The Return
The (Pre) Birthday Party

“Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for.”

I can’t find who originally said that, but a friend mentioned it a few months back, and I’ve been dwelling on it ever since. Today, more than ever, it rings true.

Last night’s better judgement (and Maki’s second opinion) had told me not to post this picture of Vernon, because it wasn’t very flattering.

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It’s not flattering, but I’ll post it now in order to show how out of it Vernon has been with his current infection.  Add extreme lethargy, and you have a better idea. It’s pretty bad.

So bad, in fact, that at 4am, the care home decided to call 911 and send him to the local hospital because among other issues, they could not raise his low blood pressure and they were concerned his condition might worsen.

Wonder of wonders, my dear friend Talar is a case manager at Hoag Hospital, where Vernon was sent. And she was able to greet us at the door. She even let me use her parking pass! Instant privileges!

Talar was amazing. She knew all the staff we passed and introduced me to everyone who was helping with Vernon. Doors seemed to swing open at her approaching footsteps. And the hospital was beautiful. Though Vernon was too sick to appreciate it, his room windows had an incredible view of the coastline below.

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Unfortunately, Justine has had a fever/cold for the past several days (Maki and I are still teetering on the brink) so I had to bring her along, rather than dropping her at school.  Talar, in her sweetness, took her aside to the gift-shop in order to buy presents for Daddy’s birthday (today!)

Though Vernon’s friend Dave had initially flown out to celebrate Vernon’s birthday with him, he ended up being a huge help to me as he also was a great babysitter for Justine in the waiting room.

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Back to Vernon.  It was hard to tell exactly what was happening in the room while I was there, other than seeing a low blood pressure number and the nurse’s difficulty in finding a vein for IVs, what with all the other plugs and catheters already taking up real estate. He could barely flutter his eyes except in attempt to respond to our voices in the room (yes, Justine did make a masked appearance too…we hoped that would help his blood pressure.) He made some low pained moans sometimes, but other than that, he seemed completely out of it, reminding me of his vegetative state. But the kind doctor called me tonight with a general update. A CT Scan of the abdomen shows a urinary tract infection with residue in the kidney and also a small infection in the colon. The antibiotics would leave him particularly lethargic for awhile, but he should show signs of improvement soon. She was concerned, but encouraging.  She said that they will monitor him at this unit until he is ready to move to a less-acute division. She expects it to be at least a few days.

Now here is the silver lining.  As soon I heard he was admitted to Hospital, my spirits lifted before temporarily crashing again when I recognized  the severity of his illness.  This is, strangely, what I had been hoping for.  You see, with all the work we had done to get Vernon his Medi Care status, it turned out not to be enough. He was given Part B status, which is helpful. But Part A is where the good physical therapy benefits kick in.  The only way he would get this is to be admitted into a hospital for four days. Its a crazy maze, the US medical system, but this was clearly a corner that would have to be turned if we were to get him what he needed for his recovery. But how to get there? You can’t just put someone in the hospital for 3 nights for a lark. It has to be something very serious. So you see…this is a huge prayer answered. Something I could not have done on my own by any means.

Its complicated, obviously. We don’t like seeing Vernon like this at all. Its quite scary and sad to see a loved one so helpless and ill. I know there is a lot of love and a lot of prayer being poured into him and that, mixed with great medical care, will have him healed soon. But: “Everything that you are going through is preparing you for what you asked for.” I don’t know how to say it better.

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After the visit, we all went to Balboa Island, across the street. Little stretch of heaven on a winter’s day. Dave took this photo of  Justine catching a new perspective.   Hope is always there…you just have to look a little further out sometimes.

 

 

 

 

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The Return
The (Pre) Birthday Party