I woke this morning after another hellish night of sleep and my back still hurt (I guess I better get used to it). I called my mom to check in and see how she was doing, it was the first time this week she was able to pull herself together enough to have a conversation about my uncle with out crying. Yesterday’s update was that he probably had three days to live and she’d decided if that’s all he had then she wanted to spend each day with him. We talked as she was en route to the hospital (she’s driving two hours each way, every day). I decided in that conversation that I needed to go to the hospital today. After making a few phone calls into work I got on the road and arrived at the hospital around Noon.

When I got there our family was overtaking the ICU waiting room. My mom, aunt, three cousins and an uncle who’d flown in from Washington state were there. More family filtered in through out the day. Now I went because I wanted to support my aunt and cousins. I’d been avoiding going because I did not want my last memory of my uncle to be of him sick. But, I decided I needed to go. I needed to support them. I needed to support my mom. I would have been content sitting in the waiting room all day. I did not need to see him. And for a while it seemed as thought I may not get to see him because the doctors were running tests and it was taking a long time. Three hours passed before presented with my first chance to see him. At that time my mom asked me to go in with her and I couldn’t say no. So I went. But I lasted only short time, maybe 30 seconds. It was too painful to see him, unconscious, yet still struggling.

We all continued to hang out as we were waiting for a family meeting with one of the doctors. Of course the doctor was late so we waited and waited. It finally happened. Once over my aunt and cousins reported back to those of us in the waiting room that things had gotten better. This was the first time we’d received hope since this whole ordeal began. Now the doctors are saying he does have the strain of encephalitis that is treatable. And his other tests (I’ve lost track of the names of all the tests) came back better than they were 48 hours ago. He is by no means out of the woods; the next few days are critical. The seizures need to end in order for him to move towards recovery. All very good news. The bad news is that the good news was never really good. If he survives, he will have brain damage. We just have no idea the extent at this point. He’d have a long road ahead of him. But he’s a fighter, that’s clear from the turn around he’s made in the last two days, and he always liked to be busy so I’m sure he’ll be up to the challenge.

I’m glad I went. It was good to be with everyone. And I was lucky to be there for the good news. The whole day took a whole lot out of me though. I am so exhausted. And I am fighting tension headache #2 of this week and my meds don’t seem to be working. I am so thankful that it’s Friday, even though I am now on-call, and am hoping for a quiet weekend full of rest.

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