Thursday, April 4, 2013

12 Days - Miraculous Miracles

Wednesday, March 20th, Robert and Cathy arrived.  In the morning I took a cab over and back to Chedraui to get some groceries.  We had a nice visit and Cathy and I went over to Pollo Feliz (Happy Chicken) and had a few beers and talked.  Walking back we saw two kids in the court yard playing with something.  Upon closer inspection we discovered it was bats.  When we came back to our condo we saw bats flying around outside.  Funny that we never noticed them before.  They are pretty big and boy are they fast.  I don't think I will be able to post any pictures of those speedy winged creatures.  Had dinner of stew, good onion bread and fruit.  Stayed up and visited a little bit and pretty early to bed since they had been up early this morning.  We're so glad that they are here.

Up late and Cathy and I took the bus to the beach at Playa Langosta.  Robert wouldn't wake up so he was home with Dad.  Nice day and water temp was so refreshing.  I had two water chairs we took so we blew those up and floated around in the ocean.  We were talking so much that a boat went by and the guy kind of looked at us weird, and I looked down and realized we had floated out pretty deep.  We had to kick a lot to get back into shallower water.  So glad the guy was there wondering why we were on our way to Isla Mujures.

Cathy at Playa Langosta

Took bus to Chedraui and Cathy brought several days worth of food.  Took the cab back with our groceries.  Robert helped us bring them upstairs.  Cathy cooked a nice dinner of mango salsa chicken, rice, corn, and bread.  We all watched a movie (so happy I subscribed to Net Flicks) and then to bed.

Friday Robert and I walked across the street to the Plaza Outlet mall.  I bought him some new shorts and a pair of flip flops.  Pretty darn hot and humid out.  We then walked down to Soriana so I could get some phone minutes and decongestant syrup for John.  Stopped by Pollo Feliz and had some lunch and a beer.  Cathy and John stayed at condo, John resting and Cathy reading.

In the evening around 7:20 p.m. my phone rang and it was Victor calling to see if we wanted to go out to dinner.  I said yes, so Cathy, Robert and I met him downstairs around 8:15 p.m.  He took us out to Del Sol and up to the Oxxo store, right turn for one block and we stopped at a little store.  We got some beer and a soda to take to where we were going.  Walked a minute more and we went to this house where a lady cooks food every Friday night and sells it.  Up to the second story, via a spiral staircase, right into the kitchen where food is being prepared.  She makes tostados and her famous pambazos tortas - rolls, chorizo, potato, crema, lettuce and cheese.  They were wonderful.  Such a fun time being in a Mexican home with about 20 people coming and going to get food there.  One of my fondest memories.  Coming back I thought I saw our park, so we headed toward it and discovered we were only about 2 blocks away.  It was so good to get to visit with Victor.  He's working toward his Master's degree, busy rowing and preparing for triathlons.  A very special person and a night to remember.

Our lovely chef
Tinga tostados
Eating in the house
Many more on the patio

Victor and I coming down
the spiral staircase

I decided to change our reservations to come home, all of us, to Thursday.  Seems like John isn't feeling that good, so best to head home.  Feel bad that Cathy and Robert will miss out on their time in Mexico.  John has told me five times that he's OK, feeling fine, just having some trouble breathing.  The humidity has increased and he has had to stay inside with air conditioning on.

Saturday, Cathy, Robert and I took the bus and went to the beach, sat in our blow up chairs, took some pictures.  Came back home and I just don't think John is doing good at all.  Called and got the two us us non-stop tickets for tomorrow from Cancun to Orlando.  Started packing up what we could take and packed some stuff to leave that Robert will have to deal with.  Hardly any sleep for me, and John could not sleep due to trouble breathing.

Robert at Playa Langosta
Mayan Ceremonial Canoes
Victor rows in one of these
Mainland to Cozumel Island
Last picture in Cancun 3/23/13
Floating in air chairs
Playa Langosta

Sunday - the worst day in my life.  I went down to the corner at 5:00 a.m. and hailed an air conditioned cab to take us to the airport.  Cab back to condo, grabbed our basic stuff and John and to the airport.  John got out the the cab and started throwing up.  Sat him down and went to window, cut to the front of a long line, and they got wheelchair and went outside to get John.  We got through security, etc. and had a 2 hour wait for plane.  The plane ride was awful for John who could not find a comfortable position to catch his breath.  Finally arrived in Orlando, got wheelchair, through customs and then over to rent a car.

