(no subject)

Jul. 28th, 2017 12:15 pm
valkryor: (Tail Eater)
I am no longer a fan of the end of July. Last night, I got hit by the doldrums something fierce. I don't like the doldrums; it's a combination of feeling adrift and restless, topped with a pinch of apathy.

But missing people fiercely, especially when it's one day after another, makes it hard to escape. It is, apparently, how I grieve, or at least a small part of how I grieve.

So, to Gus the Big Mean Bunny and to Shannon, I miss you and think about you often. I cannot believe how much time has passed by and how much this still hurts. My life was richer for having you in it, but I wanted more time, more growing old and growing up, more bad puns and more being your mom.

And more birthdays. So many more birthdays.
The Hallowe'en party was a success last night. It was a good mix of people and some of the costumes were great. We MST3K'd "Devil Bat" starring Bela Lugosi (who is, indeed, still dead), then had a brief intermission and then watched "Rocky Horror Picture Show" sans props, but not verbal cues.

[livejournal.com profile] boozymatic and [livejournal.com profile] eniastoa brought along [livejournal.com profile] robertom. Well, it wasn't really [livejournal.com profile] robertom, but a picture of Bob Dole, his costume! I pinned it to the roman blind so he could have a good seat and a really good view of the party. It was an amusing gag, but [livejournal.com profile] robertom would have been better.

The Gypsy brought a kitty litter cake. It was nauseating to look at (so much so, that some of us just couldn't eat it). I am assured, though, that it tasted okay.

I went through an entire role of film (yes, I'm still analog...I can't afford to upgrade), and have at least one picture of all the guests. If any on my flist don't want to be pictorally represented in a couple of days (I still have to get the film developed), speak now and I'll respect that.

I did have some odd dreams last night. )

(no subject)

Oct. 12th, 2005 09:25 pm
valkryor: (Wings)
I finally got in touch with Dr Bohn at Sick Kids regarding autopsy results. It seems (from the preliminary report) that cause of death was a blood clot in the arterial shunt which effectively cut off blood flow (kinda like turning off a tap) to the rest of the body. The shunt (the surgery that she was downgraded to, as it were) is fraught with problems (to quote Dr Bohn), which is why they're switching over to the hybrid (a stent between the aorta and the pulmonary artery). One of the major problems is blood clots. It's a known issue, and even with the amount of bloodthinners (first heparin by IV then enoxyparin by injection) Shannon was on, it still happened with devastating results.

To be honest, I don't feel better knowing this. I didn't care what the cause of death was. Knowing what it was doesn't change anything. My little girl is still a pile of ashes at the funeral home and there's no way that that knowledge alone could bring her back.

(no subject)

Aug. 22nd, 2005 11:57 am
valkryor: (Wings)
The hand cast came today. It was packaged in a lovely box and well padded so it wouldn't get damaged by Canada Post. The size of the hand is very very small.

It seems like such a cheap and tawdry consolation prize in comparison.

You can't have your daughter, but you can have this lovely imprint made of her hand (2-4 weeks for delivery).

I'd rather have my daughter, if it's all the same to you.

(no subject)

Aug. 13th, 2005 10:15 pm
valkryor: (Wings)
Well, it's done. All of Shannon's things are packed up and/or disassembled and ready to be shipped to Guelph tomorrow morning where they will stay in my in-laws' crawl space until we decide if we're going to have another child or not.

In some ways, it's good to get the space back so we can figure out how we're going to make use of it. In other ways, it drives home the point that Shannon really is gone.


(no subject)

Aug. 7th, 2005 10:03 am
valkryor: (Default)
I've had lots of energy and ambition to get something done the last couple of days. It's most likely just a natural reaction from sitting around for six weeks in TO and being at home with the baby for seven months before that.

So today is a good day to dust off and update my resume. Then I'm going to attempt to write a half-way decent cover letter for possible future employ. Before that, though, I'm going to get washed and dressed and get down to Sobeys and buy a paper. Want ads are a lot easier to peruse in written form.

