Feb 27, 2007

"Going Home" My Dad Update: Tuesday, February 27, 2007

My mom just got a call from my dad at the hospital. They are letting him go home this afternoon. My mom said he sounded really good over the phone. He's been wanting to go home so bad. My mom thinks he will rest better at home.

He has physical therapy scheduled for the rest of the week and a follow-up appointment with his regular doctor, Dr. Bond on March 9th. He is also going to get a B-12 shot for his stomach problems. If this works he will get one a month from now on.

Although this is great news, I'm leary about my dad being completely ready to go home. I'd prefer him to stay in longer and heal more. I know the doctors wouldn't let him go home unless they thought he was capable. But I know my dad. Please continue to pray for his health, for wisdom to take it easy and follow up with his doctors and to not fall back on old habits. I'll have to give this to God and trust His will.

One more address change. If you'd like to send cards, please send them to:
2735 Smetana Road
Bryan, TX 77807

Visiting Hours

If you would like to visit my dad, the hours to visit him are between 3:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. The address to the Med and his room number are below. Directions can be found at http://csmedcenter.com/directions/. If you visit my dad while he's doing physical therapy, you'll have to do it with him. A little exercise won't kill you.

Address for My Dad

Sorry, I forgot to post the new address to send cards to my dad. Here you go:

College Station Medical Center
Patient Harvey Wise Room 228B
1604 Rock Prairie Road
College Station, TX 77842

Since my dad is still very tired and needs all the rest he can get, we are waiting for the go ahead for visitors and the specific times. As soon as we have them, we will post them here with all the details.

Thank you for all the prayers. Happy Tuesday!

Feb 26, 2007

Getting Ready

Well, we're almost packed. We've had a lot of friends help us get ready to move. While I was in Texas, many friends helped Roger pack and they packed almost everything. We wouldn't be as far as we are if it hadn't been for them. This weekend was my first time to pack for this move back home and it made it feel more real. Little things have been happening to help us get ready mentally to move back home. Little annoyances, etc. So this Sunday as I'm driving to church, it's snowing like crazy and it just started. So there's snow all over the roads and the plow trucks weren't out yet. So we pull into the parking lot and the snow is deep and it's quite nerve wracking to drive in that. Then when we leave church, our truck is covered with at least three inches of snow. Thank goodness we had one of those ice scraper brushes in the truck. It took us about 3-5 minutes to get the truck drivable. So we proceed to drive to a restaurant for lunch with friends. I'm driving and Roger is directing. Thank goodness because I have no idea what I'm doing. It looks easy, but it's not. Each time I drove in the snow I thought, "I can't wait to get to Texas."

We have boxes every where. Wednesday we will begin to live out of the suitcase. Friday we will load the trailer, with help from more friends, and then drive off on Saturday morning. And there's supposed to be another snow storm on Saturday that we may hit on our way out. We won't have to worry about snow in Texas.

Please pray for our friends John & Tamra Rich. Tamra's mom had an aneurysm this morning near Fort Worth, Texas. She was flown to a hospital in Tyler. Please keep her mom and family in your prayers.

My Dad Update: Monday, February 26, 2007

Today's report from my mom:

Well I got to hospital about 4:45 p.m. Dad's weight is 122 and BP is 90/65. Doc said it's low because he is calm. As you know his knee was swollen and they did an x ray and it is "gout" but the color was not a gout color. They gave him some antibiotics yesterday and it was down and felt better today. I brought dad some pj's he asked me to get them out and I helped him put them on feet and he pulled them up, so he is a lot better.

I think he was tired this past weekend. He had meatloaf yesterday and said it was good. Today's breakfast was tolerable, lunch steak w/gravy and mashed potatoes with sweet peas.

He just wants to go home, he walked from old room to the new room where he has a room mate. Therapist came in today and wants dad to stay another week just for therapy, drive in three times a week or do home therapy. Dad choose the middle one. But he looks real good today.

Feb 25, 2007

My Dad Update: Sunday, February 25, 2007

So my dad's not in ICU anymore, but he's in between ICU and a regular room. They still monitor the same as ICU but it's kind of like transition or for all you Catholics think of it like purgatory. He's still very weak and his body is not strong enough so he's waiting to heal, rest and recover before he can go to the regular floor. His blood pressure is still low but stable. He only weighs 122 lbs (remember he's 6ft tall) and the doctors want him to gain more weight. He walked three times today, but his knee is swollen for some reason and it's going to be x-rayed tomorrow. They took out the central line but put an IV in just in case. He's in pretty good spirits, but ready to get out of there. He still thinks he's getting out soon. But we all know it will be a long road. He was finally able to get a visit from his grandchildren. And he played gold fish with Elizabeth and Phillip.

