Sunday, February 13, 2005

Odds and ends

Just a few assorted thoughts and notes:

A few days ago, I finally got the courage to ask what felt like a stupid question. When will Mom be stable enough to shave the rest of her hair off. We couldn't imagine it was comfortable with all the sweat and blood and with it bunching up in the collar. Mari was on that day and we were helping bathe Mom. She seemed surprised that those were our wishes. She agreed with our assessment whole-heartedly but said that they were bound by the family's wishes. Peculiar to me that the family's wishes would come before the comfort of the patient. Mari said she felt so too but that some of it was related to cultural differences. I stared blankly as I could think of no culture that would find half a head of bloody, sweat-soaked hair a positive thing.

It turns out that some Asian and Latino cultures believe in the importance of 'warm' versus 'cold' things. To the extent that you are only supposed to eat foods that are considered 'warm' during pregnancy and ceratin times of the year etc. For people who believe this, cutting the hair off is very bad because it may allow the head to get 'cold,' decreasing the chance of a good outcome. Apparently hats don't count for heat. Curious.

The long and the short of it was that we were able to shave off Mom's hair. And, as Jen and I are both doctors in our own right and understand how to keep necks stable and prevent accidental extubation, Mari let us help. (This worked to her advantage because they are VERY busy in there and otherwise she would have had to wait on it till two other nurses were free.) Mari held Mom's neck up so I could reach the back of her head and Jen guarded the tube while I shaved. It felt good to be able to help remove that nastiness for her. Made me really appreciate the passage in the Bible where Jesus is bathing the feet of his disciples.


Regarding the VUCC choir:
We have discussed the VUCC issue several times as a group. Mom would be crushed should you lose the momentum and skill that you have cultivated together. But we could think of no one capable of picking up for her that was appropriate. Everyone is already so strapped to the limit.

David Childs has graciously volunteered to fill in for Mom to keep things going until she can come back. This is another of the little miracles that pepper this long road we are treading together. David has been spectacular, truly beyond all concievable expectation, and his unflinching presence here with us at Mom's side when things seemed their blackest will never be forgotten or repaid. We all feel that this would be the best and truest honoring of Mom's desires and hope that you will embrace him in this time of need and share with us in our gratitude for him.

I must admit I could write all morning of all the little yet enormous things you have each done for us and Mom. But the time has come for a new day and hopefully new blessings.

Finally, I would encourage you all to remember that yesterday was a very good day. Today will probably be not so good. So please don't be discouraged should my next post be laden with worry and setbacks.

My love for you all continues to overflow-



Blogger Jan said...

After negotiating the blogging instructions last night I sent a message which is added to a list of 16 now 17 comments...maybe from the first responses last week. Jacqui, you do not need to apologize for anything. What you are doing is truly remarkable, and keeping all of us updated is extraordinary. Thank you for this morning's message, especially for the good news about Pam's energy level. The arm situation is worrisome; there are so many things involved with a multiple injury accident, but I have a friend who endured months of repair and recovery, and no one could tell now what he went through. Applause to the medical team, the caring nurses, and Team Shellener! The cardinals are feeding at my the drippy Nashville rain...our lives here tick by slowly...not as slowly as time moves for you...we take heart (in honor of Valentine's day tomorrow)in the little signs that nature keeps herself in order...and we conitnue to pray for the healing of time...and we add our love to all of yours as a cocoon of wellness for Pam. Jan (Noble)

12:44 PM  

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