Thursday, February 18, 2010

Good News, Bad News, No News, and the Vagueness of News In General

Here’s the news.

The wound nurse, taking a look at the two different lesions on Brooke’s backside, reports that the surgical wound is now healed, or at least almost completely so. On the other hand, there has developed a lesion of unidentified origin on the top of Brooke’s head, something obviously not the product of pressure or abrasion; it was cultured today, but its cause remains elusive. And yet again, the ischeal wound is closing in, albeit at a very slow pace—slowness is taking on a new, protracted meaning. Meanwhile there’s new movement in the left hand—Brooke can now squeeze a little rubber ball, and when he does you can see the whole forearm and upper arm flexing, but just how much use of the biceps and triceps is going on isn’t clear. There’s a bit of movement in the right hand: Brooke can flap his hand from a horizontal to a vertical position, against gravity, but this doesn’t say anything about sideways movement. Sometimes there’s movement in one foot, the other foot, both feet, or no feet. And at the same he’s developed considerable nerve pain which comes on at night and lasts sometimes into the day: burning sensations over the entire surface of his body, except the area from his shoulders up; he’s trying to come to grips with this by simply ignoring it—easier said than done, though mental discipline (and medication increases) work, at least partly. Temperature control and spasms both remain problems, though more or less tolerable. And there’s lots of breathing news—even though Brooke is clocking fewer hours off the vent in total, he is now able to spend a little over four hours on the speaking valve—chanting, conversing, even singing. The increase in time on the speaking valve has been quite rapid over the last few days: it feels as though it bodes well, Brooke says, for the future.

But is there news about a date for the implantation of the diaphragm pacer? Nope. Not yet. And we can’t even tell when. Stay tuned: maybe the next news will be real news, not vague at all, with firm details and fixed dates—though we all know that isn’t likely. In general, though, things are going really well at the moment. And that is news.

1 comment:

Susan King said...

Peggy, You don't remember me from the class of 1963, but I am thinking good healthful thoughts for your husband and you.
Susan King