(no subject)

Aug. 5th, 2005 11:08 am
valkryor: (Default)
I'm not sure what to feel anymore. I'm anxious to get back to doing something besides hanging around the house. I guess all that time in Toronto hanging around Sick Kids/my sister's really killed the vacation-like or unemployed feel of having no where to go and nothing to do. So, it's time to find work again. Not necessarily a bad thing...since it does mean that I'm focused on something else and not staring at the curtained area where the crib is and moping all day.

It's strange. Both [livejournal.com profile] fuzzpsych and I feel a little bit guilty that we're not crying/mourning enough. But after six weeks of watching Shannon lay there like a warm meat-sack and being told numerous times that she wasn't going to make it, grieving (for me, at least) is old news. I cried so often by her bed crushed by the mere thought of losing her, afraid that it would end in Toronto. And it did. Now I have to move on.

It's not very eloquent or even very nice, but it's accurate. We have to move as soon as we can and both of us have to go back to some form of employment. And for me (at this moment, anyway), the sooner, the better.

(no subject)

Jul. 29th, 2005 06:48 pm
valkryor: (Wings)
It's over.

Shannon stopped fighting in the early hours this morning and was truly lost after forty minutes of (unsuccessful) resuscitation.

Goodbye, my lovely.

Funeral details to follow.

(no subject)

Jul. 24th, 2005 11:04 am
valkryor: (Default)
It was strange sleeping in my own bed last night. It wasn't very comfortable. Which means that I'm getting used to sleeping on an air mattress. Yippee.

But it was good to get out and LARP last night. Even though it was fast time, I needed to be someone else for a few hours. Very good for the psyche, especially after the beating it's taken over the past few weeks.

My kitties are happy that we're home. I wish we could stay, but we have a bigger obligation laying drugged out in a hospital crib at Sick Kids, so it's back to Toronto today.

Hopefully we'll be home soon to stay. I'm getting tired of having to make special arrangements to be in my apartment and it's becoming quite apparent that while my sister will never say anything, it's time for us to go.

Two weeks. Maybe three. It all depends, now, on how well Shannon can be weaned off the ventilator. After that, it's all gravy.

(no subject)

Jul. 21st, 2005 08:26 pm
valkryor: (Default)
Not much news on the Shannon front. What they're trying to do now is wean her off morphine and the ventilator. If she can't come off the ventilator, then they'll have to put in another stent, but this time in the left brochial branch. But for now, they want to see if she'll be okay without it. She's still not in a crib, but that should happen as soon as one comes available.

One of Shannon's roommates has been moved into a private room. He hasn't been doing very well as of late and there was a big family meeting today regarding what to do next. His parents have been really dazed, but the longer you are in the CCU, the longer you recognize the look to be what it is: stressed, tired and very very worried. It hasn't been easy on them. I hope that, for good or ill, something happens soon.

And now, a meme... )

(no subject)

Jul. 18th, 2005 12:02 am
valkryor: (Default)
I finished Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince today. Then I played games at the domicile of [livejournal.com profile] epi_lj and [livejournal.com profile] okoshun with lots of other LJers. It was much fun.

Not much to report on the hospital side of things. Shannon's no longer being paced and will be getting calcium orally instead of intravenously. Oh, and she's back to pooping like a trooper (and I don't have to clean it!).

(no subject)

Jul. 10th, 2005 09:19 pm
valkryor: (Default)
One of the other kids in the room with Shannon died last night. He was very very wee (maybe even premature) and on an ECMO. I figured something was up when they let his mother hold him yesterday (probably for the first time) and there were pictures taken. Just moving Shannon to change her bedding is an ordeal that requires at least three people, so you can imagine what was needed to achieve this.

Even though he wasn't mine, I'm still saddened by the loss. When you have a child in the Critical Care Unit at Sick Kids, you secretly (or openly) cheer when the other kids go upstairs to a different ward to recover before being sent home and you are hit when one of them, for whatever reason, doesn't make it.

