Sunday, November 22, 2009


Dear Family and Friends,

"Alhamdullilah!" is Arabic for -- "Praise the Lord!" It's also one of the Dances of Universal Peace chant/dances which Francis has loved from the beginning. In fact we often use it as a grace for meals.

If you saw the film, "the English Patient" you may remember the scene when an Arab who's trapped in his car buried in a sandstorm, cries out as he's dug out -- "Alhamdullah!"

It's fitting for us to use this cry of praise for two reasons.
First, if you remember, I mentioned a special event scheduled at Portland Yoga Studio yesterday: Halima and Abraham Sussman of Cambridge MA who were originally scheduled to lead an annual participatory Dances of Universal Peace retreat in Portland, led instead -- a benefit to help defray our expenses, -- "Community & Healing, an afternoon of renewal, generosity and healing."

Much as he would have liked to go, Francis was nowhere able, physically. Even for me, participating for about an hour was challenging enough. But the joy of it supported me. And it supported Francis when our Sufi leader friends came to visit him afterwards. So, -- "Alhamdullilah for that grace-filled community & healing gathering of 40 people!"

After a very rough week of Francis' seeming non-stop spitting of backed up gastric juices, I found it hard to see him bent over his "spitoon" looking gaunt, and rarely smiling. But the scopolamine patch Dr. Inhorn prescribed which dries up those juices really works! In contrast to the 5 oz of gastric juices I kept track of yesterday, there was only 1/2 of an oz tonight! And what a difference in his manner and appearance! He looked like himself today!

Of course the "dizziness" side effect scared us. This morning, while I was in the kitchen, I heard a thump and yelled "What happened?!" In an attempt to stand up (something he's been able to do easily,) he fell from his chair onto the rug but luckily the hassock used to elevate his legs cushioned the fall.

Then when Scott the PT from VNA came, Francis was unable to get out of his chair to walk. Same thing happened later in the day. Then, when I asked him only to stand while hanging onto his walker while I sprayed fluid on his TENS unit electrodes, he was so dizzy he had to quickly sit down to prevent a fall!

So I called the doctor-on-call but we immediately decided on our own to remove the patch. Good thing, because no response came from the doctor on call! But it was obviously a good move since after another nap, Francis awoke feeling even better -- AND, able to stand up!

That's when together we spontaneously started chanting -- "Alhamdullilah!"


PS The doctor called this morning and apologized for forgetting to call back! AND he offered to send a prescription to the pharmacy that's more short term to replace the more long term scopolamine IF the gastric juice "bolix"ing up happens again. He's such a good doctor!

No comments:

Post a Comment