A sleepless night, setbacks and the fever returns. There has been a build-up of fluid in Todd’s head, which his body is not absorbing, and so Monday morning Todd returned to medium care. This setback has changed the path and the length of our stay. Surgery is likely this week, but as we have all seen, each day brings new answers. The doctors are trying to stabilize Todd. Monday they performed a small surgical procedure reintroducing a drain tube. The proposed surgery for later in the week, will hopefully result in the normal regulation of fluid production and absorption. That of course is pure conjecture at this point, all based on how Todd reacts to the current steps being taken. Watch, look, and listen.
This setback has totally eclipsed what was a wonderful weekend. Levon was able to see Todd shine through….as was I. He passed all my cognitive testing with flying colors. He opened his cards with his right hand, and at one point (as his fever was building) he fanned himself with a card. Total Todd move, (he hates being hot) that had us cracking up at his bedside!!!! I believe I also got my first word, and the AM nurse on Monday’s shift most certainly did. As she was caring for him, she asked him where his pain was, and his response was a quiet…. “Lower back pain”. Oh…… and I taught Todd how to use the call button for the nurse…..trigger happy Todd!
One thing is clear, if we (those docs) can manage to regulate the fluid pressure on his brain…… we should be able to see Todd shining back at us!
As you can tell, the daily visits to Todd’s bed can be quite the proverbial rollercoaster. We were both ecstatic on Sunday, Todd was showing off his new trick of pressing the buttons on the remote control thing attached to his bed. He was turning the light over his bed on and off when I asked him to, and doing it so quickly and adeptly that he seemed to be saying “yeah yeah this is too easy, what else ya got?” That’s when he started calling the nurse, over and over and over. I think he was screwing with her a little bit, his first joke? I warned him off with a retelling of the boy-who-cried-wolf. Sunday he was so on, answering all of Alex’s questions quickly and clearly with a nod or shake of his head, it was incredible, and for the first time I believed that Alex’s steely faith that Todd will completely recover was not a lover’s necessary illusion at all. Her faith is perfectly placed: it gives her the will to be at Todd’s side everyday, and its object of getting Todd back is slowly happening.
Today this is what I’m reminding her: The big picture remains good. He’s recovering, and recovering fast. The process of recovery zigzags, and is still tentative and dangerous when complications set in. But still, he is recovering. The ups and downs are extremely hard on Alex – one day Todd’s on the verge of speaking, the next he has retreated into sleep and unresponsiveness – and on the hard days like today she leans on us. I try to make her laugh a little bit, and she jumps right to the computer at the end of the day to read your messages, so keep at it.
p.s. Any cards, art or cd type stuff that make it to our house by the weekend will be delivered via Jen Vick’s suitcase. I will not post our home address on this blog so you will have to network your way to that if you don’t have it….or email me.