Saturday, December 5, 2009

Stepdown

It has been a week since i wrote last, sorry about the delay. Just been taking it easy and enjoying the last week of my break from work. Sophie is now 3 weeks old and i have to face the reality of not staying at home for year (which i would love to do). I am excited to get back to work since it means that life is returning to normal a bit. Not fully normal, since that will mean Natalia is not in the hospital. I will consider life to be normal when anyone in the immediate family doesn't visit a hospital on a monthly basis, so 1 full month without a hospital visit. It has been years since that has happened and it might be quite a while until we achieve this, but it is a nice goal to have. A quick estimate for this year is that Natalia has been in the hospital for the better part of 5-6 months this year and my mom, dad, martin, angie and I have been there every single one of those days, so a month without it would be epic, we wouldn't know what to do with all the spare time :)

So as you have been reading on natalia's blog , she is now in the Transplant Stepdown Unit at the Toronto General Hospital. Stepdown is on the same floor as the ICU she was at before and immediately after transplant. The main difference is that there is less staff here because the patients do not need as much support. So now she is off the ventilator full time, has been for quite a while and all her vitals are good, stable. The progress is slow, but since she was in such as critical state before the transplant, it is probably expected. She still has the tube in her throat from the traech, and the tube will be taken out in the near future and this will enable Natalia to talk. I think this will make a huge difference for her. As any of you that know Natalia (or me for that matter), we like to talk :) I think it would be hellish to not be able to say a single word for almost a month now. You can see it in her eyes, she has so much that she wants to tell all of us, but she can't. So we communicate by head nods and she writes on a piece of paper for us. Actually for me, it is really hard to gauge her recovery by anything, except her writing. When she was in ICU prior to the transplant, she tried to write on a piece of paper, but it was so difficult to read the notes, we kept them, and i can't wait to laugh about them with her in the near future. After the transplant, she was having a lot of trouble holding the pen, but the notes were a bit better. Now she can hold that pen and can write a note quite quickly. All the O2, CO2, saturation, heart rate, breathing rates, white cell counts, blood sugars, etc, don't tell me as much as how she holds that pen and writes on that piece of paper. So each day she looks a bit stronger, moves a bit more and writes with a steadier hand. I will take that.

She is also doing a lot of physio with the staff here. We met the physio staff a few months back when I took Natalia to it twice a week for her physio with the other folks on the waiting list and also some of the people post transplant. You could clearly see on which side of the operation each person was, either on oxygen, working so hard to walk on the treadmill or doing the exercises with a smile on their faces. Can't wait to go back to that room and work with Natalia through those exercises. Just can't wait.

So that's about it for now, slow and steady, but progressing each day and that's all that matters.

John.

4 comments:

Ramona said...

John,

Thanks so much for the update.
Nat continues to be in my thoughts and prayers.
It is so exciting to hear that she is off the ventilator, and beginning to communicate!! :)
Sending her my love. xo

Toni said...

I am one of those people working out in the treadmill room waiting for my new lungs. I think about Natalie every day and how she has been such an inspiration to me. You and your family are amazing people with all of the love and support you have given her.
I hope that one day we'll meet while working out in the treadmill room.

MyLifeMyWorld & Growing Families said...

Oh John, you are such an awesome man, and have such great family bonds. I'm so happy that baby life is going well, and would love to hear more when you get the chance.

As for Nat, it's so amazing to hear that she is making steps in the right direction. It will be a glorious day when you can all head on a family trip without the worry of doctors or illness.

Keep the faith and thanks again for the updates

Rebecca said...

You are such a wonderful brother. Reading this makes me cry. My brother has only visited me once I think when I was in the hospital. I don't think he can handle it, I really don't know, but he doesn't realize how it hurts me not to see him and I can only imagine how good it makes Natalia feel. I can't wait to read about the babies playing together and you guys having happy healthy times. I also can't wait to tell Natalia my surrogate is pregnant. She is gonna be so happy!! Can't wait to keep reading the good news. As always, you, your family and Natalia are in my thoughts!

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