Continuous care was truly what we received throughout the night and today. I mentioned previously that some meds were discontinued, others adjusted, and some added. The doc came by today, apologetic that his plan had not worked, but confident that he can determine an effective course of action. You know the good ol’ 80/20 rule? It applies to almost everything and what the team tried last week works on 80% of patients. Brian, however, fell into the 20%. This is not surprising, as Brian likes to stray from the pack and be a bit rebellious! With the changes that were made yesterday, Brian experienced a level of calm he has not felt since before he was diagnosed with cancer. I witnessed a significant change in his behavior: less shaking, decreased restlessness, dramatic change in agitation, the ability to read a book for short periods of time, and less moving from place to place in an attempt to get comfy. The doctor had noticed last Wednesday that Brian was not able to be still for more than 7-10 seconds unless he was touching me or holding my hand. I do have a calming effect on most people [insert laugh track here]. That changed today as well…no, not my uncanny ability to calm; Brian’s ability to keep still.
I just tucked Brian in after he turned on some music, we made sure the house is dark and quiet, and he had a regular dose of Valium (he took his first loading dose earlier) and a “super dose” of Haldol. Super dose is my own term. It’s just a bump up from his regular dose during waking hours. He is slightly nervous about tonight because a continuous care nurse was not available. I reassured him that I know what to do and that while six hours is our goal, it’s going to be okay if we come up short tonight. I even believed myself when I told him that!
A few days ago my good friend, Noelle, whom everyone is familiar with by now, asked me if I would be interested in co-running a web site with her. I didn’t actually finish reading her text (I got as far as “would you be willing…”) before answering with an enthusiastic affirmative, and then I went back and read the text in its entirety to make sure I hadn’t inadvertently gotten myself into an MLM or Ponzi scheme, especially since I’m not entirely sure what a Ponzi scheme even is. Anyway, back to my story. Noelle and I are trying to change the world. Yes, we like to dream big. We plan on making millions. Or at least one million. Oh, no, I don’t mean dollars! I don’t think that would change the world. We plan on helping the world see that there are at least a million gratitudes out there, just waiting to be discovered. In fact, A Million Gratitudes is the name of the site. And, coincidentally, our Facebook page. As of today, we are up to 7 gratitudes! That may not sound like a lot, but have you ever seen an oak tree? And an acorn? Mmm hmm, I think you get the analogy.
Throughout this experience I have learned the following, which I posted to the wall of A Million Gratitudes on Facebook: Smack dab in the middle of a horrible day it is entirely possible to find a small piece of gratitude pushing its way up through the muck. If you step back, you’ll see the contrast between the beauty of gratitude and the drabness of what has been surrounding it. Which one stands out now? Let the gratitude push through and grow!
This is a bit of shameless promotion. However, my disclaimer is that I could sit around and do nothing but pout, or feel sad, or just do nothing. No one would think less of me for doing so, given the rain that spoiled my life’s parade. Instead, I’d rather focus some of my energy on promoting gratitude. Shamelessly. So, if you are grateful for anything, find a way to capture an image of it (even something just symbolic), or some other representation (video, quote, etc.). Our hope is for the vast majority of the gratitudes posted to be original representations, not links or anything else snagged from around the interwebs. If you go for a walk and see a lilac bush, take the time to smell it and then take a photo and share it. Or if you make a colossal mess in the kitchen while baking cookies with your grandkids, by all means document it and share! We only need to collect 999,993 pieces of gratitude to reach a million. Also, please feel free to ‘like’ our Facebook page. Sharing gratitude can happen there. Spread that around instead of nonsensical junk! Converse about the goodness in life on our big, beautiful planet online and elsewhere. Look around in the muck and you’ll see the pieces of gratitude pushing through.
Today I shared Gratitude #7- Sandy Toes
One of my favorite things about Florida is the beach. Those are actually my sort-of-pedicured toes in the picture on A Million Gratitudes, and I know exactly where I was when I took it (Sanibel Island, watching a sunset in 2009 with Brian, our kids, and my parents). Some people hate getting sand on their feet at the beach, but to me that’s what the beach is for. You walk along the sand and pick up little pieces of the world. You feel the earth beneath your feet and look out into the blue water. You stoop over to collect shells that could be from anywhere. You lie down and stare at the clouds, finding pictures in them. You relax and smile and feel grateful for the moment. Then you wipe off your feet and leave refreshed.