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Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Tuesday, April 30

I talked to Mike twice today. Our first call was cut short by a medical visitor. Mike says he was able to wiggle more toes today and move his foot. He sat up and propelled himself in a hand operated wheel chair. The transfer from bed to chair was scary. He was afraid they would drop him so insisted they use two people for the transfer even though they usually only use one. Heather said last week that he would cry out in pain when he was moved. Our daughter, Shana, is there with him today and she could tell there was some discomfort when they moved him but nothing severe.

Mike told me he is enjoying Shana's company. She says he had a good lunch, was able to feed himself, and looks surprisingly well considering that it is less than two weeks since he fell.

I will probably make less frequent updates to this blog now that his situation has become more stable.  Please let me know if you have any messages you would like to pass on to him.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Monday, April 29

Mike's new accomplishment is that he is sitting up in bed to eat. Today he can wiggle his toes which is also a new thing. He is going to start speech therapy because he is having trouble on one side of his mouth. He was pleased when I told him that I do not have trouble understanding him.

He's not ready to start a flood of phone calls but would enjoy visits from people who are in the area. I would suggest calling the main Park West number (206-937-9750) and asking to be transferred to his nursing station to arrange a good time.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Sunday, April 28

This morning I had a very short conversation with Mike. He told me that his pain is being well-managed as long as he gets his medication on a very specific time schedule, therefore he had only a short time to talk. He asked how everyone is here and I told him we celebrated granddaughter Katherine's birthday yesterday. He sent his birthday greetings to her. He sounded in good spirits.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Saturday, April 27

I talked to Mike this morning. He says that he is adjusting to them and they are adjusting to him. "The people here are more lovely than I am and i am learning to behave." He says that yesterday he sat up in a special wheel chair while he learns to get control of his feet and thinks that is progress. He has a very positive attitude toward his present situation.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Friday, April 26

I just talked to Mike this morning. He transferred from Harborview Hospital in Seattle to Park West Care in West Seattle about 6:00 last evening. Prior to that he had had a visit from Martin and Sheila Nickerson. Martin has recently had hip surgery and was apparently an inspiration to Mike. Yesterday Mike said he was only going in for palliative care, not doing physical therapy. This morning he says he is going to do physical therapy and all the exercises they give him to the best of his ability.

Contact Information
You can contact Mike at Park West Care, Room 110-2, 1703 California Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98116. The front page of their web site also has a place where you can send messages to residents. The web site is

If you are in (or going to) Seattle, I'm sure he would enjoy a visit from you. It would probably be best to call first (206-937-9750) to find out from staff when would be a good time for a visit.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Thursday, April 25

I talked to Mike this morning. As on previous mornings, his speech was clear. Unlike previous mornings, his voice was much stronger. In short, he was full of the usual piss and vinegar. I think this was due, in no small part, to his latest brainstorm for getting back to Juneau and going into Wildflower Court rather than going to a rehab center in Seattle. The only way this could happen now is if he were able to get medivaced back since he is in no shape to fly commercially. I'm waiting for a call back from Heather with the name and number for one of his Seattle doctors who could talk to his Juneau doctor.

Late Morning
Well apparently Heather and others have been able to convince Mike that it's not possible to come back to Juneau in his present condition. Instead he will be moving to a place called Park West today for palliative care. He does not want physical therapy, in which case he will probably never improve enough to come back to Juneau. Heather thinks that he may get bored enough that he will decide to do PT. She says that visitors will be good for him and may boost his spirits enough that he will make the attempt. Shana (my daughter) is going down next week for about 10 days to see him and to visit friends.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Wednesday, April 24

This morning Mike is sitting up for the first time. He said they had to wait for the "cement in his hip bone to harden" after the surgery. As with previous days he is easier to understand and seems in a better mood in the morning than the evening.

Heather was with him when we talked. So far they have three rehab centers to choose from. She and Michaela Jensen will help him choose. He may be moving within the next couple of days.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Tuesday, April 23

This morning I talked to Mike and he was in a much better mood than yesterday. He got through the surgery and says he is in less pain now that his hip is in one piece. He says, "The concrete [in his hip] has begun to settle." He even broke into song, "'Swonderful; 'smarvelous...."

He has been moved to a different area of the hospital but when I asked him if he was still in intensive care, he didn't know. Large hospitals can be very confusing. The good part is that his speech was clear so he was able to shed the anesthetic without the slurred speech that he had after he first got down to Seattle.

I will call him again tonight.

Tuesday PM
I talked to Mike tonight. The social worker had been talking to him about moving to a rehabilitation center which seemed to confuse him. He seemed to finally understand that it is a place where he will get the physical therapy he needs. Furthermore, they wanted him to choose which center to go to and he didn't know how to chooses since he knew nothing about them. Our daughter-in-law, Heather is flying to Seattle tonight and will spend tomorrow with him. We are hoping she can help him navigate the system while she is there.

He was very difficult to understand; his words were slurred. I am assuming he has enough pain medication to cause this. He was much more down tonight than this morning. We will hope a good night's sleep will help.

Monday, April 22

Mike's only comment for today is SNAFU. For those of you who don't know the meaning of this, it is "Situation Normal, All Fowled Up." The official translation uses a different F-word.   

He has been waiting to have surgery since he was Medivacked to Harborview Hospital in Seattle early Friday morning. He thinks the hospital is messing up because it has taken so long to get him into surgery. The truth may be that they are having trouble doing surgery because of his overall health and cancer.

This evening I had a call from the Nickersons who had driven down from Bellingham to see Mike. When they got there they discovered he had gone to surgery. I will call him in the morning to see how he is doing. Stay tuned.