Sunday, January 16, 2005

There is a real sense of deja vu with Will's condition today. Every one of the ways one would use to describe him -- puffy, needing more oxygen, still dealing with the chylothorax, not peeing so great, decent blood pressure, etc. -- has been used several different times over the course of his 82-day stay here to describe previous days. Maybe, though it's such a blur that I'm not sure anymore, they've been used all together to describe a day exactly like this one. He's not doing bad, not doing great, just... doing.

It is frustrating, because each of the few times we've felt like he was making real progress, it has lasted for only a few days before something rose up to drop him back where he had been before the move ahead. This time it seems to have been an infection, and again, we have been here before. So, he is sedated to the point where he hasn't moved since we arrived around 10 a.m., is on higher ventilator support and has a bit more output from his chest tube. He is almost as puffy as he was before losing all that weight last week, and save for the fact that the output from his chylothorax is about a quarter of what it was this time last week despite today's increase, doesn't seem to be doing much better than he was then.

We know this is what we're in for over the next several weeks or more, and most of the time we can deal with that. But seeing yet another good stretch negated just takes so much mental energy that we sometimes find it hard to muster it. Throughout this whole adventure, Mary and I have found that one of us is usually able to deal with things OK on any given day while the other is usually hit pretty hard by it. We've been able to prop each other up thus far, and I cringe to think of what the day will be like when we're both having trouble. If history holds, Will is going to rebound just fine from this infection and get ready for the next hurdle. That small move forward is usually enough to pull us out of the funk that his lack of progress puts us in. As another tough weekend comes to a close, we hope the coming week holds such a recovery. We feel like we need to be strong so that we can support Will, even if we do so sometimes with little more than good thoughts. But sometimes it is Will who, through his strength, helps us, picking up our spirits with the slightest good signs as we prepare for what is yet to come.


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