So, to the parents of the babe who passed (but who will never read this): my condolences. It's not much, I know, but it's all that I have.

(no subject)

Jul. 8th, 2005 09:48 pm
valkryor: (Default)
I'm feeling better today. I think I just had to hit rock bottom before bouncing back. I was even giddy and bouncing off the walls in the hospital. The manic depressive like mood swings are stress related. Yippee. :P

No news, really. Shannon's bleeding less today, but they're not sure what they're going to do about her lungs. Her right one is okay, but her left has collapsed. As long as she's on the ECMO, this isn't an issue. But she can't be on this indefinitely, so something needs to be done. And, to make things more interesting, they found a bug in her blood and there might be an infection in her lungs. The cultures haven't finished growing yet, so they're not sure. Since she's on a boatload of antibiotics (her chest is still open), the infection is either viral or resistant. I hope it's viral. A resistant strain of bacterium won't be pretty (and it scares me nearly to death).

It would be ideal if they could get her lung reinflated with compressed air, but with the amount of compression in her lungs, that doesn't seem to be a viable solution. A stent, while last resort on account of the stents in her pulmonary arteries, is more ideal. But having metal rubbing against metal with only delicate tissue between them is a real possibility, so that is a last resort. The problem is we're now down to last resorts to get Shannon off of the ECMO.

And as soon as her lungs are up and running, they can finally wean her off the machines and finally figure out if the last heart surgery they did on June 30 actually worked.

I got to put up some pictures of Shannon before she went into the hospital, partially so the nurses and the techs and the fellows and the doctors could know what she looks like not covered in wires and hooked up to machines and partially to remind both of us what a vibrant happy little girl we have and that she'll be like that again so we can take more pictures full of smiles.

(no subject)

Jul. 7th, 2005 08:04 pm
valkryor: (Default)
I have this powerful urge to chuck my parent badge into the nearest bin, go home and turn off the phone and pretend that none of this is happening, so I can go back to living a semblance of a life. Nothing makes any sense and this is the only way that I can think of to impose some sort of order on chaos.

I bring Miss Kitty (Shannon's favourite toy) with me to the hospital everyday to remind her (remind me) that she (that I) had a life outside of Sick Kids and that all of this is a bad dream. But it's not just a dream and it gets harder and harder to convince myself that she'll ever wake up again. I fear that she has (I have) given up the fight.

When you have kids, you don't intend to pin hopes/dreams on them, but seconds after that first cry, you do it without even realizing that it's happened. And now I have the (mis)fortune to watch them ebb away into nothingness.

I feel so empty inside, hollow. I'm kind of hungry, but I don't want to eat. I had moments like this after Gus died, but it wasn't this complete. Now if it's all the same to you, I think I'm going to crawl off under a rock somewhere and cry myself to oblivion.
We're back in Toronto now. It was good being home, even if only for a day. My poor kitties...they must think we hate them or something...show up after weeks of being gone only to leave again for an indeterminate amount of time. And I know they miss us. Drizzle slept beside [livejournal.com profile] fuzzpsych the entire night! And Franklin was my bud from about 5 am on. They'll be okay, though (provided, of course, that Franklin stops sleeping in the crib...he probably misses the baby and all, but if he intends to keep that up after we get back, he'll be sadly mistaken).

Taking the train this morning was a good idea. Some of the trip is along wooded ravines and over rivers...it makes it feel very secret and very safe and is a hell of a lot less stressful than being on a bus.

They didn't really find out anything useful from the brochioscopy, but another chest x-ray still showed the lungs whited out (not good). The current thought is some compressed air and a greater inflation of her lungs while she's on the ECMO will help, but we still don't know if it's an infection or an inflamation. If the compressed air is the ticket, then they'll start weaning her off the ECMO. If not...well, I don't know what will happen then.

