Monday, October 11, 2010

G-tube it is

Well, a bit disappointingly, the amantidine has not improved Ken's swallowing enough to be able to avoid the G-tube which will probably be put in tomorrow. Another surgery. Which, I have to say, makes me a bit sick to my stomach. Ironic, no? As reported by his parents he had another good day. Pretty talkative this morning. His brother Jeff is there now. I talked to Ken briefly, but he was pretty tired by then.

I visited New England Rehab this morning. We are hoping he can go there rather than the rehab in Boston. But I gotta say it was pretty depressing, so stale and beige and quiet. It's hard to think of Ken having to be there. Of Ken having to learn to eat, talk, walk, bathe. I met a couple there. Norman and Sherry (not sure that was her name). Norman had had a massive stroke at about the same time Ken was getting his surgery. He, like Ken, is paralegic on his left side. But he's just started moving his hand. Good.

I was trying to decide if knowing in advance would be better, or just having it happen would be. I think I'm glad I knew it was coming, or was a possibility. We were able to say what we needed to say, just in case.

I hope I can do this. I hope I can be the person he needs me to be, that my kids need me to be, that I need me to be.

By the way, it's seems that everyone in the universe is connected to this blog. So, in the interest of giving good advice. . . If anyone knows anyone who needs a neurosurgeon: Christopher S. Ogilvy is the man to seek. He is not only a master surgeon (as everyone on the neuro ward is quick to tell me) he is a kind and involved physician (as I can attest). I hope none of you ever need him, but I would feel remiss if I didn't put the information out there. It could save a life. I know he saved Ken's.


  1. Jamie, you have everything you need, and Ken has everything he needs. Your kids are blessed with amazing parents. Will you wilt sometimes and be exhausted, of course. Everyone does. And just like that Chumbawamba Tubthumping song you'll get knocked down, but you'll get up again. I have faith in you. I have faith in Ken. I will help you guys however I can.

    I hate beige too. But beige can be covered with pictures of your friends and family (and, no, it won't be like the picture we took for Matt!). Is this place in Portland so those of us nearby can be a bigger part of Ken's recovery? Of course, you need to do what's best for Ken and for your family. We'll support you in whatever you decide. Lean on us, Jamie, that's why we're here.
    much love, Amy K.

  2. Amy's words could not be more right on if she recited the entire lyrics from that awesome song. Keep the faith, but don't ever shy away from the occasional prayer & swear. I have entered a long campaign against Inglorious Basterds from being thought of as anything other than horrible--And wonder now what Ken thinks on that last Tarintino flick.

    I hate to hear of a rehab place being uninspiring. sometimes those places seem to avoid all color and sense of life...oddly enough. But if it's close to loved ones that helps sway the spirits to the good side. ok, I haven't yet watched CougarTown but will get right on that.

  3. You CAN do it, Jamie. You'll find the strength, because your love for each other will provide it.
    “Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.” Lao Tzu

    And when you feel your strength ebbing you have all of us here to help. Just remember to ask for help when you need, cleaning, childcare, moral support, and ear or a shoulder...whatever will help take some of the stress away.

    I don't know why they think medical facilities always need to be decorated in dull, neutral colors...something bright and colorful would be more uplifting, but Amy and Zarra are can cover it with photos, and visitors :)

    Love to you, to Ken, to the boys, and to your families ♥♥♥

  4. I also hate to think of either one of you in a place that is stale, beige and quiet. Perhaps a little Devine Design make-over a'la' Candice Olsen is in order when you guys transition to N.E.Rehab? We can make it happen - some Scott Pilgrim vs. the World life-size cardboard cut-outs, STNG wall-appliques, legos, and one of those little zen gardens with the itty-bitty rakes should take care of that 'sterile' feel. Just say the word when it's time and I will assemble a Design Star team to deliver a temporary room-reno that will knock Ken's socks off!

    I know you can do this...with a little help from your friends. It's quite obvious that you already are the person that Ken needs you to be.

  5. Hi Jamie,

    I am a friend of Ken's from Brown. My brother happens to be Director of Rehab at Spalding Cambridge and Spalding North Shore, and is also at Spalding Boston quite a bit.

    I talked to him about Ken and he said he would be happy to help give any advice on selecting a rehab center based on Ken's condition and other factors (like that you live in Portland and have 2 kids). Please give me a call if you think that would be helpful and I will put you in contact with my brother. My phone is 415.595.3913.
    Chuck McCall

  6. Hang tough. I'll be part of Melinda's design team fir the rehab. I hope the tube is in and that they are sending in breakfast pizza. Know that anything you need that we can do will be done. That includes coming to Boston to spell any of you or the family should that help. Take care of yourself too please. You need to stay healthy.