Two Mules for Sister Sara

Journal entry by Julia Lundman

It’s amazing how little quality sleep a stroke patient can get in intensive care. We were so happy when Jamie was moved out of the ultra critical stage and into acute rehab, one of the many benefits of which I thought would be a good night’s rest. 

Apparently after having suffered a stroke, many patients experience extreme fatigue. This is due to the mind and body requiring all the energy necessary to reconnect tissue. Jamie has a difficult time keeping his eyes open for long stretches, often dozing off throughout the day. However, what had looked like sleep to me was apparently still not very good sleep; I was surprised when he complained to the staff that he needed even more and requested a sleeping pill. Thursday evening, the doctor approved a dose, gave him the pills, and off to sleep he went and I went home.

When I came by Friday morning, Jamie complained again that he was still very tired. Again, I was surprised. “Didn’t the sleeping pill help you last night?”  “NO. It wasn’t strong enough.” We went though the day of various therapies, Jamie dozed off in short bursts again, napped after dinner, and then woke up again around 7:00, complaining to me about not being able to sleep. We called in the night shift RN, to whom Jamie demanded give him the strongest dose possible so that he could have one very long stretch of sleep rather than short bursts. The RN patiently explained that if she gives him the dose at 8:00, he will most likely wake up in 5-6 hours. “Well then give me another”. haha…

Truth be told, since December 26th, I have not had much sleep myself. I have had a somewhat similar feeling of not-really-sleeping. Not only is it terrible to go home and
not have Jamie there, but also I find myself thinking, thinking, thinking during the the more conscious moments trying to work out all of the various logistics between Jamie’s old apartment, which we still have for now, how to prep our apartment for home health care, what I need to do, and so many, many, many other questions, anxieties, worries, concerns, feelings of panic, pain, and “why Jamie?” thoughts.  

Finally, the Nurse decided to give Jamie a large dose of the sleeping pill around 10:00. The staff brought in a bed for me to sleep on next to his, and we drifted off together. Overnight he woke up a few times, but I was there to let him know that everything is ok, and that he needs to get back to sleep. He followed my command, and we both fell asleep peacefully with each waking.

This morning we both woke around the same time, about 8:00. Wow, what a difference a good night’s rest can make. Jamie had some breakfast while I had some coffee. As we powered up for a full day of therapy, we turned on AMC. “Two Mules for Sister Sara” – an excellent movie to watch over breakfast after having a full nights rest. 

We are ready to face another day.



20 thoughts on “Two Mules for Sister Sara”

  1. Dear Jamie and Julia!
    Glad to hear you both got some Zzzz’s! Two Mules for Sister Sara is a GREAT film! So glad you enjoyed it!
    About the sleep thing, I don’t know if Classical Music or New Agey stuff is your thing, but my Mum really was helped into sleep by playing gentle classical music in the background. String quartets playing Bach, Vivaldi or even Vangelis seemed to help drown out some of the hospital noise…Pandora is pretty good at this, off a cell phone or Ipad as long as you keep it plugged in and playing low in the background. It’s also supposed to be good for the brain as it heals…but what do I know…I ‘aven’t got one!
    Big hugs around all your naughty parts to the both of you and lots of boob honks too! xoxoxo
    — Kirk Thatcher, January 5, 2013

  2. Good morning Jamie & Julia! I’ve got a new word that I love, ‘Splendid’, that’s replacing ‘awesome, great, etc’ and it’s a word that perfectly describes what I think of when I think of you two together – Splendid!Even now, when things are not so ‘plein air’ for awhile, that’s what you guys are.
    Yer m8
    PS – my 2 best jokes are too hideous to post here, but worth the wait.
    — Scott Tolmie, January 5, 2013

  3. Glad that Jamie is out of intensive care and in acute rehab. His sleep patterns will eventually normalize, especially once he gets into the routine of physical rehab. When Ashley was in acute rehab following her spinal cord injury we had a massage therapist come in, along with a Physician on staff that did acupuncture three evenings a week. The rehab Psychologist also provided us with guided imagery and relaxation tapes that helped with sleep and anxiety. (It helped John and I also) You may ask about some of these alternative remedies for healing. Love you!
    — Deborah Schutz, January 5, 2013

  4. ahoy Mighty Jamie,
    Do all those doctors and nurses and assorted therapist technicians know that someday (soon!) they’ll all be cruelly caricatured with beautifully accurate scribbles of them pondering, pontificating and poking? That they’d better get on your good side, bring you your meds the instant you squeak, open the drapes the instant the sun comes out, add more gravy to your ice-cream? If you don’t warn them they’ll be sorry, getting all weepy looking at the pix saying, “Are my earlobes REALLY that big?” (We’re rootin’ for you, dude!)
    — George Evelyn, January 5, 2013

  5. Yikes! TWO MULES was good? Shirley MacClain IS the two greatest Hollywood cliches in that movie – the beautiful nun AND a whore with a heart of gold. You must be feeling better or getting good drugs, because that doesn’t sound like the critical cinema aware Jimmy Baker I know – “No mate, Thor is God and Ironman is just technological marvel, therefore, methinks blah blah blah blah…”
    Quick get this man the Complete first season of THE WIRE or something…
    Trust me Julia, if ONCE UPON A TIME IN THE WEST and Claudia Cardinale comes on turn it OFF! Tony Stacchi
    — Tony Stacchi, January 6, 2013

  6. Ok, haven’t see “Two Mules” yet so that’s going on the list but it better be good or Hulk will SMASH! I’ve only got time for Good movies with SPYS and SUPERHEROES and kickings of backsides of bad bad men…and Monsters who don’t discriminate on backside kickin’. You know what I mean.
    — bosco ng, January 6, 2013

  7. Hi Jamie and Julia
    Good sleep is underrated and under appreciated. Here’s to more quality sleep in the near future.
    We want to see a full recovery and back at the drawing board soon.

