Monday, 23 March 2009

slowly but surely

It’s been a good few days. Paul is steadily making progress and the Doctors are really pleased with the way he is fighting back. I think they are genuinely amazed that one minute he is critical and the next he is sitting up in a chair. Of course I have seen it all before!.....

The plan is still to rest him at night but push him a little in the day by reducing the pressure support from the ventilator to exercise his lungs more. He is also able to speak occasionally when they deflate the cuff in his tracheostomy – not entirely sure what a cuff actually is but when it’s up (filled with air) he can’t talk and when they it’s down he can. The Doc was tickled to hear he had a Scottish accent and it’s lovely to hear him talk again. The Chemo docs are also really pleased with his progress. His White Cell count is back up to normal again and his glands are still down and the Lymphoma rash that covered his body is much better. They said they could start the second cycle of Codox –M as soon as he is off the ventilator but that there was no rush. It’s always such a relief when doctors stop talking urgencies and are more relaxed in their terminology. Here are a few ways to tell a Doctor has stopped considering the mortality of your loved one as a distinct possibility:

They stop saying if and start saying when.

The look of serious gravity on their faces is replaced with occasional gaiety (In fact some Doctor’s don’t even look like the same person when they are in Good Doc mode).

They progress from no physical contact whatsoever (when your loved one is seriously ill), to laying a hand gently on your shoulder or arm (when your loved one looks like they might make a recovery) to patting you on the back in a jolly manner (when your loved one is sitting up reading the Guardian).

They actually smile.

We have seen a lot of smiles on faces of late so that really can’t be bad can it?

As far as how he is in himself – which I have been asked again by a few people - it’s complicated. He’s obviously pleased with his progress but it’s hard to get excited about anything when you are that knackered and poorly. I can really understand his tunnel vision and complete focus on getting better – I’m not sure I would have the same level of mental discipline and it truly is awe inspiring. I have said to him I have no idea how hard this must be for him. I can try to imagine but I’m sure it doesn’t come close. I have bleated on for years about how tough labour is but even childbirth seems like a broken nail compared to what he’s going through. But his mood has definitely lightened over the last few days. He’s got his i-pod and he’s got the radio so he can listen to the footie. He slept very well last night for the first time since – well since I can remember and he’s looking forward to the possibility of getting out of ITU in a week or so and back up to the 13th floor.

He also might be able to see the kids soon which will be amazing. I took a picture of Paul for them on my phone and Cass was quite intrigued by the lack of hair and I said “But it’s not that different to how he normally looks and Cass said “but he’s more shiny” so I told him it’s ok because his hair will grow back soon and he started wailing (which I didn’t expect) and he explained through his sobs that he “Wants to see Daddy’s head when it’s all shiny!”. Bless!

Yawn - have to go and make 30 pairs of bunny ears now - cripes that's one way of taking my mind off things........

H and Pxxxxxx


  1. Lovely news - and they are being smiley 'cos they are happy I guess! Inappropriate jokes next I expect.
    Oh - and 30 ears, the whole class? A sort of bunny hop play? Mind boggles.

  2. My mum's going in to UCH on Monday, will be in intensive care after her operation on Tuesday. All a bit scary but do tell Paul to keep an eye out, although suspect both too ill for chats.

  3. I know that the staff on the 13th floor will be really pleased to have him back. I keep getting enquiries from the nursing staff when they're off duty to see how Paul's doing. As for the cuff, it's up for positive pressure ventilation to prevent air leaks, aspiration of fluid etc onto the lungs. When the cuff is down it allows air to pass over the vocal chords and hooray hear Paul's voice again! So that's great news and should mean a much closer step to having the trache out- weyhey! Fantastic news, Paul is quite clearly made of steel and you Hannah amaze me every day. Lots of love Natalie xxx