Day 15 – Rollercoaster Ride

I actually hate rollercoasters. Back in the days when I was trying to be a good Catholic girl, I would go on rollercoasters to prove to myself that I could and then pray the entire time. “I promise to be good the REST of my life, just let me live through this.” And then, I would collapse on a park bench in a heap of weak limbs and sweaty skin.

So yesterday, after the relaxing day that I described, Layton had a challenging night.  He didn’t want me to leave so at 9, I made sure Mom got back to the room and then came back to be with Layton.  About 10, Layton began throwing up-sorry to be so descriptive-but it is nasty to do this at the best of times-it is worse with a trach and needing suction.  It was a very frightening experience for both of us.  Even with the trach, it was hard for him to breath.  For almost an hour, he had two RNs and an RT supporting him as he struggled through this.  When I asked if this was normal or what we could do to prevent this, I was told simply, “This is ICU/Trauma.   Nothing is normal.”  I guess I have observed that over the past two weeks.  Layton had a pretty good night after that, but it sure took a lot out of him.

Today, Layton had a couple of sessions sitting up in a chair, first one for two hours, the next for just over an hour.  In case, you haven’t noticed, he has a pretty scrawny butt and it gets SO sore in this chair.  The sitting up is going to help loosen the secretions in his lungs…which leads to more painful suction.  So what is good for him, hurts him. His own rollercoaster.

The doctor says his x-rays are better again today and he thinks the insurance company may send a Leer jet for us sometime next week, assuming the progress continues, but Layton will still be on the ventilator at Kelowna General Hospital.

So back to the rollercoaster ride.  As the sedation has decreased, Layton has become increasingly aware of his surroundings…and his limitations.  The gratitude for his recoverable injuries, the helplessness of his recoverable injuries.  The frustration of not being able to do almost anything for himself from moving a pillow to straightening himself out in bed (he is constantly “listing” to the right), the humor and wit of his short written comments (when asked if he had had a bowel movement during the day, he wrote “ghost poop”, meaning, “No, he hadn’t”).  Up and down and around the bend.

Over the past few years, I have changed, thankfully, so that I learned to better control my mind…fewer panicked thoughts, promising to “be good for the rest of my life”.  I now know with confidence that “This too shall pass” as someone remarked in one of our blog comments.  A year ago tonight, Layton and I were dancing at our friend, Lesley’s 50th birthday.  A year from now we will likely be having one of the most special Father’s Days ever.  Maybe that will be the change in our lives….the rollercoaster of life will just be rolling hills, offering enough variety to keep life interesting and enough predictability to keep the blood pressure down.

Blessings to all the fathers out there in blogland…may you have the capacity to “flatten the track” for your loved ones when they really need it.

16 thoughts on “Day 15 – Rollercoaster Ride

  1. Happy Fathers Day Layton!

    As I get ready to go, I’m thinking about how much you enjoy coming to the Centre, and I wondered if you knew that you can hear the talks online now. It usually takes a couple of days for the current talk to be posted, but it is well worth waiting for. Deb is very excited about doing the Fathers Day talk this morning, and I know it will be excellent.

    I’m glad to hear that plans are in the works for bringing you home. Yaaaay!!! Layton, I really look forward to participating again in your magnificent Sunday meditations, and Myrna, thank you so much for keeping us all informed and inspired! You rock!

    Much love, and big hugs,



  2. Happy Father’s Day Dad!!! We are so happy to hear of your progress and can’t wait to come see you back in Kelowna!

    Love you lots!!!


  3. Hi Myrna, and Layton.

    Happy Fathers Day!!!!!! We are knowing that next year at this time a great celebration will be taking place.
    Now it is time for the nurse in me to speak regarding Laytons
    vomiting. Th formula he may be getting may be too rich or he is getting too much volume. The dietitian can provide support here.
    Sending you lots of love and Dean says Hello.




  4. Not often do you find Bill and I stuck for words. As much as we have been following Layton’s progress, and sending our thoughts and prayers on a daily basis…each time we go to write something, we get stuck. We can’t wait until you are all back in Kelowna and we will happily satisfy your auditory needs! As always, we are in awe of your incredible strength, and ability to turn even the most trying of situations into ones of learning, humour and opportunity. I look forward to you making millions marketing the “testicle ticklers”.

    Take care, and here’s hoping the roller coaster ride has calmed down!
    Love Carla and Bill


    • Thanks so much for your kind words, support and especially friendship. I just heard about Shanna and trust she is as tough as this old dog and will recover as well. Looking forward to the day we can all get together and relax.



  5. Happy Fathers Day Dad, I love you!! I hope you get some cool pictures soon to brighten your day and know your adorable grandchildren are thinking about you!


  6. Myrna,

    Waiting, worrying, praying, and laughing at Layton’s endless wit (“ghost-poop”!!)… has us on a roller coaster ride of our own. Thank you for keeping us up to date and sharing this journey with all of us who care so very much about you both.

    So now, what’s this about Layton’s gettin’ himself a Lear Jet for the day? You just know that he will NEVER let us live that one down. Not too shabby, Mr. Park!

    The closest Bill’s ever gotten to that kind of 1st-Class treatment was when I stuffed him into the front seat of my old sports car to blast him off to the emergency room for a welding flash. The blinding pain and blurry vision combined with the remarkably inappropriate speed at which I was travelling created the illusion of us being propelled at hyper-speed through some star system (picture an old Star Wars movie when the space ship hits warp speed). As I recall, there was screaming. But I’m pretty sure he started it.

    As for today, we are happy to hear that he’s making such progress, but saddened to know that each forward step brings with it physical pain. Thank God he’s as strong as he is in every way. And you too.

    Stay strong, Myrna. We are sending many hugs and prayers to you both,

    Karen and Bill


  7. Hi Myrna – thank you for the informative up dates and for sharing your personal challenges with us all. My hubby is in a full blown MS attack and after almost 8 years we finally know that it is MS that he has. I empathize with the roller coaster of emotions and circumstance that you and Layton are experiencing.

    I am learning so much from you about handling the pressure cooker of emotions. So thank you for writing what you do with such honesty.

    I pray for you both and look forward to every post.



  8. Hi Myrna,
    So shocked to hear about Layton. I had heard he had had an accident but no idea it was so serious. Please give him my best regards for a quick and strong recovery. You are both such interesting people! Love your blog! Take care, thoughts and prayers go to you all. Regards, Melonie Gillis.


    • Thanks so much your comments and thoughts were important to me. It will be some time before I can come back to GP but I hope to see you then. In the mean time I am healing and will soon be writing again.



  9. Hi Bro, Keeping up-to-date on the daily good and bad that you are going through. We will be down to visit you as soon as you are up to it. Wish I had something else to say to encourage you, but I can’t think of anything. I know from experience that the hurting will stop, but it probably seems like it never will. Hang in there, we’re rooting for you.


  10. Hi guy`s, good to hear the positive progress! I`ll be slipping out to see ya when yur back. It`s all gonna be more better, Morley


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