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28 February 2006

This is my way

I don't know what to say to all you people.  Thank you, I guess, is the biggest thing.  Your thoughts and prayers, advice and well wishes, I'm reading them with tears streaming down my cheeks and I'm just speechless -- with a very full heart.  Thank you.

I went to the hospital late this afternoon to see Michael, my brother.  My SIL had been there most of the day, of course.  My mom was there, and her husband had arrived shortly before I did.  Michael had only arrived in the Critical Care Unit a few minutes earlier.  It's just like in the movies or on TV -- his head is bandaged, of course, and he has monitors and tubes everywhere, including a breathing tube.  There's a monitor specifically to measure the pressure in his brain.  They don't want to see it go over 20; it didn't go over 10 while I was there, and was mostly 8 or 9.  Besides the accoutrements of having had brain surgery, and other than a couple of scrapes on one foot, some scratches on his hands and a few (barely noticeable) across his nose, you wouldn't guess that he'd emerged from the crinkled, crumpled junk pile that was his car.  A sheriff on the scene said that in 30 years, he'd never before spoken to someone who emerged from such a wreck.

Ugh, my head hurts from this day, from trying to be strong, from being the "other mother," and my jaw hurts, too.  Talking, mom, talking, sisters, talking, aunt, talking, more sisters!  And I talked to dad again. Not only is my uncle the flight nurse out in Oregon fishing, so is my uncle the retired doctor.  I know that Michael's condition will be closely monitored by watchful eyes.  So much information to process.  We are very fortunate to have some expertise on our side.  Mom is a retired surgical nurse and I could see her putting on her professional persona -- checking the the stats and dials and tubes and whatnot -- able to be more objective at times.  Then she'd remember that it is HER son in the bed; see his wife, his sister; know that the outcome is all over the map at this point.

As it is, it's pretty scary.  But his eyes fluttered when he was spoken to, and he squeezed his wife's hand in the "special way" they have that brought tears to her eyes and let her know that he's still hers.  They hope to remove the breathing apparatus tomorrow.  He was quite restless and thrashing around -- I'm sure quite disoriented -- he didn't remember the accident -- and due to concern about further injury to his spine, they were going to sedate him a little more this evening, try to keep him calm.  I'll be spending a good part of the day there tomorrow.

There are freaky coincidences...  My boss who knows exactly what we're going through because his sister suffered very similar trauma quite a few years ago; she had lasting physical reminders as well as some measure of brain damage.  My stepmother who knows, too, because her son suffered brain trauma some years ago -- he was in a coma for a week -- from which he made a 100%, full recovery.

Here's how I'm calling this one.  I don't know exactly when they're going to remove that tube from my brother's mouth and I don't know when he's going to really wake up and be coherent.  When he does, though, he's going to have that goofy grin on his face and give that goofy laugh and he's going to say something incredibly wry and dry and funny.  I can't wait.

Thank you again.  No doubt I'll be back sooner rather than later.  This is my way, to write it down and try to make sense and make it real, make it be logical.  Blah blah blah.  This time it's in a living-out-loud kind of way.

My brother, the plastic surgeon -- giving Barbie doll a breast reduction by vigoriously scraping her boobs across the sidewalk.

Comments

Praying for you and your family. I'm so sorry.

The news sounds relatively good and I'm glad to hear it. xox

Ok. More about my boss. His wife, actually was the most injured in the accident. She lost two weeks. Doesn't remember them. Just so you're prepared, Vicki. But fully recovered, dear. and on the ball now. I think they kept her sedated so she could heal. So keep on keeping on. We are all sending our best thoughts to you and your family.

I'm so relieved to hear that things are looking hopeful. Know that many are sending good thoughts and wishes your way.

this is such good news in your day of horrible news ---- be sure to take care of yourself as you are busy looking after everyone else.

Hi Vick...hang in there. Your brother could be waiting for your goofy grin, too! We are still praying for him and your family.

Oh Vicki. It sounds like he is in very good hands--both medically and emotionally. I will continue to keep you all in my thoughts and prayers. Can't wait to read about the goofy smile!

