Sabbatical Day 14: Laundry and Stable

The night was hard to sleep as my allergies and the new room and new bed, a day bed, made sleep a difficult goal. The alarm came too early, at 6:30ish. I found my way around the new apartment and used the purloined toiletries from the hotel for soap and shampoo.

Next, I collected my dirty clothing and headed down to the first floor, where the community laundry could be found. Jamie, the doorman, was there and helped me. I could not buy a pay card for the laundry, so he loaned me his card, and I put money on it and did my laundry. Later I discovered I had to have a five-dollar bill to buy a card; I had tried all the bills I had, but I did not have Mr. Lincoln. Nevertheless, I was able to finish all the laundry in an hour. I left a bit of extra money on the card for Jamie.

I walked a block to Dunken Donuts while the laundry ran; I used two washers and two dryers. I picked up a large coffee and a few donuts. No plain cake! There was a line, but everyone had a mask on and tried to keep some distance.

I dressed in clean clothing and headed back to Mount Sinai West via the 1 train. On the train, two guys were chatting loudly about how vaccines were racists, and they had no masks on. I have to admit that I was deeply saddened and angered by their behavior, let alone that one was vaping in a subway car.

I reached the hospital without any more challenges. I spent the day sitting with Susie. She was being sent to 3G Rehab, so no other items were planned. Susie had more racing heart that she did not notice. The Rehab and Medicine docs came by to check her out again after that. Still headed to Rehab.

I wrote yesterday’s blog at the hospital while waiting.

Lunch happened for Susie (Turkey Meatballs that she liked), and I waited until 3ish to have my own lunch as I was worried that she would have moved or there would be more tachycardia. So I stepped out for a few minutes to Paris Baguette for a sandwich and some cold tea.

I also rested in the Roosevelt Garden at the hospital. I missed the front of the grave marker for the founder of the hospital. The family moved the body to the family crypt in 1995.

I came back, and Susie was sleepy, and I have to admit I nodded off a few times. I finished one of the books Mariah picked out for me, a Doctor Who novel (The Pirate Loop), while we waited. We just waited. Finally, the RN, Matt, removed the IV and monitoring about 7ish for the move. Susie is resting now in 3g after I left.

I left and headed to have dinner with Kat. She wanted Indian food. Before that, I stopped by a local market and grabbed a few bananas and instant coffee. I can’t make the Keurig work in the apartment. I will try to read the instructions on the Internet one of the days.

Mughlai Indian Cuisine was a few blocks from the Kat Lair. The food was excellent and reminded me of my days there. Kat had, ordering mild, Chicken Tikka which was quite remarkable even in the tame version. I had the Tandoori Plate of various small items from the grill and the oven. We talked about stories and travels.

Kat walked me to the subway, and I traveled back. Again, a few folks were on the train without masks but no vaping or talking, so it did not bother me.

I did see this crazy sign in a window in the underground mall that connects to the subway.

I am tired tonight. As the crisis passes, I usually get fatigued as the accumulated adrenalin fades. I will not get going early tomorrow! I have instant coffee and fruit!

Sabbatical Day-13: The Move

Thursday started with me up early. It was time to move to the apartment. I showered and cleaned up, and started down to the included breakfast. One more bagel and yogurt with coffee. Then, back up to the room to pack with the wheelchair that was in baggage check after the ambulance.

Packing was not tricky, but I could not find Susie’s passport. After a lot of unpacking, I finally found the passport in my carry-on; I had put it there carefully so I would “know” where it was the day before. I repacked everything and checked all the draws, and found more to pack.

Finally, all the draws, cabinets, safe, and floor were clear of our items; I stacked everything on the wheelchair and headed out. I checked out of the hotel and said goodbye.

The XL Uber selected and arrived, the driver a bit impatient while I packed everything in the SUV.

He drove me to the Upper Westside at 104 near Amsterdam. I was unloaded, no help from the driver, and he nearly drove off with my carry-on (with all the passports!) and laptop. I ran and banged on the closing back door and got the last items. A little more excitement for me.

I managed to reassemble the pile on the wheelchair and get everything up to 10G. The move is finished!

I was surprised that the apartment was cleaned again since I was there and the beds made. I arranged things a bit and then headed out again. I switched to a lighter shirt as the sweater is too warm with the walking, subway, and bright sun.

It was only a few minutes past ten when visiting hours started, and I joined the queue. The security guy told me about his experience after telling him I was there because my wife had a stroke. He said his life was broken, and God put it back together and is now better than before. “It will be better than before,” was his hope for me. Not what you are expecting in NYC.