    As for movies, if you have access to a DVD player, or even a laptop, I can drop off some new releases. You simply must hear Russell Crowe in Les Mis.

    Sending lots of positive thoughts, and wishes.
    Xoxo RQ
    — Richard Quan, January 6, 2013

  8. J,
    continued thoughts and prayers for healing and comfort to you and your family. get well soon my friend! all the best,
    — ovi nedelcu, January 7, 2013

  9. Oh, loveable Jamie! I was devastated to hear about what happened. To the best of the best! All my best good healing thoughts go out to you, my friend and colleague. We miss you terribly here at work; I am so glad to hear that you’re improving by leaps and bounds, and that you’ve got such an army of friends and loving support. Julia, I’ve yet to meet you, but you are an angel to Jamie and to all of us who adore him. Thank you so much. Swift recovery to you, our pal Jamie, and please let us know if there’s anything at all that you need.xo,Suz
    — Susan Tatsuno, January 7, 2013

  10. No need for sleeping pills. I think all Jamie needed to get a good nights rest was having you there Julia.
    — Charlene Kelley, January 7, 2013

  11. A piece of string walks into a bar. The bartender looks at him and says, “You’re a piece of string, right? We don’t serve
    your kind here.” And the bouncer throws
    the string out onto the street.
    He picks himself up and ties himself into a half-hitch and
    drags a comb through his threads until he looks quite scraggly, and walks back into the bar.
    Again, the bartender looks at him suspiciously. “You’re a piece of string, right?”
    The string says, “I’m a frayed knot.” Give us another update will ya mate?
    — Jon McClenahan, January 7, 2013

  12. Jamie,
    Thought you’d be interested to know, Viz magazine’s “Profanisaurus” defines “Pisticuffs” as: n. A comical, druken attempt at combat.
    — Jonathan Rosenthal, January 7, 2013

  13. UH AWWWWGRRRR!!!!!! Feel better mate. Susan and I send our love. Get better you bastard and come out to new york.
    Love you man, really miss you, wish you a speedy recovery.

    Hi Jamie – It’s Susan here. We are thinking about you and send you a big hug! I hope you feel better soon!!!! xoxo, Susan
    PS: watch CONTEMPT next, by the way.

    — david gordon, January 7, 2013

  14. Oooh… CONTEMPT that’s soooo New York, GODARD even… wow Jamie and Julia you have sophisticated friends… I was just going to scroll down to the latest McClenahan joke and PA POW! Brigitte Bardot and Jack Palance hit me in the face… I thought it was the Dave Gordon I knew – the one who used to put his colonoscopy footage on his animation reel, but that couldn’t be the same guy. Must be some other Dave Gordon.
    Hang in there you two, Gordo is watching CONTEMPT , it’s a whole new ball game.
    — Tony Stacchi, January 7, 2013

  15. Julia ,you are a goddamn poet.Rivers of tears ,and no man is an island…in a sea of uncertainty hold steadfast ,keep the wind at your back and I like the cut of you jib.Seriously , your updates choke us up every time.
    Two Mules for sister Sarah, I am so old I saw that in the theater …first run. go Jamie go.

    — gordon clark, January 8, 2013

  16. Boney: the only reason CONTEMPT is my now favorite movie is for one reason and one reason only: repeated shots of Bridget Bardot’s
    perfect ass. pretty sophisticated, huh. same old gord.
    — david gordon, January 8, 2013

  17. G’Day double-J team
    Great news about the decent bout of sleep, kids. Also, please allow Jamie’s Dad to endorse the experience of Kirk Thatcher’s Mum on the efficacy of soft music in the earhole during the long hospital nights.
    When my recent post-surgery heartbeat was singing and dancing “Zippedy Doo Dah” and scaring the daylights out of me in those lo-o-ng nightwatches, James’s brother Dominic brought me the low-tech aid, appropriate to my age and IT savvy, of a tranny fitted with earphones of WWII fighter-pilot style and tuned to one of Sydney’s FM Fine Music stations. The music did turn out to have charms to soothe my, at that time, rather savage breast; and quite often to lull me to sleep.
    Wendy and I value every bulletin from Julia and Jo about Jamie’s progress and Julia’s fortitude. Treasure each other, you two.
    Love, Dad
    — Rob Baker, January 5, 2013

  18. Dear Jamie and Julia,
    I just wanted to say that we’re thinking about you both so much. Somewhat strangely, recently I’ve felt the need to start praying over the last few months, and I’ve been including you both, for what it’s worth. I wish that we were closer in proximity and there was something that we could do physically to help out. If there is anything we can do from overseas, please let us know- we’d really be so happy to do something that might be helpful.

    Jamie, you’re an incredible person, and Julia, from what you’ve written you sound like you have an amazing spirit as well. I’m so happy you have found each other. May this journey you’re on together open your hearts and minds even more. Please take care of yourselves, and each other, emotionally through this, and take people up on offers to help.

    Sending huge love and positive thoughts of healing, patience, peace, rehabilitation, lots of support, some humor, and deep restful sleep your way.
    Larissa xox

    — Larissa Martin, January 6, 2013


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