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Monday, July 29, 2013

Happy Birthday, Mike!

Mike's 90th birthday is on Tuesday, August 6. Ward Lamb has arranged to have a party for him in the Blueberry common room this Saturday, August 3, at 1:30 pm and will provide cake and ice cream. Please pass the word to all his friends.

The question has been asked about cards and gifts. Mike has everything he needs at Wildflower Court and also has a problem dealing with masses of cards and letters. Ward will have a sheet at the party where people can sign their names with phone numbers in case Mike would like to contact them. 


Friday, July 26, 2013

Wildflower Court

We were talking with our daughter Shana this morning about Wildflower Court compared to Park West. She said the atmosphere, physical condition and staffing are much better: like going from a one star hotel to a three or four star hotel.

Mike has a private room (all rooms are private), the whole facility is very quiet, and the staff has time to give residents immediate attention.  For instance, within minutes of telling Mike's aide that he would like a whiteboard installed in his room, a maintenance person arrived and installed a whiteboard provided by the facility.  At Park West, Shana had to purchase the whiteboard, and it took three days for maintenance to install it.  In addition, at Park West when Mike would ring his call button, he would be checked on by staff immediately, but they would sometimes tell him they were busy, and would have to come back later.  At Wildflower Court, staff responds and helps immediately. Furthermore, from his bed he has a lovely view of a hillside out his window (much better than looking up at a concrete retaining wall and the bumpers of cars in the parking lot!).

Mike has no appetite and has lost a lot of weight. We were with him when the dietician was asking him about his diet. It sounds as though it is only milk, Ensure, mashed potatoes, and gravy. The dietician said they also make milkshakes with Ensure and ice cream. Shana visited Thursday during lunch and fed him; he only ate about 4 or 5 bites of mashed potatoes, gravy, and peas mixed together, and drank about 6 ounces of V-8.

Shana suggested that if people visit him at mealtime, he should be encouraged and assisted in eating. It is important that he be in at least a semi-seated position so he doesn't aspirate his food. He is having trouble chewing and swallowing. If you can bring him something soft and delicious when you visit, he might be tempted to eat more.

In terms of physical fitness, Mike can walk farther than when Shana last saw him at the beginning of June in Seattle.  Thursday he walked from one end of the physical therapy room to the other three times using a walker and assisted by the physical therapist. 

In conclusion, Mike is very happy to be home but we need to fatten him up. 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Welcome Back, Mike!

Mike arrived back in Juneau about 1:00 pm today. They were diverted to Sitka for a couple of hours because of fog in Juneau but they finally made it and now we have sun.

He is in Blueberry House, Room 9103, at Wildflower Court. He does not yet have a phone in his room but there is a cordless phone that can be taken to his room for calls. That number is 463-8701. I am sure he would like visitors but for the first few days it would probably be a good idea to call first so that he doesn't get too many at once.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Coming Home

This is probably the last blog post I will do until after Mike is back in Juneau. He will be flying out Monday morning at about 9:00 and arrive back in Juneau at noon or shortly before. The air ambulance service will arrange for ground transport on both ends.

Here is an old photo of Mike I just received from Jan Tiura.


Monday, July 15, 2013

J-D Picnic

Mike went to the Juneau-Douglas picnic yesterday and had a wonderful time. Barbara Nielsen says he was a real charmer and a real trooper and that he loved getting the bull horn to "say a few words":)

Only seven more days until he comes back to Juneau. Arrangements are being made.



Friday, July 12, 2013

Picnic on Sunday

Micaela Jensen and Barb Nielson both had good visits with Mike yesterday and confirmed that Mike's mood was much improved with his move back to Park West.

Any of you who are in the Seattle area and attending the Juneau-Douglas picnic on Sunday, look for Mike. The plan (which could change) is for him to arrive by "cabulance" with an attendant.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Back at Park West

After being taken to the Harborview Emergency Room on Sunday (July 7) with a urinary infection, Mike was transferred to Swedish Hospital later that day. Yesterday, July 10, he was taken back to Park West Care Center. He is now in the same room with the same phone number he had before he was taken to Harborview.

The last few days have been very difficult for him. He has been confused (apparently a very common symptom with urinary infections) and felt helpless. This morning I talked to him for the first time since he had gotten back to Park West and his mood was so much improved. He keeps forgetting when he is to come back to Juneau (July 22) thinking he would be coming back today. He was with Ren, his physical therapist, when I talked to him and I ask Ren to write July 22 on his white board so he could be reminded of the correct date. Mike asked me what today is and I told him the 11th and said he has just 11 more days at Park West. He said, "Wonderful, wonderful! I will have more time to do the exercises." Ren also told me that the tests had shown there was no more damage his his organs from the infection. It was good to hear Mike sound so much more up and hopeful than he has been for the last few days.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A Room in Juneau!

A room will be available for Mike at Wildflower Court in Juneau as of July 22 so we will be bringing him home by medivac then. In the event that a room becomes available before then at the Pioneers Home, he will go directly there. In any case, his ultimate goal is the Pioneers Home.

The good news is July 22 is the date certain for him to return to Juneau.

Mike wanted me to add to the blog: "Hello darlings! Thank you all for the very kind wishes. Rather than answering you individually, know that you are all in my heart. I am grateful for all your well wishes."

Barbara Guertin Nielsen took this picture today, showing Mike standing outside in the sunshine. I hope he takes advantage of getting as much sun as he can before he gets back to rainy Juneau!