Feb 24, 2007

My Dad Update: Saturday evening, February 24, 2007

Well, my dad must be doing well. They moved him out of ICU. He is still very tired and gets tired really easy. He needs lots of rest and lots of sleep. Rest is the key to recovery. Our family is so glad he is doing better. Thank you for all your prayers. Please continue to pray for my father and family. More later!

My Dad Update: Saturday morning, February 24, 2007

My sister and all three of her kids are at my mom's this weekend. They went to the early morning visiting time and he was sitting in the chair when they arrived. His blood pressure cuff was not on his arm so they don't know what his blood pressure was but his heart rate was 80. He is completely off oxygen. He had eggs and cereal for breakfast. And he slept very well through the night because he asked them to give him something to sleep because he was so tired.

He walked down the hall and back but it tires him out due to pulling the stand of IV bags, etc and the stitches in his groin and calf. He may move out of ICU today onto the regular floor. We'll see.

Feb 23, 2007

My Dad Update: Friday, February 23, 2007

Friday report from my mom:

BP 116/80 HR 89...Well dad had a BM yesterday about 5:50 p.m. or so. (To which I asked if it was healthy.) Well yes, the nurses have been wanting him to have one but with nothing in him until yesterday (Jell-O and a few carrots), there won't be anything.
Dad said he could not get any sleep because they are always doing something to him. So I talked to the nurse about this and she said she would do all meds and other things early , but they have to draw blood at 5 a.m. because it gets sent to the lab ASAP.
Dad had scrambled eggs (he said they were powdered) and toast with jelly for breakfast. Chicken fried steak for lunch and some kind of steak for supper with green beans and mashed potatoes.
Eddie Hare came by and dad talked to him while I went to truck and got toothbrush, toothpaste, Scope and under arm stuff. This is about it. Dad still looks tired but that comes with it all. Heather, the kids and I will go and see him in the a.m. Dad also sat in chair three times and walked down the hall three times.

Feb 22, 2007

Slow and Steady: My Dad Update: Thursday Evening, February 22, 2007

My mom took a nap this afternoon so she missed the 1:30 p.m. visiting time. She slept for two hours and she felt great when she woke up. I'm glad she took the time to rest.

My mom, Bubba & Brandy went to the 5:30 p.m. visiting time. My dad's blood pressure when they first entered was 96/65. The lights were off in his room and she assumed he was asleep but when she peeked in his eyes opened. My mom said he is doing very good.

Remember I blogged earlier that he was supposed to get semi-solid food today. Well, dinner of three meatballs and carrots showed up. And my dad was surprised to get that. He ate two or three carrots and a staff person came in saying that was not his. Then they brought in a dinner with chicken. My dad hates chicken. And again, someone came in to take it away saying it was not his. Dr. Bond said it was okay for my dad to start eating solid food, but Dr. Kirby said not yet. So he got a dinner of two containers of orange jello and water. He's got to take it slowly.

He received two liters of oxygen today and physical therapy. His nurse today, Steve, informed my mom it was physical therapy. He sat at the edge of the bed for ten minutes. May not seem like much, but in his condition, he's got to take it slowly.

My Dad Update: Thursday Morning, February 22, 2007

Praise the Lord, my dad is doing very well. All those prayers are working. At 7:30 this morning, Dr. Amen (pronounced Ah-mean) ordered all the tubes taken out of my dad which means he is not on the breathing machine anymore. Awesome!! My mom said he was told not to talk but then the staff began asking him questions to which he had to answer. They are giving him ice chips for his dry mouth and sore throat. It won't take long for him to get over that. He was allowed to take the inflating shoes off his feet. And a therapist is coming to see him. My mom didn't ask what kind of therapist, but I'm assuming it's a respiratory therapist. He may get semi-solid food this afternoon. And he asked my mom to bring his glasses and a newspaper. My mom said he looks really good. He may be able to leave the ICU in a few days but he will remain for now so they can observe him to make sure nothing like Monday happens again. He still has the central line and nasal cannula in, but I know he's happy to have all that other stuff out.

Thank you all so much for your prayers, love and concern. Please pray for rest for my mom as she is getting worn out. This is taking a toll on everyone. So that prayer could apply to my whole family especially my mom, Bubba, Brandy and Heather.

My sister will be back tomorrow for the weekend with which ever of her three kiddos want to come. Cole has gone to the lake this weekend with his grandmother and hopefully when he returns my dad will be in a regular room then he can see his Paco. Brandy wrote me the following story early this morning and it's so cute I have to share it.