Ah, that is the healthiest way. I love hearing the story about your mom the former surgical nurse putting on her professional persona. Man, when I was in that situation, I was just a big lump there -- couldn't be of any help and couldn't feel useful. You and your family have such a good support system going there, and it sounds like all the good signs are there. I'll be anxious to hear more.

(HUGS) You sound like you're doing okay under the circumstances and hanging in there for your brother. He's so fortunate to have such a great family to support him through this ordeal, and I hope that you all are smiling soon.

Oh my god - the special handshake. Thank you for telling us that. I feel in my heart he will be fine. Like Ann said, take care of yourself - or have Rusty take care of you - while you're taking care of everyone else.

I'm smothering you with hugs - can you feel it? ;-)

LOVE LOVE LOVE! C

It all sounds as good as it possibley can. You must take care of yourself so you are ready to be a 'real' mother. He'll need to all the help when he comes home to recover. Good thoughts to you and prayers, too. xoxox

Considering the circumstances, the news (the handshake!!!) is very, very good indeed! I'll keep a candle lit - take care of yourselves and each other. Trust that all will be well!

And we'll be here to listen.

So, the special hand holding thing made me cry. Thanks for keeping us updated, I'm thinking about you all constantly right now.

Thanks for the update. You sound good and healthy and strong. I'm so proud of you. Keep remembering that medical miracles happen every day. You've got a chain or love and support coming from across the world.

I'm so sorry to hear about your brother but it sounds like thigs ar looking up. I'll keep you in my thought and prayers and hope for the best.

We are keeping you and yours in our thoughts and prayers.

I can't imagine a more positive prognosis at this point. My thoughts and prayers are with you and I hope you get to hear your brother's next wise crack very very soon.

I am so sorry to hear about the accident. I am keeping your brother in my thoughts and prayers too Vicki.

I can tell that your brother is well-loved. My prayers are with you and your family. Brothers are special, especially to their sisters......his method of breast reduction is too funny! *******cyberhugs*********

You and your family are in my prayers, Vicki. {{{HUGS}}}

I'll be thinking so many good thoughts and blessings for your brother and your family. Hope everything continues to improve for all of you.

Thinking about you and your family at this difficult time. Hugs!!

We are keeping positive thoughts in our hearts here on the West coast.

Please please take care of yourself too. I know how easy it is to rally during a crisis and then collapse in a heap afterwards when that adrenaline wears off.

Get enough to eat and drink, get some sleep if you can, breathe deeply. You are loved m'dear.

It sounds as if your brother is getting the best of care and he is surrounded by those who love and support him. The best possible place for him to be.

(((((hugs))))) Love ya!

Vicki, I'm so sorry to hear about your brother's accident. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you all. He will be fine if the love and support you all have has any bearing. Lots of hugs going your way.

My thoughts are with you and your family right now.


Take care of each other.

Sending warm thoughts and prayers to your brother and your family.

Praying for your brother's recovery and for your family during this time.

Ditto, all of the above, just ditto.

Vicki - so sorry to read your news. Thinking of you and your family at this time.

Oh Vicki!!! You will be in our prayers. ((((virtual hugs))))

Prayers winging your way from New Orleans.

Oh shit ! Hard,testing times. I'm hoping and wishing for the best possible outcome. My heart goes out to you,I cry empathetic tears and wish I could help. Somehow.
Take care of yourself,as best you can,and try and gain some strength from all of us who care.

xxx

Vicki,

The waiting truly is the hardest part. All of the signs are good. I know I don't need to remind you to treasure every moment, but do. Do take time to just sit and hold his hand and talk to him about memories and silly things and sing him songs. Pour your love into him and your family and allow yourself to be shocked and angry and frustrated. And we'll all be here for you, knitting a web of love and support for you and yours.

I'm so sorry you have to go through this! May your brother's recovery be swift and complete!

i'm keeping your brother and your family in my prayers.

So sorry to hear about your brother but it's inspiring to hear how loved he is - my thoughts and prayers are with you all.

You are the first to comment on my fledgling blog! Thanks for the encouragement! I'm off to find my softest blues for the Jef/Michael effort. Leslie

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