Saturday, October 3, 2009

One Toke Over the Line

For some reason watching Alex's oxygen saturation levels and constantly talking about his lungs is making me think of that song:

"One toke over the line, sweet Jesus,
one toke over the line --
Sittin' downtown at the railroad station,
one toke over the line..."

(Am I even remembering those lyrics properly?)

Measuring every little breath and basing your life's happiness on every one of those measurements is a sure way to insanity, but there you have it; that's what life has been all about for the last month. It's hard to think about anything else, but I try. Thinking of groovy songs from my youth helps!

Today we had a good day. Every time they moved Alex to prevent bedsores, to change his linens out from under him, or to check his wound, he handled it like a seasoned pro. No fits and starts like yesterday. His temp has stayed at 99.5, which is practically normal for someone who has as much inflammation as he has. They were able to lower both the oxygen level and the pressure level on his ventilator, taking us one notch closer to the tracheostomy.

They're lowering one of his sedatives to start waking him up very gently; when asked, most times he can open his eyes, but they're fogged with the mist of fentanyl, a powerful pain killer related to morphine.

This is our favorite season, Alex's and mine. We met in October at the Ithaca Friends of the Library Sale, and 2 years later we married in October. Today was the kind of day we wait all summer for; clear, crisp, beautiful leaves...I hope he will be able to see some of this October, if only from a hospital window.

Thanks for all the prayers and positive vibes. I try to pass all of them on to Alex by reading the cards people have sent him, and telling him who has asked about him and/or has sent good vibes his way. He's sedated, but he does hear us, though he may not remember what was said after he wakes up. I feel sure that all your support and encouragement get to him somehow and help him. I don't know how to explain it, but I do believe it.


Eli said...

He is a tough bird. I remember grinding through hundreds of miles of road on our bikes when we used to ride together to Cape Florida, or Homestead, or Key Largo. Those are some of the most important and best memories of my life. Alex's can do attitude, and inability to conceive of anything as being "impossible" (or even hard) were amazingly inspirational - he changes the frame of reference for anyone who is around him.. I was always the fast rabbit out the gate, and he'd draft me for the first leg of the trip until I'd run out of energy, and he'd carry me back, me panting and wheezing behind his steady, strong pace. So solid and true.

It's a damn shame his body is not playing ball. He's gritty and tough and will power through this. It just sucks to have to endure. Don't lose the hopefulness; this will pass.

cookingwithgas said...

You are doing such a good job in the support he needs at this time.
Still thinking daily about his road to recovery.

Alex Solla said...

Thanks, y'all. Eli, you're absolutely right that he changes the frame of reference for people. That seems to be his main purpose in the universe at times, and here he is doing it again...