Being 14: "Well when we were in the ICU waiting room the other day with Elizabeth I had the kids playing I spy. Cole had already checked the sign and to his dismay it still said 14. During the I spy game I said I spy the number 14 and Cole took off running Elizabeth had no clue but of course with Cole and that sign he knew exactly where it was. "

Feb 21, 2007


My good friend Kezia emailed me this morning stating that my dad sounded like a firecracker because of how he was fighting to live. So I wanted to share with you all how much of a firecracker he is. And for those of you who really know him, firecracker is an understatement.

On Sunday he was feeling good and when my brother and I were in his ICU room he wanted to show us something and said, "Watch this" very devilishly. He started breathing fast and heavy until the machine that displays all his vital signs started beeping. He was so tickled with himself. I told him he better stop before they kicked us out of there since it was past visiting time already. Then he told us that while he was on the breathing machine he would hold his breath and the machine would make a noise like a duck. I got on to him and he said, "You got to have some fun in here."

Firecracker. We have other words we use to describe him but we'll keep this post clean. :)

My Dad Update: Wednesday Afternoon, February 21, 2007

My sister reported at the 1:30 p.m. visiting time my dad was sleeping peacefully and his blood pressure was 93/64 and his heart rate was 69. Then he began writing a note to my mom and his heart rate sky rocketed to 101 instantly. He wrote, "They like to have killed me 5:15 am." They gave him a breathing test at 5:15 a.m. It must have done him in and he was not too happy about it. He got agitated and I guess a little fussy so he was given sedation so he'd sleep. I wonder if we can get some of that for when he comes home. Just joking (not really). :) As they were giving him the sedative, he wanted to make sure my mom didn't leave that note in there for the nurses to accidentally read. It does seem kind of strange to wake up an ICU patient with lung issues at 5:15 a.m. when they need as much rest as possible to give an exhausting breathing test.

As long as nothing happens, both tubes will be removed tomorrow morning. He will have to stay in ICU a few more days for observation. Then they will move him to the regular floor.

My Dad Update: Wednesday Morning, February 21, 2007

Here's the 9:30 a.m. visiting time report from my sister and mom. My dad's blood pressure was 115/84 and his heart rate was 85. He is doing very well. So well they will try to take one of the tubes out today and may try to wean him off the breathing machine. There is no fluid in his lungs and he is taking in 100% oxygen. Everyone is very happy about how he is doing today. There will be more updates this afternoon. Your prayers are working. Thank you so much for praying for my dad. Our God is an awesome God! Please continue to pray for him and my family.

Feb 20, 2007

My Dad Update: Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Sorry I couldn’t post earlier. I flew back to DC this afternoon so I haven’t been able to post until now.

My mom and I went to the 9:30 a.m. visiting time. His nurse Diane said he did well through the night and his blood pressure and heart rate were better than Monday. When we arrived his blood pressure was 136/89 and his heart rate was 90. His heart rate had been over 100 all weekend. But his heart rate fluctuates between 90 and 100. When I walked in his eyes were halfway open and he looked like he was staring at the ceiling but I’m pretty sure he wasn’t seeing anything. It kind of worried me and I hustled over to his side and watched his chest to make sure he was breathing. Diane said that he was a little more awake and the doctor’s said that was okay since he wasn’t trying to fight it like yesterday. This didn’t last long though. She said he coughed periodically and still had some excess saliva. Diane also told us they lowered the breathing machine again (16 to 8) meaning his lungs were clearer and he could take in more oxygen on his own.

I left at 12:30 p.m. to drive back to Austin to catch my flight. My mom and Aunt Sharon were there for the 1:30 p.m. visiting time. His blood pressure was 129/88 and his heart rate was 102. His urine bag was half full. I know you are wondering why I would share that information. The only way for the fluid in his lungs to clear is for him to urinate it out. So the more he urinates, the better. Diane said it would take a long time for all the fluid to clear and he needed a lot of rest. He didn’t have any real changes from the morning visit but he was better than yesterday.

Heather and Elizabeth made it for the 5:30 p.m. visit. Bubba, Brandy & Cole were there also. Heather said she felt a lot better being there. It was very hard on her to not be able to come right away. She had been upset and emotional about it since we told her Monday morning. His blood pressure was 133/95 and his heart rate was 95. His sugar level was 168 which is good since normal is below 200. He still looked good and he was awake. He held their hands. My mom asked him to squeeze her hand and he did. He responded by nodding or shaking his head to their questions. My mom was told there may be more fluid in his lungs and they will suck it out if needed. And he wanted to get out of bed.

