Archive | October, 2011
Video 9 Oct
Video 9 Oct

On the way back to the hospital in a taxi

Video 9 Oct

“About this video: For some reason, my iphone didn’t record the sound, but I want you to imagine metallica playing at full volume in the handibus. ”


Message from Stewart

9 Oct

Message from Stewart:

Hi all,

I love your visits. Please keep coming, it gives me energy and motivation. BUT, do not come without arranging a visit with my daughter Ceara. There are many reasons for this: I may already have too many visitors that day, or I may be ill, or having a medical procedure at that time. Yesterday, I had to ask my visitor to leave after only 25 minutes when I became quite ill. And today, I had to ask an unscheduled visitor to cut short the visit. So please, I want to see you but please respect my health, it’s my priority right now. 


This was another first: first trip out of the hospital in almost 3 months: I went in a handibus to check out Garrison Green, a managed care facility which might become my half-way house when I’m discharged. 


On the return trip, I took a shared taxi back to the hospital. I was really glad that my wheelchair was strapped to the floor because of the taxi driver’s “enthusiastic” driving. 


My comment on both these trips is the outside world is very noisy. As a pilot, the motions didn’t bother me, but the noise was almost too much. 



Following the high of the trip came a crashing low of unwanted consequences. Because of the turbulence, my legs splayed out and pressed against the sides of my wheelchair, which impeded circulation. The net result was a phenomenon called autonomic dysreflexia. My body shot my blood pressure to 180/140. Had we not found the problem, it would have kept rising until I might have had a stroke. As it was, as soon at the nurses tied the leg brace to my knees and moved my legs away from my chair edges, my systolic pressure dropped to 145 after 2 minutes and 120 after another 2 minutes. AD is pretty scary when it occurs, and the reasons can be varied, and the requiring an investigation each time. 


My next outing, this sunday, is a eagerly awaited thanksgiving lunch with my entire family and my girlfriend’s family. Pureed turkey, anyone?

Video 3 Oct

My dad’s new arm movement! Comes in very handy!

Gallery 3 Oct

My dad’s windowsill at the moment 🙂

Video 3 Oct

My dad’s first drive in a power wheelchair! A big accomplishment! (sorry about it being sideways! I’ll get Andrew to fix it later)

2 Oct

Some pretty exciting accomplishments for my dad! 

Since passing his swallow test a week ago thursday, he has been continually increasing his food intake! He’s now finishing 2 portions of pureed food per meal! If he can continue doing that, they will look at changing his diet to some more “real” food. Yesterday he had pureed banana bread with raspberry drizzle, pureed macaroni and cheese and turkey vegetable noodle soup-puree. 

Even thought my dad is now swallowing, he’s not swallowing his pills yet. They’re still crushing them up, and then pushing them through his PEG tube. Yesterday when the nurse came in with his medications, the pill wasn’t crushed. She wanted to see if my dad would be up for trying to swallow the pill. He was able to do it with a spoonful of apple sauce! Another exciting milestone for my dad. 

My dad is being fit for his power wheel chair as well as a manual chair. On friday he got to try out one of the chairs that he’s considering. This is a huge accomplishment, because he was really worried that he wouldn’t have the hand movement to drive the chair. He did a great job! For the next couple weeks he’ll have the opportunity to continue to practice with the power chair. 

Today my dad is going to be able to meet the nurse that came to his aid on the mountain during his accident. She was hiking with her friends when she saw my dad hit the mountain. She called 911 and was able to sit with my dad for 2 hours while the rescue helicopter came. He’s really looking forward to actually meeting her face to face, as he was face down the whole time. We are all very thankful for what she was able to do for my dad. Thanks Ginger!