I have this saying that I seem to use with abandon, “Every day is a new day.” I’m usually using it in a somewhat sarcastic way by giving it as an answer to the question, “How’s work going?”
“Well, every day’s a new day.”
I believe I’ll retire that phrase after this ordeal. Because, not only is every day a new day, every HOUR is a new hour. Seriously.
When I arrived at the hospital this morning, the news was that her saturation rate was 99%. All night. That my friends, is almost progress. I say almost because in medicine, it’s never just one indicator that allows you to declare victory. Well, rarely one. (A biopsy is pretty damn definitive – either way.)
So, with oxygen going full blast, her sat rate had increased. Good and bad. Good that it increased and held. Bad that the only way she stays at 99% is by full-throttling the oxygen and that if she takes off the mask, it drops to a scary 85% almost immediately.
But I’ll take that.
Then, we wait for the (now) daily chest x-ray. If it’s worse, we know what that means. But, it comes back and we’re told by one doctor, “It’s about the same.” For many, this would be cause for concern. Given the aggressive nature of the lung issues, the fact that nothing had progressed any further is okay. Later, a pulmonologist will tell us that he believes the x-ray shows a roughly 15% improvement. Not huge, but an improvement.
I’ll take that, too.
Yesterday they gave her medicine called lasix which is essentially a diuretic that helps the body get rid of excess fluid – because they thought part of the problem is fluid in her lungs, not just pneumonia. She basically peed off three LITERS of fluid yesterday and today continued to “output” a ton of stuff. Could this have helped her lungs? Don’t know. Hard to say, but it does mean her kidneys are functioning well.
Yep. Take that, too.
Today they let her eat real food. And she did. She even commented that this particular hospital has the best “institutional spaghetti” around. It’s delicious. And she gobbled it up in hundreds of tiny bites. You could see her perk up a lot after she ate. Like the food actually gave her some energy.
You bet we’ll take that.
But the best sign today was when my aunt noticed someone had left what looked to be a Louis Vuitton bag on a desk outside my mom’s ICU cubby / room for quite some time. She couldn’t believe someone would just leave a Louis Vuitton purse out in the open like that – completely unattended. Without missing a beat my mom and I replied in tandem, “It’s not real.” Even through oxygen-starved moments of dimensia my mom could make the knowledgeable fashion faux pas call.
Bring that shit on.
We aren’t declaring victory and we aren’t out of the woods by any means. But, sometimes it’s the little things. And who knows, the little things could lead to more little things. I’m not greedy. It doesn’t have to fix itself in 24 hours. I’ll be patient.
But tomorrow? If there are more little things? I’m hoping to say we’re on the first stone on the long path to victory.
And I’ll take that all day long and twice on Sunday.