Elizabeth went home with Bubba, Brandy & Cole. My mom and Heather intended to stay for a short visit at 8:30 p.m. Before they got back there he wanted to get out of bed and he was awake, uncomfortable and maybe a little agitated from all the stimulation. So they gave him more sedative because he was trying to breathe over the breathing machine. So they did not stay long because they wanted him to sleep and rest. His blood pressure then was 125/88 and his heart rate was 97.

This is going to be a long road for my dad. We knew he was going to remain in ICU and the hospital for a while and after this little set back he definitely will. Please continue to pray for my dad and my family. Pray for peace and rest for us all and for the Lord’s strength and healing for my dad. Thank you for all your prayers and love. We love you all.

Feb 19, 2007

My Dad Update: Monday Night, February 19, 2007

Here is more information regarding what happened this morning. Dr. Kirby told us this evening that all the fluid in my dad’s lungs was from the surgery on Thursday. He said they put a lot of fluids in him during the surgery and they knew that it would eventually catch up with him. And since his heart and kidneys are so weak (the ECHO performed this morning showed his heart is only working at 15%), it all dumped into his lungs. About 5:30 a.m. the nurse noticed his oxygen level had decreased and he was having trouble breathing and his heart rate and blood pressure were elevated although he was sleeping so well. So they put him back on the breathing machine, sucked as much fluid out of his lungs as possible, did some blood tests and the echo, heavily sedated him and gave him medicine to help his kidneys work better. This stabilized his heart rate and blood pressure. The blood tests showed that his heart was weak and they did the echo to check on the flow of his blood, etc. His nurse Diane said he was super white at that time. When we arrived he was pale but not as white as earlier.

He was a little better at the 1:30 p.m. visiting time. But there were no results of the echo yet and his blood pressure was at 104/80. At the 5:30 p.m. visiting time the nurse said he was doing a lot better. They were able to decrease the amount of supplied oxygen because his lungs were clearer and he was able to take in more oxygen on his own. They also gave him medicine by IV to help his heart work stronger. They will begin giving it to him in pill form tonight so when they are ready to take the IV’s and such out, it will be in his system. That may be a medication he may have to take for a while. We also discovered during that visit when we rubbed his arms and talked loudly it would stimulate him too much and he would try to wake up from the sedation and it would make him uncomfortable. And his response was kind of scary to us because he would open his mouth like he was gagging, arch his back and he would shake like a shiver. We didn’t like that and his nurse told us that it happened even when they stimulated him from changing tubes, etc and bathing him. So we all decided we’d be a little quieter and not rub his arms. It was very hard to see him do that. And yes, friends in the waiting room said, “The Wises not talk? Not likely.” Dr. Lammoglia who reviewed the echo is also on board now. I say the more specialists involved the better.

Before my mom and I went to Whataburger (Thanks Eddie) for some dinner, we ran into Dr. Kirby. He explained the echo results and what caused the fluid. He said they just have to wait for my dad to urinate it all out and they didn’t need any complications but now they have this one. He told us my dad can’t have any more complications and the only concern is the fluid on my dad’s lungs. He said he will have to stay on the breathing machine 2-3 more days then they should be able to take it out. He was disappointed to come in and see my dad was still in ICU and not on the regular floor. He was positive about my dad’s recovery.

At the 8:30 p.m. visiting time, his blood pressure was 121/85 and his coloring was very good. It was the best coloring I’ve seen on my dad in years.

My mom is getting exhausted. She has a hard time saying no, so I’m going to have to say no for her. Since I’m leaving tomorrow and will not be able to create emails for her and she will not be able to forward or reply to emails and return as many calls, please check this blog for updates (http://www.mommaerts.org/, click on “blog”) beginning today. As soon as things quiet down and after she rests she will return to doing all that. Also, while my dad is in ICU and on the breathing machine, please refrain from visiting the ICU. He needs complete rest. She wants to visit with everyone but it’s taking a toll on her. Thank you so much for understanding and for your patience at this time. We will update this blog every day.

Please keep those prayers coming! Please pray for the Lord's peace for my family. We really appreciate them and need them.

My Dad Update: Monday, February 19, 2007

The ICU nurse called this morning at 7:40 a.m. to tell us that my dad’s oxygen levels were going down and he was having trouble breathing during the night. His lungs are filled with a fluid and they put the tube back in his throat and put him back on the breathing machine. They gave him medication for sedation. His heart rate is stable and he is so sedated that he is not aware of who is there. Dr Kirby, the vascular surgeon and Dr. N, the lung specialist were both there this morning. Please lift my father’s health and healing up to the Lord. Thank you.

