Monday, January 25, 2016

Worries and Joys

Let me start todays post with a quick update on my brother

Five months after he first went to ICU
Last night, 1/22/16 I got a call from Lance, at first he sounded normal, chatting about the upcoming games in the run up to SuperBowl and making certain Austin and Emerson were doing good, and their girlfriends and Daisy, but once he had checked on all of us he started sobbing, "I'm sorry, Dixie. Brett's upset with me."
I asked why, but Lance is hard to understand in person at times, and even when he knows what he is saying, he has to triple check that you understand him, he won't accept just "uh, huh" but makes me repeat what he said back to him because he's used to people nodding even when they can't understand. He's harder on the phone and even more difficult when he is upset. So with the tears all I was getting was "work out, hospital, I'm tired. Hurts"
I had to get in touch with Brett to get a clearer picture. He says Lance was fine by then, showered and in his pajamas. But that he had a difficult day. He was refusing to do his physical therapy, even though he knows he needs to get strong and even though he doesn't want to end up back in the hospital. So Brett had to make him do it, and of course Lance is so dependent on Brett now that the idea of making our brother mad, terrifies him. but of course he is exhausted and no one likes pt every day.
Brett is worried still, Lance went into ICU BEFORE Christmas again, and the micro robotics revealed he hasn't healed at all from the original leak in his bladder/kidneys. They did a feeding tube then and Brett feeds him 4 times a day. He is also being treated for sores from sitting and laying in the same position so much. He still has a catheter and sometimes is incontinent and the nurse says the feeding tube can make it hard for him to tell he has had a bowel movement. 
Brett swears he is slowly getting better, and I think Brett is an amazingly patient caretaker, but the long, slow road has been brutal on their side of the country. That is without considering that both our Mom, and Brett's Mother-in-law are there and suffering dementia and physical issues too.

Edited to add that I talked to Lance Sunday the 24th and he was in much better spirits, the snow in that DC area this weekend, and the two teams who are headed to the Super Bowl have him energized and playful sounding.
The picture is Brett, and Dad's dad, Emerson Miller and Lance in about 1985

Lance has a cell phone (540)-359-1413 and you can send cards and pictures and letters to them at the same address

  Lance Miller /PO box 865/ Middleburg, VA 20118

The rest of my life since Christmas has been a mixed bag.  Things are really saturated here, I've measured 60 inches of rain at my house since Thanksgiving, and our town has flooded and receded a few times, my firewood is soaked and the woodstove is hard to keep burning so the house feels cold. My bills are a stressor, and my abdominal pain has been back at the old mystery attacks.  But it has been beautiful too, and I've made a lot of progress on my novel editing, and over all the frustration and worry is the Joy of knowing I have a great family, a chance to sell a few more books and a school or two that like having me teach, or present as an author. I have a granddaughter who means the world to me, and a grandson due in early May.

 So while somedays I want to burrow into my blankets and refuse to face the world, I do keep getting up and forcing a smile, until the smile is real.

 I hope you are all into 2016, and finding more to interest you than the political scene.  Thank God life is so much more than the debates.  More later, but not promising how soon.  Joy for now.