Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Jim is in a special bed now in ICU. It rotates his body so he doesn't get bed sores. His latest pain med is still working well for him. He is in a positive mood, at least when I'm with him.

I try to stay positive when I'm with him, too. But, I'm having a hard time keeping it together today.

I relish every step I take knowing that it is a wonderful thing to be able to move. He's sleeping now so I'm in the hospital's hospitality suite. Guess I need to go eat something good for me. I go back home to sleep at night.

I have no answers (anymore than the neurosurgeon) about what the future will hold for Jim. I guess the immediate danger is past since they are moving him to the neurology floor later today.

Thank you all for the positive thoughts and prayers.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Jim's story - for those missed it

On the day before Thanksgiving, 11/24/2010, I asked my husband to wake me up from a nap at 5:30 PM. He sat on the bed gently rubbing my feet and telling me it was time to wake up. Then I kind of woke up and saw that the bathroom light was on and the door closed.

I hear a "thunk." I called his name and he didn't answer. As I was walking to the door, I heard a strange gurgly sound. Jim had had a sharp pain while on the commode and fainted. He fell in such a way that he injured his spinal cord. I thought he passed out from low sugar.
I called the ambulance and then tried to give him orange juice. He couldn't move at all. The paramedics took him out on a back board with a neck brace. He is still in Memorial Hermann SW in the ICU.

The cat scan and MRI showed that he injured his spinal cord along C3 - C6. He now can lift his arms slightly but can't use his fingers or feel his legs.

Saturday he had emergency decompression surgery to stop the muscle spasms. He is in terrible pain.

Don't ask me what the future will hold for him. The doctor doesn't know. We can only hope that he will regain use of his fingers at least and maybe walk again.

I have to be at the hospital most of the time. When he is moved to the neurology floor I will be needing help with sitting with him and being his advocate in the hospital. The nurses are good but they have too many patients and too much to do.
After his hospitalization he will need to go to a rehabilitation center or nursing home until he regains some strength.

I have to return to work and keep our health insurance. I only work Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The other days I can be with Jim.

I have caregivers who come in several times a week to take care of my 89 year old mother.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Memorial Hermann SW ICU-C20

I can't reach facebook except in a limited way through my kindle. Hopefully, the link to facebook will work on my blog.

Thank you for all your positive thoughts and prayers.

When I got to Jim's room today. He was terrified. The breathing tube is hurting him. I got him calmed down. He wakes up and sees me and he goes back to sleep.

I had to leave ICU to use my laptop and go to the bathroom.

I also am charging my kindle. Being online drains the battery very quickly.

If you need to talk to me, call 713-728-4616 and ask for my cell number. That's my home number. I don't want to publish my cell # just in case of loonies.

11/28/10- Jim is still on the ventilator.

It's 7:15 AM. The nurse said Jim was heavily sedated and still on the ventilator. He woke up for a bit & indicated that he was hurting.

At least he is not any worse.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Jim is in surgery right now 3PM 11/27/10

Jim was starting to get muscle spasms around his heart and lungs. So, the neurosurgeon decided to do surgery immediately.

I'm sorry that I can't call Jim's parents. I can't speak right now. It's hard to stop crying.

I will try to post again when he comes out of surgery. I will be with him all night in the ICU.

Friday, November 26, 2010

A Really Black Friday today

Wednesday evening, 11/24/2010, my sweet husband Jim fell in the bathroom. He was sitting down and fainted. He only fell a couple feet. The way he fell injured his spinal cord. The doctors think that it injured the cervical vertebrae 4, 5 & 6. He can breathe on his own, talk and move his head. He can't move his hands or feel his legs.

He is in tremendous pain and suffers periodic spasms in his trunk and leg muscles.

I am still in shock. I'm used to being the injured one. I'm writing this trying to come to terms with our new life.

He will probably have surgery next week after some of the swelling in his discs subsides.

Monday, November 22, 2010


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Thursday, November 18, 2010

White Teeth

Last Thursday, 11-11-10, I went to a hear a talk by Zadie Smith at Rice. She wrote my favorite novel, "White Teeth." She wrote the book while she was still an undergrad at Cambridge. It's funny, poignant, etc. etc.

I felt kind of sorry for her at the talk. She had to read from her notes the whole time. After the talk, she took off her mic and said "talk among yourselves." She said she would be available for individual questions. This led me to think that she really doesn't like public speaking. Her talk was interesting and funny. However, she never made any remarks off the cuff so it felt a bit impersonal.

It was a good experience and one that I would have missed if I wasn't working at Rice University. A friend of mine on campus just got laid off. I sure hope that I miss the next round of layoffs.