The other night, after all the kids were in bed, I stood at the kitchen sink doing dishes, and cried.
It’s hard to explain why. Anguish? Self pity? Relief? Probably a little bit of each of those and a few more I haven’t put a name to yet. I keep telling myself the main thing is I’m not crying with grief, so go for it.
What I find is I well up more now than at the beginning of this ordeal. Not that historically I haven’t been known to leak around the eyes when the moment’s called for it. I still can’t think for too long about Michael Landon’s Highway To Heaven (a television touchstone of the eighties) without getting emotional.
But it’s like when the emotional tap was finally fully turned on the seal was damaged and can’t be properly turned off now. And I’m running with it.
Like the other day when I pulled into our local service station down the road and filled up.
“Just on card,” I told the bloke, reaching into my pocket.
He waved the suggestion off.
“No, don’t worry about that,” he said. “You’ve got a lot of expenses heading down to Brisbane and back, and the staff here want to help you out with this.”
I shook his hand, said thank you, and drove away gobsmacked yet again at the support Tracey and I and the kids have been receiving from people.
Before I’d made it to the set of lights 800 meters up the road I’d welled up again.
And it felt good. They were happy tears in appreciation of the community I’m a part of.
The funny thing is, for all I’m even more likely to dehydrate than ever I feel more in touch with the world around me and within me and, contradictorily, more in control. I wouldn’t change how I’m feeling emotionally for anything.
Thank you again to everyone for the messages and prayers and positive vibes and offers of support. Thank you for lighting candles. Thank you for sending bears and toys and books and Tracey pillows for the kids. Thank you for putting Keep Fighting Tracey stickers on your cars. Thank you for collecting images of bird poo. Thank you for fundraising or participating in the fundraising. Thank you for carrying me through this journey. Thank you for caring.
Now it has been a recurring question both on my blog and when I’m walking around town as to how Tracey is going because I haven’t posted anything on her for a while. I have, only I’ve been throwing the updates at the bottom of the more usual things I tend to post about on this blog, such as me wearing my wife’s shorts around Brisbane and loving it.
So what I’ve done here is to correlate all those little updates together so people can get up to speed.
13 November 2015
And because I can’t wait another day to give you this FANTASTIC news, here it is – Tracey stood up today!! On her feet and everything! Look at that expression (photo at top of this post)
She’s so determined to get home to her kids it’s just about all she talks about. I mean I’ve tried to bring sex into our conversations but that topic isn’t gaining any traction at all ? Sadly, I was home when she made these small steps for mankind but big steps for the woman involved, but that doesn’t stop me from being over the moon. You are amazing, Tracey! I love you xxx
18 November 2015
Post: Clothes Maketh The Man
Speaking of new clothes, I bought Tracey a shirt on eBay and it arrived earlier this week so I got to present her with it today. It’s very her.
In other news, when I arrived back at the ward this afternoon Tracey was being helped up onto a walking frame.
“Awesome,” I said, reaching for my phone and trying to remember how to film video.
She was most the way towards me before I managed to tap the right app.
“You might want to put that away,” said Tracey.
“Are you kidding? This is fantastic. I want to show everyone back in Gympie!”
At which point Tracey manoeuvred the frame through the bathroom doors towards the loo.
So maybe next time?
22 November 2015
Post: Bad Genes or Jeans
The lastest on my lovely wife is she’s now been moved to her own room, which is nice. Less snoring. Less traffic. More sleep.
Tracey also phoned me up this morning a bit chuffed with herself because she’d managed to stand up, unaided, at the sink and wash her hands, which is yet another step forward. They’re looking at putting some sort of ink through her this week to give them an idea of how things are progressing in terms of leaks and blockages, which again is fantastic news.
But the best news is a message I received from Tracey yesterday.
There’s nothing like a bit of boredom in your day to let you know things are progressing beyond the threat of imminent death.
23 November 2015
Most fantastic news from the Royal Brisbane Womens Hospital today – Tracey is now able to get out of bed by herself and go to the bathroom unassisted, so essentially she’s now on par with our three year old.
Tracey also put up the following message on her Facebook wall today:
Thank you everyone for all your support and well wishes. The last few months have been a huge surprise journey for me and not one I would recommend. I’m so grateful that I got my second chance, I feel very lucky. Don’t take anything for granted as things can change suddenly. I never thought I would be sitting in a hospital for months. You have all been so generous and kind to our family and I just wanted to say that I really appreciate it. I don’t even think that my words cover how thankful we are. So many of you have done wonders for us. I look forward to catching up with everyone once I’m home. xxx
26 November 2015
And finally, today’s update.
Yesterday they put an ink or dye through Tracey to see how things were standing up on her insides. Nerve-racking stuff.
We’re still waiting to hear the final results, but the one very positive and amazing and wonderful thing we’ve managed to take away from it so far is she has a path all the way from her mouth to her chocolate starfish. That should hopefully mean she can eat. It’ll just be whether or not her body has enough small intestine left to withdraw the nutrients it needs to sustain her, or if she’ll still have to remain on TPN to survive.
Time, and the most excellent Dr Brown, will tell.
BREAKING NEWS: Just got word Dr Brown has been in and he’s happy with how things are progressing: there’s a little fluid in her lungs and a little blood pooled in her belly, but he’s confident they’ll both sort themselves out. I could tell from the excitement in Tracey’s voice she had even bigger news for me and she didn’t disappoint. Dr Brown wants Tracey to start drinking water to test things out – a litre a day. Tracey is so thirsty she can’t wait to get started!
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Thank you again to everyone involved in keeping our Tracey alive and in with a chance. If you would like to do something wonderful please consider donating to one of the heroes of this ordeal – Care Flight who got Tracey where she needed to be quickly and safely. I gave them $100 as a thank you. This is a service we need to ensure continues because it saves live, keeping mummies around for their kids and hapless husbands.