Sorry for the lull in updates, but things are pretty quiet in the CTICU today and that’s a good thing. It’s been snowing lightly all morning. Christmas carols are playing in the lobbies. Winter has come, and we always felt she’d be transplanted in winter.
She’s had dressing changes, adjustments to the ECMO, constant monitoring, tinkering, to keep her stable.
Can I just say right now that the ICU director doc, Penny Sappington, is probably the most dedicated doctor I’ve ever known? And we’ve met a lot in Caitlin’s life. When she’s on the floor, which is thankfully almost always, I relax. Sort of.
The nurses, ECMO team, and RTs are phenomenal, too. Caitlin has most often had Erin, who is one of those absolutely perfect nurses. She’s off for a couple of days, but has already texted me to make sure we’re having an okay day.
Just typing that makes my eyes get all weepy.
All this is to say that they are taking really good care of the kitten. The kitten we’ve always known is really a tiger. 🐱🐯 She’s mostly sedated to keep her calm and keep her oxygen saturation up as high as possible, but when she’s aware, she fights, digs her nails into us, tries to shout. Her spirit is so strong.
I play the music she asked me to play for her if she was ever unconscious. And I tell her things—-mainly that her only job now is to stay calm and be strong and trust that we’re taking care of her. I read essays from the new Mary Oliver book. We constantly tell her how much we love her.
So we had almost 3 years to prepare for this, but only last Sunday, when she was clearly deteriorating, did I think to ask for her phone password, and account information for the bills she pays. I’m home for a couple of hours paying my own bills and trying to figure out hers. I opened her computer to this image: a screen shot she’d taken when she was starting to really feel sick but still managed to not look so bad, right beside the kind of lists she was constantly making to keep track of her inventories, etc.
Her life has been hard for a very very long time. Much more than she ever let on. I hope she gets this second chance, and is able, eventually to just relax and live a little.
As I am writing this, our dear friend Reggie sends these happy memory photos of the Christmas she once spent with us.
Nick’s good friends are doing their best to get a lot of awareness out there, not only for Caitlin’s critical need for lungs, but for all the critical need out there. We’re so grateful!
I’ve mentioned before how wonderful everyone here has been. Food is coming from everywhere. Every time I realize I’m starving, a delicious sandwich or salad turns up, delivered by caring friends we have made here. And our 15th floor neighbors, Ralph and Mary—–man, they are like family. Here’s Henry, quite comfortable with his pal Ralph this morning.
And for everyone doing the St. Therese novena, I opened my Twitter account this morning and this was looking at me.
–Maryanne, with Nick and Andrew