Looking In On: Part 3

Dear Faithful Readers,

I have not been keeping this blog in hopes of gaining readership or to get the most “site visits” possible. I have simply been keeping it to help all of you stay informed, and to help myself in the process. My writing to you has been so very therapeutic. I thank you again for visiting this blog enough to keep me writing. I say this now because I noticed today that we’ve had almost 12,000 visits since I started writing. (Half of those visits have probably been from my Aunt Ninnie), but for the rest, it’s nice to know so many people care enough to check in so often.

David is shaping into a real boy these days. He’s losing some of his preemie look and his distinctive features are starting to show through. He’s also growing quickly. He’s growing so quickly, in fact, that they’ve had to put him on a diet. At first they restricted his caloric intake and now they’re giving him a diuretic every other day for at least the next few days. He has recently been retaining fluids, and although the doctors tried to hold off from giving him a diuretic as long as possible, they finally decided that it’s probably best for him. The major downside to the diuretic is David’s potential nutritional loss of things like sodium and potassium. To counterbalance this the nurses now supplement him with a little extra “S & P” in his feedings; they season him with a little extra salt and pepper, as they call it.

He is still on high-flow oxygen at 2 litres. Just so you’re aware of where he is and where he still has to go, David started out on 3 litres of high-flow. The docs weaned him last week to 2.5 litres, and then weaned him again a few days ago to 2 litres. He needs to get to 1 litre before he can be switched to low-flow. If all the other criteria I told you about have been met, David can go home on low-flow, although we would probably rather wait until he is completely free of any supplemental oxygen needs before we take him home.

What I’m saying that I can’t believe I’m saying is that the end is in sight. We can finally start to think of it, and that’s nice.

Dreaming of home.

David is doing so well at this point that I ask you to shift your positive thoughts for a moment over to my father. He came to Vermont from Virginia last week to meet David for the first time. Unfortunately he became sick with a fever and a cold as soon as he got here and spent four days trying to recover at our house. He and my mom returned home to Virginia on Friday morning and on Monday morning he was hospitalized with severe bacterial pneumonia. On Monday afternoon the doctor told my mom it was so severe in fact that he might not survive it. My sisters got the first flight home from California, my brother and his wife and their newly-born daughter drove up from Charleston, SC and first thing on Tuesday morning Graham put air in my tires, I packed a small bag and my pumping gear and I made the ten-hour drive home, stopping twice in hotel parking lots to pump from inside my car and calling Graham to ask about David and calling my sisters and my mother to ask about my dad.

I’m not telling you this for sympathy, or to make this whole “story” more dramatic, but simply to tell you the fact of it: that it could not have seemed more unreal, that seeing my dad lying there, sedated and ventilated on that hospital bed, and the deja vu of it all could not have felt more like just a bad dream. Because that’s what it does feel like, or maybe that’s what I’m making it feel like: “unreal,” until he gets better, at least, which is happening, slowly.

I visited my dad in the ICU as soon as I arrived on Tuesday night. He’s hooked up to the same machine that David was hooked up to, so I could read the monitors, which is the first thing I did. And I kept doing it. I kept looking at the monitors and watching the breathing line on the screen, and I watched it stream across until I reminded myself of something, that I wasn’t there to look at the same monitors I’ve been looking at for almost three months. I drove 700 miles to see my dad. I went there to look in on him, and to let him feel that I, and the rest of his family, was there.

Out of respect for my siblings, my mom and my dad’s family all the way over in England I don’t need to give any details, like the details I give for David. I don’t need to talk about what he looked like and what the potential diagnosis could be. That’s too personal for more people than just me right now, and too sensitive.

After our visit on Tuesday night we all went home to my parents’ house and enjoyed a bonus evening together. On Wednesday morning I went to visit my dad once more. I left my dad’s bedside at 9:30am and made it the 700 miles back to David’s bedside by 9pm, just in time for his feeding. David never even knew I was gone.

And so with that, I ask for more good thoughts for David, and for my dad. We don’t even need good thoughts. Maybe just take a deep deep breath, and focus on it, and think of how good it feels.

Breathing feels pretty good.

J & G & D

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16 thoughts on “Looking In On: Part 3

  1. Jane, I am sorry I missed you at the hospital. I stopped in to check on your Dad and Kate said that you had just left. I am so glad you are home safely with Graham and David. I can only imagine how hard it was for you to leave everyone. Just as you have seen all the prayers being offered up for David being answered, we know that there are many praying for Terry and we must trust that those prayers will be answered. With each deep breath I take, I will say a pray for healing forTerry and one for David’s continued improvement.

    With much love,
    Connie

  2. Hi Jane –
    Have been following your updates – so happy to hear that David continues to grow and improve! So sorry to hear about your Dad – thoughts and prayers go out to your entire family.
    What a journey this has been for you all – puts to many things into perspective!
    Lori

  3. Dear Jane,
    Norman and I will be thinking of your father and wishing him a complete and quick recovery. So strange, pneumonia, and so sorry you have had such a scare. Let us know about his recovery soon!
    Love from
    Judy and Norman

  4. Jane and Graham

    I have been saying lots of prayers for baby David. I have added your Dad to them. You can’t believe how many people are praying and thinking of him and of your Mother. We will watch over her so don’t worry about that. We are sending all our positive thoughts and breaths to David and Terry. I can’t wait to meet the little guy.

