Friday, 17 February 2012


Three to cheer for:

#1:  Three cheers for Kim Waterman. 

Carol is not exaggerating when she sings the praises of our friend (and Mike's neurologist) Kim Waterman — he has been a great support, always low-key, always with a smile.  I know it, because I left the hospital to run a quick errand thinking we'd have to wait who knows how long to get Mike moved to the Palliative Unit.  The nurses in the main wards do their best, but they are terribly overworked and it is a pretty grim situation for someone in Mike's condition.  But beds in Palliative are not always easy to get, and we haven't had much good news lately, so I was expecting a wait.  Yet, when I walked back into Mike's room, I was met by a doc from Palliative informing me that they were moving Mike today...and within 5 minutes orderlies arrived to take him!  Carol and I scooped up his stereo, Handel CDs, books and New Yorker mags, flowers, cards, photos, etc. and headed to the new room.

The Palliative Unit is spacious, painted in warm colours (not hospital drab), and well-staffed.  The atmosphere is completely different from the rest of the hospital.  There's a large lounge with a fireplace, couches, computer station, and a kitchen.  Mike has a quiet, airy room, with a big window looking out on trees and a garden.  He has his own phone and tv, cushy chairs, and room to sit without being in the nurses' way — such a difference! 
#2:  Three cheers for Carol.

Today was a very tough day, and Carol was, true to form, staying focused on her goal of making things  as good as they can be for Mike.  She advocates like no one I know, and in these circumstances it is constant and exhausting work, but her brain (which as you know is extremely powerful) is clear.  She has had less than two weeks to absorb what's happening, but she isn't cracking.  She also acknowledges the importance of looking after herself in order to best look after Mike, so she is eating well, getting exercise, and doing all kinds of other things which she finds tedious and dull — again, staying focused, staying clear.  Mike could not have picked a better partner way back in 1965 to support him through thick and thin.     

#3:  Three cheers for Mike.

Because he never complains, despite the pain, the discomfort, the confusion.  Carol, you'll have to remind me who it was who said, when you asked why everybody loves Mike, that it was because "Mike has grace."  It's funny to think of an old bear having grace, but he really does.

Thanks, as always, to everyone for your good wishes, your lovely messages.  Please keep leaving comments and messages....and photos!

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