Tuesday, 10 March 2009


Well I don’t have the best news for you all. Paul was transferred to the Intensive Care unit of UCH yesterday. He had been struggling a bit with his breathing and had been requiring more oxygen – more than they can give on the Haematology ward. That coupled with the severe sickness and therefore lack of sleep meant he was just too knackered to keep going. Anyway I got a call at about 1 AM and they told me that Paul had asked them to call me and tell me that they would probably intubate him by the morning. This means that they sedate him by pumping him full of morphine and a paralysis drug, put a tube into his lungs and inflate them artificially. This is exactly what happened to him when he was admitted to the ICU at Whipps in November and for those of you that remember the aftermath it was really horrible for him and I know he must be pissed off it’s happened again.

But the upshot is he needs the support and what amazing support it is. The doctors today said that the CT scan showed signs of infection in the lungs which was pretty much inevitable because of his lowered immunity. I guess that, because his lungs were in a bit of a shambolic state, he is not so well equipped to deal with such an infection. So they are giving him a broad spectrum of antibiotics and just monitoring him .I won’t go into all the details of saturation levels etc (believe me I’m almost a bloody expert on these things now) but he has improved over the day – something that didn’t happen so quickly at Whipps. It’s strange because, although it was horrible going up there today on the bus and I had sick butterflies careering around my tummy throughout the journey, when I got there it felt so familiar that I soon relaxed. When I saw my Paulie lying there it seemed ok, it’s still Paulie, he’s still here and he’s still fighting……….

It’s not the best news but let me reassure you that things have been more desperate than this. His life has been more on a knife edge. When one of the doctors said to me today “I don’t want to labour a point but I you have to know I sick he is” I did say “ Well in all honesty, I have seen him worse!”

I’ve been thinking about the chant. When I went in today it felt like I was being fast tracked in a time machine to this time last November when he was lying in the ICU unit of Whipps. The same machines bleeping , the same wires pumping stuff in, taking stuff out, the same figures, numbers, percentages ever changing on the screens. And one of things I found myself saying almost automatically was ‘Miraculous Recovery’. I used to whisper that over and over to him, till I was almost speaking in tongues, when he was sick before. So I’m wondering if that ought to be the chant now. It covers it all doesn’t it? The lung thing, the cancer thing the everything really.

I’m also wondering if I should let you in on something else as well….Oh ok it feels personal but I guess when you start a blog you may as well embrace the blogging way. Since Paul has been ill I have been saying that I have this vision of me him Cass and Kits on a beach somewhere, I don’t know where – it might be Thailand but is more likely Margate. But we are all together and there’s a lazy, hazy summer breeze and the sea is smacking the shore and our knees and the sand is crunching between our toes and our teeth and there’s ice cream and chips and sandcastles and tea and everything is ok. We have been fantasising about that moment so I’m thinking that perhaps when you are saying ‘miraculous recovery’ you can think of a beach too. Your own beach or ours or even just a sea breeze but it might help to focus the white light………

It’s not great news but it’s the not the worst. Keep chanting and keep believeing that the stubborn Scotsman will get better.

Wll keep you posted
H and P xxxxxxxxxxx


  1. There's this beach in Cyprus, I used to go there alot to think things over, it was one of my favourite places, as soon as I have written this I will close my eyes and be sat there along with you, Paul and the kids....‘miraculous recovery’,‘miraculous recovery’,‘miraculous recovery’,‘miraculous recovery’,‘miraculous recovery’....Pxxx

  2. Oh, Hannah - and kids, we're all thinking of you. Empathy tears keep pricking my eyes, but you don't need them. You need chanting of miraculous recovery, and strength - both of which you have in spades. And you can borrow some if you need more.