Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Maggie Jochild Still In Hospital Monday, Barely

Windows Netbook Donation Needed. Financial Donations Report!

Just a quick report as I’m in so much pain in my right hip I’m not at work today (this was written Monday afternoon, even if I’m posting it Tuesday morning.) Hurts to sit up, hurts to write. Hurts to do anything but sleep.

Maggie was NOT discharged over the weekend. One of the great things about the hospital she is in, is they apparently are big believers in what is called the TEAM Concept of Care. This means that in this hospital -- the best surgical hospital in Austin where the rich folks go for their surgeries if they don’t fly in their G-Vs to Houston -- unlike all the other hospitals which are not nearly as highly ranked nationally (oh yes, this hospital is NATIONALLY RANKED; what, you thought I’ve been pulling your chain, polishing your knob, yanking your Petunias, these last 10-12 days when I’ve told you Maggie is in the BEST surgical hospital in Austin? Oh, say it isn’t so Gentle Reader…)…unlike the other, not nearly as highly ranked nationally hospitals, the hospital our dear Maggie Jo lies recovering in, does everything in TEAMS. A Team consists of everyone involved in the medical care of a patient, plus a representative from the financial side of the house. Everyone gets a fairly equal voice in what should happen. This method of care compares to the less successful hospitals (so far as patient outcomes go) where the Doctors and the Finance People (and more and more it’s the Finance People) make the calls on what happens. Not so in the nationally ranked facility where Maggie is working so hard to recover.

That Maggie is working SO damn hard impresses the hell out of everyone. Today for example she walked 50 feet with a walker, her PT person right next to her to try and stop a fall just in case, but she made it! Totally wiped her out, she told me as 50 feet is an amazing (and very tough) distance for her to walk… Her stitches remain in (nope, the surgeon changed his mind last Friday and left them in. And today he decided to leave them in till at least Friday this week) with the Binder which is like a large corset still constricting her abdomen tightly keeping the surgical site intact, the stitches from coming out, and everything all good and clean and perfect.

Because Maggie is working so goddamn hard, because she’s working harder -- in the judgment of her nurses and the PT/OT and respiratory folks – all of the aforementioned TEAM members and even some of her doctors are all LOUDLY saying, do NOT discharge Maggie. Why, they say?

“Maggie has no support, no one to take care of her. If we discharge her for, let’s face it, financial reasons” -- and they glare at the financial guy who is pretty much coming around to see things from our side anyway, but they still glare at him we’re told – “we’re only going to see her again inside days to a week when her sutures come loose, the incision bursts open (the surgeon gets all stuffy at this point), she gets a massive infection and that’s if her insides do not spill out all over the floor, and of course with the massive infection she’ll get an even larger fever and become dehydrated. Hell, she isn’t even able, no, scratch that, she is UNABLE to even get in and out of bed by herself let alone make it to the toilet. Without any money to hire a nursing aide, no charity bed for rehab for the hardest working most deserving patient any of us have seen in forever. How can we possibly expect Maggie, with a Foley Catheter in place no less, to take care of her self all alone? It’s impossible! Hummph!”

This opinion is slowly gaining weight in the TEAM approach. *smiles*

On the other hand, finance still wants her out, although he’s being less adamant about it all. That said, there is a genuine, real chance Maggie may be discharged Tuesday. No promises or predictions one way or the other. It could go one way or the other. *sighs* I’m not going to panic. We will see and what happens will happen. But I think (and hope and pray) we have enough medical weight on our side, that with the TEAM being pretty damn pissed off at this point about Maggie’s overall condition, that a discharge won’t happen till Maggie’s truly ready. Furthermore, Maggie is ready to very respectful and appreciatively, strike, should anyone try to kick her out before her body is at least able to handle the basics of living alone: getting in and out of bed without ripping her stitches out (including NOT straining her abdomen which her PT person insists upon, as does her surgeon); since she doesn’t have a pull thingy above her bed to haul herself in and out of the bed with, that will be hard; cleaning herself; going to the toilet. Also walking to the kitchen; watching back from the kitchen; making a meal; feeding the cat; going all the way from her bedroom to the front door, getting groceries, taking them to the kitchen and putting them away before the cold stuff rots, then getting back in bed, all without falling over and hurting herself or ripping out her stitches or splitting open her abdomen.

