Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Brain Game ...

It's Sunday ... a day of rest. Tell the Physical Therapy Department that. Ron walked fabulously this morning. The Neuro Surgeon will be here this afternoon to remove the port ... no rest for him today either. Ron will then be moved to a room on the 5th Floor for a night or two, and back to Rehab.

Today is his best day ever. He's truly himself again ... I've missed him so much. I went to the 8:00 service this morning at Calvary Episcopal Church again and then we had Church on Wheels here in the room. I volunteered to work on their upcoming Clothing Drive next week. Something I can give back, and gladly.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Two Steps Back ...

But we're moving forward once again. Ron was moved out of Rehab and back to Acute Neuro Care yesterday afternoon. After extensive testing it was determined that he had fluid on his brain. The Neurologist and the Neuro Surgeon were not on the same page this morning, but worked it out and the Neuro Surgeon placed a port to remove it. Amazing things are happening each time a concern arises, but the ups and downs are exhausting.

You have all been wonderful with your calls, cards, emails and prayers. I couldn't ask for better friends. And talk about family ... Ron's sister Susan and sister in law Jane are with him now. I will return tomorrow after a much needed break that I would not have been able to take without these Keller girls. Love from the Prairie. xoxo.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Amy, Servant of God and Girl Stuff ...

Yesterday was a bad day for Ron and I both. Moving to Rehab and the change of scenery, etc. didn't set well with him at all. On top of that he began having trouble with his left eye and showed signs of right side/left side confusion. After everything we've been through so far I'm not going to even elaborate on this. But I am hoping it's the meds since he had a cat scan that came back fine. If I get too far out there and off into what could happen, I won't be available for today. Talk about spiritual growth ...

Which leads me to Amy, a wise for her years, sharp dressed, red headed chaplain. Ron's nurse called Pastoral Care for me right after I learned that in addition to what's happening with Ron, my mother was rushed to the ER again yesterday from the nursing home. She has the "ileus" thing going on ... failure of the intestines to kick back into motion after surgery ... and in her case ... two surgeries. I didn't fall completely apart but I needed direction. And direction I received ... ask and ye shall ! I love that.

Amy listened to my story with great interest, concern and love. I cried, she held me, and then I cried some more. At that time, I blew my nose and settled in for the parting of the clouds, the bright shining rays of sun, and the words of God to move into me. It was nothing like that. She knew I had two sisters in law arriving shortly and that the greatest gift God could send me was a break. She smiled and looked deeply into my eyes with hers, that were so beautiful, and she said, "Laurie ... go home, take a bubble bath, and get a good night's sleep." Now ... how cool is that ?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

It's All Good ...

Except for a few minor things ... Ron was moved from his room over to the Sanford Rehab Unit late yesterday. His therapy starts at 9:00 this morning and will take up the majority of the day. I am hoping that he can keep up with the program. It's tough but he qualifies now that he's medically stable. Pray for him ... The Wiggle Worm wiggled from 11:00 PM until 6:00 AM. He wants to sleep now but that's not an option.

The toasted cinnamon bagels are on the way and I've put strong coffee in his IV. Our "break out" goal is September 10th for both sanity and insurance purposes. I can bring the German Shepherd girl here to his room this weekend perhaps.

A story to leave you with ... the morning Ron regained consciousness in ICU I told him I was going to step down the hallway to make a few telephone calls. I was already in my private spot located quite a ways from his unit ... I heard him call out to me in desperation, "Where'ssssssssssss Ruuuuuuuuuuubbbbbbbbbbbyyyyyyyyyyyy"?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Pink Horse Pause ...

I find this painting fascinating. It's from a mural by Laura Blaker in a restaurant here in Sioux Falls called Hu Hot. The Pink Horse is injured, has his eyes closed, yet he demonstrates great humility, a sense of non self. For me, he is not facing death, and will actually be getting up and going quite soon. He's only pausing.

