Smile Through It II: The Next Chapter

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Superman: The Return

Posted by Oli on Sunday 2nd December, 2007

*Before you begin to read please make sure you are comfortable, this may turn into a long rambling post, apologies!*

Oli is doing so well.  I was really excited today because I haven’t seen him since Thursday and even then he was asleep.  I have to admit, I was a little nervous about seeing him because I didn’t know what to expect, in my head was a picture of a very poorly Oli attached to everything and not very communicative.  I was sooooo wrong!  Oli was sat in a chair, next to his bed, when his Mum and I walked in at 10.30 this morning. 

I don’t know how much you guys know but ITU has very strict visiting times, necessarily so, it’s a busy place.  In the morning visiting time begins at 10am and finishes at 1pm, there is a break for a couple of hours and the second visiting slot starts at 3pm and finishes for the day at 7.45pm.  I would have thought that the majority of people in ITU are heavily sedated and so the time could potentially pass by without them taking too much notice.  Unfortunately for anyone who is completely aware of goings on (if maybe a little confused and overwhelmed every now and then), the tiny visiting slots are very precious times that need to be filled with constant, loving company.

These tiny visiting slots are often made even smaller due to the current system of intercom admittance to the unit.  I really want to point out before I go any further that this is definitely not a criticism of the staff who work in the unit.  Every member of staff I have seen there has been working so unbelievably hard and doing their job of taking care of very poorly people. 

HOWEVER, the intercom system does not work as efficiently as the staff of the unit.  It works like this… Visitor presses intercom buzzer, buzzer is answered and visitor announces who they are and who they want to see, ITU person goes to check that the patient is ok to accept visitors and then returns to buzzer to let visitor in.  Sounds simple?  It should do, but it can take a long time for the buzzer to be answered, the ITU person can fail to come back to let you know if you can visit or not, the ITU person doesn’t press the admittance button to open the door so you have to go back and press the buzzer, blah, blah, blah. 

So today, Oli’s Mum and I arrived at 10am but didn’t get an answer to the buzzer until 10.30am and when we got to Oli we found him quite distressed as he’d been told that no visitors were waiting to see him.  It may sound small but it’s a BIG thing.  Try to imagine being hooked up to all kinds of things, alone in a bed for 14 hours without any form of entertainment, feeling scared and clock watching, hanging on to the hope that at 10am your Mum will come in and give you a hug.  I really felt for him when we found out that he’d been told that no-one was there for him, he had suddenly turned into a tiny, scared little boy whose Mummy hadn’t turned up to collect him from playgroup.  I’d love to help them find a way of making the intercom system run more smoothly, it makes so much of a difference to patients.

So ramble over and back to Oli.  He is good, he looks good and I couldn’t believe that he was sitting up, out of bed.  After the initial drama he was chatty, until he got tired, and seems to be completely ‘with it’.  His is no longer on kidney dialysis as his body has corrected the imbalance of sodium, potassium, etc.  He is on a little bit of oxygen, via nasal specs, but is largely as we left him on Thursday.  The drain for the important leaky fluid is at a good level and all things being well he will be drain free in a week or so.

Luckily for us the doctors came to see Oli while we were with him so we got to listen in to what they were saying.  The overall message from them is very positive.  They are happy with the way things are going and although they would like Oli to stay in ITU for another 24hrs, they are very happy for him to go back to the ward at the beginning of the week, once the ward has a bed available.

I have to say that at this point I am just so happy that Oli is doing well after the scare on Friday.  Friday hit us pretty hard as we’d maybe forgotten that it was still early days and been swept up in how well he was doing.  However, all credit to Oli and the doctors, they responded quickly and did what they hoped was the right thing and Oli has been so strong, physically and mentally throughout this.  To me he doesn’t appear discouraged that he is back in ITU after being on the ward so quickly after the transplant, if anything, it has made him more determined to do what he needs to do to get back to the ward.

We must remember that we’re still only just setting out on this journey.  We’re going to have lots of wobbles, hopefully not too many lows and more than a few highs.  I think my outlook is to enjoy the highs and take care of the lows when they happen. I want Oli to feel proud of himself for fighting so hard and to add these battles to his armour and use them to attack the next lows but it really helps him and us to know that we’re not alone on this journey and that you’re all with us every step of the way.  Thank you so very much for sticking with us, it means a great deal x


22 Responses to “Superman: The Return”

  1. Suze & Gary said

    K, we wouldn’t be anywhere else. You both mean the world to us. So pleased to hear that he’s back on the path to recovery, and not too far back from where he was last week. xxxxx

  2. Katie H said

    I was just so glad to read this tonight, you’ve all been in my thoughts over the weekend. Keep fighting Oli, it sounds as if you are doing great. Katie

  3. Linda & Ian Rowe said

    Oli’s ‘Strength and Determination’ has yet again shone through. Hurray! All that ‘S & D’, we can clearly see, is so dependent on all those around him, who love him, encourage, and are there when he needs them. We don’t forget your vital input. Three cheers for ‘Team Oli’. Huge thanks to such dedicated hospital team. Still early days, we know, on this long road but so far so good.
    Thank you for so much detail when you must be so tired K.

