Friday, September 11, 2009

Goodbye to the Trach

Heide took it out today!

A Few Pictures

Dad and Mark - Very few days have gone by where mom and dad have not had visitors. They love it!

Leave it to dad to use his mechanic hands and want to fix his own wheel chair. :)

Cayla and Mimi

Tate showing off his new camouflage shoes to Pawpaw. Actually they aren't so new anymore, but he still loves to show them off.

Things are going really well. The catheter was removed this week and he's been off of oxygen. He's able to sit in the chair for much longer periods of time (over 3 hours yesterday), and he's able to sit and walk without his NG hooked up. Rumor has it that the trach may be taken out soon. Dr. Duke has yet to divulge this information himself, but it sounds like a great idea to us!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Anniversary Day

If you were with us in the waiting room on the night of January 28th you shared a very intense time of waiting as we prayed the rosary and sang "Behold". Some of the words are:

Behold, behold, the mighty one has done great things for me;
and Holy is Your Name, and Holy is Your Name
My soul exalts you, behold my Lord , whose mercy lies on me.

We had been so blessed all of our lives-- we shared a deep commitment to the Catholic faith, were delighted with three lovely daughters, our son-in-law had just joined the Catholic church in College Station the previous Easter, two healthy grandchildren . We had jobs , a home, friends, great neighbors, a loving church family and yes, we had each other. The Mighty One had, indeed done great things for us. I was thankful for each and every minute. In that thankfulness was a plea , a begging cry, to please please let all of this continue. I NEEDED Louie--oh how I needed him.

Louie and I often shared a conversation that might seem strange to some people and maybe even be prophetic to others. When we would discuss some problem or issue that currently needed attention or sometime when life just seemed tough, I would always end our discussions with "Please don't die" or "Promise me you won't die" - "I just couldn't handle things alone". This conversation was a regular ritual with us. Every time he would answer "I'm not going anywhere, I promise. I am not going to die." Many, many, times during the first week of this hospitalization I thought about those conversations. I was very much unprepared however when one day a few weeks after he woke up, he looked right at me and knowingly said "I didn't die". This was truly amazing!!! There were times after he first woke up that HE DIDN'T KNOW ME and he was very confused about his surroundings. What a gift to hear those words - "I didn't die"!!! Tears come to my eyes every time I think about that very special moment.

So what will we do on this very special 32nd wedding anniversary? First we will split a popsicle -- his first and a new allowable treat. We might toast medicine cups of Dr. Pepper (and Diet Dr. Pepper). With all certainty however, we will listen to the song "Behold" as we give thanks to a loving God who allowed Louie to keep his promise.

Love to All, Ruthie


Message from Tracy:

If you within earshot last year on this day (and by earshot I mean even a phone call away), you would have heard plenty. On Mom and Dad's 31st wedding anniversary they were prepping for Hurricane Ike and planning to evacuate early the following morning. With mom looking for dad to help spare her "most favorite" 286 plants (just an estimation) , and dad not caring one bit about those plants worried more about the large tree limbs that could possibly crash through the house, Hurricane prep seemed almost detrimental to their marriage. Mom attempting to carefully bring down the ivy from her trellis and dad ready to cut it all off just so he could screw the boards into the brick to cover the windows (no hangers left). On one occasion I even remember mom saying "we're not going to live to see 32 years". At wits ends, one was ready to choke the other with the ivy. Who could really imagine them not really living to see 32 years?

It would be easy to think that an anniversary spent at Hermann Hospital (for the 226th day now) could go down as their worst anniversary yet. However, their popsicle and Dr. Pepper "date" has been set, and the spats of the past are behind them. No one cares about the heat of the hurricane, the time dad brought home "Snack Wells" as a gift (those are definitely NOT fine chocolates), or even the special occasions he might have forgotten. They are together and they made it to this 32nd anniversary. Happy Anniversary Mom and Dad!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Angels Among Us

From Ruthie:

There is a very special person that occasionally appears at the hospital at the most unforeseen times. I first met her in STICU on a Sunday morning. She was doing a bit of cleaning, but took a moment and kindly questioned me about Louie. She said she would be praying for him and gave me a hug. Since that time many months ago, I have seen her in various places around the hospital. The first morning he sat up in the neurochair in STICU I saw her. She rejoiced with me about "our patient". Another day, in a completely different area of the hospital, I again encountered her. I was very stressed over the fact that Louie was not waking up. she assured me that all would be well and promised to pray. Each time she hugs me as a dear friend. I had not seen her for awhile, and recently ran across her with her cleaning cart. Again we hugged , and she gave me one of her beautiful smiles. Ever positive, she told me of her ongoing prayers for Louie. There is just something about her.....

Here is what I believe----Angels don't always have gold tipped wings and white flowing gowns. They may not have a shining halo or appear iridescent. Sometimes angels are found in very unusual places. They may even show up randomly in the halls of Hermann Hospital. They may wear green "scrubs" and carry a mop. Sometimes angels speak with a Jamaican accent and have very dark braids. Sometimes angels are named Judith.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Laboring on Labor Day

Dad worked hard this Labor Day. He has been having trouble with his ankle, so Jocelyn (his physical therapist) recommended he wear tennis shoes for therapy. Decked out in his new kicks he was able to walk from his room all of the way to the lobby. He then sat in his wheel chair a while (and admired Cayla's popsicle), before rolling himself back to his room. When he got close he stood back up and walked to bed. It was amazing.

Group photo with Jocelyn (taken by mom)

Leg Exercises

Checking out his new shoes

Next on the agenda - Eating a popsicle with Cayla. He LOVES his tiny glasses of Dr. Pepper, but as soon as Dr. Duke gives the okay he's ready for a popsicle!