Susie was a bit blah (her words), but she looked fine. She was tired of being in the hospital, also a good sign.

PT showed up, Sam, and he walked with Susie down the hall and back with a walker. He said that Susie has her balance back and is stronger.

Occupational Therapy also came by and worked with Susie and had her do some exercises.

I slipped out for Greek food again at the Greek Kitchen. I had the lamb this time. It was very spicy and large chunks of lamb medium-rare or even rare-ish. The salad was good, and I had baked potatoes, Greek styled, that was perfect.

Susie’s heart ran to a dangerous rate of 170 when she was moved to the bed. This caused some panic, but Susie felt fine. A quick EKG showed nothing abnormal. Oddly, this event occurred with the move to the bed, not the PR or OT.

I stayed through Susie having dinner. I was worried about a repeat of the heart issue, but her BP went to the usual low numbers with a resting heart rate. Susie seemed out of danger.

I went to CVS pharmacy and picked up laundry stuff, and then carried it around. Then, I found a fruit juice place and met a Tibetan doctor running the business. He made me an iron-centric drink. He also gave me their website if I need more medical advice. They offered to help in any way. NYC has been very kind to me.

I met Kat at her place, and we went down the street to the highest-rated Mexican place in Hell’s Kitchen, El Centro. You order online when sitting at a table. The food was good; my tacos were the street style.

I then walked to Columbus Station and took the 1 train back, and walked the two blocks.

Sabbatical Day 12: Learnings

I managed to sleep a bit last night. I find hotels hard to sleep in as the sounds wake you up in a strange bed repeatedly. I started with the new day at about 7:30. I managed to write the blog for Tuesday’s first off. I had to dress and get to the hotel-supplied breakfast to get a cup of coffee and yogurt by 9. I had another pastry cream-filled that I was cautious with. That and coffee and yogurt had me ready.

I then headed to the hospital to see Susie by Uber. I was not ready to walk 16 blocks this morning. I managed to get there just after 10, and there was no line to get through the approval process. Susie was not as bright as she was the day before, but she was still back. Susie was tired of being alone in a hospital room and wanted to go home. I understand.

We were met by the dietician intern, and she was surprised to speak to a retired dietitian. She took food information from Susie, and they talked about the intern experience. Susie is back.

I could not wait for the doctors today, and Susie was not allowed water or food as she had a CT scan, and food and water were not allowed. So I headed out to find the new apartment off of 104. I took the subway. It has been a long time since I have done this. I have an app that is a map of the system and used that to find my way. I can also use my iPhone to pay the fee, making it very easy to use.

I was surprised by the number of stairs, but I managed. I found the 1 train uptown and managed to get off at the correct station. I found the apartment, and it is very nice. A day bed with a kitchen. Bedding and plates and pans are available. I managed to use the internet too. I will move in tomorrow.

Lunch was a hard choice. I found a Chinese place near the subway entrance. They spoke very little English, and I discovered I had in error had a to-go order. I could not fix that unless I paid $2. So I did, and they showed me to a table and poured me water to drink. The food was good, but it was a strange experience.

I took the 1 train back downtown, walked the four blocks to Mount Sinai West, and returned to Susie. Susie was sitting up and having a late lunch in a chair when I got there. She was still grumpy, but she looked better.

I hung out with Susie until about 5ish. I made some Facetime calls with friends to help Susie not feel so alone. Everyone was happy to talk to Susie. I said my goodbye to Susie, and Susie was trying to be brave. It is hard to be alone in a strange place!

This time no Uber for my return to Times Square; I walked back to the Columbia Circle station and rode the subway 1 Train back to Times Square. I then walked back to the hotel; this is about six blocks total. Finally, reaching the hotel.

I then started to pack and rested a bit.

Lastly, I headed to the Beer Authority for dinner and a place to write. I will return to the hotel soon to pack and read and try to sleep. One last night at Times Square.

 

Sabbatical day 11: A Good Day

Susie was much better today. She said it was like she was no longer behind a screen and herself now. Physical Therapy had her out of bed and stand and walk in a walker to the door and back. Previously, on Saturday, she could not stand when I called the EMTs.

Mariah returned without incident to Oregon and picked up Air Volvo, and returned the car to the Volvo Cave.

Harriet Olson of the United Methodist Women, a slightly independent organization in the United Methodist Church, has a studio apartment to use at 104 street. I will make a donation to cover the cleaning costs and whatever I can afford. I will try to be at the apartment in the next few days.

