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Saturday, October 17, 2009

First Post Back from Hospital

First of all, many, many thanks to my wonderful wife and one and only soulmate MJ for keeping everyone up to date with my day-to-day status regarding the removal of my brain tumor. I have literally just plopped down in my own couch after being given the option to come home today or stay at the hospital. My lumbar tap, catheter, and IV were taken out this morning, and all medicines are now taken orally. My vital signs have been stable the entire time. They were more than happy to have me remain in the neurological critical care wing (it sounds so cool to say that), but the choice was completely up to me whether I would rather come home and relax in my own bed tonight. I admit it was kind of neat to be able to press the big red NURSE button on the remote at 3am any given night and screech helplessly, "I need , aaarrgh, another pain pill, aarrgh . . . and while you're up are there any more orange sherbets in the freezer?" But we all must go home again at some point, even if Thomas Wolfe says this ain't so.

This is not to say I am anywhere near a return to perfect health. Far from it. Being horizontal for the past four days has left me dizzy in any other configuration consistent with a biped. I gingerly made it across the threshold of my front door and Noah wanted to jump all over me. MJ saved me by luring him away with fresh bits of cabbage until I could safely land on the sofa. Noah still clawed at the cushions enthusiastically and brought his squeeze toys to me as an offering to demonstrate his appreciation of my return to his domain.

One of the medical assistants rattled off several pages of instructions to me, little of which I comprehended, but MJ was there taking down detailed instructions. Once again, she will take over every aspect of my care for the next few weeks until I regain strength and these darned headaches go away. This morning I woke up in the hospital with a splitting headache, for example. I said to the nurse, "They took this big tumor out on Monday and this is Friday. Shouldn't I be feeling better by now, like a big pressure has been lifted?" The nurse said, "Look at it this way: just a few days ago a couple of guys had their hands stuck deep in your skull, fishing around for stuff to yank out. It's going to take a while to feel normal again."

Another two weeks apparently, before I can even walk around normally, and six weeks before they want we even trying to play the oboe. The big things they are watching for now are a) fever, b) blood clots, c) more spinal fluid leakage out of the nose, any of which signify a big step back and probably another surgery. I'm not rushing this one bit.

And I could not finish writing this without expressing my utmost thanks to the genuine outpouring of love and support from my wife, my family, and my friends. There is no other way to say it. As funny as I like to be, it really does move my heart to see how much love and concern is out there for me. I do cry about how much this has all meant, and despite the gifts, the flowers, the food, the cards, and the personal visits, it is really the time all of you have devoted to keeping up to date on this journey that has meant so much. I do love all of you so deeply, and though I didn't have as close of a brush with death as originally feared, it does not diminish the enormity of the feelings I have for everyone close to me in my life. Thank you all so much.

I would imagine this journal will receive a few more updates as anything improves or changes, but for the most part I am going into full couch potato mode for the next few weeks while I continue to heal.

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