Please accept my apologies for no update yesterday – I think the sleep deprivation is catching up with me a bit.
Yesterday Klaus got an upgrade of sorts – we were moved to another room in the ICU. The room we were in before was fine, but it did not have the facility necessary for the changes to Klaus’ dialysis, so the nurses came and got me to do a little room shopping. There were 3 open rooms, and this one was a clear, easy choice. It has a large window (our old room had a window, but it opened onto the inside of the hospital lobby) which is open to the outside, and much more space behind Klaus for me and my Barkalounger.
Luckily I can sleep almost anywhere – generally not for that long, but falling asleep has never been my problem. Now I can fully extend Ol’ Barky, pull out my pillow and blanket, and last night was almost 5 hours. I know that there is always the sounds of beeping and nurses entering and exiting while they tend to Klaus overnight, but I am generally blissfully unaware (Klaus has been kind enough to not have any loud, emergency needs while I have been sleeping so far). The 5 AM xray wakeup call is getting a little old, though.
It is semi-surreal. I have been basically “living” in the ICU now for over a week. This is where I wake up, spend my days, and fall asleep. I know almost all of the nurses and doctors (and love them all for everything they do for my husband). Many of them stop by to say hello even when they are not assigned to work with Klaus.
Klaus’ family has been here from Austria this week and it has been wonderful. Both for me and for Klaus. I am sorry that they will have to leave soon, but I understand. We all need to get back to our regular lives (I would do anything to go back before last Tuesday). It seems that mine for the future will revolve around Klaus and the hospital which is a very good thing – in the sense that he is still with us, though still very critical.
I absolutely one zillion percent believe that having paws crossed around the world has already helped my husband do what every medical person here at the hospital thought sure he would not: survive. It is now 10 days. We have so very, very far to go, but to have made it past this first hurdle (while I certainly think of it as the biggest one, I am sure that Klaus would disagree, complain, and say something like, “What, are you kidding me?”).
Bogart is still my faithful sentry, guarding the homestead and poking his fuzzy schnoz out of the vertical blinds each time I come home. He has been an incredible source of strength and merriment in a time when I had none of either. Thank you to the many people in Portland (especially you Charlie and your mama) who have offered to take care of him, walk him if need be. Those little respites from the rigors of my days at the ICU (here I can once again hear Klaus interject something about his day being slightly more intense than my own – in a humorous way, of course) are something I truly treasure. Yes, it is a pain in the arse to have to drive all of the way home twice a day. Yes, there were days when I was driving bareknuckled and had our cell phones glued to my hands. But having to do nothing other than come home and be showered with love by my Airedale welcoming committee (with the felines making up the Greek Chorus) and then forced to not roll in my grief but actually get out and walk has actually been very, very good for me. I have been able to think some things through, and make some tough decisions. Bogart offers no opinion, doesn’t ask me any medical questions that I am still trying to figure out myself, he just poops. And smiles. And grabs any passing pine cone.