If she can not do ALL these simple acts of daily living, she can not go home. Are they going to send her to live on the street under a newspaper? Seriously; what do they intend to do, send her to die, now that they have saved her life?

As she keeps telling people, “I live with a cat but she can NOT change my Foley.”

Financially Maggie and I and Martha (who is handling the money) deeply appreciate the money given so far. We are roughly at half-way. So far slightly under two-thousand dollars have been donated. We need to raise four thousand. $4K allows Maggie two months off work, the medicines she needs, some healthier foods, some (but not all) of the durable medical equipment she needs such as a pull thing above her bed. Plus paying rent electric, water, food, cat food, taxi rides for outpatient, a little home health care, and so on. The absolute bare minimum with zero margin for error and no reserve (and ya always need a reserve; this number doesn’t have one) for the bare minimum she’ll need if everything goes perfectly (and there are always fuck-ups (this assumes no fuck-ups at all) is $4 grand cash in emergency donations/additional subscriptions. It does NOT include any subscriptions/donations existing prior to Wednesday 12 days ago when Maggie went to the hospital. We’re assuming all of those remain intact. If any of those get canceled, we’ll need more money. On the other hand, half way there, pretty much. So hey, far out and good work everyone! And we have a little room to breathe. It isn’t as if we need to have all the money tomorrow. We needed a bunch of money last Friday as we thought she was being thrown out Friday or Saturday, which would mean we’d have to hire a nursing aide right then as we had no bed for her and there was no way she could go back home. So we were going to put her, well, never mind. The point is, we now have a little more room. So please, take a deep breathe, congratulate yourself and everyone else on the great job we’re all doing so far.

Then, dig down and please donate more. We’ve got $2,000 and change to go. *laughs* If you haven’t donated yet, heh, opportunity! We're asking people to contribute from as little as $5 to $10 monthly, to $20 or $50, and for a few of you, all the way up to $100 or $200 a month.

Coming up still today, another post from Maggie. It’s amazing. I think one of the best pieces of writing she’s ever done. (I feel like a link in a chain, smuggling the writings of a renowned Russian writer out of the prison camps to the West. And honored to take her dictation.)

Ahhh… Maggie needs a Netbook Computer. She has NO Internet access. Getting her a Netbook so she can surf, email, and write whenever SHE wants to, not have to write by hand and then dictate to me, is able to check in on her friends and their posts, can check in at GNB and Meta when she wants… She’s cut off from her WORLD. It would mean the world to her if we can get her access restored.

Can someone please, please, pretty please with love and strawberries and real sugar on top please donate an inexpensive Microsoft compatible Netbook to Maggie? (Not even a laptop. She doesn’t have the strength to hold a laptop.) It needs to be SO light that really only a wireless-enabled Netbook will do plus also a Netbook is the right form factor. Even a very light-weight laptop would be too big; she wouldn't be able to balance it, and a telephone would be a new OS to learn plus you really can't browse on them. She needs precisely what I'm requesting and not anything else. Please.

Note: I don’t mean to offend any of y’all whom are huge Mac fans. -- I’m writing this on a MacBook and can hardly stand the wait till January for the new Apple Tablet, but that’s not important right now – I also don’t mean to offend fans of other OSes such as various Unixes. The thing is Maggie only knows Windows. Period. Full stop. In her current mental state -- able at her current best to think two perhaps three hours ahead when she isn’t physically wiped out which is much of the time, and she can handle perhaps five minutes ahead then -- I am NOT absolutely NOT pressing her in any way not critical to her health. An OS holy war is not critical to her health. OS discussion ends here.

Maggie needs a Windows-version Netbook computer. Having one will give her autonomy in a major way. This will make an ENORMOUS difference for Maggie in her physical recovery as well as her mental recovery (having to work with the keys will help her physical recovery; working with the thinking and writing and her peeps and writing again will deeply assist her mental recovery.)