Drove to ER in Winter Park because we are familiar with the area so got there pretty directly.  John actually navigated for me.  I got a wheelchair from ER and got to triage and talked to nurse.  They got to John in a bit and got him into a room.  They gave him oxygen, but he still could not catch his breath.  I asked them for something for his anxiety which they gave him.  He was very sick, and doctor came in to put in central line and at this point I left the room.  In a little while his lead doctor came out and said that John was very sick, critical and that he had a 5% (yes, 5%) chance.  The hospital chaplain came and talked with me awhile and I just waited for several hours while they did their immediate life saving treatment.  They finally came and said that he was being moved to a room in the ICU.

I went up to the ICU, where he was on a ventalator, tubes every place possible and two Rx poles that must have been loaded with at least 8 medicines they were putting into him.  He was heavily sedated so I sat there for quite awhile and held his hand.  Later I went to sleep on the couch in the Family Room.  They gave me a pillow and blanket and I did get some sleep.

In such bad shape
They were doing all they could
Monday, another day with him sedated, so just some hand holding.  Doctors came in and said they weren't sure what was wrong with him.  That he may have picked up a virus, but there are so many of them they can't identify and they were working to figure it out.  He had sepsis, his liver was terrible and totally off the charts and his kidneys were also having problems.  His blood coagulation was 13, when it should have only been 2.4 or around that range.  Later I spent the night at a Best Western.  I needed a good night's sleep and a shower.

Tuesday they were able to remove the ventalator and that was wonderful.  I was worried about pneumonia and infections and of course him not being able to breathe.  They lessened his sedation and he worked on his breathing and he did good.  I would remind him sometimes to take deep breaths, but overall it was fine.  Doctors did say he has some type of streph (not sure which one) and some pneumonia so I was totally worried about this.  They have had him on antibiotics so hopefully these won't grab ahold too hard.

Much better, off ventalator
A smile and his glowing ET oxygen finger

Our CS friends, Dawn and Carolyn, drove over from Daytona Beach to visit with us.  They brought John a balloon, puzzle book, and a funny card.  John did say hi and recognized them.  The three of us then went out for late lunch and visited.  It was nice to have support and I sure appreciated them making the effort to come all the way over.  I left the hospital around 7:00 p.m. and spent the night at my CS friend, Terisa's house.  She made dinner, and we had a few glasses of wine and visited.  It was nice and I appreciated her hospitality.  Met her room mate Kevin, and her dog Koa.

Wednesday, John was pretty out of it.  So much had gone on the last few days, so this was his day to sort of totally rest/sleep.  Looked a bit yellow (liver), pretty weak and exhausted.  Just sat with him a lot.  No fever so that is great, great news.  I always worry about fever.  Teresa came to the hospital to see John which was nice.  She invited me to go with her to meet friends at a wine bar so I went.  We had a fun time at this crazy place that is a furniture store by day, wine and beer bar by night.  About 8 of her friends were there and they were a good group of people who I enjoyed visiting with.  Someone bumped a for sale light fixture and it crashed to the ground.  Guess that would happen when you have a bar inside a furniture store.  When we left the bar we stopped by her friend's house (next door neighbor) and had another glass of wine and visited.  It was a very late night, but I think the distraction did me some good.  Spent this night at Terisa's too.

The Imperial - Wine Beer Bar &
Furniture Store

Thursday, John perked up quite a bit.  Robert will fly in tonight from Cancun to Miami International, pick up our car and drive up to Orlando, about a 4 hour drive.  Visited with John during the day and he is making progress.  His voice sounded stronger today.  I got Robert and me a hotel room at the Best Western.  I know that he will be dead tired when he arrives.  I went to hotel, got some Taco Bell for us.  I ate and fell asleep waiting for him.  He arrived around 2:00 a.m. and he ate some food, and we talked some.  Then he showered and went to bed.

Up around 9:00 a.m. on Friday and I went down to breakfast while Robert slept in.  We left the hotel around 10:00 a.m. and drove to the hospital.  Nice that Robert got to see John in much better shape than he had been in.  They had a visit and Robert and I went to Subway for lunch.  Robert treated and he had double everything possible on his sandwich that he enjoyed.  Back to visit John for awhile and then Robert and I drove over to Ovieda, a town about 30 minutes away where Terisa's parents, Huong and Roger, live.  They invited us to stay with them for up to a week if we needed to.  I was blown away by their kindness.  So we got over to their house and settled in. 

They are so sweet and cute.  They have a routine and eat dinner every night between 7:00 p.m. and 7:15 p.m.  Huong is an amazing cook.  She is tiny, Vietnamese and such a sweet person.  She made enchiladas for dinner and we all sat at the kitchen table and ate.  Roger shared some of his interesting stories as he has lived in many foreign countires for long periods of time.  Cleaned up kitchen and then it was movie time.  They rent Net Flix movies and watch one every night.  We watched "The Conspiracy", a good movie directed by Robert Redford, about the plot for the assassination of Lincoln and a part of history I never knew about.