    Love xxxx

  4. elaine said

    ahh this made me smile ear to ear (and i have a really wide face…) so glad that he’s back on a more positive road 🙂 xxx

  5. Liz Upton said

    Thank heavens for that! We’re super-relieved and very happy for you all!

  6. thank God, hospital staff, Team Oli and everyone else who knows you!! that you are fighting the bugs and returning to Superman status.. we think of you lots and a big thanks for the factual, funny and wonderfully written updates – keep up the good work – sending you loads of love from us and all the Willen bunch – Pat Clark, Mary, Frank, Liz.. Lorraine, Steven, Grace and Samuel.

  7. Alison said

    Good news indeed

  8. Audrey said

    Thanks, K. It’s fantastic to hear that things are moving in the right direction. Hope you sleep well knowing they are on top of everything. Oli is going through a lot, and we all know you are too. Hang in there!

  9. Emmie said

    So very happy to read a more positive update. I reckon Oli is just trying to keep everyone on their toes and ensure that they don’t get too relaxed! Oli should be so proud of himself and you and all his family should be very proud too for helping him through the last 2 years and particularly the last 2 weeks. Can’t WAIT to be able to speak to him again! Loads of love xxxx

  10. Katie said

    This is the fantastic news we have all been waiting for. Oli doesn’t know me but I have been following his blog for a while now and am so pleased he got his transplant. Well done Oli! Keep it up!

  11. Rose said

    A lovely post, such brilliant news. Well done to Oli and love to you all. Onwards and upwards!

  12. Pops said

    Thank goodness! My laptop died, and have been trying to get to a computer all day to check up!so pleased things are looking up. There was loads of fluid post-op with my bro, and he’s done unbelievably well since.
    I’m so proud of you young man, keep it up, I’ve got lots of publicity lined up for you to be doing!
    Pops xxxxxx
    PS. Check out the Japanese film ‘Ran’ – adaptation of King lear that I’m studying – just the thing to distract a film buff like you xxx

  13. sarah said

    Its great to hear he is back on the right track.

    regarding the intercom. sadly, i know what you mean, but often the doctors are busy, or x-rays are being done so no admittance is allowed during visiting times. I have been booted out of ITU many a time as the docotors are busy, or something major happens. I like it back on the ward where there isnt any visiting times. I hope Oli gets back there soon, so he can see people more often. Are his parents staying on site for now at parkwood?

    I hope things settle down now, and Oli can get back on the exercise back soon and be pacing the corridors with a view to getting home.

    Sarah + Peter


  14. suzie said

    What brilliant news to read on a Monday morning, so glad to hear things are progressing nicely, getting in a chair is no easy feat so very well done to Oli. I used to hate having to press that buzzer a second time to remind them I was there and always started with a ‘sorry to mither’

    Much love to everyone from all in Chester, here’s hoping Oli is let loose onto the ward very soon.


  15. Jean Hunter said

    Monday morning we’re now off to work and school and what a pleasant surprise to read Oli is back on track. We are all praying and hoping as each day passes Oli will get stronger and stronger.

    Lots of Love Oli, Jean and the boys xxxxxxxx

  16. Emily said

    fantastic update sweetie. Keeping my fingers tightly crossed for onwards and upwards xx

  17. Alice said

    Over the moon to hear he is doing so well! Big cheers and hugs for Oli superstar! Thank you so much K for all these updates, they mean the world! Loads of love to you all A xx

  18. Hey Kati! Great to hear Oli is doing so well! My family send their regards! I’ll have to let my Uncle Jim know! Debbie told me about this site, and how you update daily, so will be sure to keep checking for progress!! Stay well guys, you’re in my thoughts and prayers! Chris 🙂

  19. Jac said

    Great to read that things are looking up and Oli is fighting back! Thank you for updating the blog to keep us all up to date – its much appreciated. Love to Oli.
    Jac x

  20. frank and mary said

    Sending you our love and prayers and wishing you a speedy recovery. Frank and Mary

  21. Lizzie83 said

    Fantastic to hear oli is pushing on through and fighting back! Thank you for the updates K 🙂 Sending my best to Oli.
    Lizzie xxx

  22. AL said

    Wonderful!! Thanks so much for the updates…Give Oli our love from Texas!!

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