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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Saturday, May 25

I just received a long email from Lynn Burlingame, who visited Mike yesterday. He is a former student and wrote a nice long message so I am copying it in full here. He has included a very short video of Mike in two different formats that you can either click on or copy into your browser to get greetings from Mike directly.  Enjoy!
I visited this afternoon.  My wife was mystified when I put on my old Xtratufs for the visit, but the Juneau kids will know why I did it – I had to be in proper uniform!  Mike got a kick out of it which was the whole point.

He was in good spirits and we had a lively conversation.  In case any of you are wondering, he has all of his marbles.  At one point we were talking about Black Mac, the JDHS principal back in the 60’s.  I referred to him as “Harold MacMillan” and he corrected me by saying, “George MacMillian, Harold was the British Prime Minister”.  He then gave me a grin and pointed at his temple and said, “Hey, how am I doing”?  It was pretty funny.

He says that the facility is first rate and that they are taking good care of him.  I shot a quick video and uploaded it to my temporary web folder.  Here it is in WMV and Apple MOV format.  I am new to the iPhone and managed to convert the file to WMV and flip it 90 degrees, but Apple users may have to look at it sideways.  These files are huge (especially the MOV one) , so give them a while to download:

He had stories to tell – the thing about being stuck in a storage closet in Harborview Medical Center was not a joke.  He was in a storage room and other than a bed had no amenities, not even a call button.  He says that he irritated his neighbors by having to holler for help when he needed assistance.

By way of background, he told me that he fell in the kitchen in March and broke his hip.  He was medevac’d to Seattle the following day.  They have repaired his hip and he is in physical therapy to gain strength so he can walk.  The problem last week was caused by a broken blood vessel in his bladder that caused blood to show up in his urine.  It sounds like it was easily fixed, so fortunately he did not have to spend much time in the hospital.

The nursing home was very pleasant.  I walked in on a nursing and PT session, and he asked me to wait outside until they were done.  I took the opportunity to look the place over and was impressed – the people were friendly, the facility was spotlessly clean and the patients all appeared happy and well cared for.

Before I left I asked if he needed any errands run, purchases made, etc., and he told me that he did not, but would call me if something comes up.  I am not sure who else lives in the Seattle area (I am in Bellevue) but we may want to line up some ground support for him when he gets out of there and returns to Juneau.  If anybody lives in the area and is willing to help out, please email me at .

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