If you can donate a Netbook, please email Jesse Wendel.

Thank you.

Again, please donate and get your friends to donate. Please contribute $200, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, or in any combination. If you have a blog or know people with blogs, get the word out about Maggie. Link, link, link.

Anything I can do to help get the word out, be in touch.

Thank you all so much for your support. And bless all of you for that support. You mean the world to Maggie and myself.

Knowing you are there has on many a day, gotten me up and out of bed, I tell you true. Often it seems strange to me that me, big bad-ass Jesse, who walked through the toughest ghettos in the United States for almost a decade with nothing but a med kit, backboard, oxygen bottle and defibrillator, and a gurney. And my 90 pound gurrrrl partner (who could kick YOUR ass any day, twice a day on weekends, three times on pay-day weekends) could be brought to bed by pain. But it never, ever, ever stops. Even when I take LOTS of drugs, even then it doesn’t stop; it is simply overwhelmed and then the drugs usually overwhelm me also. It’s impossible to find positions not also painful. The best is this wonderful chair at work. In it I can sit for many hours and work and work and work. At home on my bed I’m able to roll this way and that, and to watch comedy shows which by making me laugh, reduce the pain. Sometimes I can sleep and then I don’t hurt, briefly, till I wake up, which I do every three hours around the clock to take pain meds. No, I don’t set an alarm. The old meds wear off and that wakes me up.

Here’s my point. In the midst of this, especially in the last two and a half years since my friends and I started Group News Blog, some days what has got me up when normally I’d have stayed in bed and wept, stayed in bed and tried to sleep, stayed in bed and watched television, or stayed in bed and read or done anything but moved a fraction more than I absolutely must (on what I call a BAD pain day, like today for example when I didn’t go to work as it felt as if someone had stuck a steel bar deep into my right hip and was bouncing bouncing bouncing up and down on the bloody thing with the blunt end quivering deep in my hip bone to the point where the scale I balance on is overdosing my meds v. screaming) and on some days precisely like today when normally I’d simply stay in bed and weep and pray for the day to end, on some of those days over the past two and a half years I have gotten up because I knew YOU were there, waiting for me to write, waiting for me to post, even just waiting for me to go check the PO Box and pick up a letter I knew was coming. So I got up and got to it. Sucked it up. Because of you.

You readers are the gift who quite literally, day after day after day, I get out of bed for because of you. If not for you, just as years ago when I was suicidal, then it was my four children whom I lived for, now I get out of bed and go enter into life because to do otherwise would be to fail to serve you.

The last eight to ten months (since shortly after the inauguration) have been very hard for me, physically. And I’m not fully back by any means.

But with Maggie needing me, with readers from GNB all of a sudden writing me and my needing to write them back, with other GNB writers suddenly writing again and the blog starting to pick up again (as I’ve said all along it would start to do about a year before the 2010 election) and with the joy of my writing posts for GNB all of a sudden descending upon me like grace from above, like how I feel after a wonderful bicycle ride with my daughters or son, I can only say that for the last eleven to twelve days, as totally wiped out as I’ve been each day, as utterly drained as I’ve been each day, I’ve been more ALIVE this past almost two weeks than at any time in the past eight to ten months of lying in bed in pain. Now I’m up and about (and in pain) but at least I’m about and out in the world (and in pain.) The fucking pain part does not change. But at least I’m out and in the world and alive.

Thank YOU (all of you, but I really mean YOU, the one reading this right now) for the wonderful gift to me which you are. And for everything which you are to Maggie, and for all which you do to her.

Speaking of which -- because this is how all posts right now must end, *smiles* -- please subscribe/donate to Maggie as much as you can afford: $200, $100, $50, $20, $10, $5, mix and match.

Also, I request you, Gentle Reader, donate a Windows Netbook for Maggie within 24 hours. Contact Jesse Wendel.

Thank you.

Oh yeah… Within a hour, a post from Maggie. *grins*

 Cross-posted at Meta Watershed and Group News Blog.