Tuesday, March 31, 2009

My Favortie Cliche Proverb Whatever thingy

"What a difference a day makes."

Damn. No kidding. No more painkillers. No more sedation.

Dad is snapping his fingers, trying to talk, pointing at everything, watching TV... I made him laugh when I said "I am not massaging your feet." He had his glasses on for a short while, but they were giving him a headache so pulled them off himself.

He got a shave yesterday, and I ran him through a few options, each with an increasingly judgmental look at me and my absurdity.

"Dad wants Elvis sideburns."
{A look}
"Dad wants a goatee."
{A harder look}
"Dad wants a Fu Manchu."
{A WTF look}
"OK. Mustache. Down to here."
I whispered to the nurse to leave a soul patch. She didn't listen.

While I was by his side I untied his restraints. He scratched his head, he traced the scar on his skull, and he even covered his mouth when he coughed (which is cute since he's in the trach tube so all the snot comes out the hole in his neck). He also opened his mouth wide and pointed to his tongue. No swallowing yet, so I felt a little bad. I'm pleased with all this as it's fine motor control.

Unfortunately all of this panicked mom. "dont let him... what are you?!... ugh!" I told dad not to poke his brain or pull on the tubes or wires. He listened.

He can easily identify his pain, as he did when tracking the belly incision with his hand when I asked him where it hurt. I'm happy for this. I've told him to snap his fingers at the nurse and point to where it hurts when it hurts.

Physical therapy again today, with the exception that they're taking it easy.

Dad and Esh are sitting down, but mom really is that height. She once placed her palms on both of my cheeks and said, "Ay mijo, I'm so glad you're head wasn't that big when I gave birth to you."

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Coming out of it

Dad is prone to getting sick to his tummy, so the docs and nurses are now taking precautions. Meds, of course. Other than that they are actually beginning again to ween him off of the sedation, so he's coming around. Dad had a rather scary incedent yesterday, and he was very fortunate to avoid any detrimental effect. A big "whew" to the nurse on duty for that one.

This has been a rather slow week as far as his progress, and there's also not much we can determine considering he's been asleep the whole time. His vitals are returning to excellent levels, and he's stable. I look forward to talking to him again. (And sorry - no visitors yet).

On a side note, yesterday Esha and I went through all the "leftover" stuff donated for the fundraiser last week. There's enough crap left to hold another yard sale, so Esha is doing just that - this time in Hollister. More details to follow as soon as we figure them out for ourselves.

Hot dog!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Recovery underway...

The emergency laparotomy this weekend was a bitch, and is going to lay dad out for at least a couple more days. He has been stable since Sunday, and his vitals are gradually improving.

Amazingly, and true to form, dad is still smiling at mom from under that haze of sedatives the doctors have him drowning under. Two words: Hell. Yeah.

This fight is still on. Round 2.
Esha as Pacman vs. Dad's mustache.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick Updates

  • Dad's emergency surgery on Sunday was successful, and there were no further complications during, or immediately after. The cause was a huge step back, but at least the major hurdle was removed. I don't want another long weekend like this one. Friday, for me, was the toughest day yet - even over the initial accident.
  • The fundraiser was much more successful than i think anyone anticipated. I went to Gilroy and dropped in on Aunt Letty to thank her directly for all of her selfless effort in both organization and managing the event. Thanks to all of you that found the time to also drop in. Family and friends came out from limbo to show their support! Strangers showed up and asked "Is this for Wayne and Lucy?" and either unloaded their trunks on the lawn or handed over cash. Amazing.
  • We'd still like to hear from you; don't be shy. Mom and Esh are sucking up your comments as fuel for their emotion tanks. They truly are appreciated.

This picture is from ages ago. Esha might know a better date. I think this photo best captures the fact that we've always been dorks. Sis and I admittedly, and Dad through osmosis.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Long day, part 2

After dad's little setback yesterday, you could say today was a vacation. He was under sedation and otherwise heavily medicated. He opened his eyes from time to time, and infrequently raised his right hand a bit to feel if anyone was there. Mom and I only left his side when forced to.

It turns out that due to the pressure in his tummy from upchucking yesterday, he popped out his stomach tube, leaking stomach fluids into the rest of his body. This in turn has caused a bunch of chaos including illness and other complications seemingly unrelated. First thing tomorrow morning he's again going under the knife - this time to correct the feeding tube, as well as clean up his abdomen.