Feb 18, 2007

My Dad: Update Sunday, February 18, 2007

I’m happy to report that my dad is doing very well. He’s doing so well that he may be moved into a regular room tomorrow. Praise the Lord!

While Brandy and I were in his ICU room this afternoon, his nurse Dan removed the tube from his nose. That was interesting to watch. My dad told us that he wanted to sit up and hang his legs down and Dan asked him if he wanted to get out of bed. My dad was ready for that. I asked Dan if he would have to wait until he got to a regular room to get a bath and Dan said he would take care of that later also. He was in better spirits this afternoon. He even talked to a few friends on his cell phone. His brother Russell and Russell’s wife Bea came to visit and my dad was very happy to see them. I know he enjoyed talking to his brother. He held his hand while he talked to him and when we left to allow others to visit he asked Russell to come back before they left. Then his nephew James Keith showed up to visit at the same time we were all there. It has been nice to see so many family members while I’m here. His blood pressure was 104/74 which is great compared to 64/40 on Thursday.

When we returned to visit him at the 5:30 p.m. visiting time, he had already been out of the bed and bathed and was lying in bed covered up with a blanket because he was a little cold from being out of bed. His blood pressure was 131/90. Every time we visit his blood pressure is better. He said he felt so much better to be clean. He looked better too. They even changed all the sheets on his bed. And they removed all the IV’s and other stuff except the central line and the nasal cannula that delivers oxygen through the nose. He sat in a high back chair while he was bathed and the sheets were changed. I asked him how it felt to stand up and walk and he said it was a lot easier than on Thursday when he had no feeling.

He’s excited about the hope of moving out of the ICU. He really wants to see his grandkids, especially Cole since he wants to see his Paco so bad. On the way to the hospital at the 1:30 p.m. visiting time, Cole rode with my mom and I and he said, “I hope the sign says three today.” My mom and I looked at each other out of the corner of our eyes because we knew the sign was still going to say no one under 14 allowed in ICU. It was sad because we knew that once again he would not be able to see his Paco. So we recorded a video of Cole with my digital camera giving Paco a message about getting better and that the sign didn’t say three yet. It was so cute. My dad watched it and loved it.

We also got a huge delivery of food and beverages from the Smetana Ladies. You wouldn’t believe what they brought us: chicken spaghetti, potatoes au gratin, salad, rolls, garlic bread, cherry cobbler, cake, two pies, soda, ice, plates and forks. It was amazing and perfect timing. I was starving when they showed up. And of course everything was delicious. It was great to see friends that I haven’t seen in a long time. I was able to see my good friend Christy who I haven’t seen probably since my wedding and meet her little boy Britten for the first time. He looks just like her. Thank you Dorothy, Betty, Pat, Trisha, Christy, Marsha, Regina and Ann.

It was a great day. Our God is an awesome God. What joy and happiness He gave us today. I feel great knowing my dad is doing so well and getting better and better each day. I was also very glad to hear him say “I hope so” in response to my mom’s question if he thinks he can kick the nicotine addiction while he’s in there and to hear him tell his brother that he was going to have to take better care of himself. It warms my heart to know he isn’t giving up. Thank you Lord. And thank you friends for your prayers. They are working. Please don’t stop.

Feb 17, 2007

My Dad: Update Saturday, February 17, 2007

Well, I flew into Austin this morning. It felt so weird to be in the Austin airport. I can’t describe exactly what was weird about it, but it was like deja vu or something. Very strange. Then I drove to Bryan. I was starving when I left the airport and knew I wouldn’t last an hour and a half to eat in Bryan. So I went through the drive thru in Bastrop. I knew I was in the South when the girl working the window was wearing a banana clip. I haven’t seen a banana clip in years. I didn’t even know they were still being made and sold. I thought to myself, “I’m definitely in the South.”

I missed the 1:30-2:00 p.m. visiting time and went straight to my mom’s. I actually went to my brother’s across the street from my parents because the weather had left their long dirt road in a state that my mom thought my little rental car wouldn’t be able to make. My brother Harvey Jr (aka Bubba), nephew Cole and I drove to my mom’s. There she and my sister-in-law Brandy were cleaning up the hospital bed my parents’ had from my dad’s first bypass surgery. Once we got it cleaned, assembled in the house, mattress dressed and a table next to it for stuff, we drove to the hospital for the 5:30-6:00 p.m. visiting time. We waited about 30 minutes before the line started outside of ICU to go in.

