Not much to report, just breaking the silence.
I’ve seen Mark a couple of times since my last update, the last time on Sunday. He isn’t much different. He looks slightly better to me, eyes clearer. He squeezed my hand back but that’s the most I got. His wife Mary and his girls go in there everyday and I can tell he hears us. A friend of mine came with me on Sunday. Her husband is 54 and had a massive stroke last year. She knows a lot about the condition and she knows a lot about negotiating your way through the medical system, invaluable information in these times. She and I both felt that Mary and Mark could benefit from this meeting. She totally remembers this stage with her husband. She said that he could only move a pinky at the time he started rehab. Now he walks with a cane and can do many things for himself. He was released from the hospital in February. I think that’s important to always keep in mind. He’s going to come around, it’s just going to take a really long time.
Hello friends and family,
Here’s the latest on Mark. Sorry that I’ve taken so long to get news out but I am experiencing a new type of exhaustion when I get home from the hospital every night. It’s not just physical, but emotional and mental too.
Mark was finally moved out of the Critical Care Unit over the weekend. He is stabilized and the fever and infections are gone. He is breathing completely on his own although he now has a tracheostomy in his neck in order to protect his airway. When he improves enough and we can determine that he is able to swallow then they will probably remove it. He is still connected to a feeding tube, and has IV fluids, but all other monitoring devices are off of him.
He is now in the Enhanced Care Unit where he shares a large room with two other patients and has two full time nurses. He is never left alone. It’s like a mini-CCU, although there are visiting hours here. It is not the best room for more than two people to visit, so please check ahead of time with me if you would like to visit Mark. We still want to protect Mark’s privacy, and dignity, so we would like only family and very close friends to visit.
Mark’s neurologist is getting close to finding the reason why Mark, young and healthy, formed this dangerous blood clot. This doctor is truly invested in Mark and is absolutely leaving no stone unturned. We had a nice long chat today. He is patient and caring and shares with me, and our girls, his thoughts about Mark’s case on a regular basis. Mark is in the best hands, rest assured!
Thanks again for all your messages, texts, prayers and good thoughts. Everything is much appreciated!!
I went to see Mark today. He wasn’t in much of a back-to-school euphoria. He’s settled in a bit I think. He seemed quiet, awake, not agitated as I’ve seen him sometimes. I got another high five out of him. It was kind of a shy five but it was there.
They’ve moved him out of intensive care and into extended care on the 4th floor. The room has 3 patients and 1 or 2 nurses in the room full time. Pretty good I think. He needs someone there all the time, he can’t buzz for something so I think this care makes sense for him. There were two other patients in his room today but by the time I left, they had moved the other two out. I don’t know if they’ll fill the spots immediately or not. I hope it becomes semi-private for his family, I don’t think Mark could care about it. I mean the patients don’t really disturb each other because they aren’t particularly aware of each other it would seem.
I wish I could have a laugh with him over all this. He would have to laugh about the whole mess at some level. I wish I could connect to that level. That’s the point I guess. I wish every time that I could connect more than the last visit. I think he’s levelled off for a while. I hope he’s plateauing before the long climb back. Anyway, I’m probably not going to write much until I’ve got something to say. Don’t be scared by the silence, I’ll pass on important info if it’s there. It still doesn’t seem appropriate to visit.
Thank your lucky stars that it isn’t you! Ha, I bet you already do!
Okay …Hi everybody,
I know the silence has been deafening but I’ve had nothing to share.
It’s been kind of silent on my end as well so that’s even more unnerving. Mark has had a few setbacks and he has been asleep for some time. He has wakened lately.
What do you want to know?
I know everyone wants to visit, or help, or send best wishes, or just know how he is and when he’ll be able to speak on his own behalf. I’m going to try and answer all of that.
I saw Mark today.
In a way, it was the best visit yet. I definitely felt like I got something back. He’s been in bed this past month but this visit he was in a hospital chair sitting up. At one point, Mary asked him to give a high five and he did…..totally. That was the most cognitive response I’ve witnessed. I asked Mark to squeeze my hand twice and I could tell, by feel , that he was trying to do that but he couldn’t quite do it. Later I asked him to squeeze my hand and he did, and I asked him to squeeze it harder, and he did, and squeeze it harder, and he did. And that was another connection.
So that’s how it is. He’s not able to communicate today further than what I describe. Anyone that wishes they could visit…well that’s why they can’t. He needs some privacy until he is back to a reasonable state of communication. I’m pretty wound about this. It’s quite sad because of the state he’s been left in, (I feel like he has aged a lot ) but I can now see a glimmer in him and from all the stories that I hear about people recuperating from this, I’m quite convinced he will pull through (this is the most positive I have felt about this). It will just take a really long time.
In some way, I don’t feel right revealing all of this about my friend but I know you care about him and want to know what’s going on.
I just feel that I’ve left him a little bare. I hope he’s ok with it.
I keep asking Mary if she needs anything. So far no. One day it will be yes, and then I will ask you.
Take care of yourselves,