About a woman’s right to choose

Abortion. It’s a hot topic, especially among those who would impose their religious ideals upon a populace consisting of both religious and non-religious people.

What do I believe? I believe what Jews believe.

There are four aspects to the issue of abortion in Jewish tradition: (1) the legal status of the embryo/fetus, (2) the time of ensoulment, (3) conditions under which a therapeutic abortion may take place, and (4) conditions under which a non-therapeutic abortion may take place.

The Legal Status of the Embryo/Fetus
According to Jewish law, a fetus is not considered a full human being and has no juridical personality of its own. While recognizing the potentiality of becoming human, Rashi, the great 12th century commentator on the Bible and Talmud, states clearly of the fetus “lav nefesh hu – it is not a person.” The Talmud contains the expression “ubar yerech imo – the fetus is as the thigh of its mother,” i.e., the fetus is deemed to be part and parcel of the pregnant women’s body.

The biblical foundation for this statement is Exodus 21:22ff:

When men fight and one of them pushes a pregnant woman and a miscarriage results, but no other damage ensues, the one responsible shall be fined according as the woman’s husband may exact from him, the payment to be based on reckoning. But if other damage ensues, the penalty shall be life for life…

The Jewish legal interpretation of this passage states specifically that only monetary compensation is necessary for one who causes the death of a fetus. The unborn fetus is not worthy of the “life for life” punishment demanded if the woman herself is killed. This clearly implies that the fetus is not accorded the same legal status as the woman herself, namely that of independent human being.

Further proof of the Jewish legal principle that the fetus is to be regarded as part of the pregnant woman is contained in two examples from the Talmud. The first involves the sale of a cow which, subsequent to sale, is found to be pregnant. The legal determination is that the fetus in the womb of the cow belongs to the buyer, and that the seller can make no claim for further compensation. The second example concerns the conversion to Judaism of a woman who is pregnant. Jewish law regards the conversion valid for her future child as well, requiring no separate conversion for it after birth.

While all of the above is not totally sufficient to determine the Jewish attitude toward abortion, it does set the stage. Jewish law is quite clear: while the fetus in the womb is to be protected as a potential human being, it has no personhood; it is not a bar kayamah (a viable, living being), thus, it is not accorded any of the right or privileges of a human being.

The Time of Ensoulment
While the status of a fetus is of interest with regard to the ultimate question of the morality of abortion, so, too, is the issue of ensoulment. Namely, at what moment does the soul enter the body? In Jewish legal tradition, there are several theories. The most famous text in this regard is from the Talmud and concerns a somewhat strange dialogue between the Roman Emperor Antoninus and Rabbi Judah the Patriarch, the complier of the Mishna. (The Mishna is the first post-Biblical compilation of Jewish law and tradition, compiled at the beginning of the third post-Christian century.)

“Antoninus asked Rabbi Judah: ‘From when is neshamah (soul) endowed in man: from the time of birth, or from the moment of intercourse?’ Rabbi Judah answered, ‘From the time of birth.’ The emperor then asked, ‘Can meat remain three days without salt and not putrify?’”

As obscure as this dialogue may seem, Rabbi Judah understood it. According to Talmudic dictum, it can take as long as three days from the moment of intercourse until the ovum is fertilized. What, then, keeps the sperm (i.e., meat) vital through that period of time? There must be a vitalizing life force (i.e., salt) present. From the conclusion of their discussion, it appears that due to the questions of a Roman emperor, Rabbi Judah changed his mind and adopted the position that ensoulment occurs at conception.

However, the rabbis of his and succeeding generations have taken such a view to task. They have expressed a variety of opinions, citing proofs for ensoulment as early as the act of intercourse itself, and as late as the time a child learns to speak! The rabbis were saying, in effect, that the moment of ensoulment is unclear at best and subject to a great deal of speculation and disagreement, They state, therefore, that is one of the “secrets of God” that will be revealed only when the Messiah comes. As a result, the issue of ensoulment plays virtually no role in Jewish considerations of the morality of abortion.

