December 25, 2021

December 25, 2021

So this is Christmas
And what have you done?
Another year over
And a new one just begun

I kept forgetting, the night before, that it was Christmas Eve. Every now and then I’d see someone bounce by the door wearing a Santa hat, or a pair of reindeer deelie-boppers, and I’d get a shock of OH RIGHT. Because I kept forgetting it was a holiday. My favorite holiday… usually.

Fortunately Newt decorated the house for me on my way out to the hospital in the morning. Thanks, Newt. It legit took me about a month to sort all those colored pencils back into like-color-with-like. Not that it was hard, I just didn’t have the bandwidth to concentrate to do it.

So, I started off my Christmas morning with a drive to the ICU at Shands…

It doesn’t look like I wrote a post on Facebook that day (IIRC I was trying to not distract people from their Christmas festivities). But here’s what I put in notes to family –


I just got here to the hospital about 15, 20 minutes ago. They moved him to another floor overnight (he texted me at like 3 AM to say they were doing it, thank goodness, or I would have flipped out). Physical Therapy had him up and walking the hall when I got in, and I brought him a new jigsaw puzzle to work on — I thought that would be good for neurons, and motor skills. I mean, I bought it for Christmas because he likes them, but I thought it would be good to bring it. Therapies without knowing they’re doing it, and all.


Met nurse, stressed that we are not going home today (the nurse was like, “so, y’all going home today?” and I pretty much opened a can of whoop ass on the poor woman. Boy howdy did she backpedal when I was done!).

I was pretty much like “that idea can fuck right off to fuck off mountain.” Nicer, tho. I think I may have actually said “with all due respect” at one point, and that never means any due respect at all, LOL

After I was done, she said “so you want to run all the tests” and I was like, “no, I don’t want to run all the tests, I want to get all the answers. They ran all the tests at North Florida and sent him home with no answers, and he had a larger and worse stroke. I’m not letting that happen again. Get used to us, because we are here until we get answers.”

And so this is Christmas
I hope you have fun
The near and the dear one
The old and the young


Nurse administered Zofran in prep for MRI; transport came, out of room by about 11


Just talked with the doctors. They agree on not sending him home and we will probably be here at least until Monday, maybe even Tuesday.

They are doing a brain MRI right now, they’re ordering either a pelvic CT or MRI (whichever they can get first) of his pelvis and stomach, trying to see if that’s where the clots are forming, since they still haven’t seen anything in his legs and heart. They will also be doing another ultrasound of his heart, and an ultrasound of his brain (I think they called it a halo ultrasound?). They’re going to put him on more heavy-duty blood thinners (I’ll get names when they start appearing).

He’s recovering from the Zofran they gave him before the MRI, and he’s eating his lunch in his usual Tim-focused Eating Mode. ūüėČ

Also, his housekeeper, Brenda (but we are supposed to call her Sunshine) is a hoot!


Putting him on a Heparin drip.


The nurse came in to unhook him from everything she’d just hooked him up to after his MRI (left him on the heparin), to say that Transport was coming to take him to get the CT of his pelvis and stomach area, and then… crickets. Hopefully they’ll actually show up soon???


Took him to chest/pelvis CT

I’m not sure why I stopped writing about 2 PM (I didn’t see anything else in my text messages for that day, either). My pictures and texts tell me that I was there until about 8 PM. I have the sunset photo to prove it. One of those rare ones I went outdoors for – most of the rest of my sunset pics for the duration are from the room.

Then it was home to pretend to eat and pretend to relax for a little in front of the tv and pretend to sleep. Newt was not at all contrite about knocking everything over in the morning. And she was still mad at me for making her daddy disappear. Oh, Newt. If only I could have explained things to you. You eventually came around to being my cat, but at the time, you were very much Tim’s Cat.

So, how’s that hindsight looking?

At this point we still didn’t know what was WRONG. I mean, we knew he had a stroke, we still didn’t really know why. We didn’t know where it came from, the root cause. And being that we were in a teaching hospital, on a major holiday, during a break between classes, when there’s still a pandemic going on… we didn’t get a lot of answers that day. Not even a lot of “hey we’re working on it.” We did get people who wanted to ask more questions, which is more along the lines of what I wanted, if we couldn’t get answers. I’ll take people willing to keep looking over people who send us home. I was really, really dealing/not dealing with the image of him paralyzed on the bathroom floor every time I even heard mention of maybe him coming home. I kept my shit together that day, for him, but I didn’t know if I had it in me to do that a second time.

If only I’d known I was going to have to hold it together for him for the next… seventy-six days. Well, at least I didn’t have to do that at home, I could do it in a hospital setting.

A very merry Christmas
And a happy New Year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear

Lyrics by John Lennon
Happy Christmas (War is Over)

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