Friday, October 8, 2010

Mr. October

I was hit with a sharp pang of guilt and disgust on the first of October. At some point during the day, I realized that October had in fact officially arrived; and I did not have the slightest clue as to which teams were in the MLB playoffs. Such a shame. A lifetime spent as a baseball fan, only to completely lose touch due to something as simple as a proximity challenge.

I've been told that this time of year brings the strongest winds to Wellington and I don't have any problems buying that. It is generally agreed upon that the south island is colder than the north. Queenstown has a reputation for being exceptionally cold. However, I've been more uncomfortably cold in Wellington than I ever was in Queenstown.....due to the wind. In Queenstown, the temperature determined how many layers of clothing I would put on. If I gauged this figure correctly, then I would be fine. Once I got outside and started walking, I'd warm up, my clothing would retain the heat and if I didn't stop moving for too long, I could stay outside for as long as I liked. In Wellington, I can put on every piece of clothing that I own, step outside and sprint up the hill until I'm sweating bullets, and a big fat gust of wind will cut right through all of that and chill me to the bone. Instantly. This can occur 24 hours a day. It is deceptive as well. Sometimes I look outside and see a beautiful blue sunny sky and think "hell yeah, t-shirts and shorts" only to walk outside and have a hurricane force gale bitch slap me in the face. All of this wind is balanced out on a truly sunny, still, clear day in Wellington, which is absolutely stunning. I enjoy these about twice a week and when those days come I try to stretch them out like an ice cream sundae, savoring every minute.

5 Things I really miss about the Fall back home:

5. Skirts on gameday
4. The perfectly executed tailgating operation
3. Spending hours creating the perfect ACL schedule, only to completely abandon it the next day and make it up as i go along
2. frozen margaritas with salt chunks the size of diamonds on outdoor patio at sunset
1. Cursing the yankees (and joe buck)

5 Things I love about Wellington in the spring

5. Mistakingly thinking that I'll be able to swim in the vast amount of water that surrounds me
4. Taking a stroll along the southern walkway and rock hopping within 10 feet of a fat sunbathing seal
3. Drinking coffee or beer on the harbour watching the runners go by
2. Running through the harbor watching people drink coffee and beer
1. the elusive perfect day

The Face of a Fighter
Some people pray. Some people meditate. Some people light candles in churches. Some people hope. And some people simply strive for positive intentions. Whatever it is that you do, please do it for my friend Michael.

"It is 10:30 on Wednesday night and Michael and I are having a slumber party. He is sleeping like a baby while I am sitting here watching the monitors like a hawk. Blood pressure looks great, heart rate is good and the paralytic medicine is a thing of the past.
Last week Mike was not feeling good so he went to the doctor and was sent home with a shot. His fever never broke so he headed to the hospital Sunday night hoping to get a drip and be on his way. God had another plan. He was admitted to the ICU around 6 Monday morning with pneumonia in all four quadrants of his lungs and was immediately set up with an oxygen mask. I had a really good feeling when I left the hospital that night that things were going to be ok. Unfortunately, his breathing quickly deteriorated around 4:00 Tuesday morning which only meant one thing. A ventilator.
By 7:30 it was in place and he was on a paralytic drug - meaning he had no control of anything. Not even his breathing. Scary? Words can't describe. The best thing for him? Absolutely. The first ventilator that he had was doing the maximum work it could and his breathing spiraled out of control. It is never good when a nurse tells you she is scared. But she had to be honest. The doctor was called in immediately to put in a more effecient ventilator - why wasn't this done in the first place? Because they had no idea he was THIS SICK. He took to the new ventilator very well and his levels began to even out. When it was first in place, it was at 100% capacity with 24 breaths per minute. Right now we are at 50% capacity with only 10 breaths per minute. We are taking PO2 levels every 6 hours to see what needs to be adjusted. The past several tests have come back great but they do not want to be too aggressive and adjust things too fast for fear of shocking his body. Our ultimate goal is to let him help the ventilator breathe - starting with him taking one breath per minute while the ventilator takes 9 for him.
During all of this, he has also developed ARDS or Adult Respiratoy Distress Syndrome which is a very serious condition that complicates the pneumonia. He is on 3 of the strongest antibiotics made and the doctors are still growing cultures to pinpoint exactly what is going on so we can become more focused on what we need to treat. These cultures are taking a bit longer to grow because doctors believe the shot he received on Saturday is masking the real cause of the pneumonia.
His condition improved significantly today. He was weened from the paralytic drug - he fought it at first but seems to be responding very well. He opened his eyes for me earlier and squeezed my hand. We have received good reports from a very reserved doctor. However, he tells us that Michael will have a long road to a full recovery.
Both his nurse and doctor have provided extraordinary care and concern. He has a nurse dedicated to his care alone. Sitting in here day and night.
Words cannot describe the love and support we feel. I sit by the bed and tell him who all has called, emailed, send text messages. Every one of your names has been mentioned. I promise. And he can hear me. I just know it. He is fighting like hell for all of you and i KNOW he will not disappoint.
Please continue to pray for this battle Michael is fighting and for his strength. Please also keep our family in your prayers. We have been on an emotional roller coaster this week searching for answers.
I know i don't have everyone's email address, so please pass along to others.

Love to everyone.

Jennifer and Lacy"

Jennifer is Michael's sister and Lacy his girlfriend.

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