Yesterday evening Ron and I were here in his hospital room, alone for the first time in almost two weeks. We finally connected, stayed connected, and were able to talk about what has happened and where we hope to be heading. But yesterday morning was quite frightening ... fluid on his lungs, swelling on his face, and an elevated fever. By the time he went to sleep last night, all three issues were resolved.

Being able to handle the ups and downs of this event is my greatest challenge ... and when I am able to do so, the humility finds its way to me and I can believe, once again, that we will leave here together. And that it's not about me and it's not even really about him. It's about pausing.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly ...

I am home tonight and spent the evening with my cousin, Karmalee, who has just moved here from Laramie to be near her parents. Her Dad, Lee, and my Mom are brother and sister. Karmalee is going to be staying here, watching over the pets, the house, and the gardens. It's another blessing and perfect fit ... I can breathe again. Ruby's second cousins, Lacey, a Border Collie Healer Mix, and Fat Boy, a Lab Rottweiler Mix, were welcomed with open paws. BTW ... this Rottweiler is too fine. He loves me but he loves Ruby more. Lacey is a precious luv pup and is named after my Great Uncle Lacey ... I think ... therefore it must be true. I leave in the morning at 5 to snatch Karen from the hospital and drive her to Omaha ... I'll get to see the sunrise and perhaps have a Skywatch Friday post. If not, I will have a sense of everything at home being just fine.

Speaking of which ... Karen spearheaded a team of Prairie Chicks to work with her here at the house yesterday and finish getting us settled in for Ron's return home and my sanity. Nyla, Cheryl, and Ashlee totally knocked it out of the park ... well ... out of the POD, and into the house, cleaning, dusting, and organizing along the way. Girls Rock !!!

Ron had a terrible night. His restlessness and attempts to get out of bed triggered, in my opinion, too much sedative and too much pain medication. He slept the day away, missed therapy and all three meals. Night time "freakies" are very common with hospital patients in general, but particularly with head injury. I am an expert in the "head injury" field now ... ask me anything ... I double dare you. He also has a slight fever so they are doing a blood work up tonight and I will know more about that in the morning. Prayers please. Of course, we are all expecting him to wake in the morning and say, "Hey! What's going on" ? Sorry I have nothing acceptable, photowise, to post. I may have some video in the works though ... don't ask.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

A Great Day ...

Ron had a great day yesterday. He went to therapy for two hours in the morning and two hours in the afternoon. They worked him over pretty good but his attitude is positive. Karen and I returned home to the farm for the evening and to spend the day today getting a bit more settled back on the main floor of the house. We went straight to the garden and picked corn, eggplant and cucumbers. We also dug potatoes and then Karen made us an awesome dinner.

She leaves on Friday and Ron's sister, Susan from Tallahassee, arrives Tuesday, along with my sister in law, Jane from Bunn, North Carolina. You have to love these Keller Women. They are wrapping me up in lots of love.

For now all is well. Your prayers continue to keep us moving forward and I have so much to be grateful for. XOXO.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

One Week ...

Ron's surgery was a week ago this morning at 6:00 AM. I have just met with his Neuro Surgeon, Dr. Wellman, (get it?) and he said the patient is doing fantastic. Yesterday and last night were the absolute worst though ... the head pain is just fierce. He was given oxicontin, the Rush Limbaugh drug, and it ended up being a nightmare for all of us. He "tripped" until 2:00 this morning, trying to get out of bed, trying to get me into bed : ) and fighting sleep. At 10:00 the Doctor ordered another cat scan of his brain to see if perhaps the wound was bleeding. It was not. His physical therapy started yesterday morning and he's standing, walking, and exercising. Ron's sister, Karen, is my new best girlfriend. This chick is the perfect mix to this mingle. But excuse my selfishness if you can. All I can hope for at this point, is to hear Ron call out to me just one more time, "Please, I'm begging you, get into this bed"!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Ron is On the Mend ...

Ron continues to make progress and was moved last night from the Acute Neuro Care Department of Sanford Hospital. He is now in a room for a few days prior to being moved to the Physical Therapy Department. He is now much more alert; however, the pain is tremendous still. I had help yesterday moving some of our things back into the main floor of our house. Ron's sister, Karen, is with him now and I am heading back later this morning.

