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Monday, November 18, 2013

She's Frayed Around the Edges While He is Slowly Recovering.

“Music is the literature of the heart; it commences where speech ends.” ~Alphonse de Lamartine

    I've resumed the daily trips to Watford General to visit with Les. Our thanks to Mike Hill and Mike Griffin for the rides into town. I feel like a princess with my two gallant knights looking after me.
   The one-two punch of massive doses of Gentamycin and Picicillin seem to have restored Les to the living--in fact his appetite came back so quickly and he felt so much better yesterday that he began to minimize the entire episode. The miracle that is broad spectrum antibiotics makes it all seem like a distant nightmare to him. He doesn't realize that with Sepsis, every hour of delay in treatment raises the chance of death by 7.6%; this is according to an abstract written by researchers from the University of Manitoba, Canada studying Sepsis treatment. (Critical Care Medicine,2006 Jun;34(6):1589-96). Les is grateful he is feeling better.
   His incisions and surgical wounds have closed up and scabbed over like magic, and his energy is slowly returning. He only weighs 143 pounds and we desperately need to put meat on his bones. I am also concerned that his blood pressure is still low and he is not receiving any IV fluid re-hydration since yesterday, yet the AAU doctors are talking about allowing him to come home tomorrow with a prescription of antibiotics by mouth. 
   He is definitely experiencing the side effects of Gentamycin--hearing loss, mental fuzziness and forgetfulness. Hopefully these things will clear up as time goes on. Blood tests indicate that after his last IV of broad spectrum antibiotics twenty four hours ago, his system is still fairly flooded with them which tells me his kidneys are struggling. Usually they are cleansed from the blood stream within two-three hours after the last dose if renal function is normal.
   Saturday night after our daughter in law Bev brought me home around 9:30 pm, I was too restless to sleep. I cleaned boat, and finally fell exhausted into our bed with my clothes on about 1 am after my previous blog post. 
   When I returned to NB Valerie after visiting with Les on Sunday with step-don Kevin, I had the pleasure of several hours spent with Ken and Sue Deveson (NB Cleddau), who came over to put up the plastic membrane on the windows for insulation. Ken has the process down to a fine art! They left with three large black bags of bedding linens, a down comforter (duvet), and three pillows which needed washing and drying after Les' sweat drenched episodes. We are blessed by your loving care and friendship and so appreciate your help. 
   The plastic really does make a difference. I woke at 4 am and it was so warm inside I had to crack the back hatch to return to a fitful sleep. Finally I gave up and got up, sweeping and wiping down the stern and bow decks. I started the engine promptly at 8 am, washed a load of clothes and hung them to dry, downed a cup of coffee and moved the boat up to the water point to fill up and then back again, which takes about forty five minutes.
   Mike Griffin picked me up and drove me to Watford and I stayed for two and a half hours with Les. When I arrived he was asleep; his slight, shrunken frame outlined by the pale blue hospital blanket. My best beloved looks so small and vulnerable, curled sideways in the hospital bed.
   My heart aches when I think of what we've been through, and how robust Les was when we met. I love his compact, wiry, muscled shape and that certain smile he has when he throws his head back and laughs from his belly--something he will not be able to do literally for some time until his internal incisions heal fully.
   We had a good visit though and I sat with Les through lunch then dashed for the bus which I missed. I walked the short ten minutes to Watford High Street and waited for the 500 back to Cow Roast. Finally I returned home at 3:30 to meet Ken with the freshly washed and dried bedding for Les. He brought a bag of coal off the roof for me, and handed over a bag in which Sue had tucked some yummy shortbread and Foxes really Chocolate cookies! Bless them...Les' eyes will light up when he sees this stash.
   I brought in coal and wood, tidied up, finished drying, folding and putting the laundry away, made our bed with the freshly laundered linens and duvet, spraying them with lavender scented linen water, and collapsed in my recliner in front of the fire. My joints were aching badly from the cold, wet weather. I turned on the engine, ran the Ebi for thirty minutes to really heat it up in here and took a scalding hot shower. I stretched out in front of the wood stove in my nightie and thick socks with a fleecy blanket for cover, passing three hours listening to some of the best music ever produced by humankind with only the light from the fire. When my soul feels spent and my spirit is broken I turn to music and nature for healing. 
   I began with Domenico Scarlatti cantatas, moved on to Vivaldi's Four Seasons, Johan Pachelbel's Canon and Gigue for three Violins, immersed myself in Beethoven sonatas and parts of his Symphonies: the second movement of Symphony No.7Symphony No. 5, and the joyous 9th symphony, the second movement which I was introduced to at age five as it was the theme for the CBS nightly news in the U.S.
   Goose bumps rose on my arms as I lost myself in Violinist Joshua Bell's evocative work in the soundtrack for the movie The Red Violin. Tears coursed down my face throughout Barber's Adagio for Strings. This piece captures the true depth of longing in the human heart and soul.
   I rose skyward on beating wings with Ralph Vaughn William's astonishing Lark Ascending. Beethoven's Moonlight Sonata brought me back to a sombre peace. I finished with Maurice Ravel-eyes closed in rapture as I pictured Torvill and Dean gliding sensuously across the ice to Ravel's Bolero at the 1984 Olympics in Lillehammer, Norway. Soul rested and spirit mostly restored I am listening now to Canadian pianist Glen Gould's Variations of Bach Transcriptions--Cantatas and Fugues on piano.
   I have the love of family, the company of friends, and the support of boaters across the British waterways; I am accompanied through this trial by some of the greatest musical composers and artists ever known. I just need my best beloved and boon companion back and on the road to health. We have come far but we have so much farther to go...