Conditions for Therapeutic Abortions
The issue of therapeutic abortion itself is first dealt with in a second century Jewish legal text quoted in the Mishna.

If a woman is in hard labor (that threatens her life), one dismembers the fetus within her and removes it limb by limb, because her life takes precedence over its life. Once the greater part of it emerges it may not be touched, for we do not set aside one life for another.

In commenting on this passage, later authorities further define the phrase “the greater part of it.” During a normal delivery, this refers to the emergence of the forehead, while during a breech birth, this means more than half the body.

There are two principles employed here o arrive at the conclusion that the abortion is justified. The first and foremost of the two is that the fetus remains only a potential human life until its emergence from the birth canal. One must, therefore, sacrifice the potential life in order to save a fully existent human life, i.e., the pregnant woman in labor.

The second principle deals with the concept of self-defense. In Jewish law, one is permitted to defend oneself, even to the extent of taking the attacker’s life should one’s own life be in jeopardy. This point was brought into the discussion on abortion when some authorities in the Talmud challenged the prohibition stated above, of the taking of the life of its mother. It was argued that the principle of the aggressor ought to apply here. Since it was pursuing its mother with intent to kill, one should be permitted to kill the fetus if necessary, even the fetus whose greater portion had already emerged. This argument was rejected, however, in favor of a position that the mother is being pursued “from Heaven,” i.e., that the difficulties she is encountering are an act of God, and that it is impossible to know, in reality, who is pursuing whom. The principle of pursue and self-defense, therefore, cannot be applied in the case of the child in the process of being born and need not be applied prior to birth since in that case the pursuer is not a person.

Nonetheless, in the legal code of Maimonides, the great Jewish sage of the 13th century, the argument of the pursuer was used once again. In commenting on the passage from the Mishna quoted above, and in stating the rules governing abortion in his code, Maimonides utilizes the pursuer justification, using the examples of a boat about to sink from its load. In order to lighten the load, a passenger without baggage steps forward and proceeds to throw overboard the baggage and a mule belonging to the others. Maimonides states that person is not liable for restitution to the owners, for the baggage and mule are pursuers, “seeking” to kill them all.

In using the justification of the pursuer, Maimonides clearly complicates the meaning of the Mishna passage. There are those who believe that Maimonides’ intent in using the pursuer argument was to limit abortions only to those cases where the pursuer argument applies, i.e., in life-threatening situations. There are others, however, who believe that he was using the language only as an illustration and has no intention to contradict the authorities of the Talmud who had rejected the pursuer argument. In any event, Maimonides’ use of the principle and its assumption by later authorities in their codes of Jewish law became a point of contention in deciding the permissibility of non-therapeutic abortions.

In dealing with therapeutic abortions, one final point must be made. It is important to note that the Mishna text does not present either the pregnant woman or her physician with options. If her life is threatened, the unborn fetus must be sacrificed; she may not make the decision to sacrifice her own life for that of the fetus within. And, equally as compelling, once the child is born, no decision may be made to sacrifice its life in order to save that of its mother. They both have an equal claim on life.

Conditions for Non-Therapeutic Abortions
The guidelines for deciding cases of accidental and therapeutic abortion, then, are reasonably clear-cut, even though there is some disagreement concerning the proper justification. Such cannot be said once one turns to the topic of a non-therapeutic abortion. Here the relevant literature is the Responsa – questions written to and responses written by rabbinic authorities from the 10th century to today. It is also here that a divergence in opinion begins to emerge. Such divergence is due initially to differing understandings of Maimonides’ use of the pursuer argument, cited above. Later, in the 19th and 20th centuries, it becomes part and parcel of the diversity within Judaism itself as liberal streams of Jewish tradition and observance emerge. There are many relevant Responsa concerning abortion, several of which follow. In all of them, the principles are those described above. Note however, how different understandings of these principles lead to different conclusions.

