Sixteen Days and Counting


First the good news

1. Jerry continues to get stronger.

2.  He’s very sharp…knows more about his tubes and what meds go where and how to fix quirky things than I do. I was so passive after my surgery. He’s way more interested in what’s going on and why. The nurses don’t have a lot of experience with feeding tubes so he supervises.

3 Four new babies yesterday. One set of twins.

4. Sean is safely back in LA. Erin’s  kids did terrific at their swim meet this weekend.

5.  My back is doing fine.

6. Jerry did better swallowing yesterday. Great therapist who had some good tips for him and really gave us a lot of hope that this swallowing issue is temporary and he’ll most likely get back to real food eventually.  And she’s coming back every day till he’s discharged. They still won’t let him have anything by mouth except during therapy sessions.  Are determined he won’t go back to ICU on their watch

7  I saw my sister’s grandkids last night.  Great to get a kid fix.  They are just beautiful and I loved spending time with them (and my nephew, Jason, and his wife, Ang)

8. We probably  know every nurse on the floor and they promise to take good care of me now that the kids are gone and I’m on my own.

9  We have a big beautiful room with lots of sun and light and a huge couch for me…best hospital room I’ve ever seen.

10.  The play at FST…Brownsville Song…was absolutely wonderful.  Thanks, Deirdre and Russ, for getting me there and back to the hospital.

And the bad news?

1  No discharge date in sight.  Biggest problem is an air leak in the lungs…don’t seem to know exactly what caused it or why it hasn’t healed itself the way it’s supposed to.  Lungs still don’t look good

2  Still going into a-fib off and on…more meds!

3  Walked in today and someone followed me in with a nice pitcher of ice water.  I’m usually pretty easy going but mistakes like this could cost someone his life  I blasted the guy.  There’s a red light outside Jerry’s room indicating nothing by mouth, the whiteboard in his room says tube feeding only,  and this guy doesn’t check.  I told him it wasn’t  serious in Jerry’s case because he’s sharp enough to know he can’t have water but someone else who was disoriented and confused could have a nice glass of water and aspirate and land in the ICU with pneumonia.  He kinda shrugged and said sorry…I gave him the finger when he walked out.  (No, he didn’t see me)  Told Jerry’s nurse about it.  She wrote NPO in huge letters on the whiteboard.

4  We’ve been playing a lot of gin rummy. Jerry continues to kill me.  Wouldn’t you think I’d be able to beat a sick guy?

5  Donald Trump is still President.

My days have taken on a certain rhythm.  I’m out of the house by 6:30, at the hospital shortly after 7.  I  get here in time for rounds, see the doctor and the night nurse and hear results of any tests they did during the night. I try to do a little yoga in the morning, walk outside every afternoon. We read, play cards, , watch TV (mostly Netflix on the iPad) I leave around 5:00, go home,  have something to eat and go to bed.  Exciting life, huh?  When Jerry gets to rehab I’m hoping to go to yoga every morning before I go see him but for now, I need to be here early.  Thinking maybe one of these days I’ll skip out early and go to sunset yoga  it would do me good.

Thank you again for your prayers and good thoughts.  We are so grateful to know we aren’t doing this all alone.



Moving Forward at Glacial Speed


The good news…Jerry is moving forward, walking better, breathing better, etc.etc.

Other good news..four babies born yesterday  while I was here.  I stop whatever I’m doing when the music starts and breathe slowly and pray for that little one and the parents….May they have joy, may they have peace, may they have courage and locong kindness.  And smile.

Other good news, my back is doing well.  I iced it almost all day yesterday and I think ice and yoga and walking and a little Advil are curing me.

Other good news….we’re loving having Sean here.  Damn, we have great kids

The bad news…he still needs a chest tube and assorted stuff that may come out today and, probably harder to take, he failed another swallow test and they decided to put in a more permanent feeding tube. So last night he had surgery (short one) to put in the peg (like I had). It’s more comfortable than the nasal tube, less prone to infection and actually will make it easier for him to work on swallowing and move toward being able to eat again. The swallowing issues are most likely from the stroke  he had minor swallowing problems after the stroke  they’ve turned into major ones since the bypass surgery

Other bad news….Donald Trump is still President.

So today, Jerry’s working hard to get out of here…breathing and swallowing exercises, walking whenever he can snag a nurse to get him out and about with s oxygen tank and IV-pole.  No doc in yet for rounds but I imagine he’s starting late.  The doc that’s on over the weekend is the same one who did his surgery last night… and since he started at 6:30 yesterday morning and finished with Jerry around 8 last night, he probably is getting a slow start this morning. Hope so anyway.

Sean and I may go out today.  I had totally forgotten that Jerry and I had theater tickets for this afternoon.  The theater is here in Sarasota and so if Jerry is doing fine and we have the energy, we’ll leave him on his own for a couple hours and then come back for a few hours before heading back to Venice to bed.  I go out and walk every day…just to soak on a little sun and breathe fresh air  does me a world of good.

Thanks for the prayers and healing thoughts.  Slowly but surely, he’s going to make it



Eleven Good Things

  1. image Jerry is out of ICU.
  2. Most of the drainage tubes are out
  3. He’s getting good nutrition through a feeding tube (problems still with swallowing)
  4. He’s up and walking around several times a day
  5. His a-fib seems to be getting under control.
  6. doesnt need oxygen any more.
  7. The surgery itself went perfectly
  8. His room is big and beautiful.
  9. Erin has been a breath of fresh air and saved my life and my sanity
  10. Sean is coming tomorrow
  11. I got my hair cut just before all this began and so even if I look like I’ve been hit by a truck, my hair looks great.

