Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Good Morning, Dear Clotters,

Having Dennis home is nothing but good. He is wearing non-hospital attire, which means that he isn’t perpetually flashing us as he moves around the house. (This has produced some “rear view” withdrawal on our part, but we’re adjusting as best we can.) He still maneuvers his pushee thingee through the rooms, but it has the same soothing effect as big wheels on pavement, so we always know where he is, and we are reassured that he is getting his exercise. In fact, the only indication that he just underwent major surgery is his nose hose…and, of course, massive weight loss. Other than that, you’d hardly know.

I am especially glad to have Dennis here besides all the obvious reasons. But the other day something happened that made me glad I wasn’t alone. A little bird flew into our window and fell onto our deck. This was rather surprising because our windows are so dirty I couldn’t figure out how he didn’t see them. Nevertheless, the contact left him stunned and panting, feathers ruffled, on his side. (I think it was a “he.” It is so hard to determine bird gender, and even upside down, there were no identifying markers.) Ah, but I digress. Anyway, I went immediately into “Joan/crisis” mode and hollered to Dennis to do something. He inquired as to suggestions. That is so like a man. I identified the emergency. He should fix it. Do I have to do everything? Perhaps he could administer mouth-to-beak resuscitation. Or maybe we could suck out some helium from our welcome-home balloons and inflate his body to keep it afloat until he regained consciousness (Sort of interventional lung intubation). There must be something we could do. Dennis suggested we wait. Oh yeah, like that’s going to help. But we waited. Dennis waited better. I do my best waiting while pacing. Waiting is hard for me.

After a while, the bird righted himself, regained his equilibrium, and assembled his disheveled feathers. And then the bird waited…and waited. He seemed to be meditating, composing his thoughts. He was very patient. And then, when the time was right, he flew away.

I share this incident for a reason. Dennis and I have done a couple of walks since he has been home. He did a full lap around Liberty Park on Sunday, and yesterday, he did some walking at Sugar House Park. But then he detected some fluid escaping from the place where his grenades had been extracted. It was a classic “Honey, I sprung a leak” moment. Of course, I went directly into “Joan/crisis” mode, looking for immediate solutions. Dennis suggested we wait. No, he didn’t think I could stem the flow by jamming my finger in the dike. No, bubble gum stretched over the hole and held in place with duct tape was not a good idea. Yeah, well exactly what did he have in mind? He suggested calling the doctor. Oh right! Like anybody could have come up with that solution. It’s rational, but shows a galactic lack of imagination! The doctor suggested we wait. Perhaps it would resolve on its own with gauze compresses. If that didn’t work, the doctor would take a stitch. Nobody’s feathers seemed ruffled…but mine. As it turns out, the “be patient and wait” method was actually efficacious. I don’t know why it’s so difficult for me to learn these lessons. I so often have my head in Friday when it’s only Tuesday. Windows happen to all of us. I understand that. But I can’t wait till I finally learn patience.

Besides springing a leak, Dennis also has a rather menacing bed sore at the end of his tail bone. So we brought it to the attention of the home health nurse. She said she would have to photograph it in order to chart its progress. Hmmm…OK. Now, under ordinary circumstances, we would have declined the offer. But times being what they are, Dennis doesn’t care if they bring people off the streets to observe any bodily condition. This experience has certainly helped us shed any inhibitions. So, he flashed her and she flashed him, and you will all be getting 8x10 glossies in your Christmas cards this year. We got him a U-shaped donut pillow to ease the pressure, which was actually in accordance with our collegiate affiliation. But in the interest of being politically correct, the Clot are “cross-cheerers” and would have gotten a Y-shaped donut pillow if it provided more comfort.

You will never know the many ways you sustain us. Whether it is by prayer, loving thoughts, frosting on cookies that is so rich it is hallucinogenic, or even thinking of us in white powder while skiing, it has all given us the ability to move forward with confidence and determination. This is all so good. And we are so blessed.

We love you,

The Clot


Jeff Booth said...

The bird story reminds of of a certain small squirrel in Yellowstone many many years ago. That time however, Dennis, I recall that you performed CPR. Obviously we were impressed with your skills.
Thanks for your strength. We love you!
Barb and Jeff

Paula said...

It is obvious that your daily tutorials in faith, courage and gratitude was meant to teach us all of those qualities. My thoughts are with you daily. Thanks for the learning!! Paula

Anonymous said...

Oh my... that should be faith, courage and gratitude WERE meant to teach us... I will get this blogging correct some day Love you guys, Paula

Anonymous said...

We understand the loss of privacy thing. You get to a point where so many people have checked you out and shown no response (except for occasional chuckles) to realize that it probably only matters to the young!

We're deeply sorry for how hard this is on you all; but someone has had you cradled in His arms, laughs and cries with you, and won't ever let go!

We love you all and pray for you always,

Jim & Linda

Deanna said...

Still with you--just had a week stint myself at Alta View--I'm glad the little hole is closed up--how thankful we are for the smallest of events during this process. I can't think of a nicer way to spend Valentines--I hope you have enjoyed writing this blog as I have reading it. I love and pray always for the whole clot. Deanna

cristie said...

to "wait" ... such wisdom. xox