November 22, 2003

Saturday update

Had a nice, long chat with Maddy this afternoon (early evening, her
time). She slept well, but has developed pneumonia, though I gather
it's more of the limited, not raging, type. She sounded a little
breathless from the infection, but not weak. She's scheduled for
a CAT-scan sometime tonight ("Probably 3 am, if past experience is
any guide") to ascertain the extent of it.

Maddy has difficulty in swallowing the various antibiotics she's on, so
I'm going to send her more blackcurrant juice to help. She also asked
for more digestive biscuits and some flavored teas in bags; coping with
loose tea would be too awkward. I'll send those as well, but if
anyone else wants to bring some to her, please feel free.

She thinks there is no chance she will be able to get to Becca's, but
as of now, she may be up to having visitors again in a few days.

She's had transfusions yesterday and today. They always make her feel
better afterwards and give a bit of an energy boost.

Maddy loved her birthday cake, to the point she overdid it a bit with
the rich buttercream frosting. As she said, though, "It was worth it."

The dieticians count every calorie she eats, and they're constantly
urging more food upon her.

She thinks she is having hallucinations again, this time just visual,
not the auditory and visual ones she had with septicemia (and which,
fortunately, drove her back to the hospital just in time -- Maddy is
convinced if she had waited even slightly longer to get to the
hospital, she would not have made it through that crisis). She
explained that there is something called "ICU psychosis," whereby
patients lose track of time and days from the disorienting
hospital environment. Maddy believes this is the source of her

She wants whomever might visit to know in advance that she has almost
constant tremors, possibly from the dopamine(?) IV they gave her in the
ICU. She hopes this won't scare people.

Also, she doesn't have enough energy to even walk across ths room, nor
do the doctors want her to -- too much risk she might fall and start

Maddy again mentioned that she can see herself on her next
birthday as a healthy person. She added that this is the first
time she has looked forward positively since Sept 29th. She's
clearly getting a feeling of inner strength and resilence back,
and looking beyond her present physical condition. A good
birthday present to herself.


Posted by eliz at November 22, 2003 07:41 PM
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