Saturday, I could not wake Robert up despite my three attempts.  This was reminding me of his high school days when I would go in sometimes 20 times to get him up.  I just got fed up with him and said forget it, he can sleep all day.  My problem was that I had asked him to follow me to the airport to return the rental car that was due at 1:00 p.m.  So I just drove the rental in to visit with John for awhile.  Then I went to lunch and drove to the airport which isn't miles and miles away, but is some distance.  Turned in the car and then had to decide what to do to get back to the hospital.  I decided if I could take a bus in Cancun, I could take one in Orlando.  Went to shuttle, bus area at airport and tried to figure out which bus to take.  Narrowed it down to one and waited.  Driver came and I asked him if I could take this bus and get off on Aloma and he said yes.  The fare was only $2.00, a bargain compared to a cab all the way to Winter Park and the hospital.  So rode bus, got off on Aloma right by Denny's and called a cab from there.  The taxi driver said the ride from the airport to hospital would have cost $30.  The taxi from where I got it was only $6, so I was happy about that.  I still can't believe Robert left me in this situation -- and he did end up sleeping all day long.  Sure he was tired, but I'm pretty sure I was tired too.  Got to John's room and texted Robert to come pick me up and to also pack his bags because I was flying him home.  If he couldn't be a help, but a hinderance he could just go home.  He said he was not going home, so I was doubly pissed, but there was not much I could do.  I told him I am not babysitting him and trying 10 times to get him up anymore.  He should be grown and able to take care of what needs to be done. 

John's liver numbers still up, and blood platlets still down, but both are improving.  They will try to move him out of the ICU tomorrow.  Back to the Russell home to a wonderful dinner of ribs, etc.  Huong made two type of ribs, one sort of BBQ, but the other was Vietnamese style with lemon grass and a bit of spice.  They were so delicious.  She asked me if I would like to go to church with her on Easter and I said yes.  I said what time and she said we leave at 6:00 a.m. -- yikes, I haven't been to sunrise service in so long.  I do love it, but getting up early is so hard.  They watched a movie, but I was pooped and headed to bed knowing I had to get up by 5:00 a.m.

Up at 5:00 on a beautiful Easter morning.  Hwong's friend, Sylvia, picked us up.  She even brought some blankets to use if needed.  It was not cold, and no wind so it was a perfect morning.  Outside, with a fantastic wooden cross and a flower wreath and white robe draped over arms of cross.  A good crowd and music like I have never heard before in any church.  It was a barber shop quarter style, unique and wonderful.  The sermon was very different for Easter too, called Holy Mackerel, about fishing and it tied in perfectly in a weird sort of way.  We were located on a grassy area right beside a lake.  There were tall trees to the right that looked like they were African, and to the left was the lake with the reflection of trees, and there were lily pads.  A bit too cloudy to actually see the sun rise, but it was a glorious service where communion was served.  I had so much to be thankful for it was almost overwhelming.  After the service, there was an Easter brunch served, food cooked by congregation members, and it was plentiful and delicious.  We left stuffed and happy.

Came home and Robert was still asleep, it was still early.  I decided I would go in and visit with John and could send Robert back later to visit.  John was looking so much better and chomping at the bit to get out.  We took our first stroll down the hall.  Being in bed for so many days sure does get a person weak.  John did good and his balance was pretty good too.  Left the hospital and once home, Hwong -- who said she would teach me to make Vietnamese Spring Rolls since I had eaten them at her house and loved them on Thanksgiving and asked her to teach me -- said lets get started.  So we peeled, cleaned, chopped, diced, etc. and got all the ingredients ready.  Then comes the back breaker, wrapping the rolls.  We used thin rice paper and must have rolled over 100 of them.  Their son and his wife, and their grand daughter were coming to dinner.  We worked and worked, and then cleaned up that mess.  It was around 4:00 p.m. and I was exhausted.  Hwong told me to go rest a bit so I laid down on the bed and fell asleep. 

Up after a little nap and about time for dinner.  Hwong had also made Vietnamese Pho soup and flan.  This lady is a year older than me and I need to know where she gets her energy from.  Family came, we had our spring rolls that were delicious, we wrapped them in lettuce and put in some special mint leaves, dipped them in her sauce, a bit sweet and spicy.  Such a wonderful dinner.  Had the flan that was perfect, and then Hwong and I each had 3 tiny glasses of Grand Marnier.  A good end to a very busy day.

So from a 5% death's door last Sunday upon our arrival from Cancun to Orlando -- to a glorious Easter service and dinner with wonderful friends, I thank God for the blessing of more time with my precious mate.  I've always felt that God sent John to me and we now have more earthly time.  At 5% you have to accept that the person is gone and I had put him into God's hand on Sunday...........I am more than abundantly blessed.