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Stressful

Monday, February 28, 2011

I hate being in the middle of this stressful situation. I swear, by all that's holy, the logistics of this whole Samir situation, are almost as bad as the fact that he's injuried. It seems like...it seems impossible. MediCal, rehab centers, who's he going to stay with, how are we going to manage home care, who has a say as to what will happen in his life, and how do we get his say, since he can't really talk right now due to the tubes down his throat.

Listening to this, thinking about this, tossed in with the panic in his eyes, his pain, financial issues of my own, work, trying to manage my family and relationship issues, thinking about what will happen in the future, all came down on my head and I had a bit of an issue. Never really hyperventilated before, but I think I had my first, ever, panic attack. Not a fun experience.

These people are pissing me off.

  
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ONICAM 2/28/2011 11:03PM

    I have anxiety attacks on a regular basis. They have never gone into the panic attacks, but they are bad enough.

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Tired...

Friday, February 25, 2011

Iím tired. Not sure why. This is the third day Iíve been back from Portland. Didnít work on Wednesday, took time to see Todd instead. Worked minimally on Thursday, as I was also dealing with logistical things having to do with Samir. Slept a lot too on Thursday, being really tired. Back at work today, Friday.

I was thinking to go back tomorrow, but I think it may have to wait until Sunday. This is our last opportunity to trap vultures this winter, and the base of operations is my house, since the trap site is about five miles from my house. There were 12 ravens on the bait this morning. The weather has been kicking our butts, and today is the first day without snow or rain in forever. The ground is still covered in snow, but so long as itís not falling, itís not a problem, and tomorrow and Sunday look clear. From what I understand, most of the time Samir is pretty drugged, and so time may not be so clear to him. That means he may not notice if I come back one day later than I said I was going to. His mom is with him right now, and his dad is supposed to go back either today or tomorrow I think. If I donít show up Ďtil Sunday or Monday, he still has someone there.

I hate being away though. Iím perpetually thinking about him anyway, and here, I have to wait on word from his mom for updates, whereas if I was there, Iíd be on hand to hear them immediately. Even just watching him sleep is satisfying and relaxing to me. I canít do anything there, am mostly just sitting around, but I had a hard time caring about returning to work at all. Now that Iím here, Iím just stuck on thinking about going back to Portland.
It was hard to leave. I had gone into his room to tell him I had to go. He was lying there, eyes closed, resting after his latest surgery, and again, pretty heavily drugged. I was just talking to him, about the day, about the view outside his window, whatever, and then nerved myself to say I was leaving for a few days, to deal with work and logistical issues having to do with the accident. His eyes immediately popped open wide, and he started shaking his head vigorously. Which, given that heís pretty much missing vertebrae 5, 4, and 3, with cracks in 2 and 1 in his neck, was probably not an easy or painless thing to do. I was taking his girlfriend and his brother back with me, which I had to break to him as well. I mightíve stayed longer, but I was his dadís ride back too, and his dad definitely had logistical issues to deal with back at home, having to do with the accident.

He was just so damn glad to see us, his girlfriend and I. The first day we were there, we actually got him to crack a smile a few times, telling him about stories from home. He woke up more than he had since the accident, according to his dad, and stayed awake until 12:30 in the morning. Wept when he saw Victoria, who I let go in first. She cried too. Tried not to break down, but seeing him in all the tubing, and braces, etc, was too much for her. Understandably so. Rather proud of myself for not breaking down. Saw him through the window of his room before I went in, took some deep breaths, and managed to maintain my cool. Broke my heart to leave him that evening, but he was on the verge of sleep, and we were keeping him awake when he needed sleep, which he then did until 2 pm the next day.
Immediately after his first surgery, which relieved a lot of pressure being put on the spinal cord in his neck, he regained feeling down through his shoulders to about halfway down his sternum. He hasnít had any more progress in sensation from what I understand. He can shrug his shoulders well. Heís acquired a touch of pneumonia in the last couple of days, given that heís breathing with the aid of a tube, and laying down most of the time. He had a second surgery for his neck on Monday. Iím glad I could be there for him in the time before the surgery. He was mostly asleep, but woke up just before it was time to go. When his mom and I told him we loved him, and would be waiting for him when he got out, he mouthed back that he loved us too.

The one doctor says itís not a good situation, a very bad break, but heís seen as bad get up and walk. The other doctor said, thereís very little chance heíll regain any feeling beyond what he has now. So basically still, who knows. In this second surgery they apparently pushed the limits in what they did, between removing fractured bone and replacing with metal support. Heís young, and his vitals have been strong, so they did as much as they could, which will give him a better chance later. If heíd been an older man, they said they would have stopped much sooner in the repair work.

