Tuesday, January 1, 2013

hospital update

Holidays are slow at the hospital. All expectations for tests, appointments, and referrals are on hold for a few more days, and with that, James may be in the hospital for a few more days. He is recovering at his own pace, starting to take in fluids and solids, but not enough to be granted a discharge pass. We will need need a nutrition plan in place to get James back on track with packing in the calories, and for supplemental nutrition during these frequent hospitalizations. James works really hard to maintain his weight at home, but it is becoming increasingly difficult with these nausea and vomiting episodes. Nonetheless, I don't think he will be able to escape the Transplant Gym tomorrow, inpatient or not. Exercise is all too important (and a natural appetite stimulant). We are also waiting on another home oxygen assessment, because James' blood oxygen saturation continues to decrease on exertion. All that being said, James is in good spirits, and the trend is definitely towards recovery and improvement. We don't feel a lot of worry or concern, because our focus is on getting through the days with as much positive energy as possible. We are fortunate to be surrounded by a wonderful transplant community, or rather, a transplant family. There is a lot of love and warmth all around us (and that is an understatement).

Last night, James and I both curled up in James' hospital bed, fell asleep holding hands, and discretely broke the "no overnight" rule (with the indirect permission of the nurse that closed the lights and curtains, and wished us a "good night"). Neither of us manage a lot of sleep during these hospitalizations. We were in agreement that we would rather be awake and together than wide-eyed and longing for each other. We both had a better night with the company of one another. It is clear that the nearness of loved ones are an essential part of healing (for both of us, that is). 

I came home for a few hours in the morning to find Ophelia in distress at my overnight absence. She was meowing and meowing (and meowing) while climbing all over me and licking my face. She proceeded to protest my overnight with James by following me from room to room and repeating this demand for affection and attention. She is now curled up by my side, asleep and content, with a false reassurance that I am staying home. I will be returning to the hospital in twenty minutes or so, but I cannot imagine spending another night. Ophelia has been very adaptable to all these transitions and changes, but it feels cruel to leave her alone for more than a single night. James and I are both so grateful to have a feline friend with us in Toronto. We could not have left her behind. With that, James went to bed last night wishing for his Bombay; a cat that would happily sleep under the covers in James' hospital room for days at a time.

Edit: I spoke too soon, or rather, I wrote too soon. In the short hour that I was gone from the hospital, James started to feel sick again. I returned to find him hugging a basin. I will write more soon, but for now, James needs a hand on his back.

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