D’Arcy’s first visit with Chris

October 14, 2009

D’Arcy got to go and see our friend Chris today for the first time since his massive brain bleed. His wife, Gwen is back to work three days a week and he is ready for outside visitors. We knew D’Arcy had appointments in the city yesterday & today, but since Gwen wouldn’t be in today decided this would be a better time to visit to break up the day for Chris. We asked her permission and D’Arcy tried to prepare himself with the guidelines she had set out in Chris’ journal.

The following is the email report I sent to Gwen tonight as dictated by D’Arcy (I’m the faster typer!):

Hi Gwen,

D’Arcy had two short, but good, visits with Chris today.

When he arrived at about 10:30, Chris was on top of his bed, awake. He was dressed and wearing his running shoes, on top of his covers, but covered with his magic blanket. D’Arcy walked in and said, “Hi Chris” and went to his right side (because he forgot that he was supposed to go to his left). He told Chris, “It’s D’Arcy” and Chris clearly said “It’s nice to see a friendly face – everyone else here wants something from me!” Chris put his hand out and D’Arcy held it. D’Arcy told him that he had dropped our van off and was in the city for an appointment and wanted to come and see how he was doing. D’Arcy couldn’t understand everything Chris tried to say to him, but thought Chris was asking about the folder under his arm. D’Arcy explained that he had brought his marking with him to the city to keep him occupied at his appointments. He went on to tell Chris about his Angels winning against Boston (to which Chris gave a thumbs up) and said he thought that they were playing Philadelphia next, but Chris corrected him to say that they’d be playing New York. He teased him and said that he always thought that Chris was a Red Sox fan. After about ten minutes, knowing that visits should be kept short, D’Arcy told Chris that he was going to an appointment, but that he would come back to see him. At that point, D’Arcy said he looked like he was ready to go to sleep, but as he left, physio was arriving.

D’Arcy called me after he left Chris and filled me in on the visit. I had asked how he looked and D’Arcy responded, “Like Chris.” He noted that his hands were pale and his lips looked chapped (which is how mine always got during my hospital stays when the kids were born!). D’Arcy did not notice that he had any tubes connected to him at all. D’Arcy was certain that Chris knew him and felt that he was genuinely happy that he had come by to visit.

The second visit was shorter. He arrived shortly after lunch, around 12:45. Two nurses were in his room changing his bed and Chris was (still?) awake. D’Arcy gave Chris the report that he has to get a splint for his wrist because he’s been diagnosed with carpel tunnel and his arm goes numb when he runs now. Chris asked D’Arcy something, but D’Arcy couldn’t understand his question. (Maybe he was asking him to be part of his Cape Breton relay team next year?!) D’Arcy talked a bit about what was going on and told him that he was going back to Truro shortly. Chris very clearly said “Thank You” to him for stopping in and D’Arcy said that we would come by to visit him again. They shook hands and D’Arcy patted him on the shoulder before leaving.

He’s really glad that he went.

Gwen & I have emailed since and I’m going to take Alex by next week (Alex has been asking) after his eye appointment. I think that seeing the reality of Chris’ now is less scary than the images that he’s imagined since that awful night we told him that Chris was going to die.

Gwen seemed pleased with the visit and happy that Chris was able to remember the baseball details. I replied that D’Arcy felt that Chris was absolutely aware of who he (D) was and went so far to say that they were able to carry on a conversation as well as two men; one who mumbles, and one who is re-learning to speak can while holding hands! (Chris will love that observation when he’s ready to read it!)

I can’t wait for my turn to visit!

Please keep Chris, Gwen, Tara & Quinn in your prayers! You can follow their story at: http://marathon-of-hope.blogspot.com/

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