Thank you to everyone for your calls, emails, and offers to help me. More importantly, knowing the power of your prayers and the knowledge of God's love has been of great comfort to us both. Bless you right back !

Thursday, August 14, 2008

I Interrupt This Program ...

Ron had surgery Tuesday morning to remove a subdural hematoma from the right side of his brain,
which was the result of a hard fall on the stairs to our lower level. We are at Sanford Hospital in Sioux Falls, where he was brought from Watertown by ambulance.

The surgery went well, he regained consciousness yesterday morning and is breathing on his own. He has just been moved from ICU to the Acute Care Neuro Floor.
His children, Brad and Allison arrived last night, along with his sister, Karen.

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.

With love from the prairie,


Friday, August 8, 2008

"Mornin, Mam" ... "It's Sky Watch Friday" ...

I went for coffee yesterday morning at the Starbuck's drive through. It's out at Interstate 29, so for a city of 23,000 plus and or minus, it's quite a drive ... that would be 6 minutes in peak traffic at 6:00 AM, with a total of 12 cars at the light. When I pulled up to the intersection of Highways 212 and 81, where the Magic Mile begins and my Dad had "Carroll's Texaco", the sun had just started peeking through the clouds. It had rained a bit earlier so everything looked freshly bathed. The sky was gorgeous. I looked up to my left and noticed "Cowboy One" tipping his hat at the sun. She's a girl in my world.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

The Zucchini Bikini Birthday Boy ...

It's a big day today in our life ... it's a Decade Birth Day. I took this photo last night while we were on a drive to the Henry Steak House. I was photographing a huge herd of Angus that came running just as soon as I did my cow call. Yes, I have a cow call. It must have met with Ron's approval ... look at that smile I caught on my way back to the car. It was a fun road trip and I just knew this would be my shot for today's post. Happy Birthday, Boyfriend. It's a love connection for sure ... your silver hair matches my silver Subaru. And a special thank you to Jim Aesoph at KDLO Radio 96.9, for making our morning such fun with his "Ron Keller has a birthday today and a yard full of "Zucchinis" . "Or is that Bikinis" ?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Smith Family Robinson ...

Meet my Wicked Step and a Half Daughter, Allison, (WSD.5) and her family plus a Girlfriend of my oldest Grand Daughter, Anna. I guess listing her name isn't critical ... her parents won't let her hang out with them any longer.

Guide in the back, Allison in front of him, Emily in front of her, my fellow Baby Boomer Son in Law, Wally, across from Em, Meg in front of Wally, ex Girlfriend across from Meg, Anna across from her, Jaws One munching Em's oar, Jaws Two front right, advertising for Oral B 40.

Photo courtesy of Skip That Lunch Rafting, Blue Mountain, Georgia. Photo Shop courtesy of R. Brad Keller, Jr., Wicked Step and a Half Son (WSS.5).

Wipe Out ...

of both the signs, and my Mom. I have been walking by these for a week now, since I had to put her back in the hospital. When they disappear tonight everyone will know they are in my possession. Sorry ... I have to have them. And they have been laying there so long they belong to me.

Mom had to have surgery again. This time to correct an adhesion and collapse of her lower intestinal tract. I think I explained that correctly : ) She has had a terrible time but is on the mend again.

The Nurses wear the cutest outfits these days. This week I've seen Scooby Doo, Mister Potato Head, and a myriad of colors from hot hot hot pink to a turquoise blue that knocked my socks off. These awesome ladies work their butts off and all have a great attitude and sense of humor. When Mom sits in her chair I take the bed ... so yesterday when the Respiratory Therapist came in with the Nebulizer I told her I was her new patient. She smiled and said, "Cool". "Here is your enema"!

Mom has a touch a pneumonia ... that will get your attention. She has tons of antibiotic going into her, as well as morphine. Every once in a while she pushes her little black button for me. I wish ...