Story 18Dec2021: Friday Busy

The morning started with me starting as usual at 6:30 and waking before my alarm. I was able to get started and did the everyday things, including writing the blog. I also sent a note to my boss Brad and his boss Jim that I was at a loss on fixing my leave request and asked them to intervene.

I used the new shower, and the shower curtain managed to get water all over. I spoke to Jeff by text, and he suggested a rubber strip to stop the water and move the shower curtain inside the shower–this means cutting the curtain to fit. Unfortunately, I could not put in a glass shower door as the occupational review of the house for Susie had me take out the last one. But I think I can make it work.

I reached Susie in Forest Grove Rehab Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway in room 44A just after 10AM. My usual time. Susie was sleeping when I got there.

Susie’s speech was much worse, and her ability to use more than three words is now impaired. Susie could not get her name right and could not count her numbers. I suspect another stroke, a change in meds, or just plain exhaustion. I decide to let her sleep.

I contacted the nurse and the nurse practitioner to check up with Susie and see if they saw a reduction in speech. Adam, the NP, asks if I want her sent to the ER for the possible stroke, and I decide I do not want to put Susie through all those needles. A possible stroke means an IV and emergency CAT scan and lots of blood tests. I let her sleep.

I am a bit upset and lost my papers on my own surgery somewhere in the facility.

I also cannot find evidence of any physical therapy today, growl.

I see Susie dressed in her PJs now and in a wheelchair. The CNA said Susie wanted to eat lunch at the table and communicate with them. Maybe it was exhaustion.

I head out for a break while Susie is having lunch. I meet Scott Woolfolk at the Grand Lodge Iron Grill pub. We talked about Nike stuff, and I was grateful to be distracted with Scott for more than an hour.

I return, and Susie is still at the lunch table and looking more awake. She still is having more trouble getting words out. Her vitals are not showing signs of dehydration. We spend an hour watching music videos from the 80s, including Queen, David Bowie, and George Michaels. Susie can sing very loud, but she does sing the words here and there.

There is a Christmas Party today, but Susie is too tired to attend (I did get a cookie). It takes her a while, but she tells me she is too exhausted and needs her bed. So I take her there, and we find a next-day-delivery package on the bed.

This is Leta’s fudge and other goodies! Susie has a bit of the peanut butter fudge and smiles when the flavor takes her back to years of Leta’s fudge.

I have a 3-4PM appointment with my new lawyer in Aloha. They have my will ready. This is a contingency that needs to be in place for my surgery. The best way to stop something from happening is to be prepared–an IT thing.

Michelle and David come to see Susie, and Susie, now in bed, is pleased to see them. She has not seen them since September. I kiss Susie goodbye while she hangs out with the Smiths.

Note: Kat Smith was coming on Saturday late to spend the holidays here in Oregon. New York City is having a massive breakthrough of Covid. Yesterday was the most positive test result, over 27,000, they have experienced. Kat has been exposed, travel plans are being re-written, and testing is required. Kat was coming home as she would be alone in her apartment, and her sister, Natasha, was traveling too. We hope and pray that Kat will not be infected and face Covid-19 alone in NYC!

After a few misses, I find my new lawyer’s office and get my will signed and paid for. While this is going on, I have to take calls and am that guy who talks on the phone in front of people waiting for you. It is rude, and I apologize, but necessary.

With my will now, I head home in Air Volvo and talk to the leave processing folks. Connie, from the insurance company that handles leave requests at Nike, is handling the case, and my boss had worked with her, and it appears that my doc had filled out the forms for both my illness and my wife’s stroke. Wrong. I understand the mistake and ask them to work with my doc to get it the way they want. They know my issues (THANKS, BRAD JONES, for explaining everything to them) and assure me they can get it handled. One problem seems to be working out.

I later get a call from the pre-surgery folks. I learn that my surgery is actually at 12:30 and I am to be there at Legacy Good Sarmian Hospital two hours early, 10:30. The surgery is planned to take 4 or more hours. I need to nominate one person to take the call from the doc on the results. I will try to work that out. I have written a memo on whom to contact and have my medical info (it is a long list).

I get home, and I have two packages, one a tree. Leta and I ordered a decorated Christmas tree for Susie, live, from Jackson and Perkins. I will take that to Susie on Saturday.

The other package is about one of my interests, the World War I naval battle of Jutland. A guy, Dr. Mike Bennughof, creates board games to explore the history and sells the games through his company Avalanche Press. He has a Ph.D. in the history of WWI, focusing on Jutland and related battles. His newest publication is a 64 paged rule book with commentary on the Dogger Bank battle and other events that could be gamed. This is not for most folks but is a chance to experience various scenarios via the board game (you need the entire board game, Jutland, also produced by his company to play and maybe his added on for Zeppelins to be complete).

Please note, with the passing of the 100th anniversary of Jutland 1916, new writings with a careful review of the surviving material, most of which survived two World Wars and the impact of 100 years and some cover-ups of questionable decisions, have been coming out. From another newly minted Ph.D. on Jutland, one book covers in detail how guns are controlled in British and German battleships and battlecruisers, and this new book is over two hundred pages thick! I did notice that some of its findings appear to be included in updates to game rules from Avalanche Press’s publication. The strangest publication to come out is the printing of the repressed official British study of the Jutland battle after more than 100 years of being “lost.” I have one.

I have chicken noodle soup for dinner, from a can. I do the dishes.

I spend the evening reading and trying to unwind. It is not that easy. WW1 game rules and the book Brothers Cabal help.

I get some more kind notes from friends like Marc Hopkins, whose wife survived Colon Cancer.

My sadness and emotional pain are not about cancer, scary and the surgery terrifying, but my wife’s illness, Susie, is fading. It makes me cry, and I miss Susie before the strokes. I still look for her when I am home.

I drank tea while watching more Wheel of Time; I still don’t get it and have some trouble sleeping, but finally, sleep.



1 thought on “Story 18Dec2021: Friday Busy”

  1. I’ve become addicted to your blog. Neal and I are so sorry about Susie’s struggles. It’s so hard for a spouse to watch the other one fade. The only thing that’s harder is to see a child in peril. I had a stage 4 abdominal cancer 15 years ago. For some miraculous reason, I’ve alive today. We are praying and pulling for you. I have found that oncologists usually gauge recoveries correctly. If yours says you are going to be OK, believe him!!
    Take care of yourself, too.
    Pat Lidrich


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