A couple of days ago they started sitting him upright, which helps his system circulate better, and that, with antibiotics, should help him clear things out. The nursing staff has been really awesome mostly. Talking to him mom last night though, she doesnít like the one heís had for the past few days. Very brusque she says, and doesnít believe that sheís taking care of him as much as she claims she is. Heís very frustrated, because the tubing to his lungs goes through his mouth, and he canít speak or even mouth words clearly. I remember the first night we spent probably half an hour trying to figure out what he needed, and once the nurse finally repositioned him like he wanted, he just go this huge look of relief on his face as pain was relieved. He was supposed to have the tubes moved from his mouth to an access point in his trachea by today, but due to the pneumonia, thatís been pushed back until Tuesday, which is unfortunate, as thatís the primary limit to communication.

As to myself, I am, like I said, tired. Went through a wallowing in grief stage. Moved to a stolid, practical stage. Now, since there hasnít been any positive move for him in the last few days, Iím working my way into a deeper depression. Not unbearable, but life drags at this point. I hate, again, that Iím not going to be there until Sunday.
Havenít exercised at all hardly. Gained 5 lbs. Nice. Honest to goodness, the cafeteria there is designed to give you heart attack. Perhaps they are trying to drum up more business for the hospital, I donít know. Cheese on everything. Gonna get back to work now. Trying to work out with my boss what I can do up there, and how this is going to affect getting stuff actually done here. Heís already swamped.

  
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WINELADY4 2/25/2011 10:45PM

    All things considered, I think you are doing very well. Know this (having worked with other types of neurologically involved patients in a previous profession), As limited as he is now, his body will make progress over the next year or so. (yes, the most progress will be in the first 6 months), but no one knows right now how much damage is done and how much is swelling that will recede.
So, you will need to be prepared for limitations, but what those will be, no one can tell you right now. Like you said, he is young and that is on his side.

I will continue to keep you guys in my thoughts and prayers.....

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VAMANOS 2/25/2011 5:50PM

    All things considered, it seems that there's some hope he won't be as limited as you all thought at first, and that's a good thing. Of course you are all emotionally worn out, and I'm not one to sugarcoat things, so you know there's a long road ahead of him. I'm amazed and grateful on your behalf that your work situation apparently allows you enough flexibility to be there for Samir.

I continue to think of both of you daily, and wish him well. Thanks for the update.

emoticon

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RORYLYONS 2/25/2011 5:43PM

    So sorry for your friend..will keep him in my prayers..Stay strong.. emoticon

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I feel better

Saturday, February 19, 2011

That's probably selfish, but I do.

I'm going up to Portland today to see Samir, as I said in my last blog. I'm taking his girlfirend Victoria with me as well, and she came by the house se we could get an early start today. Turns out we'll be taking his sister's in law too, so not such an early start, but eh.

Point is, Victoria and I had a chance to talk. Which was nice. Really nice. Not only did we hash out some confusions and awkwardness between being an ex-girlfriend and a current girlfriend that we needed to, and should've done before, but we had a chance to really talk about the Samir situation, and Samir himself, both his good points and his bad.

Just shared experiences I guess. Lol, not to diss on him at all, especially in this situation, but it was good to laugh over shared annoyances, and cry a bit about what we found good in him. She's the only one I've had a chance to talk to that knows him as well as I do. I feel like the conversation humanized the situation, instead of making it this big, massive, emotional and spiritual ache. Made me feel more prepared to look at the situation practically, and be strong for him.

I'm tearing up a bit again as I'm writing this, but I definitely feel more able to cope with this now. Lol, I hope it lasts through the 7 hour trip up to Portland. Like I said, we'll be taking his sisters-in-law with us, so I'm more likely to be reserved, and not break down.

I haven't heard anything new about his condition, but I'm sure I would have if something had gone wrong.

  
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KOMONDOR 2/21/2011 11:35AM

    Thinking of you. Safe travels.

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TRACIE52 2/21/2011 9:07AM

    emoticon

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MEGANBY2011 2/19/2011 11:30PM

    I hope that the 9 hours flew by and that thing are not as bad as you fear when you arrive in Portland. Prayers, emoticon

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GRANNYS5 2/19/2011 8:02PM

    hope you had a good day and got some good news. still in my thoughts and prayers

emoticonjill

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VAMANOS 2/19/2011 6:45PM

    You're probably there by now, and I hope you'll be able to come by and get some support for yourself, since you'll be doing your best to stay strong for Samir. Your last blog said something about needing to focus on the fact that although his life has changed drastically, it isn't over. Right now, no one really knows how drastically it may have changed. Realistically, from your description of the injuries, you could be right. But it's far too early to start mourning what might have been. It's so important for him to fight for full recovery...that makes a difference. So hang in there and be the cheerleader, while of course maintaining complete honesty. It's a tough balance, but you're a girl with a good head on your shoulders, I think I've mentioned before, and you can do it.

