Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Day 21!

Sorry it's been a few days since my last Uma update...they are going to be sporadic because of my current lack of computer.

The really good news is that Uma continues to improve neurologically and become more and more responsive every day. It's amazing to be in there with her and see every little improvement. She's doing a lot of smiling and a lot of frowning and furrowing of her brows. I think she's really tired of all of the poking and prodding.

Thank you for all of your hopes and prayers and good vibes and energy. I know that it's helping her get through this and all of the support has been amazing.

They did a chest CAT Scan yesterday which revealed that she still has pneumonia and that she has a staff infection--neither of these things are good, but they aren't unexpected either. Pretty much every patient who's in bed without moving for as long as Uma has been in bed without moving is expected to go through some of these things and they are treating her accordingly. Her most recent head CAT Scan didn't show any new swelling, so that's very good news. Today is DAY 21, which means that tomorrow Uma will officially be in the "safe zone," i.e. the lower risk zone for strokes. So that's a milestone we are very eager and excited to reach.
Please continue visualizing Uma speaking and understanding and having her memories--that's what we're really focusing our prayers on right now--we want Uma to come back to us in all her loving, snarky, funny, quirky glory. She has been swallowing, which is a good sign because the part of your brain that knows how to swallow is the same part of your brain that knows how to speak. How freaking weird is that? But it's true. So, I guess, today, when you're having lunch or dinner or a late night snack or whatever, it'd be cool if you could remember this whole swallowing/speaking connection, and when you notice yourself swallowing, take a second to picture/imagine Uma speaking. That would be cool--and now that I've written so much about swallowing, I have a feeling that you're going to have a hard time NOT noticing every time you swallow today. And now that I've used the word "swallowing," um, so many swallowing times, I'm starting to think about what Uma's response to this swallowing paragraph would be and I have a pretty good feeling that she would respond to this email with some irreverent, dirty comment, and if your mind has gone somewhere dirty because of all of this swallowing talk, that is completely and totally appropriate and Uma would be happy. Okay, so to summarize: every time you notice yourself swallowing today, visualize Uma talking. That would be rockstar.

Oh! Also: the doctors have said it's okay for Uma to listen to music, so John put all of her favorite songs on an itunes playlist and she's been listening to music on an ipod and she really seems to enjoy it and smiles every time a new song comes on! So please continue to do some dancing for Uma! Outkast or the Gorillaz or the Buffy soundtrack or Eminem--all completely appropriate Uma bands to listen to.


And here's John's email update from last night: (when i copy and paste it into blogger, the formatting gets all funky and words run together and i have no idea why that is and i don't feel like adding spacing and paragraph breaks right now because you're adults and you should be able to read it just fine.)

(the picture above is john and me at dinner the other night)
John's email:

hey there,the fatigue of this is finally catching up to me ithink.....or maybe it's the relief that for five daysin a row uma has been ok - at least ok in the sensethat she has not suffered another strok/vasospasm, her fevers etc. seem to be under control (today's was just99.5), her coughing is down and, even though she'sstill a little bit sedated she is responsive to manythings.before I fall asleep i really want to express my thanks to everyone for all the energy and prayers andemails and calls and cards we've received. when umahas fully come back to us she'll be amazed at all theresponse. thank you all.........and don't stop! tomorrow is day 21 and a very important one.pray....just see her with a normal flow of blood toevery part of her brain.....easy, uninterrupted, full,rich, efficient, alive, and healing.she had her cat scans today - one for her head and one for her chest. the one for her head looks good but wehaven't talked to a doctor about the one for her chestyet. they had a couple of pretty difficult cases comein and all the dr.s were in the operating room most of the afternoon and into the evening. we'll learn whatthe chest ct says tomorrow morning. i hope that thereduced fever is an indicator that the chest ct willbe ok, too. for those of you with little hospital experience, infections are rampant in there......allthose people indoors and all those compromised immunesystems.......what we really don't need right now is anasty staph infection. something like that could set her back several weeks and we need to get her to rehabjust as fast as is humanly or divinely possible.she did smile today and frown today - both bigger thanever. it's so difficult to tell if she really recognizes you or is smiling because she sees yousmile. i imagine her brain to be reeling still. wewon't really know where we stand for a long time ithink.it's odd.....i believe she and i had some nice moments together today. i felt an amazing sense of peace juststanding next to her and reminding her that she agreedto marry me (smile) that i want to go home soon andmake her dinner to eat in bed (smile) and watch the sopranos (BIG smile)......and then i showed her herengagement ring, let her hold in between her leftthumb and index finger (!), and then put it on her andshowed her her hand. she looked at it for what seemed like a long time and then back at me but this timewith what appeared to be a rather seriousface.......moments like that most of the day........sohard to know where we are with this. it can be reallylonely even though there are still many people here.....nithi, erik, eleanor.i was feeling deeply alone and deeply troubled today -i went to the chapel and prayed there, then cameupstairs to her bedside and prayed there - i wasreminded of the truth. my truths are that we are in a reltionship with a good foundation and some kind offuture = that she has really done nothing but amazeeveryone and improve just about everyday - that thereis a very solid structure in place to deal with the next step(s) - that we are supported and loved bythousands. every other thought right now is notreally a known truth. so i found my footing againwith the truth of my life as it is now.i hope we all wake up to yet another good day for her....no infectionno fevergood chest ctmore response (in whatever form)thanks very much to all of you.love


Toodles for now.


Sunshine said...

While reading the "swallowing" section, one of the little voices in my head yelled out, "C'mon, swallow for Uma now!" which strikes me as somewhat dirty.

So, this dirty thought's for you, Uma.

Oh, and one more thing -


Anonymous said...

I meant to post this ages ago, but its just as true today as it was when I meant to post it... so....

I'm in touch with as many of the PTB (Buffy/Angel ref to the "Powers That Be") as I can, on Ums behalf.
Big happy thoughts and love filled with draining blood...ahhh yes. Uma would appreciate that she's making us all visualize dark blood leaving and some healthy brainage. I can't wait for her to yell at us all for the love-fest.
SWALLOW. (Check that out...now she's making all KINDS of people happy.) ;) (I also like to think of Uma's sense of humor every time I have a dirty thought...been thinkin' bout her lots, therefore. :)

eleanor said...

I agree. Ums will be so surprised when she wakes to find that we all have been giving so much thought to the color of her brain drain and the act of her swallowing (hee hee).

But, I'm fairly certain she already does know what's going on and she's lying in that bed thinking: why the fuck are you all talking to me like I'm a child or an invalid. And stop holding my fucking hand. And stop telling me everything's going to be okay and just get these damn tubes outta me! And what's up with my hair?

It was so frustrating to tell her NOT to try to talk because of her trachiostomy when it seemed like she was trying. It was also frustrating for her, judging by the scowl she gave me every time I said that.

So, for now, let's will that staph infection and pneumonia away...