It is an honor that you are here, Thank you!

Monday, March 2, 2009

The Week the ICU came and went.

Well for those following, thanks you so much for keeping such a keen interest in my daily activities, I love letting those who know me, and people who kind of know about me, on the most amazing experience in the world.

Since February 16th, 2009 Canada's second "Family Day " holiday, I got my whole family for the best day ever, and one I can guarantee none of us will ever forget. I don't know the time I was wheeled into the ICU or what time I had first opened my eye, or and funny things I had done, I guess being on like 9 different pumps, with god only know what going through them all, you wouldn't remember wither. But I do definitely remember the thumbs up going down that hall.

All I can say about what I have experienced thus far, is that when you have great family, it really doesn't matter who comes to visit you, because in the end, they all want to be there, hold your hand, clean the crust's from my eyes, slurp up the drool with the suction want, and Vaseline my poor lips. There were the ICU nurses, who deservedly need more recognition for what they do, and what they put up with. I am at a total loss of words to all these wonderful ladies. They truly make you feel human, when clearly you look like a zombie from hell.

I had one song in my head on the way to the surgery, and it was still playing along, when I came to, and say the most magnificent sight of my life, my ever loving and supportive rock Derek. I had been singing the words to our wedding dance ever since I got to the hospital, because I know he will be one of the first faces I see. It going to be nose in nose though, between he and my mother.

So at this point, they are explaining to me that there is a ventilator tube down my throat to inflate my lungs properly, and consistently, and not to fight it, it's just going to make you more tired. So i tried and I tried not to fight it, but when I did, the nurses would come running in, take deep breaths Alison, deep breaths, don't fight the force, Join the dark side. lol, kidding.

I has 4 chest tubes, to drain the fluids from my lungs into these containers that measure the amount of drainage from the lungs. They weren't very painful, mind you, put me on drugs, and I am totally different person, Right Jeff? I was getting nutrition feedings through my nose. Yep, the latest crazy, why settle for the mouth, when your nose can do the same. I thought it was funny, they gave my oral medication that way also, crushed it up into little pieces, and mixing them with nutrients and vitamins I need to keep my immune system in tack.

Then there are the IV lines, I counted 4 lines, an ARTerial line in my right wrist, is didn't look nearly as bad as Amanda's did, if Derek didn't delete it, it's on the phone, I also had a sub clavicle line, which had three ports for different medications, that was fund on the right side, just above my clavicle, then there was the one in the Jugular, yeah, you should have seen the freaking Vampires hanging around the ICU that night, they were everywhere. I'll get the proper terminology for all these lines at some point, but I think it's best explained like no one here is really a doctor. Don't you agree. The last line I has was plain regular IV on my left hand wrist that was put in, and never used. Taadaa~~

I have what the Doctors refer to as a clam incision where they actually did the surgery, there the fillet me like a fish. Sorry folk this could get graphic, wait no it can't because I read about it, saw it being done on some science channel on line, and to be quite honest with you, it's not as bad as I thought it would be. This first week I don't feel anything, cause o the drugs. But there are quit a few of them in there.

CONTEST

"Can you guess how many Staples it took to close Ali's Clam Incision?"

I will find out shortly, winner will receive a special Gift from me. Please provide name address, and telephone number for your change to be a part of the fun. Pictures of the Staples and the incision before and after may be posted for all to see, until then, just guess.

Moving on then. It's about day 2, the Physio is taking me for a walk. I am prepared for this, thousands of monitors, tubes, and drugs, muscle movement at it's minimalist. Oh this is going to be fun. I managed to slide my lazy ass to the sitting up position, a little wobbly, and sick feeling, but okay none the less. No come the moment of truth, ladies and gents, can she stand for this, is she capable of making her legs jingle on the edge of the bed. Oooo, it's like watching a baby sitting for the first time. IS she gonna fall over..... No, yeah she made it another step.

Here comes the doozie everyone, the Stand. Will it be Fred Astaire like, or will it be Floppy and dismal like Bambi... Here we have it folks, the truth is about to set us free, she's slowly getting up, slowly, slowly, and she's up. But back down almost as fast as she felt a little light headed. It's okay, it's okay. As the Walker is being prepared for her grand adventure out into public, she regains her bearings, and with help from Physio, she is up and staying up.

"AND THE CROWD GOES WILD!"

We zap the pain meds a little more to get things shaking. I do mean shaking, like Bambi on ice. I was wobbling, and stuttering, and well, you get the just of it. But I am up, I am walking, and I am enjoying the pain I am feeling in my leg muscles, it's like lifting 20 pounds on 2 pound sticks. Drainage tube containers, Urine catcher bag, Oxygen tank, a 6 pumps to get me started on my journey home. Now I know how Neil Armstrong felt when he walked on the moon with all the crap, wait a second, he had no gravity, CHEATER. I walked about 100 feet, maybe more.

Within the next few days, I has 2 of the chest tubes removed, the line in my jugular was also taken out, I am now down to about 4 pumps, The story of the ventilator tube coming out is awful, and something i would rather not talk about again, but will tell you if you ask me nicely and give me $100. While on ventilator all my communication was written on paper to my family, but it wasn't always so easy to do, #1 I couldn't see 2 inches in front of my face, let alone the size of the writing, It's all over the place, and jumbled, so very, very funny. I got frustrated many times. That was the hardest part of the whole thing, was trying to tell people where it hurt, and on a scale from 0 being none to 10 being unbearable, it was heard.

By Friday I was moved to the Step down unit, and now I am on the Transplant floor, with all the other transplanted.

This is a wonderful place. There is so much going on, so much learn. But the best thing about the whole adventure, is that so many wonderful friends and family, have come to see me, and take good care of me. I am honored to know the Team here, and honored to have my family here when I need them, and when I don't need them so much, they understand. It's a great new beginning for me now. I can walk without a walker and Oxygen, my last two chest tubes came out on Wednesday I think, they took out my my last IV from my clavicle, and have engaged my Port. I am on many medications, and it's not so bad. I get routine visits from doctors, x-ray techs. People on the strep down floor were amazed that I was walking after two days of my surgery.

I could never have done it without Derek, My mom and Dad, all my family and friends who took the time to see me. I know I am far, and I plan to make it all up to you, as soon as I can, and as soon as my doc lets me enjoy the freedom of summer. And he will.

Love to you all, next updates I won't have to remember so much, I have just made enough room in my brain, for more amazing tales.

Love, Thanks, Prayers and hugs
Ali & Derek