I like to think of Uma’s brain aneurysm as a sneaky way for her to get me to devote my entire blog to her. (When Uma reads this post, she’s totally going to roll her eyes and be like, “you’re so self-centered, trying to make my damned brain aneurysm about your blog.”) Fine, Urp, you’ve won—let’s just go ahead and start calling this blog “Uma’s Year of New Things.” Now finish absorbing and draining the blood around your brain so you can wake the fuck up, okay?
The health update for today is that she’s still progressing in the right direction, but the blood has been draining slower than the doctors had hoped. Basically, when the aneurysm burst, blood leaked out all over her brain and got into all of her brain’s little crevices (obviously there are medical terms I’m missing here) and they need to get all of that freaking blood out of there. The fact that the blood isn’t located in one spot—it’s everywhere—makes it more difficult to drain. The blood can also be reabsorbed into Uma’s body, but there’s nothing the doctors can do to make that happen, so they’ve got tubes that are draining out some of the blood and hoping that Uma’s body will absorb what those draining tubes aren’t getting. As a result of this whole blood drainage issue (Urp, are you still reading this post, or have you gotten completely tired of me going on and on and on about your blood?), they are probably going to keep her in this induced coma state for an extra few days. Basically, they reassess that every day, based on how well all of the draining is going.
We’re still not out of the stroke danger zone—they do neurological tests every hour and so far, very very good: there has not been any stroke activity. The doctors say that days 5 through 7 are the riskiest in terms of stroke activity, so if you are a prayer and visualizer (and I know that many of you are) (and I think all of your good vibes have been working so far, so let’s keep ‘em up), then aside from visualizing blood draining from her brain area, we should also be visualizing no stroke activity.
The other thing to visualize is full recovery (that’s what I keep saying over and over again in my head: “full recovery, full recovery, full recovery”) and movement in the right side of Uma’s body. The good news is that she’s moving more and more. Even though she’s on sedatives, she’s like a little snake in that bed, wriggling about. (Urp, that just got me thinking, maybe this whole brain aneurysm thing is your sneaky way of getting me to finally pony up and get you that second tattoo I’ve owed you for, like, the last two years?) (Look—I’m making your brain aneurysm all about me again.) (But anyway—do you still want a snake? Just say the word and the snake tattoo is yours.) (Emphasis on “say the word,” i.e. let’s get this healing done so you can wake the fuck up, ok?) There’s lots of movement on her left side and a little bit of movement on her right side, and that little movement is very positive (especially considering the fact that she’s on so many damned sedatives).
She’s been coughing, which they take as a sign that she’s sick and tired of having the ventilator in. And this morning I saw her moving both of her shoulders in a kind of wild shrugging motion. Bo left me a message last night that made me laugh—I had left him a message telling him about Uma’s various movements and he said that when she finds out that we’ve been staring at her and keeping track of every time she freaking moves her hands and feet, she’s going to be so creeped out by us. (You are so right, Bo.)
But for now, we can’t care whether or not she’s going to be creeped out, because we’re too focused on letting her know how much we all fucking love her and can’t wait to see her smiling again. (It’s still a shock to see Urp lying in that hospital bed, with all of the tubes and such.) (It’s weird.) (But she has the most punkass new hairdo I’ve ever seen, and I totally think she’ll approve.) (We’ve had several conversations in the past about how we both agree that women with bald heads are very fucking hot, and the ‘do that Urp’s currently sporting is half-bald/half long, which is recipe for a wickedly cool Mohawk.) (And can’t you all picture Uma rocking the Mohawk?) (Seriously.)
The doctors have asked us to visit Uma’s bedside in short bursts, because she can sense us and she can hear us and everytime someone talks to her she gets excited—which they’re trying to quell because they need her to relax. But Aida noticed something today (or maybe it was yesterday, the days kinda blend)—when she went into the room for one of her short visits with Uma, Uma wasn’t moving much at all—but Uma was facing the opposite direction of Aida…and then Aida walked to the other side of the bed and stood in Uma’s sightlines and suddenly Uma started moving like crazy. So Aida told me about this and then I went in to have a moment with Uma and she was already kinda moving when I walked in there, but when I moved into her sightline she started moving even more—so I take those two tests as proof that she’s definitely registering our presence.
When we’re not in the room with Uma, Uma’s visitors sit in this little lounge immediately next door. We sit and we pray and think good thoughts, and we make phone calls to give people Uma updates, and we gossip about Tom and Katie (or “Kate,” as she’s known by Tom) and Cameron and Justin (because we have to keep up with the gossip because when Uma wakes up she’s gonna want to know what she missed in the world of Us Magazine), and we share Uma stories, and we eat and drink Starbucks, and sometimes we nap and zone out. The lounge room can be boisterous and it’s rarely empty—in fact, Ray (the son of the man in the bed next to Uma) commented earlier today that Uma’s family and friends have taken over the entire lounge area, “which is great, because none of you are from New York, but she’s so loved and all of you are here—my dad has a brother who lives around the corner who hasn’t even visited the hospital once.” It feels good to keep that room crowded and I know that Uma’s beloved fiancé John especially appreciates it. In the last few days, Uma’s Lounge (hey, since Uma’s hijacked the name of this here blog, she might as well hijack the name of the hospital lounge, too) has been filled by the likes of John, me, my mom, Uma’s mom, Uma’s dad, Uma’s uncle, Uma’s grandmother, Aida, Uncle Dan, Jason, Marie, and Mike. I know lots of friends are planning on visiting in the coming weeks, and that will be great. I have to go back to California on Sunday night, but John will be here, and Marie is here for the next week too, so I will pass along updates as I get them—and I should be back at the hospital by Thursday or Friday. Thank you for all of the hundreds of emails and phone calls (I haven’t been able to reply to all of the emails, but thank you for the messages and I am relaying them all to Uma) (even though we’re not supposed to talk to her right now because they want her to rest, whenever I get an email or a message, I write it down so I can tell Uma later, and as I’m writing it down, I think it really hard so that maybe Uma will “feel” the message) (I’m pretty sure it’s working)
Keep the praying and the visualizing and the well wishes coming.
Lots of love to you all.