Mary Beth Writes

11/12/2021

Many of you sent emails and notes and we read every single one. Thank you! We loved the photos of where you live and what you are seeing in your world … and Neal, that fish that you caught is BIG!

Len was scheduled to come home today but the surgeon stopped by a day early to remove Len’s head staples. Blessedly, my sister-in-law who is an RN had just arrived for a visit, so I left the room. I’m not a fan of first-person medical procedures unless I’m the person who has to get the thing done. It only took a few minutes and Len said it wasn’t too awful. I’ll take his word for it.

So they sprung him a day early – yesterday morning.

We have been home a day and it is awesome to be here together. For nearly a day Len has barely been cynical or sarcastic about anything. (He has not been paying much attention to the news yet.) Maybe his sanguinity is part of the brain injury? I doubt it. He’s just thankful and so am I that he’s as okay as he is and we go forward.

Which is not to say we are going to be cozily at home. As all of you who have been through big medical stuff already know, you come home on rubber bands because now they want you to come back and back and back again. Already he has appointments to see the cardiologist, the brain surgeon, to get a cat scan, to see the brain monitoring physician who will be in charge of the healing of his brain. We have an appointment to meet with the outpatient physical and occupational therapists; that appointment is to schedule a series of appointments. And more.

Len’s health and recovery have become our hobby farm. There will always be the next thing to do.

When you all said that the caretaker needs to take care of herself, I heard that. I am Len’s ride for the foreseeable future. I think driving him to all these things will be as much social life as I can handle for a while. I’ve put a lot of books on hold at the library and my goal is just this. When waiting where I am not part of the conversation, I am firmly resolved to read books instead of looking at Twitter. That’s my whole goal and you can hold me to it. I will need some narratives to keep my brain from turning into a tornado of Len details.

We are seeing a lot more of our kids. This situation sucks but boy, we have spent more hours together in the past three weeks than we have done since the kids lived at home.

So here we are. Grateful. Overwhelmed. Curious.

Did I say grateful?

...

I think I need to write an article soon on how to get two free boxes of tissues from your local hospital via two emergency surgeries accompanied by two weeks of recovery in two hospitals. We also got a mini bottle of mouthwash and some hand cream.  

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Mary Beth, I am so glad Len is now home, where he has not only you to keep him company, but two lovely cats to offer solidarity. All the upcoming medical visits will keep the healing on track. Nothing like a serious health emergency to rally the family together. I bet you are so glad they are not too far away. Best to you both.
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks and yes to all of this. Particularly our two cats who are on him like cat magnets. One doesn't have to scan far to find these cats...

Very glad to hear that Len is on the mend. There are the physical and the mental after-effects from a fall -- tending to both is important. Cats are a big help! Fondly, Kay

Grateful!!!!

This is such great news! Enjoy your family, sleepy warm cats and good books.

That is a good picture of the two of you. The love is shining from your eyes. Here’s to life becoming normal and maneuvering it together.

Being home again is the best medicine. It is a trite but true sentiment. I hope you will soon be cooking up some elaborate meal that only you Len could create.

I'm so happy for you to be home and moving forward into the healing phase. Being forced to move outside of the "everyday routine" gives each moment a sense of immediacy, and makes you focus on being in the moment; which can be enriching, but also disorienting and exhausting. Take your time. Oh - when I was in the hospital a couple of years ago, I got socks with little grippy things on the bottom - did Len get socks?
Mary Beth's picture

Laughing. He sure did get those grippy socks. We have been home a day and a few hours and they are washed and in the giveaway pile. Those pads they put under patients are on their way (via a friend) to an animal shelter. One has to get that bad juju out of the house....

Spring a day early! Music to any patient’s ears. I am so glad, and maybe you will more or less get to sit around over the weekend and have space to discuss “Wait! What just happened?” But all kidding aside, that was bad scary for both of you and will be a pain for a good stretch here, and I am praying for your recoveries both physically and emotionally from the trauma this thrust upon you.
Mary Beth's picture

Thanks so much. And what a way to get the kids to come around, ... We weren't complaining before, but this has been so different, a few hours here and there without their spouses (who stay home to watch the kids so the kids can come here) and without the beloved but very distracting little grandkids. Always a new country to explore - right here in our own families.

Yes! So happy to see this photo and to know that you are home together figuring it all out! You both look wonderful. I am sending a big remote hug to both of you and to your wonderful kids that are circling the wagon (never a doubt that would happen). Well done so far team MB & Len maneuvering this new fork in the road. Rest and read and stay cozy in between those appointments. Thanks for the updates.
Mary Beth's picture

Sent a half loaf of bread home with two kids yesterday. Truck Toast.... when one sends a treat amount of food but not the whole loaf because you didn't make that much in the first place.

A wonderful treat - truck toast❤

Thrilled you are home! Glad you have a plan for self care. It's important! Patricia

What a nice picture of the two of you. Welcome Home, Len. It must feel so good to be out of the hospital. Wishing for a nice easy healing path for you. lol - grippy socks. :)

So glad he’s home and recovering! The kids and I miss you!

"A problem shared is a problem halved. A joy shared is a joy doubled". Happy for you and your family that things are better.

Dear MB and Len, We are sure with you in spirit always. I just cannot imagine the pain your community is feeling now. It is so great to see the vigils and gatherings to help uplift the spirits. Most of us just feel distraught when evil takes over something that is meant to be so joyful. All we can do is keep sharing our love and comfort to whomever whenever and wherever.

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Quarantine Diary #680 Too Close Covid

1/22/2022

Judy suggests a podcast that her daughter-in-law, an infectious disease physician, listens to and recommends. It’s The Osterholm Update: COVID 19. Osterholm is an epidemiologist and Director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. He’s on President Biden's COVID-19 Advisory Board.

The podcast is a little wordy here and there but one can fast-forward. Here is what I learned that makes a difference to me.

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Dear Kids!

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