I spoke with the doctor directly; it's going to be a laporotomy (or this is what i assessed from his detailed description). Although a relatively easy and common procedure, it's a big one. There will be a nice scar on his belly to match the one on his head.

If you're still up, or up tomorrow early and reading this, the surgery is at 7am. Spell his name out in your alphabet cereal, watch a little bit of Mythbusters and think about how Adam and Jaime would worship my dad, or simply say his name out loud (preferably not during sex, unless, of course, you're doing it with someone named Wayne). He needs all that good juju right now, and it has to be out there in the first place for him to absorb.

This photo reminds me... dad's head is shaved. He looks cool with a shaved head. I'm going to try to convince him to keep it clean.

I'm thinking about you, Dad.

On a very different note, the Fundraiser...

...is already a success.

Donations and visitors have been coming all day and people whom we've never met are selflessly giving what they can, as well as picking up a few goodies here and there to add to their own personal collections.

The sale is continuing through Sunday, with the same address and times as the previous post.

Every little bit helps. If you've nothing to donate, and you don't see anything there you'd like to purchase for yourself, just be sure you sign in and give your name in show of your support. I wish to thank all of you as best I can.

A little too much to handle...

Dad had a bad Friday.

His progress had been excellent, and they were already giving him physical therapy there in ICU. Not out of bed yet, but moving around his limbs and making him use his lungs.

It seems he overexerted himself, which caused him to vomit, and in turn aspirate.

His blood pressure dropped to its lowest point since the accident, and his oxygen saturation was becoming quite difficult. There is also a suspision of internal bleeding caused by the feeding tube and convultion.

To stabilize Pops, the docs and nurses put him back onto life support, and he is again heavily medicated with sedation, painkillers, etc. Through all my research, and simply knowing my father, I'm certain this is just another small speedbump of many, no matter how scary.

I do not wish for anyone to walk into that, as I had yesterday. There were more nurses and surgeons in frantic exchange than you see on any given medical TV show. My mom's look was that of fear. Dread. I couldn't help but smile and say, "Looks like pop was pushing a little more than he could handle, eh?"

I could see her smile under her mask.

I'm confident dad will be the same man he was at least before this incident. Although still under the weather and being "plugged in" all over again, he's doing very well considering. Keep your prayers and good thoughts coming, if even just for a coule seconds when it comes to mind. Every little bit helps.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Unexpected Help

Esha called me this morning. "Oh My God. I feel so blessed right now." I immediately thought of the Allfather in the graphic novel Preacher.


Then it all came, between short inhales just long enough to supply her brain with barely enough oxygen so she didn't pass out. I didn't catch all the details, but I did catch some. She later filled me in on more, and I will be posting the info as it comes.

This Saturday, my aunts Lee and Letty (and possible more) are throwing a yard sale in Gilroy, where ALL the proceeds are going to my mother and father. It's much needed, and was an area of concern as we're not the type to ask for handout. We work hard, and earn our keep.

I have no words to express the amount of appreciation I feel for my family to do this without any expectation of anything in return. At least I hope that's the case. If I get a bill down the line the world shall not hath wished upon itself such a wrath. ;)

Apparently much of Gilroy has pulled together and donations are tumbling in, from items to directly sell, to gift packages to be won in a raffle. Some names, schtuff and gift baskets that came in for the raffle portion are:
  • Donna from Avon
  • Melanie from Gold Canyon
  • Gilroy Donut house (although I don't know if they've donated to sell, or a Gift Cert for the raffle)
Saturday March 21st 7:30 am (until they're done - possibly Sunday too, but not comfirmed)
789 Mantelli Drive
Gilroy 95020

View Larger Map

They are accepting donations starting @ 7am. They welcome anything from cleaned out closets to baked goods to donations for the raffle prize. All are welcome.

There will be more on this sale, I'm certain, but this is all I have for now.

I live in San Jose, and work in Mountain View, so if you can't make it down that far and have something to donate I'd be more than happy to meet you someplace in town or even split the distance.

This isn't my gig, but I'm certainly happy to do my part; to spread the word and help expedite.

