Sunday, December 30, 2012

holidays in the hospital

As many of you know from "James' Quest For Lungs" on Facebook, James spent a large portion of the holidays in the hospital. James' resilience remains as remarkable as always, along with a positive attitude to compliment his enduring (and seemingly infinite) optimism. He is always moving forward with complete acceptance of the recent past and readiness for the distant future. He finds the light in the hardest of moments and warms my heart with these sweet reminders. 

James and I spent a wonderful Christmas Eve with my father's family that was reminiscent of James' childhood memories. He relished in the joy of being surrounded by the comfort and warmth of family, and the constant demands of canine and feline affections. Unfortunately, James awoke Christmas coughing green and hugging a basin. We opened presents and stockings between ice packs, back rubs, and a competing pile of Kleenex to wrapping paper. He slept for a while on the couch to be near the family, but by the afternoon, James was feeling miserable. The on-call medical team gave recommendations to head towards the emergency department back in Toronto for a highly probable admission on Christmas day. 

In all honesty, I was disheartened. I have the previous experiences to know that lung disease does not take a holiday, but I continue to hold out for hope of a different future. James was promptly admitted onto the transplant floor and given the luxury of a private room for those on isolation precautions. A few days later, James was discharged from the hospital, and back at home to snuggle in bed with me. It was then that James turns to me, and with all the reassurance in the world, remarks, "You know, I really did have a nice Christmas." That, right there, is James. He can always find the light (and without the need for conscious effort). 

The following day, James was re-admitted through the ER by ambulance. It had taken almost thirty minutes and the kindness of strangers to get James home from the hospital in his wheelchair a few days earlier, because of escalating snowbanks and uncleared sidewalks. We couldn't venture across the street to the ER alone without a personal shovel or wheelchair snowplow. We wouldn't have made it very far, and James needed some immediate attention. The paramedics were exceptional. We truly appreciate the generosity of simple kindness.

James was given a quiet and dark room to find some comfort and sleep. We were pleased to learn that his lungs remain clear from infection and fluids. The gastrointestinal concerns are similar to the past: a form of pseudo-blockage that is common in Cystic Fibrosis. James has had previous repeat episodes that seem to accompany his low lung function and weight status. This is an unpleasant, but familiar path. We will be able to wade through together.

That's all for now. I will continue to update. Thank you to everyone for your prayers and warm thoughts. We feel so grateful and humbled by all of your love. (Our wall of love continues to grow back at home. You can message us here or on Facebook for our address to contribute). Please continue to share our story to help spread the word about the importance of organ and tissue donation.


  1. I have just started reading about James from one of my friends fb page and My thoughts and prayers go out to the both of you. What a journey he has been on . He is an inspiration to so many. This is the time for miracles ,and I hope he gets his very soon.

  2. James and Adena,
    You are both a continuing inspiration and warm presence in our lives. From our first "meeting" (when you were scared of Keith! - for good reason :)) to the great conversations I have had with you, Adena while we share time waiting. All we can do is continue to have faith, pray for strength and patience (!), and continue to take care of our precious boys. Soon. Very soon.

  3. I barely know you guys, but feel such a connection. I'm always thinking of you and love our chats at TGH. Come see me anytime while in hospital and I have a feeling we will stay in touch for a long time to come.
    xoxo Jess