Thursday, December 29, 2011


oh! It's a long one today.

One thing I can never bring myself to say is "He's getting better." These are still such critical times, things change so drastically from day to day. One day he is up, the next he is down, the next he just IS. I feel so gloomy, so pessimistic when I hear people say 'He's getting better!' - I clench up, I even feel a little bit queasy. I have to - emotional kneepads. I've been around all of this for long enough to understand that a lot of this 'journey' (as Gord called it today while rolling his eyes. Good on you Gordie) is up & down & until the day when he is sitting in our Living Room, I can't declare him 'better'.
I will, however, celebrate very happily when he has *good days*.

Yesterday & today have been very good days.

The first good thing is that when we arrived to the hospital yesterday (me, my cousin Shane & his fabulous lady Frances), we did not have to put on 'isolation gear' - no gowns or gloves. When I visited the day before, I had to gown up; there's currently a C-diff outbreak in the transplant unit (uhhh.....yeah.) and they were concerned that Gord may have it. Not having to put on the gown means that he's in the clear, which is a (super duper) good thing.

When we got in the room he was real sleepy. He smiled once or twice, and I think he shrugged at something someone said, but mostly he just rested. Arlene, Graham & Lorraine arrived soon after & Shane & Frances said their goodbyes.

If you know Gord you have probably, at some time or another been witness to, or have been on the receiving end of a 'Gord stare'. His nurse had asked that people step out of the room for a moment, but I stayed behind. He asked me to hand him the Kalimba that Graham had brought him. He turned it upside down & was pulling up on the prongs. ' you hold it like this & then you press down on the prongs.' I said. He turned his head & stared at me. He stared hard. Gord Stare. He didn't have to say a word - his eyes were saying it all. "I know how the play the God Damn Kalimba, Nicole." Both the nurse & I laughed. Then, more resting.

Later that afternoon the clouds parted just a little & he apologized for being a bore. "Not at all Gord - Boring is good." "It is Good, and the way to be more boring, is less Morphine." YES! Yes it is Gord!
He asked me to stay & watch Coronation St with him ('please? As a Christmas gift?'), and he asked me to tidy his room. He has the same idea practically everyone has at the time of year - purge the excess, keep the good stuff. He asked that everything on the wall in front of him be taken down except for one thing; a picture of his Dad. "Good idea" I said.

Just as I was leaving, Matt came by. "What treats do we have to offer to Matt?" We didn't have any, but I promised Gord I'd bring some the next day so that he may be the ind of host he's well-known for being. (and good treats, too! Delicious baked goods, baked by Ailsa, all the way in Newfoundland!)

I left him feeling good.

This morning, as I was putting Frankie down for her nap, he called me. "I dialed the phone! By myself!" Amazing. He hasn't been able to do that for quite some time.

So I came to him this morning feeling even better.

Mike helped to pick up some things for him at the grocery store (*REAL* vegetable broth, rice stick and some sugar-free cookies)  and came with me to the hospital.  Gord played the Kalimba, chatted some, did some exercises with the physiotherapists, and then asked Murphy if he would please go & get him a Korg Monotribe.

My brain exploded.

Within the hour, Mike was back with it & Gord was sitting up, twisting the knobs, flicking the switches & making my eyes well up. It had been far too long since I had heard him making music. It was so awesome. He's been experiencing very limited mobility - only really moving his right arm. Today though, he had both hands working. Maybe the physio dept at PMH should invest in a couple of monotribes for the rest of the patients because because guys? When he was done making music, he held the synth in his hands & did some bicep curls with it. I am not kidding.

The whole day was peppered with things that made my heart sing - he asked the nurses & the Dr questions (!!! he hasn't done this for over a month & he is normally right on top of that kind of thing), he told me something I was doing (something very funny) wasn't funny & when I said to him 'really?' he said 'okay, it's a little funny.' He had no morphine the entire time I was there. He told the nurses he wanted to 'get away from that stuff.' When I kissed him goodbye he tried to get fresh with me.

I don't know what tomorrow will be like, could be the opposite of all of this. I'm not going to get wrapped up in it. I'm just going to rest well and easy tonight knowing that the fog has lifted a little.

He's rocking steady.


  1. I'm so glad to hear you are all having good days!!! Fingers crossed!!! :)

  2. YES! This is the best thing I've read in forever. I'm looking forward to the next post. YES Gord, YES!!
    Nicole, you are amazing.
    (the other)Nicole

  3. My favourite is that he tried to get fresh with you. MEN EH?


  4. Nicole...
    such positive news ...please tell hime we are thinking about you all from Anita & David

  5. The best news.......every "good" is "good'er"