Hello, Merry Christmas and Happy Ho-Ho
Well I am further along on the road to recovery than I was in my last email. Knock on wood, my doctors, nurses and surgeons are very pleased with my recovery.
Last Friday they put me on a clear fluids diet which pretty much meant broth (salt and water) plus juice (sugar and water) plus jello (sugar, water, and a bit of protein - gelatine). This at first felt great given that I hadn't eaten anything in well over a month. And then it got old. So after three days of this they upgraded me to full fluids and now today they have upgraded me to solid food. So fingers crossed solid food jives with my system too :)
The physio team sees me every day too. So in addition to my daily walks I do some steps and some light arm workouts. I am a bit surprised at how much muscle mass I have lost and am encouraged at the rate at which my strength is returning.
In terms of a discharge date I am probably looking at anywhere from 2.5 weeks to a month. So yes this means Christmas in the hospital. Argh... I feel a bit bummed by this and one look at the numerous tubes attached to me reminds me that I am where I need to be.
With a clearer mind due to less pain and less narcotics for the pain I find myself at times thinking about my time in the ICU. Processing and reflecting on how at times it was a very serious situation for me and how lucky I am that I am recovering so well. I imagine this processing is similar to the processing that each one of you might have done when you visited me in the ICU.
I find it scary to think about how serious the situation was and how some of the surgeons and doctors didn't know if I would be able to eat real food or not. At times I find it tempting to ask why did this happen to me? And then I stop myself as I realize this is a question without end. The only answer that comes up for me is that life can be at times very uncertain, unclear and well just plain unfair. I imagine with time will come more distance from the event and this "mess" will fade into the background and life will get back to "normal".
I am very grateful for all of you have visited me. I am also trying to strike a balance between restful time to heal and time to connect with friends and family. It is something I am learning to do. On one hand I really do want/appreciate/need contact while I am doing hospital time and on the other hand I need time to rest. So as a suggestion for those of you who would like to come check out my penthouse room at Saint Paul's Hospital you can find me on the tenth floor in room 16. Also if you would be able to come during either of these times that would help me rest throughout each day.
1100-1400 and/or 1630 to 1930
For Christmas Eve: 1630-1930
For Christmas Day: 1000 - 1300
I hope all of you are well and if you are sending me good vibes/energy/prayers keep it up as something or everything is helping me get back on my feet!
First of all thank you all for your kind wishes, prayers and positive vibes and hospital visits. This has been one of, if not, the most difficult experiences of my life and your support makes a world of difference.
This Tuesday I was discharged from the ICU and given my own private room on the 10th floor of Saint Paul's, the surgical ward. Getting my own room was a great gift as privacy is such a rare commodity in a hospital.
On top of this my room faces right out over English Bay towards UBC and I get great sunsets to boot!
I continue to improve each day. Every day I get out walking two to three times along with all my support gear... iv pole and a nurse plus Dylan or Tina.
My vitals are stable and other metrics associated with my recovery are trending in the right direction.
And it's one damn day at a time. No word on a release date and I figure the best approach is to take it one day at a time.
Being given the gift of making it through the crunch time of something like 9 surgeries and 3 procedures has also come with it the opportunity to process some of my thoughts and feelings about all of this.
Looking back I don't think I had much fear about the danger I was in and was only focussed on getting through what I had to (makes sense, focus on the important stuff).
Now I have more appreciation for it and can see why so many of you came to see me or called or wrote emails.
Now with my foot off the gas pedal this level of support brings tears to my eyes and warmth to my heart. How lucky am I to have all of you in my life who love and care for me? How lucky am I to be surrounded by such an amazing community of friends and family.
I also need to speak about Dylan and Tina. ICU and wards hospital time ain't easy from a physical perspective and from a mental perspective it can be very lonely and frightening. Tina and Dylan have been rocks through this entire journey. One of them has always been by my side, day or night. They have been there to advocate for me with the doctors and nurses. They have kept me company, listened to my worries and helped me remind myself of the wins that I am getting each day. I am forever grateful for them for this and feel much more peace knowing they will be by my side up until the day I leave the hospital and afterwards.
Wow, I'm a lucky guy.
If you would like to come visit me in my new digs you can find me on the 10th floor wing B room 18.
Lots of love,
Dan and Company
We got this... This has been the mantra of Dan's friends and family as they help him navigates a difficult medical rodeo ride. This blog contains entries from Dan as well as his friends and family.