Wednesday, July 1, 2015

More Progress; Move to Sierra Vista

Since my last blog, I moved from Benson back to Tucson on June 24 and spent lots of time with Don becoming more awake and aware in the ICU. The nice site I had before at the FamCamp was taken, but I got another end site. And, thanks to the great manager who gave me credit for 4 nights, I only had to pay for 2 before departing again.


The great news, if you haven’t caught up with us on Facebook or email, is that Don moved out of ICU and into the Progressive Care Unit on the 3rd floor of St. Mary’s Heart & Vascular Institute. This happened on Sunday, June 28, after 26 days in ICU! This was a major step in his recovery.

Unfortunately, he was still confused and having some hallucinations. But one of the docs stopped by his room early on Monday morning and somehow worked a miracle. When I arrived to see him, he was smiling, talking, laughing, making jokes – almost back to his old self! Hurray! (He never would tell me exactly what the doc said – darn! I wanted to know in case I need to use it in the future!)

Once that happened, it was time for the next step: rehab. After evaluating his physical condition, it was decided to move him to a nursing home/rehab facility because he wasn’t strong enough to go into the hospital’s rehab unit. We chose Sierra Vista because of its proximity to Benson where we own an RV lot, and because it’s cooler in summer temps by being at a higher altitude.

Plans were made for me to move the motorhome to Benson and a medical transport was arranged for Don. However, on Tuesday morning I decided to move to the Fort Huachuca FamCamp in Sierra Vista instead of our lot. The prospect of driving over 30 miles (60+ round trip) to the rehab center every day didn't appeal to me – I’d rather do 6.5 miles (13 RT). The driving time isn't too different because 4.3 of the local miles are on base, with slow speed limits, but the wear and tear on both me and Carrie (my car) is a big difference.

I made the trip driving the motorhome, towing Carrie from Tucson to SV easily, got a nice end site with a view, then waited for Don to arrive.


It seemed like a long day when the nurse in Tucson finally called about 5:30 pm to let me know the paperwork was all finished and the Crane Medical Transportation van was departing. Really? I’d been expecting him to arrive for the past 5 hours! The 77 miles took the van about 1.5 hours and finally arrived a little after 7 pm.

In the meantime, SV was hit by a violent wind/rain/hail storm just as I was driving toward the rehab center. Intersections and sides of roads quickly filled with water and hail, and it was dangerous to keep driving. I found a building overhang that I could park most of Carrie under and wait for the storm to abate about 20 minutes later. Fortunately, nothing seems to be damaged on the car or motorhome, although I found some water on the floor in the galley and bathroom - probably leaks through the fan covers because of the strong winds. At least the rain cooled things down, and our highs are in the 80’s rather than 100’s.

Don’s trip in the van wasn’t fun, and he complained about a “butt bruise” from a rough ride. But he’s happy to be making steps forward, and our hours together last night and today were filled with talks of how he can assist in his rehab and thoughts about our future travels when he’s able. He’s not going to accept his body’s weak condition without a fight!

And the Super Good News (yet to be verified) is we think his kidneys have recovered and he’ll no longer need dialysis! Hip, Hip, Hurray!

We’re making plans for adding a couple of things to our lives when he’s back home. They may be a surprise to family and friends, and we’re not exactly sure how they will pan out, so I have to keep you guessing for awhile. Just know that the last month has changed both of us – in good ways!

P.S. I’ve added pictures of the motorhome to punctuate this blog because I think it’s easier and possibly more interesting to read blogs with pictures. I hope to add some of Don soon, when he gives me permission. Also, you may have noticed in the last picture above, the passenger side rear slide is still in. It broke when I left Tucson on June 12. And the one on the other side, also rear, broke when I arrived in SV yesterday. I’ve decided I’ll deal with getting them fixed after Don is back home, and we can get our favorite mobile RV repair guy in Benson to do the work. In the meantime, I have the driver side slide in the ‘out’ position and there’s enough room to get around the bed with the other one in.


A minor inconvenience in my life when other things are much more important. People keep telling me to take care of myself, so I went for a little indulgence – Don paid for me to get a nice mani-pedi today. Life is Good!