Bad things??? I’ll keep the list very short

1. Swallowing issues are a huge concern. Working on that

2. Every decision made takes forever and they second guess each other and once they do decide on a course of action it takes another six to ten hours to actually do anything.

3  My back is killing me  (it is all about me, right?)  and before you say anything, I AM taking care of  myself …chiropractor, icing it, walking, yoga in the hospital room)

Finally, one last purely good and beautiful thing. Ever since we got here ten days ago, every once in awhile we’d here Brahms Lulaby. I assumed it was someone’s ringtone.  Erin commented that whoever it was, she was everywhere. We heard it in the ICU, the surgical waiting room, and on the seventh floor.  Nope, it’s not a ring tone. When a baby is born here, the music is sent through the entire hospital. If it goes through the sequence twice without stopping, it’s twins. (Yesterday). How absolutely wonderful.  My eyes fill up every time I hear it. Two babies already this morning.

Be well. You are all much loved.

First the Good News…

imageThe good news is we had a pretty boring day yesterday.  I like boring. Actually I love boring. And I’ll welcome all the boring days I can get. The most excitement was Erin’s arrival shortly after midnight.

The bad news was that soon after I wrote extolling Jerry’s incredible recovery and our gorgeous room, we were on our way back to ICU. Biggest reason was Jerry aspirated on a chocolate shake that his loving wife ran out to get him when they said thick liquids only and he was dying of thirst. All of a sudden his chest was rumbling and he was gasping for breath.

It was pretty scary. To make a long and not so funny story short, we found ourselves back up in the ICU where they regulated his heart rate with new Meds and a lung doc did a bronchoscopy to clean up his lungs the best they could.  Obviously they’re watching carefully for sign of pneumonia.

Fast forward to today  jerry had a good day yesterday.  Hopefully he will leave ICU later on today or tomorrow morning. They’re doing a different swallow study since the short one still indicates he’s fine with thick liquids and soft foods and he’s not.

Erin’s here.   What was that saying Hannah Seay posted just before I started this blog over three years ago?  Something like ” Be strong enough to stand on your own, wise enough to know when you need help and brave enough to ask for it ” I emailed Erin and Sean early yesterday morning telling them I needed it (they had been asking to come since before the surgery) and Erin jumped.Poor Sean…by the time he woke up on the west coast Erin had already booked a flight and rented a car

I just talked to Jerry who had a good night   I came home last night because he was didn’t fine and my back was killing me. Erin and I will head up there soon in two cars so I can come home if I need to take a nap

Thanjs  all of you..for your prayers , your texts, your offers of help. All is well  (or at least not awful) and the biggest thanks to Brent Ross who is juggling job and three kids in two schools with three different swim team schedules and all need valentines for the class by Tuesday,  Makes me tired just thinking about it.




Day After


Jerry is doing really well. He moved out of the ICU into a beautiful single room at Sarasota Memorial. They’re taking good care of him. He’ll probably be here for five days and then head home or to rehab.

Hard to see him in the photo which was sort of deliberate for now.  He’s checking his mail. But check out the view.  Not sure you can see it but the Ringling Bridge is out there. His room is lovely…spacious and bright with a couch and two chairs.  As far as hospital rooms go, this is the nicest I’ve seen.

Taking Turns Being Sick


Okay, so every week or so when we were in Houston, I’d say to Jerry, “Don’t you dare get sick until I’m done. Then you can have your turn.”  And good guy that he was, he patiently waited.  He waited over a year after my surgery to have his stroke.

So now it’s Jerry’s turn again…bypass surgery tomorrow.  He’s been in Sarasota Memorial since Monday while they take him off blood thinners and hook him up to a heparin drip and keep a eye on him to make sure he doesn’t have  a stroke.  We went in on Monday and I wasn’t feeling great.  My back was killing me (stupid woman who thinks she can try out her grandkids trampoline AND lift a heavy suitcase for the trip home from Texas) and I had the beginning of a cold…shallow cough and drippy nose…nothing so awful.

But it got awful as the day wore on and when I left Jerry that evening, I came home and fell into bed…and got sicker and sicker and didn’t go to the hospital to be with Jerry yesterday.  I couldn’t.  I couldn’t even function.  We had plans to (get this) work on our tax returns and play cards.  Fun, huh?  Anyway, I couldn’t manage a trip to the hospital and was worried about giving Jerry whatever I had.  Fever, chills, aches, diarrhea, vomiting, coughing and sneezing.  Damn.

Went to the doctors today.  Honestly, I’m better today.  And it’s the flu.  So now I’m on Tamaflu and I got permission to go see my husband as long as I wore a mask and gloves and sat as far away from him as possible.  Stayed a couple hours and now I’m home, hoping that since I’m better today than I was yesterday that I’ll be even better tomorrow.

So I’m heading to the hospital bright and early in the morning and I’ll post something on the blog when he comes out of surgery.  Poor guy…I haven’t been the best caregiver these days.

Prayers, please, mostly for Jerry but also for his pathetic wife.

Love to all…