    Ninni

  5. Jane and Graham, Everyone appreciates that you write this blog to get the info out to the MANY interested friends and family who love you guys so much and care about David. If you didn’t write a blog, you wouldn’t be able to function because we would all be asking the same questions over and over by phone, email, text and dropping by – scary thought. Your support squad of friends is HUGE> It is so nice to have a source to get the updates – what a bonus to have it be so riveting and well-written The number of visits is no surprise because you bring us right into your experience. We learn, we laugh, we cry and we cheer for David.

    And now we are cheering for your dad – collectively sending love, light and positive healing his way. The timing of all this seems impossibly hideous. We promise not to bug you if you need a break from writing, and will be gladly read anything you feel the need to write about during this time. Relieved you made it safely to VA (and back) to be with your family. Much love, CP

  6. Jane/Graham,
    First of all, thank you for the update on David. He looks wonderful and soon he will be get to breath the fresh air of Norwich,
    meet is 4 legged friends, and snuggle between his loving parents, anytime he wants. He is so adorable, I can’t believe how much he has grown.
    On another note, Peter and I will be saying a prayer for your Dad. His bacterial pneumonia is sureal, you and Graham have had to face way too much in such a short period of time. People say “God” doesn’t give you more than you can handle, but honestly, this is beyond belief.
    I pray your family stays strong and keeps faith.
    Love and Prayers,
    Diane & Peter

  7. Oh Jane & Graham,……….” These are the times that try men’s souls “….. Holy cow !…..ENOUGH !……..Murray and I imagine that your Father, Jane, was so focused on putting breath into David that he quite forgot himself……We’re sure that knowing David is progressing well will allow him to focus on himself once again, and breath well ……..David looks so squeezable and dear……Here’s hoping for a photo of your Dad embracing David as they each take in deep, refreshing breaths…….Best love to you and all of your family…………Murray & Karen

  8. Jane, Just to let you know that prayers are also being said here in Spokane! That being said, it is wonderful to hear that David is progressing so well, and that SOON he will be home with you and Graham. Prayers are being added for your father…our hearts go out to you and your entire family. Lynda & Joe Zappone

  9. Jane, thanks again for keeping us all up to date-we treasure your updates, photos are awesome and so is that handsome little man, David. So sorry to hear about your Dad’s illness. No question you have two strong men in your life-both struggling to breath. David, perhaps not so sure why he’s doing this, just beginning to figure out how important Mom and Dad are to him. Your Dad knows why he’s got to keep breathing-many of those reasons surrounding him with love and encoragement just when he needs it the most. Your strength, your love for these two special men are a good part of the reason they are doing, and will continue to do, so well. Don’t ever underestimate that. There is nothing stronger in this world than a Mom in crisis mode. Don’t forget that man standing beside you-he’s a pillar of strength for you to lean on when you need to-he’s ‘got your back’ . You guys are an incredible team. We’ll keep you all in our thoughts and prayers. Love, Jane and Glenn

  10. It was incredible that you drove down, and I was glad to be with you for even a little while. You can’t imagine how many people care about your family and are praying for David and now Terry. I hope I can be of help to your mom and anything you need, I’m right there.

  11. Hi Jane, Graham, and David-just got home last night from Scotland spending such special time with Megan, Aurora, and Gar and Chuck when they were there. Tears come so easily these days for good things and sad things, and all things. LIfe is more than precious…there are no magic words for anything we live through, no matter the challenges of all that is well, and then not so. It is what it is. Chuck and I send you all sincere and heartfelt thoughts-

    David looks so perfectly awesome-make room in that crib for Aurora! David will surely be home by the time she gets to Vermont!!!!

    Peace and Love-

    Betty and Chuck

  12. Dearest Jane,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dad. He is a true character & those sarcastic Brits are tough. We have been thinking of you, Graham & David – we will continue to do so & love your updates.

    As for your dad, we send well wishes, thoughts, strength & love. Your mum is in our thoughts too as we wish her strength to support him. It’s great that you all were able to make the journey to visit – the support you gave Terry & Ginger is priceless.

    Our fingers & paws are crosses for you all!

    Love,
    Michelle, Jamie, Harper & Ritter

  13. Take refuge in what you already know: that things change, change, change — are always changing. You have been so clear-sighted in your processing of David’s changes. I send love your way to help you be the same way with your dad. So much love, Jane!

    ~e

  14. Jane – I do hope that this post finds your dad fighting fighting fit and David headed for home. I well remember the 7 day countdown on A’s & B’s and making it to day 6 several times in a row.

    Prayers for you guys and again, thanks for bringing me ‘through the doors’ for the first time since we left the ICN at DHMC. It’s made a difference.

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