15 comments:

Jill, Matilda rose said...

Nice musical choices Jaq xx
Sue Cooper has just rung desperate for news as she has no internet access and sends her love to you both. I will pass on the better news

Anonymous said...

After reading your blog for a few years I would very much like to wish you both well for the future. A totally fascinating, inspirational and captivating love story. May your journey continue for many years to come and many more happy times ahead :-). Very best wishes. Sue (part time boater) Nb Zoë on and around SUC xx

Anonymous said...

Hello Jaq,
I am following your blog from NZ and have been waiting anxiously for news about Les and the sepsis battle - so pleased to hear he is mending. Lovely also to read that you are relaxing to lovely music and letting it wash over you and rinse away a measure of the hurt and fear.
Stay strong, lovely woman,
Marilyn McDonald

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hi Jill,
Thanks for passing on the news. I will try to call Sue later today. Miss you and Graham. Could do with a huge dose of Matilda Rose medicinal humor.
Love and hugs to you both,
JaqXX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hello Sue on NB Zoe,
It is always lovely to make the acquaintance of another blog follower--and boater!

Thank you for your good wishes and positive thoughts Sue. Every one makes a difference. And thanks for taking the time to comment.
Biggs hugs,
JaqX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hello Sue on NB Zoe,
It is always lovely to make the acquaintance of another blog follower--and boater!

Thank you for your good wishes and positive thoughts Sue. Every one makes a difference. And thanks for taking the time to comment.
Biggs hugs,
JaqX

Jaqueline Biggs said...

Hello Marilyn,
All the way form NZ!
Are you a writer too? Your words are like a healing balm. Thank you so much for taking the time to comment and let us know you read our blog.
JaqX

Jennie said...

Hi Jaq

So pleased to hear that Les is on the mend. As ever our thoughts are with you both. Jennie & Chris, nb Tentatrice

Pip said...

So glad to read that Les has turned the corner and is on the mend - keep smiling!!
Pip & Roger xxx

Mike on GARNET said...

Well, good news again. Keep it up you 2, and all will be as it should be.
Re the plastic windows, just finished mine and wondered what you were going to do about it.
good luck, from Mike and Phill.

Anonymous said...

Good morning from NZ, Jaq,
I do a lot of writing in my work and am planning to blog when David and I start a new part of our narrowboating next year - we have just purchased a lovely boat and are very excited about extending the adventure after 20 years of hiring regularly.
I look forward to meeting you and Les on the cut - so get him out of hospital and back in your health-giving care asap!
Warmest regards,
Marilyn McD

Graham & Corinne said...

Hui Jaq,
Follow the blog daily so am glad Les looks like he's finally on the mend. Give him our love.
Your music choices spookily would be in my top 20 classics as well! I may have just added Bach's Sheep may safely graze and Canteloube's Chanson Auvernois for good measure!
Chin up (as they say, whoever 'they' are...).
Graham & Corinne, nb Winnie Bea, Little Ouse, Brandon

Carrie Bird said...

Hi both
Sorry to read of your latest trauma is heartbreaking stuff
Sorry did not post sooner but have moved off Uccello and have been busy moving into our flat in Kent which did not go too well but we are getting sorted
We hope Les makes a speedy recovery and you Jacq take it easy
Take care
Love the Birds and bungie x

Anonymous said...

In the US, as you probably know Jaq, you can challenge their desire to release you. If you feel bringing him back to the boat puts him at risk ...say so formally. Sooo grateful he's past the crisis and that you have so many there that want to and can help you.
Pullman Karen

Carol said...

Hi Jaq, good news about Les, give him our love. The music is superb, I often sit in the back of the boat and listen to music, it can be so uplifting. Keep that optimism going, it will carry you forward. George x

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs

NB Valerie & Steam Train by Les Biggs