When we got there, Shannon's heart wasn't being paced (yay!), but they want her to keep her heart rate above 100 bpm and when she started to straddle that line, they paced her again. But for 2.5 hrs, she was on her own. And she doesn't have any bleeding going on in her brain. With the amount of heparin they have her on, she gets to have her head ultrasounded every two days to look for any aberrant bleeding. Today, they found none. Which is good. Brain bleeds are a scary thing.

(no subject)

Jul. 3rd, 2005 06:33 pm
valkryor: (Default)
I feel so empty. And I'm finding it harder and harder to go to the hospital, but everytime I leave I'm afraid something else is going to go wrong. I don't know how much more of this I can handle. But it just never fucking ends.

I don't want to lose my baby.

(no subject)

Jul. 3rd, 2005 09:11 am
valkryor: (Default)
The pager went off twice last night. The first time to tell us that they were going to be switching to the oscillator and the second came two hours later...they had to put Shannon on the ECHMO (heart-lung machine, or more formerly extracorperal membrane oxygenation). After nearly two weeks intubated in the CCU, her lungs are failing.

The ECHMO is a last ditch attempt. If she can't handle going off of it, then there is nothing left.

She can recover from this, the only question that matters is will she?

(no subject)

Jul. 2nd, 2005 10:13 pm
valkryor: (Default)
Just called the hospital. Shannon's taken a slight downturn. The CO2 levels in her blood are too high, so they're going to put her on a different ventilator (one called an oscillator) to see if that helps. They were fine before we left, so I'm hoping that it's just a minor setback and oscillator does the trick.

And we've now finally seen Episode III. It was much much better than I was expecting (and since I wasn't expecting anything except some Ewan-y goodness, it was a pleasant surprise). I noticed, too, that the Padme/Anakin scenes were painful (as warned), but whenever one of them acted against someone else, their own abilities were magnified. Now maybe that's just some wishful thinking or it's a result of others talent masking their own woodenness, but it was still very obvious.

Ooooo! I can't forget the trailers. One was for the Fantastic Four (I'm so worried it's going to suck and suck hard), another was for the Island (more Ewan-y goodness), and the last made me clap my hands like a little girl. I have now seen a trailer for The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It looked really good. And come December, I'm going to see it on opening night if I can.

And one more thing...

In honour of [livejournal.com profile] clawfoot's Study Carrel Graffiti, I bring you Theatre Bathroom Graffiti...

I am not a nugget.

But you are an idiot for writing that.

(no subject)

Jul. 1st, 2005 01:44 am
valkryor: (Default)
Back now. Shannon's still off the heart/lung machine, but there's a possibility that she'll need to go back on it tonight (some bloodwork says she doesn't need it, some says she still does...now it's a judgement call). They'll call if that's the case.

Major medications: heparin, morphine, dopamine and epinephrine.

So tired.

And that's the last fucking time I mention going to a movie before we even get to the hospital in the morning. It's become a curse.

(no subject)

Jun. 28th, 2005 06:37 pm
valkryor: (Default)
Surgery happened. It was another eight hours waiting in a lounge that I have grown to hate.

On the good news front, Dr Calderone was able to unkink and reposition her pulmonary arteries to increase blood flow and oxygenation and decrease the pressures in her head. Shannon may have to go in in a few months time to have another stent put into her left pulmonary artery (the aorta is compressing it with each heartbeat), but that will happen in the Cath Lab which is not as intrusive or as traumatic as open heart surgery. Shannon's chest is still open, and, if all goes to plan, that should be closed at bedside in a couple of days.

On the bad news front, we have no idea when she'll be out of the hospital and we'll be out of Toronto.

Yesterday, because we both needed some retail therapy, [livejournal.com profile] fuzzpsych bought booze and music and I picked up a couple of t-shirts and two pairs of skorts (full skirts with cotton undershorts sewn right in...ingenious!), since I only have long pants and it's really really fucking hot again. One of them is a size 22! Which makes me feel good, since I'm usually a 24 in bottoms at Addition-Elle. It's a cheap ego boost, but right now I need as much as I can get.

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