September 19th 2006, Breathing Lessons

September 12, good times

I have developed a list now and every night I send an email message out into the universe to all the people who care about Terry. Hopefully, everyone is not sick of the updates. This feels like going to the movies and waiting for the happy ending, sometimes it takes a while. It feels like we’re in the part of the scary movie where everyone in the audience is either holding their breath or screaming at the dumb high school couple to stay in the car. I’m waiting to see what happens next too.

Today was a great day, after some discussion this morning the doctors decided to risk taking out the tube down Terry’s throat that was supporting his breathing. He was breathing on his own—they think—but his lungs were such a mess they wanted to give him all the help they could with extra oxygen, hence the tube down the throat.

The tube was obviously distressing him so it was better to risk pulling it out at this point. I came back in to the ICU after taking a break while they removed the tube to find a guy I finally recognized–and one who was much, much happier. He is still not all the way out of the woods but today he had his eyes open for long periods of time and he even managed to croak out hello when asked. I think he is all together in there and I am so happy about it.

Every time we went somewhere with a hill, Terry parked my bike for me because I don't do heavy and backwards real well. This shot is at St Helen's with a whole pack of friends.

The analogy would be that he is stuck in a tent taking a nap and he can’t find the zipper to get back out. We know he’s in there—and we can’t show him the zipper, he has to find it to get out and reconnect with us. He’s making great strides and we are all really happy about it. We still have a very long way to go but seeing him actually take a real nap and snore because he was finally comfortable just about made me cry.

He’s still very restless, you can tell his back is killing him and that he hurts all over in spite of the epidural. He is the color of an eggplant from the back of his knees to his neck and I cannot imagine how that must feel.  He kept trying to grab the line that was in his nose and yank on it so I spent an energetic day keeping that from happening. He managed to scratch his nose, his ear and his itchy beard in spite of the fact that he has on a collar. His neck has some little fractures on the flanges on the side–doctors say no big deal he doesn’t need the flanges that much but the collar helps them heal. I’m saying a prayer that tomorrow is even better. We are starting to think about being able to come home sometime next week.

I love this shot of vibrant healthy Terry. This was the day he started construction on my fabulous studio building.

Terry will most likely be transported to the rehab center at Providence St Peter Hospital, but I still don’t know enough yet to come up with any solid answers about the future. I’m taking it one day, one hour, one minute at a time.

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