Edit: Oh yeah. This is supposed to be a surprise for my mom, so it's been requested of me not to mention it to her. She may read this update; Surprise, Mom!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Arm Wrestling...

...and in love, for 34 years.

Is it "grey" or "gray"?

Dad is over the first major hurdle; getting off of life support. We've told him about his injuries, and he seems to understand his predicament. With that, he also doesn't like the state he's in. This is where it's going to get rough for all of us.

Before the accident, although a brilliant engineer, dad spoke monosyllabicly. He said only what was precisely needed to convey his message. He's now speaking like the inner geek he's kept hidden. Instead of "What?" we get, "I do not know what it is that you mean by that particular statement." I love it.

This week they intend to get him up and walking with a little help. He's looking forward to the docs removing the tracheostomy gear, so he can breath like a human again, instead of Darth Vader. I enjoy the way he sounds and intend on recording his voice with that one way valve on his neck.

Now we're preparing for the tough part, and that is re-introducing ourselves to this new man, and then slowly re-introducing him to himself. There are certainly hints of dad rattling around in his noggin, and we hope for the best possible outcome in his recovery.

What I haven't yet shared with you, is the fact that due to the contusion, or hemotoma, or hemorage, or other big medical word for "bruise", he has had a small portion of his frontal lobe removed. What he has lost with that, none of us know, nor will know for some time.

On the first evening we were summoned back into the depths of the hospital. It was a long way, and no one was keeping pace with the nurse who called for us. I put my arms around my mom and said "Hurry." I knew whatever it was, needed our immediate attention. Dr. Yeh walked out and bluntly said, "If we don't open Wayne's head immediately, he will die."

Lucy, my mother, took a deep breath and replied, "Just to clarify, if you do not do this surgery, he will die. He may also die from the surgery itself."


"What do I need to sign?"

My mom rules.

That evening was the worst. The surgeon wore his emotions on his face, and it obviously wasn't promising before or after the surgery. He was quivering when he told me about the gray matter that needed to be removed.

The next morning my mom and Esha ran into him at the cafeteria. Yeh was bouncing around and smiling... Wayne is doing remarkably well today yadda yadda yadda... That was the first good day of many we've had, and hopefully many more to go.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Cheating a bit...

I don't like doing these while I'm at work, so I'll make this short.

Wayne is talking. Half of it is also making perfect sense. They installed a one way valve in his trach tube that allows him to push air through his windpipe on the way out, thus allowing him to be heard, albiet sounding like when i used to burp the alphabet. He recognizes his whole family, including the in-laws. His eyes are open regularly, and can pretty easily identify people and stuff lying around the room.

His behavior is child-like, but more as my dad as a kid. Many "whys" and other questions about his surroundings. He even watched a little Family Guy, relating Lois to my late Uncle Ed (yes, my namesake), from the episode where she takes karate and brawls at a bar. Uncle Ed was a bit of a trouble maker in his youth. ;)

He's trying to get out of bed, both to potty and just walk around. He's not allowed yet. I suspect he'd be a bit wobbly, but it doesn't help that he's got more wires coming out of him than a switchboard.

We feared a detrimental loss of use to his left arm since it hadn't moved sine the accident. He squashed that belief yesterday by raising his left arm and wiggling those huge fingers when requested by Dr. Yeh. With the right side brain damage, he's simply not favoring it.

He's still in ICU, but is expected to get some help walking around today or Wednesday. There is much amazement going around the doctors and surgeons, but he isn't surprising me one bit. I really didn't expect anything less of him.

The kids in ICU have fitted him with a helmet. He doens't need to wear it while in bed, but will look like Wayne Gretsky when they haul him aroudn the room. Because of his amazing progress, they're planning on replacing the skull cap in a week (as opposed to two or three more).

That's it, plainly for now. There's much more buit I'll reserve it for a time when I'm not supposed to be doing something else. ;)

My mom, Lucy, and sister Alyssia, have read through all your comments and appreciate all the love you're sending. I do too, but you already know that.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

I want some Ice Cream

Dad, surprisingly, started communicating on Friday. He's also opened his eyes for up to a minute on a couple occasions. This are enormous steps on his path to recovery. The nurses are still in shock and awe as he's months ahead of the curve.

