is what you get. A floor that is full of cheer and hope for the future. It was a nice reprieve for me to go down and welcome little Fiona, her proud parents have been friends with my daughters since childhood where they all met as youngsters attending Camp Hyanto.

Al showed no signs of progress yesterday but he did get his PEG tube inserted which by days end he had managed to pop the cap off of spewing gastric fluid worse than a BP oil spill. Today I am determined to stay until I get to see Dr. Wallace, my list of questions is growing. Question number 5 is to ask if Miss Bridget might be allowed to make an appearance, I'm desperate to evoke some kind of emotional response. I had truly hoped I would be that stimulus but supposedly a "dog is a man's best friend". And I would concede that honour to |Bridget, if she could just get the ball rolling.

Kingston, Ontario
07/06/2012 | Nancy
That is a good idea Jen. What a sweet little baby you are holding. The dogs look so cute in your picture, I hope you got a better nights sleep last night.
Rollercoaster
Jennifer
07/05/2012, Kingston, Ontario


The last week has been quite a ride. I did not ride the bike yesterday because I stayed over at Kiley's. Bridget and Charlie both slept with me. For a 32 pound dog Charles can take up a lot of real estate. And I did not get a good sleep. I was already wiped and the heat would likely have put me over the top had I rode my bike. Briget has become quite close with Charlie and she does what ever he does. They are just hanging out on the bed together.

I arrived at the hospital to find Al had removed his own feeding tube during the night. A physician had been called to re-insert a new one. I was upset by this. Today he gets his PEG tube put into his stomach. It seemed a shame to put him through this insertion.

Yesterday was my unraveling day. I was quite emotional and losing my grip. I walked to SMOL to check on Al's consult request and then melted down in a good friend's office. My dear friend offered me a ride home. I had a good cry, a wee nap, ate some lunch glued myself back together and took the bus back to the hospital.

Al was more alert by the time I returned but would not communicate only by shaking yes or no, but not verbally. He went off to have a CT scan. The physiotherapist was trying to get him to participate in his physio as this is a requirement to be admitted to rehab. He was lifted into the chair and I took him to the sunroom for about 40 minutes. This was tiring. When he got back in bed he seemed to be trying to place his left leg out on the floor and was pulling up on the side rails. I rung his nurse to see if we could try to sit him bedside as this is what I thought he was wanting to try. The nurse was not keen to try but Dave, his strapping PCA (personal car assistant), supported trying just to keep Al motivated. So Al was sitting for a brief time, legs hanging down. He was not well balanced but he did help by hanging onto the rails and tried supporting himself. He is extremely weak after all he has been out of it for 7 days now. I felt this was a tiny step in the right direction.

This morning he is to have his feeding tube moved directly into his stomach (PEG). And I should hear today what the CT scan showed from yesterday.

Any one wanting to visit should hold off, really he is not visiting material. It is hard to tell if visitors perk him up or really just make his situation worse.

We are in a new day, lets see how this one goes.

Kingston, Ontario
07/05/2012 | Nancy
Wow, I can't imagine how difficult this is for both you and Al. He is very lucky to have you there to keep watch over him. I am glad to hear you got a little nap, you need to take care of yourself too. It's a lot and I know I would be in meltdown a lot. Good thing you have friends close by. Glad to hear you took the bus, you are too tired right now for riding. I hope things go better today.

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