My mom Helen, Aunt Sharon and I went in first. My dad was sleeping very well. We talked to his nurse Dan (who is exceptionally nice) and he informed us the trach tube had been removed at 11:00 a.m. and that he had been doing very well all day. I was a little nervous on the way here at how I might react to seeing my dad all wired and plugged up, but he didn’t look as bad as I thought he would. We surrounded my dad and stood over him talking about different things then all of a sudden we saw his left eye open. He looked at me and blinked and I asked him if he could see me. He said yes and then asked me why I had come. I told him that I wanted to see him and since it was a three day weekend and I wouldn’t be able to come at all until after we moved to Texas in two weeks. He told us that his throat hurt to talk and breathe. He sucked up his saliva when he needed with a stiff tube kind of like when you go to the dentist. We talked small talk for a while and read him some cards then some old family friends, Mr & Mrs Alderete, showed up outside his ICU door. So my mom and I left so they could come in. We went back to the ICU waiting room for a bit and then Bubba and Brandy went in for a bit. My nephew Cole wanted to go in so bad, but the sign on the waiting room wall said no one under 14 was allowed in ICU. He asked why the day before and they explained it to him. He asked when we first got into the ICU waiting room if the sign was changed to 3 yet. It was so sweet. So his mom told him as soon as Paco (that’s what my nieces and nephews call my dad) left ICU and was in his own room Gram (what they call my mom) would come pick him up and take him to see Paco and that maybe they could watch Open Season together. Too cute.

We visited for longer than the 30 minute limit and had more than the two person maximum. We finally left and went to Bubba and Brandy’s for grilled steaks, baked potatoes and salad. It was a great dinner. I was starving.

We told my dad all about the hospital bed and furniture being all set up for him at home. He seems to think he’s not going to be in it long. I don’t think he realizes just how sick he is. He was not aware of how many incisions he had so I don’t think he knows the extent of his problems. Now that the trach tube is out and he’s not so sedated, his doctors should be able to explain more to him. He won’t like it, but he’ll have to deal with it. My mom over heard him tell Mr. Alderete that he was going to have to change. So maybe he is learning from this experience. That’s one prayer I’ve been praying. We’ll see Lord.

Tomorrow I am going to ask his nurse what’s going to be done about his digestive system. I had wondered what was going to be done with the failing kidney and Brandy found out it was not going to be removed. They won’t remove it unless it is harming the body.

My dad also expressed to us that he’s not in pain when he’s sleeping, but when someone wakes him up he’s aware of the pain and they have to give him something for it. On Friday he wrote on my mom’s note pad, “No visitors, they wake me,” “I hurt when I am awake, let me sleep” and “I hurt when not asleep, don’t wake up.” So he doesn’t want any visitors right now for the pain reason and also because he’s exhausted. The ICU is very strict about visitors. They only allow visitors four times a day for 30 minute sessions. They really want their patients to rest. Rest is the key to recovery. We learned that with Roger. But we’ll let everyone know as soon as he has left ICU and is ready for visitors.

If you would like to send your regards, please send cards only to the following address:

College Station Medical Center
Intensive Care Room 6, Patient Harvey Wise
1604 Rock Prairie Road
College Station, TX 77842

My mom is doing well. She’s a trooper. Must be where I get it from. She has been tired though. She receives tons of calls every day. And yes, she answers and returns them all and tells the same story every time. And of course, we have tons of food. She really appreciates all the love, concern and prayer. My parents are truly loved by many. They are pretty cool parents. :)

Holly in Texas

Holly got into Austin on time at 12pm CT. She picked up her rental car and is on her way to Bryan. I spoke to Holly’s sister-in-law, Brandy, this morning and asked her about Harvey. They decided to leave the breathing tube in last night and he is stable, but still under observation. We’ll have more information later today after Holly gets there and is able to get a full picture of what’s going on. Our great friends, Matt and Julie, gave me and Holly a ride to BWI this morning at 6am. Then they helped me get the truck to the dealer to fix a blown light in the instrument cluster and to get it ready for the return drive to Texas. Then we had breakfast where we saw Kezia and Jana, who will be helping with packing later. Later today, all those folks, and another good friend of ours, Tamra, will come over to help me get as much packed up as possible. I think we’re going to have to pack all weekend since it’s almost 3pm and we haven’t even started yet. We’re going to pack as much as possible just in case we need to return to Texas earlier than planned. Our plans are up in the air right now and I’m feeling a little dazed here in VA. Please pray for us to get everything in order and please keep on praying for Harvey. More later.