My sister called me in a happily frantic state. "Dad told mom not to fuck with him!" The only other signs of life up until this point were him squeezing our hands, and wiggling his toes.

Dad was mouthing a few things, like "What's that?" with regard to the constant beeping and wheezing in his room, "Why?" when ever we told him to stop trying to sit up, and "Ice Cream" when asked if there was anything he wanted. There has been plenty we haven't been able to understand, but only because none of us are experts at reading lips. There is a lot of effort on his part, but much of it is unsuccessfully delivered, frustrating for both him and us.

He's pushed some gurgling air past the tracheal tube to actually vocalize some of this, but it seems uncomfortable to him. When it happens it sounds like he's farting words underwater. I need to find my video camera.

We are constantly telling him that he will be uncomfortable with all the machines hooked up to him, and that nothing is wrong when they shove the tube into his lungs to force him to cough. Much like myself, he's never liked sugared-up answers, nor beating around the bush. When he heard "that noise is nothing" one too many times he replied with, "Bullshit" and "Don't fuck with me." Vulgar as it may sound, all he was stating in his (and my) vernacular was "Be forthright, don't soften the blow."

Dad's really in there.

He's asked for my sister by name, definitely is getting annoyed by mom always yakking up his ear, and squeezed my hand and arm tightly enough to macho-ly let me know his strength isn't lost.

There is still a long way to go, and he's not yet out of the woods. There are a couple complications I'll reserve for later, as to not jinx him. What I will share are a couple of longstanding issues; his heart still needs to be regulated, he needs to breathe on his own without the assistance from the ventalator, and he needs to become more aware of his surroundings before he can leave ICU. I don't believe the tracheal tube will be removed until then.

Cross your fingers (or any of the other things you've been doing). It seems to be working. ;)

I am picking up the phone again. Thanks for the texts and emails - I love lapping up all that great energy.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Wednesday is hump day...

Dad rested his hand on mom's shoulder today. He then patted her on her forearm when she quieted down for a bit to hold back some tears of joy. I don't know if this was to comfort her, or to see if she was still there. In either case, he acted on his own.

He also raised two fingers when asked... apparently this is a big step forward. I told my mother "I think he was just telling you to 'Sod off!' from asking him to squeeze your hand for the last week."

It's our hope he wakes before tomorrow and starts breathing on his own before lunch-ish; if not they will be giving him a tracheotomy. The doctors will not continue the tube-in-mouth route as this be easier to maintain, as well as prevent infection anywhere near or in his yap.

I'll be with him tomorrow morning up until they wheel him out, if they wheel him out for that surgery.

The orginal emails...

From March 3rd:

Sorry about the mass email, but I need to get this out quickly.
Wayne, Eddie's father, was in a terrible accident this morning and is
currently in critical condition. We're waiting for news at a San Jose
hospital. Please, Eddie and his family need all the thoughts,
prayers, and love you can give.

Be excellent to each other,

I can't thank you enough for all the heartfelt good vibes. Some of you know my humor quite well and the tickle of the funny bone has been welcome today.

I know many of you didn't get this email the first time around, as Chloe didn't have all of your contacts in her phone, so you're hearing about this for the first time.

I'll give you the rundown.

My father was running a lathe at work this morning. a piece either on the machine or being held was flung into his face, splitting his upper lip up to the nostril, as well as immediately knocking him unconscious. He fell as a result, and struck the back of his head on the concrete. This resulted in a number of complications, all related to the direct head trauma.

After multiple surgeries he's still in critical condition, but is currently stable. He's in a medically induced coma to help prevent any further damage. We are hoping for the best.

I'm not picking up the phone, but am reading and replying to texts. If I've access to email I'll do that too.

Love you guys,

From March 6th:
If you don't want to get these "dailies", let me know and I'll drop you from the list. You can ping me if you then want updated 411.

Dad is rocking right now. they had INTENDED the coma, as in my last update, but they went the opposite direction because he was doing so well. They began letting him breath with less help from the ventalator, as well as began weening him off of the sedation.

