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Day 2 Post. Okay 3

June 20, 2018

Really day 3, if you count the big day as 1.

There is an ongoing debate on whether day 2 or 3 is harder. I think from Carl’s perspective day 2 wins. It was not all bad but he had some really painful bouts and couldn’t get fully comfortable. Day 3 includes more activities that are tiring. But in the morning they removed the chest tubes which got rid of the most intense pain source, or so it seems.

Still in ICU for another day, but after addition of more bionics tomorrow morning we are hoping for a move to the regular floor.

Wow, I just looked at the picture and for a moment he reminded me of my uncle Don. Which is funny (to me) because several years ago there were pictures of Carl that reminded me of my cousin Mac, Don’s son. And of course Carl is only related by marriage.

My schedule has fallen into a bit of a pattern. Wake up, water the raspberries and whatever else there is time for, make some food to take, jump in the car to get to the hospital before shift change (when you get the scoop), hang out while trying to stay out of the way, watch some soccer and maybe baseball, leave late for home, eat something and fall asleep until the alarm goes off again. Repeat. I will undoubtedly get this down just as it all changes. Progress!

And it’s a scorcher today in the real world. Luckily for us, by the time we head home the temperature is supposed to be much more Seattle like.🌦

A Day

June 19, 2018

Alarm was set for 3:45 am. Woke up just before it went off. Unlike many early risings for plane trips, we both fell asleep pretty easily last night, and are reasonably well rested.

Similar to airports, what seems to be a time when few should be awake – but everyone else is also trying to make that early flight, there was a line at the reception desk. 5 am, but we weren’t stressed about getting through security.

The rest of this entry may have more information than you want. Feel free to skip. This is a way for me to keep track as it happens.

Into the pre-procedure room area. Same place we went for the heart catheterization test a few days ago. I will admit to having lost track of the specific order and days of all of the recent appointments.

In this first stop he has been measured, questioned several times, poked once (so far), and just about completely shaved. The last is the biggest visual change. And we met with at least half a dozen folks that are in charge of his care.

It took the anesthesiologist saying twice it was time for hugs and kisses for me to realize I was being shown the door, or curtain. This was the first time this morning that things got emotional. 7:15 am. What is the last thing you should say, before everything is different?

The focus is really 3 months down the road, when abilities should start to return. The next three months of recovery are still the grand unknown.

We did finally settle on a bell so I can be at Carl’s beck and call. It is the type you might see in a hotel lobby when the clerk has stepped away from the desk. Our other choice was a cowbell, but the sound didn’t resonate and I didn’t want to be listening to Christopher Walken and Will Farrell references ad nauseam.

In the meantime I am cooling my heels in the reception waiting area. Doing some work. Focus can be distracting. As can the sounds of construction, drills and saws… they did warn that hospitals are not quiet places, but hammering was unexpected.

9:04 first update – stable, bypass underway (1 vessel)

I finally understand why I didn’t get where the Starbucks was that everyone uses as a landmark for giving directions in the hospital. It is closed and under construction behind white temporary walls. I could see the ubiquitous sign, but no cafe. That’s the source of all of the construction noise.

9:48 second update – stable, on the heart/lung machine, bypass still underway.

In addition to the construction noise there had been a crying toddler, and I accept that as normal and expected. Now a barking dog. I don’t think this is a service dog training aspect, so am slightly annoyed.

Took a bit of a wander. Around the block. Figuring out the lay of the land, beyond the parking structure to hospital skybridge. And a bit more work. Wander for some more food.

12:30 third update – off of the heart/lung machine with no complications. Watching for some time before closing.

Work and wait.

1:05 fourth update with the surgeon. Looking good. Closing underway.

1:20 packing him up. Up to the ICU.

In the family waiting room, another family getting some not so good news. Should I leave? I don’t know where I would go. So I focus on my stuff. First time I wish I had a second with me.

2:20 visit in his room, for a few minutes. Lots of tubes, he looks kind of small in the bed. Sleeping. And I have been kicked out for another hour.

Now to communicate with those who care.

3:35 Back to ICU. Still sleeping until ~3:50 when he “woke up”. It’s a little hard to tell the difference, except that he responds to commands.

During this interlude I took a moment to check out the array of things coming and going from Carl. My count was 2 in the mouth; 2 in the neck, splitting to 7 outputs and 2 inputs; 2 in the right arm; chest tube or 2 plus the aforementioned wires; and for the left arm a blood pressure cuff and O2 sensor. Plus a few more I probably can’t discern.

4:50 Major move forward. Breathing tube and stomach tube out. And he speaks, sort of. Complaints that are appropriate.

And so recovery begins. His sense of humor appears to be intact. When a worker delivered his bag of clothes from the pre-op area Carl forcefully (for this moment) said, “okay, let’s go home.” I told him we could, as soon as he can tie his shoes.

9:00 pm -sat up on the side of the bed, stood and got into a chair. Assisted fully of course.

And it’s now the next morning. Tired enough that I didn’t hit post. Not rereading either.

Will Work for Food

June 14, 2018

Work on the raspberries has devolved into watering. But it looks as though we will get fruit from the tangled web.

My modest garden is a profusion of green. Not sure how this is going to turn out. Seems rather crowded.

Some tomatoes starting to take shape.

Mini strawberries anyone? I never did get the full size variety in. Maybe in the fall.

And it looks like I will have Carl wandering around the house for another weekend. His date with the doc was postponed until Monday. Apparently there were a few sicker folks around.

Daily doses

June 13, 2018

What with appointments and Carl generally feeling poorly, we have missed part or all of several mariner games. And they are playing entertaining baseball.

