About Margreet... #16

the letters


-------- Original Message --------

Subject: about Margreet...
Date: Thu, 17 Aug 2006 21:44:43 +0200
From: Bob Ocegueda <bob@oceguedaproductions.com>
To: Bob Ocegueda <bob@oceguedaproductions.com>
CC: Margreet <margreet@oceguedaproductions.com>

Dear Family and Friends,
     Not so good news.  Day before yesterday Margreet suffered what appears 
     to have been an epileptic seizure.  It was a strange one.  There were 
     not the typical convulsions but just a stiffening of the body with her 
     head and eyes turned all the way to the left.  It happened just before 
     she was to eat her lunch.  When the doctor came after my phone call, he 
     first thought that it may be bleeding from the tumor, due to the 
     suddenness of the event.  He gave her some shots with muscle relaxant so 
     she wouldn't be sore when she comes out of it (if it was an epileptic 
     fit) and some extra dexametazone to relieve the swelling around the tumor.
     Her pupils did not respond to a light shoned into them, and was 
     completilly unresponsive to any of our calls.  When I talked to Marcia, 
     who was away on visit in Sneek (a town in the Friesland province) and 
     descrived what I'd seen and what the doctor had said, she thought she 
     was in a coma and that would have been the worst.  The damage from 
     bleeding in the brain is usually permanent.  However, the doctor made 
     sure that I understood that these were just guesses, since there is no 
     way of knowing for sure what was happening in there.
     The question arose as to whether she should stay here in the 'huisje' or 
     should she be taken to the hospital.  I know she doesn't like hospitals, 
     and they would not be able to do anything to help her anyway, so we've 
     kept her here, which was a good decision as I'll explain below.
     The doctor contacted the nursing organization that's been taking care of 
     her and they started preparations to have a nurse at night, so I'd be 
     able to sleep.  A hopital bed was ordered and would come in the next 
     day.  We started thinking about where to put all the stuff the the 
     little house, our regular beds, dresser, table, etc. so they would have 
     room to work around the bed.
     The doctor and his assistant left and said that they'd be back later in 
     the afternoon.  I stayed in the huisje to keep an eye on her.  A couple 
     of hours later, two friends of her arrived for a visit.  She'd invited 
     them during the morning to come for some coffee.  That's how unexpected 
     this thing was.  I'd forgotten to cancel their visit.  They stayed for a 
     little while.  During that time Margreet started to become conscious.  A 
     little bit.  In and out of consciousness.  She complained of a head ache 
     and neck pain, during her semi awake periods.
     This was good news!  The doctor had said that the next 6 to 8 hours 
     would be crusial in telling us what was happening inside her.  So it 
     started looking, to me, more like an epileptic fit than a hemorrage.  By 
     the time the doctor came back she was "fully" conscious.  She'd been 
     even able to go to the "WC stoel" (as Arianna calls it, "WC chair") with 
     my help.  So later on we cancelled the night nurse and next day the 
     hospital bed.
     On Tuesday, yesterday, she called her friends again and they came back 
     on the afternoon.  This time they had a good time chatting, drinking 
     tea, eating coockies, telling stories, commenting how good she looked 
     now, and so forth.
     She's told me that she could hear everything during the epileptic fit 
     (it seems that that is what it was.  Her present condition does not fit 
     a hemorrage pattern)  She recognized the voices of the people around her 
     and was very comforted to have familiar voices around her, which 
     wouldn't have been the case if she was in the hopital.  She repeated 
     many of the questions we'd been asking her to see if she was concious.  
     She made fun of some of the things we'd said.  She also mentioned that 
     she'd become scared when she heard the doctor say that it could be a 
     hemorrage in the brain, so now we know not to talk about her condition 
     when we are within earshot.  We also know that we can talk to her when 
     she's in this condition, we just won't get a response.  At several 
     points during the insident, she'd been making noices with her mouth.  I 
     called it 'talking in toungues'.  She said that she was trying to tell 
     us somethings, but the words just wouldn't come out.
     She said that this was something like a small 'preview' of what death 
     may be like, "and it's not that bad" she said.  Her oncologist has 
     mentioned that the symptoms for this type of tumor are that she will 
     become more and more sleepy until at some point she just won't wake up 
     and she will be in a  coma for some time. 
     This morning she had two similar insidents, only much less severe.  She 
     came out of them in a few minutes.  The doctor gave her a shot of valeum 
     to relax her muscles, so she was sleepy most of the day.  Not a very 
     comforting sight for me, I must say.
     "We should have been paying more attention to Goofy" she said today.  
     "Goofy" is the name she gave to the tumor part that is growing close to 
     the portion of the brain that causes epileptic fits.
     She and Marcia had a little crying session while I was at work.  She's 
     afraid that Marcia may not be taking this very well.  But I think she is 
     taking it well.  She just melts during those special moments.
     When I came back from work she asked me if she was to come back as a 
     bird, what kind of bird should she be?  She doesn't want to come back as 
     a dove or a butterfly.  I suggested maybe a swan.  "Yeah, they are very 
     elegant" she said "but I think I'd come back as a hummingbird."  She'd 
     been remembering the hummingbirds in Catalina island.  They are 
     beautiful and feisty, always bitching about their "feeder rights" around 
     the house.  "I could come back and still bitch at you" she said.  And I 
     can believe that, if I didn't keep the feeder full all the time.  It 
     reminds me that the symbol for the god to which the Aztecs dedicated all 
     their human sacrifices was a hummingbird, so their courage and 
     feistiness has been recognized in previous cultures... hmmm, yeah, that 
     would be a good bird for her.
     (Next day, Thursday)
     Today she's been weak and disoriented.  Her head and eyes pull to the 
     left from time to time.  When she's laying in bed that's toward the 
     corner where there's a bureau with a small basket full with papers, 
     magazines and toys for Arianna.  She says that she trying to figure out 
     how she's going to clean it, but I know better.  We are waiting for some 
     new medicine against epilepsy to see if that will help her any.  Should 
     be here tomorrow.  The dosage of dexametasone is also being increased.  
     I don't know if the chaparral tea did anything other that keep her 
     spirit up, which in itself would be a great benefit.  She's still 
     drinking it though.
     She still wants to reach her original goal, which was to be able to 
     celebrate her 60th birthday, which is coming on 15 September, less than 
     a month.  We're planning to have a tent in the backyard and have food 
     catered by one of our friends.  But she's added a new requirement.  She 
     wants to have a mariachi band playing.  (Don't know where we'll find one 
     around here... maybe she'll settle for a trio, I think that's more 
     manageable... but these are details, we'll have something live and lively)
     Meanwhile I'm hoping that she'll be well enough to enjoy the 
     festivities.  It could go either way.
     She asked that you keep sending her light and prayers.  She believes 
     that that keeps her spirit high.



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