Saturday, July 01, 2006


Okay first the waterfall, yes it is whatever Dad said it was, with c, q, and a bunch of vowels. These falls are in the lower peninsula where the tip of the index finger meets the middle finger. We first visited them while Dad was visiting and returned in honor of his birthday last week. When Dad was here we took 23 up the coast of the Lake Huron and came back down 33 which runs down the middle of the state and right past our high school. This year we took I-75 up to get there quicker and moseyed down 23 for the return trip. Our initial visit was on a whim and we arrived with no bathing suits or towels, this time we were better prepared with suits and water shoes, towels and a disposable grill for hotdogs. Megan brought Jacque along and we had Sabrina. Megan and Jacque dove right in while Sabrina is not much of a swimmer, she likes to walk around the edges and find stuff. She found lots of stuff at the waterfall including over a dozen frogs and a dead mouse. After a while Sabrina and I took a walk up the falls to look for stuff and after a 1/4 mile or so I bemoaned not having Gordon there for a hand to balance on, she said "Wait right here I'll go get him," unfortunately there were way too many bends in the river for me to let her venture on her own so I returned with her. I talked Gordon in to making the trek and drug Megan and Jacque with us as no one would be there to watch them. Megan hated every minute of the walk until we came to another set of falls farther up. Just before the falls the river opened up and was chest deep smack in the middle was a long rock (bench) waist height so we could sit on it and have the water pour over us much like a jacuzzi (only slightly colder, though not nearly as cold as I was expecting). All in all it was a lot of fun and hopefully we will make it back there sooner than it took this time.

Unfortunately we returned to two urgent messages from Gordon's sister Tonia, Gerry had a brain aneurysm and was in Henry Ford hospital (the same hospital his father passed away in earlier in the month). Knowing there was nothing we could do then and I was in no condition to drive another 2 hours we went to bed (those that needed to sleep did those that couldn't sleep didn't) and left to drive down the next morning. Gerry was taken into surgery for a procedure that is called coiling she came through the procedure well and was making good progress. She had a shunt placed in her head for drainage that she did not approve of so they had to keep her restrained so she would not pull it out. She wanted to go home and was very aggressive so they were keeping her relatively sedated. On Wednesday while we were at the fireworks Tonia visited her and said that she was alert and responding. When Tonia talked about going to bingo Gerry began nodding furiously. Thursday when Gordon and Tonia got to the hospital Gerry had developed an infection and was running dangerously high fevers and her breathing had become very labored. They were treating the fevers with Tylenol and had begun giving her antibiotics for the infection but they were not sure what the cause of the infection was. They were also afraid that her labored breathing could cause her to have a stroke or a heart attack before they were able to treat the infection. They needed permission to put Gerry on a ventilator. And although everyone is in agreement that they do not want Gerry (or anyone else) kept alive by artificial means the doctor was able to explain that the ventilator was not a means of life support but of life assistance. Gerry was (is) breathing on her own, the ventilator is to facilitate her breathing not a substitute for it. The doctor's asked for one week on the ventilator to give them time to find out where the infection is coming from and treat it. After a week they will be able to determine if they can be successful at treating the infection and if she will be able to continue without the ventilator. With the ventilator in Gerry is kept under almost complete sedation so that she doesn't fight the assistance from the ventilator. While we were visiting her yesterday she received a breathing treatment (her respiratory nurse is from West Branch) which she did not like at all. This brought her conscious and in a fighting mood, her eyes looked like they did when anyone said anything derogatory about one of her kids and you could see her jerking her still restrained hands to start shaking her finger. They got her sedated again and when the doctor came around she told us that Gerry was progressing well. They still did not know the cause of the infection but were going on the assumption that it is pneumonia, but that the cultures should produce results in the next couple of days.

So Gordon, Megan, and I came home for a few days Gordon is in touch with Tonia and we will be back down tomorrow or sooner if necessary. Gerry is a fighter, she has had to fight most of her life, I don't think she know any other was of doing things. She's 77 years old (I only say that since I know there is no way she is reading a blog - ever, but I will deny it if any one tells her I said that. She insists that she is only 75.) and her only medication is an inhaler for asthma. She has always appeared so weak and unhealthy that I has assumed she was more infirm than she is. Keep up the good thoughts and prayers, although I have never been a big on prayer Gerry is and it's worked for her for a long time.

1 comment:

Adrienne said...

When I first met Gerry, she was this little tiny (smaller than petite) woman with such a sweet disposition. Then someone mentioned that she was a roller derby queen in her hey day! I thought for sure they were talking about someone else.

All thoughts, prayers and best wishes are there for you.