Today was par for the course. Morning doctor appointments and tests, and off to the game. We lasted a bit more than 5 innings. (Frances stopped by, a past ticket rep, now moved up the chain)

The game was tied 4-4 as we exited the stadium. It ebbed and flowed, with the Mariners falling behind and then tying it up again. Until Mitch Hanniger hit a game-winning walk-off home run. (By our rules we get a no-decision for the game. )

It’s amazing that the Mariners are 20 games over .500. What’s even more interesting is that the Mariners are 11-0 in games that Carl missed or left early. Not sure they will let him see a complete game again.

Watching

June 11, 2018

The good news is that our hospital has a tv package that includes the Mariners coverage.

They also get the local channel that will carry some World Cup games.

We are just here for a few hours today, but later this week it will be for several days.

In between we are trying to squeeze in a bit of normalcy. For me that means work. For Carl, trying not to work. Not even doing the dishes. I knew about diet restrictions before surgery, but chore restrictions? (Although this is due to a catheter hole in his wrist, rather than abilities.)

The other half

June 10, 2018

Work kept me late on Monday. The normal Board meeting, until 6 or so. Then the unusual offsite meeting with a congenial group of neighbors considering whether to join the public water system or stay on their private 10 lot system. About 9 my colleague and I exited the house. Across the private drive an eagle suddenly landed on the grass, harassed by crows. As it took off, it appeared to drop something. And here it is, the butt end of a fish!

I wonder who will finish this delicacy? Eagle, crows of a wandering dog.

And we went to see The Hunchback of Notre Dame. They used the Disney songs, but I read that the play differed considerably from the movie, and was closer to the book. For one thing, the actor playing Quasimodo was deaf. While he did speak, he signed the songs, accompanied by a gargoyle who sang. It was a good show.

I had never seen the Disney movie, and Carl said he had, but thought it was too dark to watch again with the kids (pre-schoolers).

June 4, 2018

A little baseball, a little soccer, filling in forms, and blowing my nose.

That about sums up my weekend.

The Mariners are winning more than losing, so that’s good. And they held a pre-game photo session for season ticket holders, that was well run, and fun. No autographs were allowed, so that removed one element that can be sort of pushy. Instead the players just made their way around the stadium warning track, chatting and posing for pictures. What the Mariners did right was have the players start at different locations so nobody was at the beginning or end of the line.

Julio Cruz, an original Mariner who pointed out he still fit his uniform.

Two coaches Carl talks with a lot.

Heredia, an outfielder

Edgar Martinez (future hall-of-famer)

The moose

Soccer, even an action shot. The player in red is Parker. A friend from Eugene up for a showcase tournament. He played 4 games in two days, scoring 2 goals along the way.

The rest of the weekend was much more mundane. Trying to remember medical histories and weeding. An interesting choice of chores.

And I seem to have picked up a cold. Hopefully short lived. Of course I have a neighborhood meeting tonight … where I will hopefully have a voice and limited coughing.

A flyover, maybe, from Memorial day, if it works

Saturday Night Lights

May 27, 2018

We went to the Mariners game tonight. But did not sit in our regular seats. We tried a different point of view for the evening. It was fun, especially after the very tall folks in front of us left, and I no longer had to sit on extra clothes to see.

The game went 12 innings. After 9 we returned to our normal seating area so we could snag a ride home.

They showed a between inning clip of “Who made the catch?” The clip shows a play where the ball goes into the crowd and they highlight 3 or 4 fans, and you guess who catches the ball. And one of the clips they used was Carl catching a home run. The regulars were all looking around trying to find Carl, and a few found him in the back row, rather than the front. It was fun. More so because the game winning home run was hit soon after.

The prior paragraphs were written largely on the way home from the game. Another day has come and gone.

Brief Sunday update.

Slept in.

Read the newspaper.

Weeded and watered.

Walked to and from the grocery store.

Made a dinner with yogurt marinated baked chicken in a wrap with a yogurt/cilantro/cucumber/tomato sauce. Pretty tasty.

Tomorrow it’s supposed to be a bit cooler, and we are heading back to the ballpark.

Mish Mash

May 25, 2018

Neighborhood changes continue.

This was Dantes, a bar around for many, many years. And a small repair garage. There was a fire in Dantes a few years ago. It did not destroy the building, and the owners initially declared they would repair and reopen. I don’t think I ever really believed that would happen. The fire more likely provided the answer to the question of WHEN they would tear down and rebuild into a 5-7 story apartment building with retail on the bottom, like every other 2 story or less building in our commercial area.

This is sometimes how work feels lately. Aggressively trying to finish something. Anything. But thwarted from what you can visualize by a force field you can’t control.

And now for the elephant in the room. We learned that Carl has to have a major surgery. Probably in late July. It is currently consuming thoughts, energy and planning.

I will work for food

May 17, 2018

My mother has the gardening gene. Me, not so much. I have killed off every indoor plant we had. We manage the outdoor areas, barely. When we had to replace our backyard, following its use as a staging area for the remodel, we just kept saying, “low maintenance!”

Except for plants that provide things to eat.

The raspberry patch was here before we were, and we have developed a routine that provides a good crop each year. Usually peaking when we go on vacation. The landscaper put in some mini-strawberries that are really sweet, but not very filling. I finally got a few raised beds built and planted.

Four of the five zucchini hills appear to be sprouting. And the bush peas are also showing themselves. One of the tomato plants has flowers, the other none. Perhaps I should replace the slow to produce plant.

The new azalea/rhodedendron is demanding water everyday. I am obliging for now. (Note the cala lily that won’t be killed, regardless of any thing we do.)

Chores that have not been done. Trimming a huge hedge. Getting some regular strawberries to plant. Weeding, weeding, weeding.