Friday, December 18, 2009

You Only Die Twice

After 8 days in a drug induced coma, fighting pneumonia, and some bleeding after the stent procedure, Dad woke up! He was still on the ventilator, half drugged with the Michael Jackson drug and obviously uncomfortable, but in order to extubate (take the breathing tube out) he had to pass some breathing and response tests. It was up and down for a couple of days, as he was not able to respond properly, but on day 10, the breathing tube came out, and he took his first breath of his second life.

After that, his progress was astounding. Within two hours he was sitting in a chair, talking, albeit very quietly, and eating jello. Then came standing, and, 3 days after the tube came out, and 13 days after the cardiac arrest, he was walking.

He had no idea what happened, and slowly began to ask questions. Mom wanted to protect him from the full truth, but being the smart man that he is he asked some poignant questions that I had to answer. Did he have a heart attack? Yes. Did they have to shock him? Yes. More then once? Yes. How many times? 6.

Everyone called him a very lucky man. The fact that he had arrested in the emergency room, on the bed with the doctors next to him, was the only thing that not only saved his life, but prevented any damage to his heart and brain. There are no words to describe how grateful we are that things turned out like they did.

So... now for a couple of funny moments at the ICU. The dialog below was all said in a funny Polish accent. (yes, we are all Polaks livin' the dream in the USA)

Nurse: Has he woken up yet?
Mom: No, but the doctor said it is because he was seduced for 8 days (She meant sedated)

Doctor: Are you still seeing double? (After Dad woke up he was having some double vision)
Dad: Yes
Doctor: The MRI doesn't show any damage, so this will probably clear up in a couple of days. For now just enjoy having two wives.
Dad: Yes, her four boobs are very nice.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

day 4 (400?)


Still here, in ICU, waiting. My mom and I stare at the various machines, red lines, blue lines, blinking lines, blood pressure numbers, heart rate numbers, baloon pump numbers... its all foreign and frightening. We jump at every beep, eyes wide, hands shaking. The ventilator makes a sucking sound, dad coughs, nurse comes in and sucks goop from the lines. Waiting for the lung doctor to give the ok to remove the ventilator. The sedatives are slowly being weaned but Dad has to follow commands for the tubes to be removed. We're waiting. Its all in his time now. His heart somehow sustained no damage after the arrest. Its beating on his own now. Its so surreal to sit in his room and see him like this. Why am I blogging about this?I think the point is to impress on anyone reading this... you are a miracle! Appreciate it NOW!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Turkey Day 2009


It seems like a year since this past Thanksgiving. So much has happened since then. More on that later, but first I have to catch up. We spent Turkey day with Maggie's Mom and Dad, Barbra and Ryszard Sudnik. They are two of the nicest people you could ever hope to meet, and I am not just saying that because I know they will probably be reading this. We had a really great time and if it weren't for Billy waiting impatiently at home buy his dwindling supply of dry food, we would have stayed for much longer. We were spoiled with fine foods, long hot showers, a real mattress (king size I should add), and all of the fineries and conveniences suburban life on land provide.

Even chopper was ready to move in. I am not sure his uncle Jake approved of chopper having his way with his toy supply, but he remained hospitable.

We all helped create the Thanksgiving feast. I did some chopping. I have started out with pictures of me doing some work so it would look like I was more involved. Actually I stayed out of the way most of the day, and tried to score as many snacks as possible. It was hard work but somebody had to do it.

Maggie was very proud of me.

The Sudnik family in action. Just look at the activity. How do they expect me to snack with so much work going on?

Ryszard was in charge of the bird. He got a Kosher turkey and I am not sure what was different about it, but it required some figuring out. He read the label for some time before committing to unwrapping it. Just look at the concentration.

Finally he decided Kosher would be edible and removed the wrapper. Now he plucks. I didn't know turkeys came with feathers still on. Maybe just Kosher turkeys.

Maggie cooks the Cranberries. Yummy! And the Cranberries look nice too.

They have a very fancy oven that also took a great deal of figuring out. There was some discussion in Polish and a beeping sound that wouldn't stop. Finally Barbra and Ryszard were able to figure it out and the meal preparations continued as before. What a team.

I wasn't the only one snapping pictures. Here, Barbra captures a moment when Ryszard and I are looking up a polish dish he was telling me about. It is some kind of grey jello type thing that you pour vinegar on before eating. Sounds weird. The English name for it is Aspic. He pronounced it "ass Piece", and we all laughed a long time.

Chopper and Jake were playing jealously the entire trip. Here Jake is rolling on top of the ball he has just stolen from Chopper.

Here Chopper is Stealing it back.

And here he is running away with it.

Maggie is a good potato peeler. Must have been the way they punished her as a child.

Ryszard was also in charge of the wine.

Maggie and Barbra put the finishing touches on the flaming hot brussel sprouts. As I understand, the hot peppers were a mistake. But some of life's greatest discoveries have been made by accident. I will never eat brussel sprouts without hot peppers again.

Barbra checks the spread and lets eat!! It was a perfect day and a perfect meal. One of the best Thanksgivings I have had.

In spite of the great time bad news was delivered just as we were readying to head back home. I received a call from my dad who said my Grandmother, his Mother, had passed away. She went peacefully in her sleep after having Alzheimer's for seven years. I had to rush away as soon as I got back home, to go to the funeral. We had a beautiful service for her and celebrated her amazing life of 92 years with family and friends. It was a gathering she would have really enjoyed.
To add to the bad news, this past Sunday Ryszard suffered a massive heart attack. He was fortunate to have been in the hospital when it happened due to chest pain earlier. The doctors were able to give him immediate care, without which he would have certainly not made it. They did surgery and he is now in a drug induced coma being kept going with machines. We are confident that he is going to have a complete recovery with God's help. We are all sending him our love and our prayers and trusting God to see him through all of this. We are also praying for Barbra who was with him through the attack. I can't imagine the horror she must have felt as she saw her beloved husband dying before her eyes. She is an amazing person and I know that God will see her through all of this. I love you Barbra and I look forward to many more holidays with you and Ryszard. Ryszard, get well, I love you too.