Message from Stewart

9 Oct

Message from Stewart:

Hi all,

I love your visits. Please keep coming, it gives me energy and motivation. BUT, do not come without arranging a visit with my daughter Ceara. There are many reasons for this: I may already have too many visitors that day, or I may be ill, or having a medical procedure at that time. Yesterday, I had to ask my visitor to leave after only 25 minutes when I became quite ill. And today, I had to ask an unscheduled visitor to cut short the visit. So please, I want to see you but please respect my health, it’s my priority right now. 


This was another first: first trip out of the hospital in almost 3 months: I went in a handibus to check out Garrison Green, a managed care facility which might become my half-way house when I’m discharged. 


On the return trip, I took a shared taxi back to the hospital. I was really glad that my wheelchair was strapped to the floor because of the taxi driver’s “enthusiastic” driving. 


My comment on both these trips is the outside world is very noisy. As a pilot, the motions didn’t bother me, but the noise was almost too much. 



Following the high of the trip came a crashing low of unwanted consequences. Because of the turbulence, my legs splayed out and pressed against the sides of my wheelchair, which impeded circulation. The net result was a phenomenon called autonomic dysreflexia. My body shot my blood pressure to 180/140. Had we not found the problem, it would have kept rising until I might have had a stroke. As it was, as soon at the nurses tied the leg brace to my knees and moved my legs away from my chair edges, my systolic pressure dropped to 145 after 2 minutes and 120 after another 2 minutes. AD is pretty scary when it occurs, and the reasons can be varied, and the requiring an investigation each time. 


My next outing, this sunday, is a eagerly awaited thanksgiving lunch with my entire family and my girlfriend’s family. Pureed turkey, anyone?

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