Feb 16, 2007

Friday Update

My dad is doing a little better today but he is not out of the woods yet. He is asking for the trach tube to be taken out and it should be taken out tonight. I know he will be happy about that. His digestive system has basically shut down so he is being fed via the IV tube. It will take a few days for his digestive system to start up again since he was so malnourished. He is trying to write with his left hand since his right is covered with tubes, etc. The doctors expect a full recovery as long as there are no complications. But with a failed kidney, possibly more blood clots that the doctors couldn't get, malnutrition and potential lung problems, complications are possible. He will be in ICU for a while and he could be in the hospital for a long, long time. My mom is handling it very well. She has been there most of the day. My sister-in-law has been there since this afternoon and my brother visited tonight. My sister is on her way there now. I am flying there tomorrow morning and staying until Tuesday. So several friends are going to help Roger pack this weekend. THANK YOU!! Please continue to pray for healing for my dad and a thorough recovery. Praise the Lord he got to care when he did. Thanks for all the prayers. We need them.

Feb 15, 2007

Holly's Dad

My dad Harvey had to have emergency surgery today. His legs went numb at home after he felt a little sick. He called my mom at work to take him to the hospital. They made it to the emergency room in College Station where a cat scan was ordered and he was hooked up to many devices. The doctors suspected some type of blockage and once the results were given, blockage in the aorta, he was sent straight to surgery. My brother Harvey Jr and his wife Brandy were able to make it to the hospital and see him before his surgery. My dad was very upset about the surgery and got quite emotional knowing he was going to have to be cut again. He had a triple arterial bypass about ten years ago.

Surgery lasted about 4 hours. The surgery went well, but things were not good. Turns out my dad had many blockages, one developed today, one of his kidneys is basically dead and hasn't functioned in many years, he is malnourished due to his gastrointestinal problems he never returned to the doctor for last fall and they are sending a lung specialist to check out his lungs. They cleared out all the blockages including several in his legs, he is heavily sedated in ICU on a respirator and breathing tube. He will be in ICU for many days and in the hospital for at least a couple weeks. The doctors were very upset about the state of his health. He is very weak and the recovery will be very slow and long. Thank the Lord he got to the hospital when he did. I can't believe he was able to go this long with all those issues.

My dad is very stubborn and is to blame for his condition, but I'm sure my mom feels bad when she gets interrogated by the doctors and they complain and roll their eyes because of my dad's unhealthy habits. But if you know my dad even a little, you know talking to him is like talking to a fence post. I pray that he changes his habits and lifestyle because of this. Please keep my father in your prayers. He is very sick and needs all of God's healing to make it through this. And please pray for peace for my mom and siblings. Thank you all.

Feb 13, 2007

Big Three-Two, Thank GOD!

Today is my thirty-second birthday. I feel blessed to be able to celebrate the passing of another year. I didn’t do a whole lot of celebrating though. In fact, I think today was the lowest key birthday I have ever had.

I started the day off late. I just couldn’t get out of bed. It wasn’t that I could hear my bones creaking or anything, I just didn’t want to get up. I woke up in the middle of the night around 4:30am and saw that it was lightly snowing. I went back to bed, but when my alarm went off I could hear the sound of cars driving through sloppy wet streets. The snow had turned to rain. So, I just wasn’t eager to get out of bed. Finally, I did. Both Holly and I got a late start. By the time I left for work, it was snowing steadily and I descended down into the metro for the long ride to work.

The ride itself was uneventful, but when I got to the last station on my commute, where the shuttle bus takes over, I had to wait… and wait… in the cold… and in the snow. Luckily, there was an overhang that provided me some shelter from the elements. The bus took so long to come that my Team Lead even called to see if I was still alive. I called back and assured him I was.

Finally, the bus came – and after waiting a few more minutes for more passengers from later trains, we were off. I had a feeling it was going to be a short day – the weather just seemed to be getting worse. Sleet and freezing rain were in the forecast – the worst kind of weather any big city can expect. I didn’t even wear my uniform because I figured it would be a waste of time to get into it and then back out again.

When I arrived at work, I took care of a few things and fit in a quick lunch with my friend Julia. She even bought me lunch – that was so nice of her. I treated myself to some fried chicken and a Dr. Pepper. This was a real treat, because Holly and I have been trying to eat healthier food these days. And fried chicken and sugar laden soda aren’t exactly on the menu!

I got back to work and managed to get a few more things done when the word came out that the Federal Government was closing up shop at 2:00pm (except for essential personnel – which I am not.) We got notice at about 1:40pm and I only had a few minutes to finish what I was doing before gathering my things to head out. It was important for me to head out ASAP because 5,000 people leaving a building at the same time and hundreds more leaving the base, and maybe half of them also using the metro, meant only one thing – MEGA traffic.

