May 6th Progress

David visited Tom and Ellen May 3 to 5 and was able to see for himself real improvement as the latest bout of chest infection was brought under control. There will be a risk of recurring infectioions as Tom learns to breathe on his own and the intensity of ventilation is reduced. But the physiotherapy remains intense and Tom’s spirit is strong. Ellen provides extraordinary support working in partnership with the physios and nurses. Tom had animated discussions yesterday with Laura, Raj and Gary; then later spoke with Susie and Polly. Today Tom and Ellen were joined again by Polly and Felix. A Tara Puja for Tom took place in Kathmandu on the 5th May.

6 thoughts on “May 6th Progress”

  1. Hi Tom.
    Good you are better from the chest bug and are starting the process of getting off the ventilator. But nice to have it around so you can chill out and not be stressed about something we all take for granted. Having lived very happily with someone who was paraplegic and could only move his arms and above, I know just how important well functioning lungs are! And how incredibly hard it is not to be able to cough deeply. Like breathing, most of the rest of the world cannot imagine life without taking coughing for granted. No-one even talks about it!
    I feel as though everything I write must be from a geological era ago because I do not have an Ipod, nor do I know the groups you like. And Kaveri and Elinor don’t have Ipods either and somehow stagger on with CDs and also have different music from you.
    So why don’t I be a proper fossil and tell you about my sunday? I have spent it gardening. Kaveri and I both spent an entire day working in the garden – for the first time ever for us as a ‘team’ and for the first time for ages for me. I have been too busy to garden : someone has come and kept it nice for 3 hours a week and now after 8 years the moment of truth is nigh because he has ‘retired’ and the bloke who said he would replace him has not turned up and the garden was RANK. Kaveri spent the entire day tearing ivy out of horizontal. It had invaded the lawn. We now have a gigantic bonfire which we are not allowed to light. We have a tiny little bag for the refuse collectors to take away next friday. Our bonfire is 8 foot high and 8 foot in diameter. I have no idea how we will crush all that into a little bag for the council. MAybe I will light it at night. Last week in desperation, I bought a lawnmower on the internet, and today I assembled it and tried it out. It is brilliant and makes stripey lines up and down the lawn. Next I pruned all the low hanging branches that had surprised and scratched me while mowing. After that I got wind in my sails and hacked off all the vegetation that was putting tendrils all over paths. Then I mended the fences on both sides – the one I control and the one I don’t control (which is rubbish). Then I transplanted teasels – I have no idea how they arrived – they have razor-sharp leaves and they take two years to fruit so I had not noticed the dangerous state they were in. In a way I hope they may not survive my treatment since they have left a bloody trace all over me. Nature as something to conquer rather than as something that is our essence or endlessly mysterious. After that I dug in all kinds of plants from pots which I had collected yesterday at our road’s recycling event – we still have a cat basket, our roller skates and some very nasty ski-boots which no-one wanted – but I am definitely a net gainer. Finally I had to clear up the terrible mess all the pruning had made on my immaculately mowed lawn. Now I feel as though I have been run over by a road roller and better have supper.
    At the end of the day I spent 5 still minutes in my new garden. It was green and tranquil. Pigeons, several robins, a sparrow (yes, they are now very rare) and a bluetit all behaved as though I were not there at all. I felt very blessed even though I am an atheist..
    Here endeth the letter from outer space.
    with love to you, Ellen and all your family from Barbara, Kaveri and Elinor – who spent the day as a locum at the Mill – East Oxford’s centre for mentally ill people and has many interesting tales to tell over supper.

  2. Hi Tom,

    After reading your posts, I just wanted to say I find your grit and determination truly amazing. After years of being at school with you I think I’m only now getting a picture of who you are and I’m taken aback.

    I’m knee high in revision for exams now but when there done I’ll sort out some music as well.


  3. tommyboy, tis giedii

    thinking of you man. hope your still going strong. looking forward to bringing yhou stacks of tuneswes and all that jazz
    peace doggy

  4. hey tom,
    glad to hear you are working away at the physio and getting good results, keep it up!
    must be a relief to be able to talk without it tiring you out, does that mean that you’ll be receiving visitors soon?
    in the meantime, wait for a disc through the mail which means you’ll be the official first-footer at our art show which opens for the hoi polloi on friday.
    all best

  5. Tom, all of us look forward to celebrating with you when you breathe on your own again – it will be a symbol of the progress to come. You are always in our thoughts, keep your courage up, my friend! A hug from Tom

  6. Hey Tom,
    Really good to hear your getting better man, thinking lots about you, all my love bru, look forward to getting back and coming to rib you about spurs!

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