I'm sending positive energy for a complete recovery. I hope Samir will settle for nothing less, and that he's up to fighting for it.

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GOOZLEBEAR 2/19/2011 1:44PM

    Have a safe trip and I will be praying for you to have a pleasant time there and back and also for the entire situation.

Thinking of you...Hugs,
Sandi

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THEMADINDIAN 2/19/2011 1:43PM

    Still saying prayers for you both, I wish you a good safe journey

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Going to Portland

Friday, February 18, 2011

I leave for Portland tomorrow to see Samir. I'd probably leave today, but the roads are so dangerous I want to go in full daylight, and I had some logistics to handle first. Got to make sure my car is prepared, the house is prepared, had to get stuff lined up at work for them to carry on without me. My director has pretty much given me carte blanche as to what time I need to take.

I don't know what the situation is going to be. They want someone to be able to stay with him everyday. I'm certainly willing to dedicate some significant time to it, but we need to figure out the best way to spread out people's visits. I think it finally dawned on them how important it was for me to be there when I broke down in the middle of the hallway at work. His aunt Buffy asked how I was doing and started giving me an update on his condition, and when she asked me if I wanted to visit at some point, I started sobbing. I don't know quite why that question caused that reaction, but I know that his brother called me about half an hour later and assured me that I would be welcome

He just got out of surgery for his neck a few hours ago. And of course it's too early to say what the long-term damage is going to be. At this point, all I hear is paralysis. Right now they're working on getting him to be able to move his head around. You hear of miracles all the time, how my friends cousin's sister-in-law recovered from a horrible back/neck injury, and is walking fine today. And God but I'm praying for that. But I'm trying to be realistic too. I'm trying to find a balance.

I'm really trying to control the weeping. Seriously, he does not need a sobbing woman in the room when he's trying to recover. Not helpful. Right now, it's not controllable. It happens at any random reminder, or when I get the urge to text him, or when I think about all that he wanted out of life. My mind keeps turning in the direction that his life is over. I need to get that out of my head. Yes, his life is dramatically changed, but it's not over. I don't even know how much long-term damage he's going to sustain, let alone how he's going to pick up and handle it.

It's just the worst that he'd be the one at hand to turn to if this had happened to anybody else. I haven't had the chance to cry on anybody's shoulder so far. Rather, I did, I saw my mom for the first time since the accident today, but for whatever reason my system decided that it didn't want to cry right then.

But this feeling is going to go on, and on, and on. And no matter how bad I feel, he feels 10,000xs worse I'm sure, in a way that I can't imagine. He's always had a darkened personality, not the sort to see the positive. I can only pray that the support of his family and friends is enough to keep his focus away from the dark.

I need to be strong for him. Not having much luck so far, but I need to.

  
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VAMANOS 2/19/2011 6:38PM

    I looked for an update earlier today, after reading the first two blogs after the accident. Wonder why it didn't show me this one? I see you've posted another, so will continue to that one and make sure I'm all caught up before saying a thing.

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roommate update

Thursday, February 17, 2011

They put off the surgery. He was injured at about 2:15 pm yesterday, and by the time that they get him to surgery, tomorrow morning at 7:30, it will have been more than 1.5 days. Why does this take so long? The surgery itself is going to take 3 hours.

They were going to take him in this evening, but they put it off so the neurosurgeon would be fresh for the procedure. Which definitely makes sense, and I want the surgeon to be at his best. But according to his brother, Samir is scared, and in pain, and the waiting for something to happen is not helping the situation I'm sure. It's just letting things build up.

I've been texting back and forth with his family. They say maybe I can come in a couple of days? I don't know if that's the family's rule, or the ICU's rule. My first inclination would be to say ICU rule, family only, but his girlfriend talked to someone at the hospital and the person said that he was open to being visited by anybody. I hope his family is not holding me off just because I'm not a blood relation. Because, at least compared to some of them, I've been a hell of a lot more family to this guy than they have, and have loved him a lot more unconditionally, at least as far as examples in action go. He's called me his family more than once. Which, I know in the hopsital world doesn't mean much, but for having someone by your side who's consistantly cared, means a lot.

But his family IS there. He's not alone. I'm just frustrated. I think I'm going to have to dose myself with nyquil again to sleep tonight. Probably go in to work tomorrow, if nothing else to prep for trapping that I may end up leaving to my boss and our new tech. It'd be better to have ME there, as I have more experience handling birds, but Sam, our new tech, has just as much experience as I had going in, and I did fine when I was learning. They'll manage if I ditch to go see Samir.

  
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VAMANOS 2/18/2011 4:55PM

    Anxiously awaiting your next update.

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GRANNYS5 2/18/2011 4:21PM

    Hope things go well for the both of you. I'm praying for you both. Keep us up dated, and remember we are here for you.

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