I made my way outside and onto a shuttle bus that only had standing room in the back – but we were told that we could not stand. So, off the bus I came and waited in the cold, and in the sleet, for another bus. Finally, one came, and I made sure I was getting a seat, which I did. The bus was packed and every seat was taken. There were hordes of people waiting for shuttle buses, so this driver said people could stand (wha?!?) The bus pulled away from the shelters, around the parking lot, out of the gate and onto the road… we were on our way! Or so we thought. Now we could see the disaster that lay before us… traffic – not even moving – brake lights as far as the eye can see. So we sat, and sat. Five minutes went by… then ten. Some people decided to walk the mile to the metro station in the sleet – they got off of the bus. I wasn’t going to risk walking in the icy cold with an unsteady right leg. So, I waited. The bus moved in feet – one at a time. It was unbearable. More people got off the bus. I convinced myself that I wasn’t in a hurry. But after waiting for half an hour and moving only – I’m not kidding here – only fifty feet or so – I began to grow impatient. The line of cars to the north gate was clearly over a mile long. The line to the south gate was meeting up with the line to the north gate! The south gate was over a mile away.

I then remembered that when I first started working there, I used to take the metro bus to and from work sometimes. The nearest bus stop to the metro rail was just outside the main gate, but the gate was under construction. I asked a few people if the gate was open to pedestrian traffic and they said it was. I whipped out my Windows Mobile Smartphone and went to the metro mobile website. I tapped in my starting point and the station as the ending point. Bingo! The W4 bus would be at a stop in fifteen minutes. I gathered my belongings, asked the bus driver to let me off, told the others on the bus of my plan and asked if anyone wanted to join me, but nobody did (boy was that a mistake for them.) I walked ten minutes over some pretty slippery stuff but made it to the stop with time to spare. The bus came early and I was at the station waiting for a train in five minutes. While waiting, I saw some very wet and cold people that got off of my shuttle bus earlier and walked the whole way. I felt sorry for them because they walked, but it’s not my fault that I am such a technically advanced problem solver, is it? Ha!

Anyway, I was home in thirty minutes. I just wish I had just walked to the bus stop to begin with. I wonder how long it took the shuttle bus to round the corner and make the mile long bumper to bumper trek to the station. My guess is that it took another hour.

Holly and I just came back from a nice birthday dinner at a seafood restaurant called Market Inn in DC. They’ve been in the same place since 1959. They had a piano player that has been performing there for over 27 years! The food was good, but slightly overpriced for the quality. Their broiled lump crab cake was pretty good though. But I don’t think I’d ever go there again. After dinner, we came home and now we’re going to bed. Like I said, it was an uneventful day. I actually think I spent most of it commuting! We are expecting more freezing rain tonight – in fact, I can hear sleet hitting the window as I type this. It is 25 degrees F right now and the temp is not expected to rise above freezing until Thursday, so tomorrow should be a nasty day. I’m personally hoping for a day off or at least a delayed opening.

By the way, I did have a big birthday party bash on Saturday. I hope to have pics from that up soon. Stay warm, wherever you are.

Feb 1, 2007

30 Days and a Wake UP

Yes I am counting down. I don't think I would have even noticed otherwise except Roger and I were abruptly awakened at 3:30 this morning by another baby crying it's head off for over an hour. You got to love living in a high rise apartment building. You know, I totally sympathise with the parents and don't blame the baby at all. But we went through this last summer for three months with our next door neighbors who, I hope they don't read this, were clueless about babies and we shared a bedroom wall with them and the baby. It was great. Not! I learned a lot about babies during that time. They can set their own schedule even if you don't try to at all. The baby next door to us would cry every 3 and half hours or so starting at 11:00pm the night before and at least for an hour each time. It was great. And somehow they were able to sleep through it every night. I really felt sorry for that baby. I don't know if that's normal and I don't want to find out anytime soon. I was so happy when they finally moved out.

I do believe God is preparing us to move home. The last two times we were supposed to move, we didn't have a preference. If we moved, we moved. But each time it became clear that it wasn't time to move yet. It's a different story this time. Numerous things are happening that are making our single family home in Austin more and more appealing. And I have to say that I'm ready to go home. I will miss many things here, but as the wise King Solomon said,

For everything there is a season,
And a time for every matter under heaven:
A time to be born, and a time to die;
A time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
A time to kill, and a time to heal;
A time to break down, and a time to build up;
A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, and a time to dance;
A time to throw away stones, and a time to gather stones together;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to seek, and a time to lose;
A time to keep, and a time to throw away;
A time to tear, and a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
A time to love, and a time to hate,
A time for war, and a time for peace.

It is time.