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Shifting Rooms

November 18, 2014

Day 28:

I’ve managed to take quite a few days off from traveling back and forth to Eugene. Instead, I’ve been dealing with the mountain of laundry belonging to my brother and conversations with grumpy business landlords. On Monday Tom made a monumental improvement by being downgraded to “step-down” ICU. The next move will be a standard hospital room but that time frame depends on Tom’s improvements. He was so tired and groggy when we visited last afternoon. His body had gone through dialysis in the morning, PT, and the move to a different section on the 4th floor. They are continuing to have him eat on his own but with serious supervision and in a full upright position. No choking or gagging on anything! They also are using a low flow breathing device over his tracheostomy site. I seem to recall that he’s taking in about 20% of a breath through the site. He gets very frustrated with how he’s not able to communicate successfully yet. Maybe this week he will be able to do more with a different sized plug for the throat. The initial one caused a lot of coughing and wasn’t comfortable.

We did get the TV remote control in his hands and that certainly made him happy. Eventually I asked the right question to trigger a yes response. He wanted the TV on, but he wasn’t about to let me change the channel. He wants control and the ability to do things himself. We like seeing the fighting spirit! We asked if he wanted us to stay and his response was a clear NO. So, we left.

Our cold temperature continue. It really feels like February, not November! The big ice storm caused major tree damage all over the area, especially in the hills. I managed to craftily discover a big patch of black ice on the road while walking dogs Sunday. Fortunately I fell on my ass, bloodied my palm, and seriously pulled some back and arm muscles. Things are feeling better today. With long term stress, I’m not as aware of my surrounding or my body. On Saturday, while going over a fallen tree in the woods, I whacked my kneecap on a branch stub. Man, that hurt! Another huge contusion and cut. More pain than the hand injury 3 days before that! At least I’m not whacking my shin with a sledge hammer like I did 4 years ago when my mother was in hospital. That hurt for a really really long time!

I think today is a good studio cleaning day! Less injury potential. 🙂

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