Time flies when you’re having fun. Let’s attribute that line to Marilyn who’s now almost a week and a half into her stay at Beth Israel Hospital’s Cardiac Care Unit. The fun includes a bypass, valve replacement, pacemaker implant and inflation of collapsed lungs. Today, there was another infection scare but tests came back negative. A day after our friends Ross and Mary Mitchell came to the rescue volunteering to pay for physical therapy rejected by Marilyn’s health insurance, Marilyn was in good spirits but weak and very pale. She was dehydrated.

Cherrie Welburn and I noticed Marilyn’s condition the moment we arrived around midday. Why didn’t anyone else, we wondered. Cherrie scurried around outside, talking to nurses and other staff members about Marilyn’s condition. I think she heard something about it being a weekend and there were fewer staffers on duty. I’m just a layperson but I find that puzzling in a hospital. Are patients less important on weekends?? Cherrie and I swapped off helping Marilyn walk to the bathroom, made sure she kept drinking water during our visit and promised to call frequently tonight, nagging her about drinking water. Marilyn seemed to perk up. She checked her tablet, scanning last night’s blog about the unexpected generosity of the Mitchells and the impressive number of comments from people damning health insurers and lauding the kindness of our friends.

Marilyn, again, complimented me on my blogging efforts. High praise from Caesar, indeed!! Cherrie, Marilyn and I discussed the days ahead. Marilyn likely will remain at Beth Israel until Tuesday at least until we decide on a satisfactory physical therapy facility. Marilyn noticed that Cherrie and I were a little wobbly on our feet and suggested that we head home to rest a little.

The drive home actually was the most interesting part of the day. It included impressive construction detours around “hospital city” that had changed in two or three hours. I switched into my Boston driver mode, skillfully out matching cabbies, texting motorists surely headed to their maker and touristas confused by everything. It had a classic demolition derby feel to it.

The final leg of our drive on the Mass Pike west and onto Rt. 146 included a pelting rain and an increasingly dense fog. I felt the juices flow. I was Steve McQueen. Despite my idiocy, we arrived home safely. Cherrie has gone back to her home in Hadley to deal with a bunch of her own family crises. I’ll miss her. She’s kept me sane. She’ll be back as soon as possible. Meantime, I’ll be flying solo, keeping the faith with my fair lady.

Categories: Family, Medical

Tags: ,

26 replies

  1. Stay on Marilyn, and stay on the hospital! Don’t let them brush you off or dismiss you.


  2. Hey, Paul and I were out on those roads last night, too; maybe that was you swerving around us in the left lane and flying through those lake sized puddles! Paul has a bit of Steve McQueen in him, too…..
    I’m glad that Marilyn continues to slowly heal and recover from her ordeal. We need her voice out here (not that you aren’t a very capable stand-in). Sending both of you our very best healing thoughts. I hope that you can stay home for a bit this cold, dreary, rainy Sunday morning!


  3. Keep these good reports coming! They are so good to hear. I cant wait for this to be all behind her nothing more then a distant memory. You and Cherri need some down time too. Try and rest up and make sure you take care of your selves. Sending daily thoughts and prayers. Get well soon, Marilyn. You are missed. Hugs for healing. Xxxxxx


  4. I think staffing levels are the same in the UK at the weekend and it has always confused me too. There are often news stories about how it’s “not a good idea” to get ill on a Friday night!

    Thanks for keeping us up to date with Marilyn’s progress – sounds like she’ll be out of there soon and getting the physical therapy she needs to be up and about again.


  5. Through several years of hospital adventures on and off with my mom, I can say that hospital staffs dwindle down to a precious few on the weekend. It is rare you find anyone who knows much. Their jobs seem to be to maintain things until Monday am. It is frustrating. Hang in there. This too shall pass.


  6. Remember the song, “Just Dropped In … to see what condition my condition was in?”
    That song reminds me of you and Marilyn this past few weeks.
    My Mom was about 85 when she began a series of hospitable stays. Dehydration became the biggest problem every time. I still don’t understand the nursing staff that allowed that to happen. Only my presence seemed to keep her on the mend. I often wondered what happens to patients that are alone.

