Monday, February 22, 2010

When Doctors Do Happy Dances

Feb. 22, 2010

Leslie here!!! Hey everybody!! So I'm back to (somewhat) of a normal routine; though I've been reorganizing my commutes/day/life/etc. so that I can be near Mark to help out around the house and help with his recovery. It's going well and (for the most part), Mark is an outstanding patient. HE may think that his progress isn't that great, but let me tell you, I feel like I've got my man back!! Yeah, he walks around a little slow, but so what...HE'S WALKING...and joking, and laughing and complaining and being silly, and loving, and me, that's fanfreakingtastic!!

So I've started to devise some household systems for him that will A. make his life much easier and help to make his environment less complicated to navigate, B. set habits in place that keep his house (and him and his visitors and myself) as germ free as possible, C. Weather he likes it or not, I'm revising his very "bachelor-esque" way of organizing his laundry.

He can't really tackle the stairs in his house, so he can't go down there to do laundry anyway, so the system is under my attack and the articles will be clean, organized and brought UPSTAIRS and actually put away in places where he can easily access them, (i.e. like drawers and closets as opposed to oddly organized piles on a table in his basement "manroom").

Yes, Mark has/had a "manroom" in his basement. For those that don't know - Manroom definition: any place that a man exiles himself to do deceidedly "manly" things like play video/computer games, hang neon beer signs, play pool or air hockey or any other "please don't put that in the dining room" type of game; a place to work on/create/build/take-apart/invent structures for various uses, i.e. a "workshop"; (and in some cases, but not Mark's, house inordinate amounts of action figures, posters and comic books).

All of Mark's computers and gadgety things WERE downstairs in his manroom, his friends (while Mark was still in the hospital), have since moved many of these things upstairs into the now "office" so that he can easily access everything; and since he used to spend the majority of his time in his manroom, his laundry-logic was to just keep all articles of clothing in the basement, organized in piles on the table so he could easily and efficiently grab what he needed. Well, times have changed and the upstairs closets are going to start getting used. :)

So yeah, he's doing amazingly well. He keeps listening to his docs, and is staying on top of all of his physical therapy and general care. The hospital shipped an enormous amount of medical supplies to his place that we've yet to find a civilized way of organizing, (they're currently just sitting in boxes in the dining room because there's really just so much of it, it's kind of overwhelming). They've even sent us a suction machine. (NOTE: people with Trach's have to get occasional suction if their lungs are producing any kind of fluid. When Mark was in the hospital we had to have this done repeatedly (like about a dozen or so times a day), and in the time that he's been home, I think I've helped him with it maybe three or four times total, which is AWESOME. I'm telling you all, that trach's days are numbered).

I've also sufficiently changed and cleaned the whole trach apparatus for him and I gotta say; you'd think it'd be more gross, but it's not at all!!! It's actually kind of interesting and cool. I think he panicked about it once, when we were cleaning it and he got his first glimpse of what it looks like without the tube in it, and it startled him a little, but it was fine. We got it cleaned and put back in; easy peasy.

What's interesting too is how the two of us have changed in the six weeks he was in the hospital. I've had no choice but to become a much more patient person; and he's now nudged the other way, and is less patient, but it's mostly with his own progress. I keep reminding him that Rome wasn't built in a day and that he's doing great. Either way, with whatever emotion that seems to come out of either one of us, we somehow inherently know how to balance each other out in a way that is so constructive. I think we make a pretty kick ass team.

His feet are still doing the fluid-retention-swollen thing; and to date, it's the most irritating thing for him. That's really why he's forced to walk so slowly; it's because his feet are at least two sizes bigger than they normally are. Oddly, the rest of him is not. At the beginning of all of this he weighed about 225; and today he's down to 206. As he expressed to me yesterday, "I can FEEL the weight falling off of me". This is odd too since, he is constantly hungry and is constantly eating. (I'm not exaggerating when I say he eats 2 breakfasts a day, 2 lunches and 2 dinners every day). We suspect this has a lot to do with the huge array of medications he's on; but I believe at today's doctor's appointment that's one of the questions on his list. Stay tuned.

He was getting a bit of cabin fever yesterday so I took him out for the first time in a while. Nowhere major, we just went to get the car washed; off to payless to see if they had shoes in his swollen-feet size (14 or 15 is what we were guessing), then off to Target and the dollar store to stock up on hand sanitizers and other essentials. He was exhausted when we got home but really happy that he'd gotten to venture out. OH, and he got to devour a Chicago-dog; he was quite honestly a very happy man, especially after that part of the day. Then even more so later on in the evening when Christian, Sandy and Jimmy came by and we watched the prelim U.S. vs. Canada Olympic Hockey game complete with pizza and wings. He was all smiles by the end of the evening.

Me? I'm discovering very domestic aspects about myself that I've never really fully explored before; and I'm finding that I like them. Shocking. Artsy-city chick likes to successfully run a household and take care of her man. Who'd a thought? It has everything to do with Mark though. If it makes him happy or more comfortable, I'm on it and I'm excited to do it. Meals, laundry, naptime, showers, medications, dressings changed, tv shows/movies, whatever...bring it on. Like I said we make a pretty great team and I'm pretty positive that we bring out the best in each other.

So onward and upward you guys. And I just got a text from Mark (and from Jimmy) telling me that today at Mark's doctor's appointment, that Dr. Odenike came by and did a happy dance about his progress; and told Mark that it "made her year" when he was released!!!

Wow. Just wow.

Love to you all.