Yes, we are all smiling. Smokey is improving hourly, so much so that Younger Son went back to work today and only stopped in at the hospital during his lunch break, and Elder Son and I drove back to Wisconsin for an overnight to see the dogs and check the mail and for me to get some more clean clothes :-)
Thank you all for your good thoughts and wishes and emails. It all helped me in ways I don't even understand myself. For those of you who reminded me to take care of myself, I am. Without even consciously thinking about it, my self-care plan was to keep to my normal sleep schedule. No sleeping in a chair next to Smokey's hospital bed for days at a time. ES kept giving me a hard time about how late I would get to the hospital in the morning -- 10:00 is apparently late in the medical world -- but I refused to set an alarm for myself. I suck at sleep deprivation. So with at least eight hours every night I am maintaining just fine :-)
Smokey was moved from the ICU to a stepdown bed this afternoon. The latter is a bed in a unit with a higher patient-to-nurse ratio than the ICU but lower than a regular unit; a kind of transition unit. Unlike the first couple days when he had more tubes and wires coming out of him than I could count, he now has two IVs that are not attached to anything, used when the nurse(s) need to give him an injection; a nasal cannula giving him some extra oxygen; a finger oximeter to measure his oxygen saturation; and a heart monitor in the pocket of his gown that is connected to leads stuck to his chest. (I knew you wanted all the gory details.) His mental state is nearly normal -- kind of like if he were just really tired. Which he probably is.
He went for his first walk today, with the physical therapist. He also had his first sort-of-solid food -- cream of mushroom soup, vanilla pudding, orange sherbet, some crackers. His major complaint is that his sternum and ribs are extremely sore from the CPR. That makes it painful to move in bed or to transition from lying down to sitting on the edge of the bed or vice versa. Opioids make him nauseous, but the medical staff has found the exact right balance of pain medication and anti-nausea drugs so he is (relatively) comfortable.
If his vital signs continue to move toward stability as they have been doing he may come home this weekend. ES has booked a flight back to NYC on Saturday, but paid the extra $20 for cancellation insurance just in case.
Again, thank you all. I cannot begin to say how much you have helped.
We are somewhere in this building. I have never seen this view because, unlike it looks in the photo, it is completely surrounded by other buildings, many much taller.
Things are progressing pretty much as well as we could hope.
This morning Smokey is warm, breathing on his own, and more or less awake. They took out the breathing tube this morning, which I am sure made him very happy. He of course remembers nothing; the last thing he remembers is being either in the waiting room or in the prep room. He will be in the hospital for perhaps another 3-5 days, will get out
Both sons are here, which is great. Andrew (Elder Son) stayed with Smokey in the hospital overnight while Matthew (Younger Son) and I went to our own beds. Andrew texted me just as I parked the car in the hospital ramp this morning: Get here quick. He's telling the nurse why it is a good thing not to retire. I texted back: Coming as fast as I can. Stuff something in his mouth. As you might be able to guess, the sense of humor is strong in this family*.
I went shopping for clean underwear and socks last night so I feel presentable today.
Thank you all for your good wishes and emails and good thoughts. It really helps me.
* Later Smokey was talking about being dead for eight minutes. He is quite fascinated with the idea of having been briefly deceased. He recalled the Monty Python sketch: "Bring out your dead!" "I'm not quite dead." "Oh, go on, old man" etc., etc. LIke I said, the sense of humor comes through.
Smokey and I went to the ~50-bed regional hospital at oh-dark-30 this morning, expecting to have his right knee transformed into a bionic one.
Tonight, he is heavily sedated in the ICU at the University of MN hospital because he coded in the OR while the surgeon was scrubbing in.
Note to everyone: if you are going to have a cardiac event, pick a time when you are surrounded by medical professionals in a good hospital.
He was revived and transported to Minneapolis. The medical protocol for someone who has been revived like this is to chill them to bring their cord temp down to 33 C degrees (91F) for 12-24 hours; this minimizes or prevents possible brain damage (I learned A LOT about medicine today) and to keep them well-sedated during this time to keep them comfortable. Tomorrow they will warm him up and wake him up and assess his condition.
The second reason to bring him to the U hospital (which is part of the same group as the original hospital) was because the U has a heart catheterization lab. Between the time he arrived at the U and we (Younger Son and I) got to talk to a doctor there, the cath lad had done an angiogram, found his coronary arteries to be 70-90% blocked, and put in four stents to widen them.
Prognosis is hopeful because he was revived so quickly and his vitals are good. Younger Son was with me all day, Elder Son is flying in tomorrow. We will know more tomorrow.
(It may be weird to post about this, but I feel like you are my friends. And friends are good to have at a time like this. )
Progress continues smoothly on the baby sweater. I coerced En Esch into modeling it last weekend.
Clearly, En was entirely bored with my knitting and picture-taking. I told him to shut up and model or I would cut off the cat food supply.
He reluctantly and sullenly complied.
It is, of course, much further along now. I am done with the body and nearly done with the sleeves. Still need to find the perfect button. And perhaps a better model.
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Smokey's knee replacement surgery that was scheduled for last Monday was rescheduled for March 3 because he had a URI that was not fully cleared up. I emailed the boys to let them know the status, which prompted the following email exchange.
Elder Son, the almost-doctor: Good. You don't want infected hardware. (He went on about how Smokey has several of the risk factors for post-surgical infection.)
Younger Son: I can provide my fridge for secure storage, if need be.
Elder Son: I also volunteer [Younger Son's] fridge.
It was surprisingly well-attended. All the tables were filled. I cannot tell you how many events of one kind or another that I have attended here in Polk Count where, counting me, there were fewer people than you have fingers.
My team was poised and alert and ready with answers.
Example of a question in the presidential trivia category: Which president was featured on the $500 bill from 1928 to 1934? (Click and drag to see the answer.)McKinley. Smokey knew that one.
Musical trivia: What two-person French musical group had a hit in 2013 with Random Access Memories? Daft Punk. Younger Son knew that one.
Science and nature trivia: What bird is this? (audio of a bird song) Cardinal. I knew that one.
Sports trivia: What year was the first SuperBowl and who was the quarterback of the winning team? 1966 and Bart Starr. Smokey knew the quarterback but was off by one year.
Events in 2013: Name the musician who died in 2013 and opened Woodstock with a two-hour set. Richie Havens. Smokey had to think about it for awhile, but he knew that one, too.
It was a lot of fun. We were ahead most of the night but ended up in second place.
They are the perfect thing to keep a shawl or scarf in place. The magnets are strong enough, according to the description, to hold through five layers of thin cotton. I think that may be an understatement; I have found them to hold perfectly through two layers of fingering weight wool garter stitch plus a cotton t-shirt.
Here is today's demonstration:
The second magnebutton is inside the black t-shirt. No need for a safety pin or a bulky knot, the scarf stayed exactly where I wanted it all day.
$18/set of two. This is an unsolicited testimonial; I have no connection to the site or the product except being a satisfied customer.