July 11, 2009

The Waiting Game

My FIL has still not regained consciousness, but he's moving on both sides of his body. He had a big bleed on the left side of his brain, so they worried about stroke-like damage to the right side of his body, but he's moving those limbs. Jrex said that without waking up, and while still on the vent, Dad K kept trying to put his legs over the bed rails to get up. He turned his head at the sound of Mom's voice. All are really good signs. He is breathing a bit on his own, despite the vent. They hope to wean him off relatively soon.

That's the good news.

Ready for the bizarre medical trivia? This is kinda gross, so you might want to skip to the next paragraph... So. They removed part of Dad K's skull to relieve pressure from his brain swelling. In hopes of reinstalling the skull bone, they need to store it somewhere. Guess where they keep it? Graceful, who is a rehab doc, answered, "In the tissue bank. Right?" No. They put it into his abdominal muscles to keep the cells alive. Jrex thought that would only be for a month or two at the most, but they just told him it might be for 4-5 months. Which gave us a glimpse at how long and slow this process might be...

Jrex and his sister know they'll remain until at least Wednesday. That's when his Mom goes to the eye doctor to have her stitches removed. She had glaucoma surgery two days before Dad's fall. She can't see for crap out of her one eye and was under strict orders to rest for two weeks so the second eye would heal better than the first one did. Depending on Wednesday's exam, Jrex will know if he needs to stay another week to support his Mom if she still can't drive or cook or read or do anything visually based.

Which has HUGE implications. Mom K can't deal with the whole house by herself. Dad K might need to be in a rehab facility for a while. They have a ton of stairs just to get to their living quarters. My father reminded me not to jump bridges before I come to them, but Jrex and I can't help thinking about all the possibilities. Do they sell the house and move to LA to be near their daughter while Dad K recovers? Do Jrex and YJ take turns flying to New York throughout this process? For how long? As Jrex said, if this was happening locally, he could be in lab most of the day at this point and check in during evening visiting hours (during the day, the ICU only allows visitors from 11:30-12 noon). As it is, Jrex's life is on hold with little hope of any sudden, rapid changes in his father's status.

As for me, I'm doing fine overall. That said, I've realized all my single friends are right and being on your own does kinda suck. I've had lots of phone calls, lots of stuff to do, but it's really hard to go to sleep. It's hard to not have someone there in the quiet hours. No quantities of friends or phone calls replace the one best friend. Sigh. It might not be so bad if I didn't have 12 years of habits and emotional enmeshment with one other person, but it's not so fun.

Thank you all for your kind words, thoughts and prayers. It has helped to feel surrounded by so much care and concern.

8 comments:

Rachel said...

It's so hard to be in medical limbo with a loved one. It's good to hear that your FIL is showing some signs of recovery.

I hope JRex is able to work things out so that he can care for his parents without derailing his life completely.

I am thinking of you. If you need to talk, send me a message on Facebook.

NGS said...

I do hope your family works things out. I'll keep you in my thoughts.

mary said...

Wow. they kept it in his abdominal muscles? that's hecka hecka crazy. man, i wish the best for your in laws.. and for you too. my house is open if you ever want to visit/sleep over. we have a nice comfy futon. haha. =)

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the thorough update.

It's natural to feel helpless and hopeless -- but Christians don't have to be trapped in despair. Expect miracles.

Snickollet said...

I'm so happy for the good news, but I hear you on the limbo and the disruptions to routine/transition to the "new normal." You've got lots of friends sending lots of love, for what it's worth.

Lil Sis said...

I'm glad things are showing positive signs towards recovery, albeit slow, but that's good. I will continue to keep you all in my prayers.

Lots of love,
lil'sis

mplscuz said...

Mom - just mentioned this last night...so I caught up on your posts. So sorry to hear about the recent events...you and your family are in my prayers.

Inkling said...

Thanks for updating us. You guys are in our prayers. And I know what you mean about the sleep thing, and our marriage is only three years old. So I'll pray for that too. I can imagine after over a decade together, this would be pretty tough. Well, a six month old is trying to type....better go and play with him.