    Nothing wrong with channeling Steve McQueen, I love driving fast, except for the tickets.
    Hugs and good thoughts, me.


  7. How wonderful of your friends to pay for physical therapy for dear Marilyn! Being dehydrated is no fun – and that’s without all the other things she’s had to deal with lately! She’s lucky to have you taking care of her.

    Get well soon, Marilyn!


  8. Hopefully you are settled in by now with the pups, giving out biscuits and enjoying a little dinner (or popcorn or jelly beans, as the case may be). I can’t even imagine driving in Boston traffic when Kansas City (our nearest big city) is horrifying to drive in. I’m glad you were able to channel your inner race-car driver, no matter what QoD says. 😀 DSB has been in the hospital (too!) many times lately and the weekend staff are less than adequate. I don’t get it either…people are sick and incapacitated on the weekend, just like every other day of the week! Sending you and Marilyn much love (and hugs!)…Rose


    • I called it a ‘quiet Saturday’. That it was in contrast to the events of the past week and a half in Marilyn’s life. I’m a New York native but moved to Boston in 1970 to pursue my career. So, when it comes to driving, I’m a deadly mix of Boston and New York. To be sure, Steve McQueen is just my inner guy fantasy. Besides, I’m too old for that stupidity.


  9. Hi Garry, don’t get me started on hospitals and insurance. I was kicked out of the hospital before I could sit up or even feed myself once because of insurance issues. Story for another day, that’s for sure. Hospital personal can be the worse at detecting the normal things that aren’t being looked at like hydration. I’m glad you caught it before Marilyn went backwards to far. You are a blessing. Get some rest.


    • Thanks, Cee. Stealing a line from “Cool Hand Luke”, ‘I got my mind right, boss’. Doing the best I can with lots of help from friends like Ross and Mary Mitchell and the incredible Cherrie Welburn who’s been doing 24/7 duty with us. And, there’s all the wonderful support I’m getting from you and the rest of Marilyn’s blogging family. You are all terrific!!


  10. Hey Garry, please look after your health as well. You wont be much good in helping Marilyn get well if you get sick in the process.


  11. this is me, wagging my finger at you: you drive safely, mister! I’m enjoying your updates too much to have you wrapped around a telephone pole! (it’s all about me, after all!)
    Seriously, though, delighted to hear that Mrs is doing so well (Hi Marilyn!). Thanks for the updates. …till tomorrow.


  12. Ahem… Garry, you are not a race car driver, even in yer dreams. You are also very capable of being “solo” for a bit, and having it all end up okay. Rest, don’t be stupid, remember just how damned capable you can be under pressure. And please give both you and yer beloved a grounding hug from those who care. PS I think the dogs need another treat. 😉


    • Queen, please be quiet when referring to the dogs. They peek over my shoulder. Understand this. When I come home from my visits with Marilyn, I’m cold, hungry, arthritis kicking in and migraine going ballistic. Oh, woe is me. Poor Garry. First thing I do is greet the four furry kids. We chat. We get on our knees and coax the kids who haven’t eaten to finish their dinner. We tend to their medical needs, we play games and then we give biscuits out because the kids are malnourished. Then and only then, does poor Garry tend to himself. Poor, poor Garry. Not to worry about the driving, I was gilding the lily.


  13. Very pleased to hear that tests for infection came back negative, Garry, but concerned about the dehydration. Poor Marilyn: she’s really going through a testing time. Flying solo, eh?! Wow! But,seriously, make sure you look after yourself as well. Love to all, Ali xxx


    • Wow, I’m getting all this love. I’m doing okay. Just a little frazzled. A man has got to do what a man has got to do. (theme music up full and roll credits).


  14. I could take the rain .. but pretty well nothing else you’re going through.
    Counting my Blessings – sending some your way.
    Baraka Bashad.


  15. Wow that is quite a health situation. I hope Marilyn makes a speedy recovery. I tend to take my good health for granted. Give her my best wishes.


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