Thursday, February 18, 2010

My New Best Friend

My new best friend is the GPS. Which stands for, which works how.... Yeah, yeah, yeah, who cares. It works.

In the last year I've been to Orlando, Phoenix, Las Vegas. Driving all the way from Las Vegas to Oakland (in 8 hours, thank you). Currently in San Diego. I would be lost, literally, without my new friend.

Recalculating, recalculating...

I would constantly turn in the wrong direction, or misread a sign and turn here instead of there. Or, unable to get over to the freeway desired because of the horrible traffic, as happened to me in Phoenix during spring training, I kept going. "Recalculating, recalculating," the computer would tell me. And then it told me to take the next exit, took me around the block to the entry to the new freeway, and told me to get on it. Twice. I obeyed.

In San Diego to visit my brother in the hospital, I had to get from the San Diego Airport to the motel in Chula Vista, then to the hospital in that same town, then to Coronado to visit my nephew, then back again. True, for several of those hospital visits, my nephew picked me up at the motel, but for the others, I was on my own.

When I visited my nephew at his home, his 13-year-old son Danny asked him for permission to program his new GPS. Of course, at the time Danny was doing his English homework and looking for any distraction. "Maybe this weekend," replied his dad. I shook my head, and told both of them, "It doesn't need programming. It works right out of the box." Dismayed but undeterred, Danny said, "but I still have to program it in the car." I shook my head again. "Very simple. Plug it in, put in the address, and go."

Recalculating, recalculating. You gotta love it.

Visiting the Contagious

With Scott's help, I was able to visit Marvin the last two nights. We didn't go into the room, however, but it didn't make much sense to do that. He is highly contagious in the MICU at Sharp. He was sleeping, not communicating much. But today was a different story.

I am on my way back to Oakland, so I thought I'd give it another try. I actually found parking at the hospital -- a minor miracle, it seems -- and walked in, got my visitor's badge, and went to the fifth floor to the MICU, the contagious wing of the ICU. He talked to me, looked at me, but his responses didn't make much sense. Still, I was happy for the contact.

They have been talking about moving Marvin to the other ICU, the less-intense ICU, but the cardiologist won't sign off on the move because the drugs he's on keeps giving him arrhythmia. He's receiving great care, so what do we care?

I talked with James, the PA, again this morning. He asked me some questions: Did he get a flu or H1N1 shot? I don't know but I doubt it. Does he have an advanced care directive or living will? Not as far as we know. Believe me, I said, we've been talking about this the last few nights. However, he may have a will in his computer; whether or not it's been activated by a lawyer, I do not know. Ricky will work on the computer in the future to try to dig it up.

Right now, though, that doesn't seem all that necessary. He's improving.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

San Diego, Again.

Here I am in San Diego. It's not a fun visit.

I don't know this area of San Diego. As I just told nephew Scott a few moments ago on the phone, when I was growing up, this area was dirt. No buildings, no growth. He even remembers the growth during his lifetime.

But I'm here because my brother is ill. A group of terrible things has assailed his body, which is 69. It doesn't look good. I'm hoping for the best. It's been 3 days now, and I thought we'd know more. We seem to know more about what's happening to him, but not whether their treatment will work.

I don't have to mention that this brings up my feelings of mortality. More to come.