When last we left our intrepid hero

Blah blah blah want to be there blah blah blah they’re so far away blah blah blah I hate thinking about how far away they are. You know… I moved away to Virginia once, for a year. And I came back partly because oh, hello, NOT A BIG CITY GIRL AFTER ALL but mostly because I couldn’t stand being so far away from my family. And now my family is stuck in Cincinnati and sure the city is lovely but HELLO I CAN NOT GET THERE EVERY DAY. Thus while I am thrilled that Aunt Gay is taken care of and Rusty is in good spirits and Uncle Joe is well on the way to recovery… I still don’t like to think or blog about it because I MISS THEM.

But enough about me.

Saturday –

Joe was in much better shape this morning. He was already up in his wheelchair, about to wheel himself out of the room when I arrived. Escaping, he said. We went down to the cafeteria for coffee. He was in good spirits. In the afternoon, Steve Leigh dropped by and Joe did most of the talking for over an hour. He rested a while, then got up in the chair again for a spin around the hallways. He ate dinner sitting up, then collapsed for the night. He’s been practicing his handwriting, trying to get his muscle tone back. Here’s the poem he wrote:
The pancreas, a curious beast
Has functions hard to scry.
It sits around for sixty years
Then tries to say “bye-bye.”

Yesterday I forgot to mention the two therapy dogs we met in the hallway. They helped both of us to feel better. A beautiful little shelty and a Cavalier King Charles spaniel. Joe realty enjoyed petting them both.
Love, Gay

Sunday –

Joe was up for two hours this morning. When I came in at 11:30, we went to the cafeteria. He had a diet Coke while I ate lunch & we read the Sunday paper together. Back in his room, Joe took the beard trimmer and trimmed his beard and shaved around the edges. He ate lunch up in the chair.

I was dragging, so I left him to nap and returned to the condo, where I took a nap. Then I went to Steve and Denise’s for a wonderful salmon dinner and kitty and doggy fix. Then back to the hospital, where I found Joe in good spirits. He’d been in the chair for another two hours. He was about to fold up when I left. All good. Love, Gay

Monday –

Joe walked about a block with a walker and two lovely assistants. An ol’ high school buddy, Bill Forlines, came by with his wife Martha for a visit. Later in the day, Joe did some upper body exercises. He was tired ( “Why is the gravity so strong on this planet?”), but he bounced back quickly. He was able to stand up and transfer himself from the chair to the bed without help for the first time. Rusty came back from Icon, tired but okay. Love, Gay

Tuesday –

They piled PT and OT and a CT scan all together on Joe today and really wore him out. Hours up in the chair without a break. The good news is that he recovered pretty well. Chris Barkley stopped by and so did Joel Zakem. The doc said Joe may be getting out of the hospital soon. We don’t yet know what soon means. Bet we won’t have much notice, but we’re excited. Love, Gay

Wednesday –

Joe had a rough day. They removed a lot of adhesive tape from his abdomen, taking too much hair with it. The wound vac is gone, though, a good thing. Then they had to reset his IV, involving more adhesive and hair pulling. He did well in PT and OT, cracking jokes the whole time. Yesterday’s CT scan showed fluid around his pancreas; we don’t yet know what that will mean, but I read that it’s common. May cause problems, may not. He was returned to a regular diet—no more soft food! Rusty and I went to dinner with the Cincinnati Fan Group at a nice Mexican restaurant. Love, Gay

Thursday –

Joe worked hard at PT & OT this morning. He seemed tired all day, but ate well and got up and let me push his chair around the hospital a couple of times. We even got out into the sunshine, among the remaining fall leaves, still pretty. We both enjoyed our friend Christine Valada on “Jeopardy,” winning, too. Chinese dinner for me, with Guy & Becca. Love, Gay

Friday –

Joe’s not feeling well today. I suspect it’s just been a long, hard week. He’s in similar shape to the way he was last Friday, tired, achy and depressed. Not a surprise. The speech therapist has released him. He’s eating okay. I spent most of the day running Rusty to Dayton for routine medical appointments, so I’m tired, too. Also to be expected. Love, Gay

Also on Friday, Uncle Joe was delighted to see me in the paper!

Saturday –

Happy Halloween, everyone. The doctor thinks Joe may have the flu, sigh. I’m okay so far. Joe has chills, fever, weakness and aches all over. We’ll see. I was finally able to get my flu shot today. I had a nice lunch at New Dharma with Carolyn Doyle and Dave Rowe, then went to a lovely Halloween party at Denise and Steve Leigh’s. Love, Gay

Sunday –

How did it get to be November already? I missed October somehow… Joe is feeling much better. The good news is he doesn’t have the flu. The bad news is he has an infection somewhere. Sigh. Much blood drawn and tests taken today, no fun. Change of antibiotics. He hasn’t been out of bed since Friday, so he’ll have lost a little ground there. But that’s the way it works, they tell me. Love, Gay

Monday –

Joe goes back to Bethesda North Hospital tomorrow for more surgery, scheduled for Wednesday. They’ll drain the fluid around his pancreas and check for anything else that might be causing his fever. So this is our “one step back” we knew was coming. We’re trying to take it in stride, but it’s difficult. Wish us luck. Love, Gay

Tuesday –

Joe went by ambulance to Bethesda North Hospital. The doc came around and said that everything looked better than he’d thought. He’ll probably only have to do a needle procedure, rather than opening Joe up. It won’t be tomorrow after all. Not sure when yet. We’re relieved. Also tired. I went over to Guy and Becca’s for dinner, where I helped Becca pull fresh carrots and lettuce from the garden to have with dinner. Cat petting was good for me. Love, Gay

And another picture of Uncle Joe and my dad, just a few years later than the last photo I posted. This was in 2001, a few weeks before dad died.

Uncle Joe and Dad

One comment

  1. Thanks for the serial update. Please add my best wishes to the legion that will be sent.

    And yes, I remember your year in Virginia…we all need to go somewhere else at least once if only to discover where we really need to be.
    I’m still looking…I got some directions from a guy named Chris, but they didn’t work out real well. I think the Erik guy had the better idea for going over the edge.

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