On Wednesday evening, after i left, and due to the drop off of sedation, pops was pulling hard on his restraints. He was fighting like the champ boxer he was in the Navy. He's wasn't yet conscious, was sedated enough to put three normal humans out, and was still tugging and kicking hard enough to freak out the nurses. The term used by one was "miracle" - i just like to think "Yup, that's my pop." I keep telling them "he's a sunnuvabetch and he's gonna fight you" but it's just one of those things they gotta see to believe.

Because of this stress he was aggravating the swelling in his brain. It's was not bad, but to make sure he didn't do anything further to himself, they re-upped the sedation so he was just chilling out yesterday. There has been concern because of the activity, but all the tests and docs have concluded there has been no further complication with any of his systems.

the cardiologist and neurosurgeon are visiting him this morning, and likely the drainage tubes are being removed from his head today. They've confirmed he didn't receive any neck or back injuries, and removed his neckbrace yesterday to help him relax. They should also be fitting him with a helmet.

Everything is going as promisingly as is possibly can. Keep up the good vibes; include him in your weekend drunken toasts, in your voodoo rituals, in your dreams, over your morning coffee, in your chants, in your prayers, and in your good humor. We all have our different avenues, but when pointed they focus the same good energy, and me, Esha and Mom all believe it's working. :)

We are doing great. My good friend Sulekha said, "With these things, you just gotta go with the flow." So true.

All of you are fucking fantastic, and I can't thank you enough so I wont even try. If i give you an extra wink when i see you, you'll know what it's for. ;)

I've downloaded some Frankie Valli and Gypsy Kings for him to listen to today, as well as the soundtrack to Last of the Mohicans. Some of his favorite shite. I'm also looking up the Warriors schedule so we can put on the game...

Love you all,

From March 7th:
Now entering day... I don't know what day.

Dad (Wayne) has hit a couple of speedbumps that are slowing his progress down some. These slowdowns aren't major, and are both successfully addressing immediate issues, as well as being precautionary measures to prevent future complications. The consensus is that this is good, especially since he's been so far beyond the doc's initial expectations at every checkpoint. None of the issues are directly brain related. As a result they stopped trying to wake him up and put him back on all the machines and sedation and other crap. He looks like an experiment in a mad scientist laboratory.

A couple things on the upside. The swelling in his head has gone down enough to remove the drainage tubes. He didn't get any further brain damage as a result of oxygen depletion. He is going to have an AWESOME scar on his scalp, that I'm more than sure he'll be happy to show off. I told Esha that if we paint his head green, he'd look like a tennis ball.

Dad surprised the neurosurgeon yesterday. Mom was talking to him, like she has been doing non-stop. The doc walked in on this and quizzically asked her, "Is he responding to you?" She smiled and nodded.

He grabbed pops hand and said told him to squeeze it. He did.
He told him to wiggle his toes. He did.
The doc smiled from ear to ear.

Although he's improving rapidly, the nurses and doctors are sure to remind us that even though he's stable, he is still in critical condition. They are also sure to remind us exactly what that means - they are doing everything they can to prevent him leaving us, or weaken his state, but his condition could change at any moment.

With that, I ask you give up a few seconds when the thought comes to mind, to send good energy his way. If you haven't met pops, and do know mom or Esha, send your vibes to one of them or myself as well... we can transfer it over for you, and without a processing fee. ;)

My mother, Lucy, explicitly asked me to thank all of you. She and I have very different beliefs, but ultimately we both know that each has his own way to send out powerful healing energy and appreciates all you've done thus far. As do I. :)

I'm still not answering my phone, but am reading and replying to texts and emails when I can. There are no electronics allowed in ICU, but i do get out from time to time.

Let's go, Daddy-o!

When i get more than a few minutes to myself, I'll make a "dad's progress" blog so you can check in on him at your convenience, as opposed to me flooding your inbox. I'd tweet, but as you can see, I'm way too verbose for 140 characters. ;)

I love you guys.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


Most of you have already been updated pretty regularly, that is, if'n I had your email. I'm not going to email you any more.

Thank you so much for your support thus far; every offer, every hug, every prayer, and every well-wish has done its part, and is truly appreciated.

We as a family are supporting each other with no qualms. Mom is a rock. I'd even go as far to say a "hero" if she decided to don a cape for our daily meetings. She's comforting me and Esh more than the other way around.

I'll try to update daily, at least until he wakes up. After that, we'll just have to wait and see.