Family Crisis

My dad is now at Northern Michigan Hospital in Petoskey, Michigan. He's now out of ICU and in the cardiac unit. He's doing much better but still very, very sick. The doctors are considering doing a Cardioverter Defibulator implant. This is not a pacemaker, which is used for those with slow heart rhythums, but a mechanism to aid in slowing down his heart which is running too fast. The ICD they are discussing is only nine weeks old so it's the newest technology. It can also be "watched" via telephone which will be a boon since he lives on the island. I came home for the night to run some errands and will be returning to the mainland to be with my folks this afternoon.

Thank you all for the prayers, notes, emails and cards. You'll never know how much they are appreciated during this stressful time. Hopefully I'll be home to update this on Monday. I'm sure you all understand that family things take high priority right now. Again, thanks for all the wonderful prayers, thoughts, notes, etc. Keep them coming. We know they are working as he wasn't expected to make it through Tuesday night but the doctor said something worked because despite all the medicines that weren't working, he suddenly turned around and started gaining ground. He has been removed from the breathing machine and was actually able to walk in the hallway yesterday unaided. Now if they can give him the ICD we'll have him back here in no time telling his stories and making us laugh with his antics.

Ruthie's Hospital Antics

She'll probably kill me for telling the following story, but it was too good not to share:

This family manages to keep us laughing despite the seriousness of Dad's illness. Ruthie, my sister, just had carpel tunnel surgery on her right hand. She's unable to drive or really do much until her stitches and the splint are removed. Of course she was with us at the hospital with Dad. Now imagine that you're right handed and have that arm in a sling and heavy splint that runs down to the tip of your fingers. Ruthie is known for her weak kidneys so having to make a bathroom stop wasn't too surprising. Off she went. First of all she had to deal with jeans that buttoned and zipped - using only her left hand. She passed that test. Now keep in mind that hospitals do not use Charmin or Northern that is in small, perferrated rolls. Nope, they buy industrial strength toilet paper that is strong enough to pull a semi truck and it isn't perferrated. Ruthie grabs the paper and gave it a hefty pull thinking it would tear off. Didn't happen but she now had the equivalent of a paper cast on her arm. Short tugs didn't do it either. She ended up having to bite the paper apart. To the sink... she found the liquid soap and got a hand full then discovered that the sink didn't have faucets but a "magic eye". This particular magic eye was blind and didn't see her hand waving around the sink until the soap had almost completely dried. It finally spurted out for about a half second. Now she had a handfull of suds. Waving again she finally got more water and completed the job. Off to the paper towel dispenser. Try drying one hand without the use of the other. Not as easy as it sounds. Finally she returned to the ICU waiting room. Of course that trip took quite a while so it wasn't long before she had to visit the ladies room again. This time things were a little easier, she'd had the practice run earlier. However, the lady in the next stall said, "this one is out of toilet paper could you give me some?" Ruthie, rolled her eyes and wondered how to deal with that request. She ended up pulling it from the roll over the wall and told the gal to start pulling but that she'd have to tear it off herself. Both left their stalls at the same time and the lady discovered that Ruthie only had one hand available for use. Taking pity on her and as a thank you, the gal washed her hand for her.

Now that episode should have been enough for one day. No way, this is the Gregg family on the mainland. As we are leaving the hospital at the end of the day my mom and I were walking ahead of Ruthie and my daughter, Courtney. Mom and I entered the revolving door at the main entrance. Unknown to us Courtney slipped into our section of the door. Ruthie evidently decided she didn't want to be left out so somehow squeezed into the door putting four people in one tiny section doing baby steps as the door continued to rotate. On the other end the valet car folks were watching these four short women shuffling around in a circle. As we popped out the opening to the outside, Ruthie quipped, "We wanted to see how many islanders we could fit in a revolving door."

As you can see, it is never boring in this family. Who knows what they were up to overnight while I was on the island.