Kat and I had a massive dinner at a local Italian-styled place off of Ninth Street (Just next to the Irish place I ate at with Mariah).

 

The only thing that really went wrong was I slept into 8ish and then had a pastry that Mariah got me. It was cream-filled and sort of exploded when I absentmindedly bit into the thing while writing this blog. I am happy nobody saw that.

New travel rule: Approach all unknown breakfast pastries with caution. It might be loaded.

I delivered a stuffed animal to Susie; Mariah bought her a Hedwig owl at the Harry Potter store. Susie was overwhelmed by seeing it. I think that helped bring her back as everything else, the hospital room, the food, the sounds, and the smells, were all new and a bit scary, and so a small friendly Hedwig just made her feel like herself again.

 

It was a good day here in NYC. I had to check out and check back into the hotel. They recleaned the room as it is now a new reservation.

I am overwhelmed by the kindness and all the help we are receiving.

Susie is accepted into Rehab at the hospital. She will not have to be transported.

I suspect I will get to be an accidental resident for about two weeks.

 

Sabbatical Day 10: Extended Stay

I wrote this the following day, which usually means it feels more like an outline as I am further away from the emotions, sorry. I was too tired to write last night. I hope this more direct outline will be OK.

The morning started with me up at 7ish and breakfast, all clean and bright, by 7:45 to beat the last-minute rush for the included hotel breakfast. The room was clean, at least. I had convinced the hotel staff to clean the room as I was staying to at least Saturday.

I finished breakfast and then took an Uber; no walking 16 blocks today and arrived before 9. No visitors until after 10. No exceptions.

There is a nice small park in the front of the hospital called Roosevelt Park and was once the burial location of the founder of the hospital, a Roosevelt family member. Apparently, reading online, the hospital was renamed Mount Sinai West over the objections of the Roosevelt family, and they disinterred and moved Mr. Roosevelt’s early remains to the family plot. This brought clarity to me as I had heard of Roosevelt Hospital before.

After a pleasant hour break, I followed the process of two lines and using the elevator to find Susie was gone from her room. Heart test. She returned and then actually ate her breakfast.

Susie is a bit confused, and her speech stammers a bit. I can see in her eyes that she is completely overwhelmed by the events and is just trying to push through.

We met with all the doctors, about six, and they declared that Susie had had a stroke, and later we learned in a different place than last time. The lesions were artifacts in the CT scan and not Brain Cancer, as they feared. They believe they can get Susie out of the hospital in a few days.

Lunch came, and I helped cut the food as the nurses were less helpful this time. We then met new doctors, neurologists, and they were unhappy that Susie had had a second stroke. They wanted to look into Susie’s care and see what steps could prevent another stroke. They would dig through Susie’s records and out more information and get back to us. All three left in a huff, seemly insulted that Susie had a stroke, but I think they will help.

It was almost three in the afternoon; I had taken off for Greek food down the street by then. I had a salad and an iced tea. I followed that up with dessert and coffee.

The folks, seeing all the hospital tickets on my sweater, were very kind and helpful. They knew I was an accidental diner. I needed a break.

We had met with Physical Therapy and learned that Susie needed rehabilitation work at a facility. We were not going home soon. Susie cannot walk safely, and it would be risking her to take her home. The hospital would discharge her into the care of a local rehab place. I was going to be here for weeks.

I tied the Mount Sinai MyChart software to the Oregon records, also MyChart, so I can now see everything on one screen in the MyChart software. Susie now has an account at Mount Sinai. I demanded that Mount Sinai give our doctors in Oregon access to the real-time medical results. So far, I am not heard, but I will try again.

Susan’s family contacted the Methodists in NYC and got me options for housing. I spoke to Julia Tulloch, who lives here and has known Susie’s family for years. She and local folks are looking for a place for me to stay.

Susie had dinner about 6ish, and I helped a bit by cutting up some items and getting more napkins. I left just before 7ish by Uber.

I had to wander the streets for a while, as the Uber did not pull up to the hospital. So I walked until the driver spotted me. And finally returned to the hotel and changed and cleaned up.

Dinner, the last one for Mariah, was @Nine Thai place just around the corner and three blocks away. Mariah and Kat had trouble finding it. It was packed; I got the last table for three.

Mariah told us her stories of her 40+ block walk today. She made it to the new Harry Potter experience store. Susie has a new owl, Hedwig.

I returned to the hotel and slept late.