I’m not convinced my mother-in-law will be talking to me tomorrow.
“You’re not going to put that on your blog,” she said to me yesterday in the ICU waiting room. And by said I mean told.
Wrong thing to say. Considering in the Potential Future Son-In-Law Stakes I was such a long shot she really should have realised by now I get excited by a challenge, amongst other things.
Part of me is almost too scared to write about Tracey’s progress. I don’t want to jinx it. Yep, it’s that good. A week ago I was making notes for a funeral and wondering who to inform she was an organ donor, and this week I’m sitting by her bed making a Christmas list.
Not only is the blood flow to her remaining small bowel apparently looking good, she’s now able to communicate with everyone because the breathing tube is goneskies. Her voice box has been damaged, hopefully only temporarily, but she can whisper which is much better for her than trying to do sign language with her eyebrows.
And I can kiss her lips which is much better for me, because if I’m honest over the last four weeks her forehead was sometimes a bit clammy.
Although we’ve been told she’s not out of the woods yet, it’s hard not to get excited when they’re talking about moving Tracey out of ICU to a ward or getting her up to do a few laps of her bed.
We’ve been told to expect a long recovery before she can return home to us – maybe by Christmas. We’ve been told they’ll be going into her stomach twice a week for a while to check things out, which is why instead of closing her up with stitches they’ve got a vacuum seal keeping the important organy bits in but the hole in her gut open. We’ve been told they won’t know if Tracey needs to be fed entirely by total parenteral nutrition, or partly, or not at all, for a couple of months. We’ve been told it can all turn to shit in an instant.
We know all that and still we’re just so damn happy to be talking and holding hands and stealing kisses.
All I know is right at this minute I have my wife back and my kids have their mother – and I’m so grateful.
I’d like to think I’ve always appreciated how lucky we are to have each other and this life together, but now I don’t know. There’s nothing like having a moment when you actually, genuinely think you’ve lost the person who makes your life worth living to make you reassess a few things.
All I want at the moment is to be as close to Tracey as I can: to listen to her croaky voice and to look into her eyes and make her smile.
We both know every moment together from here on in is on borrowed time. It’s a gift. A gift from the wonderful surgeons and ICU staff at Royal Brisbane who have given our family a chance to grow a little older together.
Not to mention some lovely memories…
“What took you so long?” Tracey’s Mum asked me when I arrived back in the ICU waiting room.
“They started to do an ECG while I was in there,” I said.
“Is everything alright?”
“Couldn’t be better,” I said, smiling.
“So the test was okay?”
“Well, what do you mean it couldn’t be better?”
“While they ran the test,” I said, grinning madly, “I got to stare at her boobies for a full minute!”
I know I’m probably going to be frowned at by my MIL, but after the month I’ve just had I can’t think of anything I’d rather write about.
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Can I please take a moment to acknowledge all the love which has come our way this month. Not only have our Facebook feeds filled with encouragements and well wishes, and pics of flowers and bird shit, but our freezer is full of food and gifts have been arriving to distract the kids. I’ve told Tracey she’ll be doing nothing but charity shoots for a year to repay the karma. Cars are driving around with ‘Keep Fighting Tracey’ stickers plastered on them and there have been fundraisers, for Pete’s sake! I can’t get over it. And while it’s humbling, if I’m honest it’s also embarrassing in an ‘omg why us’ sort of way. It has made, and will continue to make, all the difference in how we come through this. Thank you.
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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.