The first case concerns a child who is nursing and cannot survive without his mother’s milk, being allergic to all other forms of nutrition. The mother, however, having become pregnant once again, sees that her milk has now ceased flowing. Here, where the issues is saving the life of a third party, as opposed to the pregnant woman herself, two different authorities mandate the performance of an abortion to save the life of the existing child.

Other cases emerge today as a result of a better understanding of mental health issues. The question is whether or not suicidal tendencies in a pregnant woman (tendencies that might, as a result of the pregnancy itself, impel the woman to take her own life) justify the performance of an abortion. In this case, even the most stringent of authorities permit an abortion to save the life of the pregnant woman.

In past centuries, many other circumstances have come before rabbinical authorities. One case involved a woman whose pregnancy would leave her permanently deaf, and while some authorities rejected this as sufficient grounds for an abortion, no less an authority than a Chief Rabbi of Israel granted her permission.

In cases involving adultery, there is also a division of opinion. Some invoke the principle of “let the fruit of the act bear witness to the deed lest adultery flourish in the land.” Others maintain that we must do everything possible to save the pregnant woman from great mental pain and anguish, shame being the greatest mental pain. And in several cases involving rape, this latter principle seems to dominate, with many authorities granting permission to take the steps necessary to ensure that a pregnancy will not result.

Yet, in the light of these cases, might one assume that abortion is justifiable under any and all circumstances? The answer, according to Jewish law, is clearly “no.” The majority of Jewish legal sources indicate that abortion is permissible at any stage of the pregnancy if the well-being of the pregnant woman is jeopardized, while it is clearly not permissible if the well-being of the future child is the issue. This distinction can best be illustrated by the following example.

Modern medical technology allows a pregnant woman to be certain, long before the birth of her child, whether it will be born defective due to rubella, genetic factors such as Tay-Sachs disease, systemically transmitted diseases such as HIV, or another such factor. In all of these cases, abortion is not permitted out of fear or concern over what the child might have to endure during its life. Its lot in life is not to be determined or judges by humanity. Its quality of life is one of the “secrets of God” and is not open to human judgment. However, some rabbinical authorities maintain that if the pregnant woman expresses anguish about her own mental, emotional, or psychological condition resulting from an impending birth, then her pain my warrant an abortion. Other rabbinical authorities would not permit an abortion on such grounds.

In cases of non-therapeutic abortion, then, the major consideration is “the pain of the mother.” It is consideration for the woman involved, and not the fate of condition of the fetus, which becomes the determining factor in prohibiting or permitting an abortion. And it is precisely on this issue that diversity of opinion is now the greatest. Not only is the diversity seen among the various movements of Judaism today, but even within each movement itself. In addition to traditional Jewish mores and standards, each movement has its own criteria for determining the permissibility of abortion under other than therapeutic circumstances.

Summary
For Judaism, the evidence in matters of abortion, then, is reasonably clear. The legal codes and rabbinic teachings tend to depict the fetus as simply a part of a woman’s body. Just as one may not wantonly mutilate one’s own body, so, too, a woman is not permitted to obtain an abortion merely for reasons of convenience. But just as she is permitted to sacrifice a portion of her body for her greater good, so, too, may she obtain permission for an abortion in order to assure her overall well-being. The fetus is not a person; it has no rights. Questions of ensoulment, while interesting, are essentially irrelevant. Thus, abortion becomes permissible, according to the vast majority of authorities, under a wide variety of circumstances.

However is must also be said that Judaism as a religious heritage does not tilt absolutely to one side of any issue. Callousness as to the seriousness and the tragedy of abortion is unacceptable. Abortion as birth control is unacceptable. Abortion as a means of avoiding the responsibility of bearing children is antithetical to Jewish values.

One final point. Due to the general leniency in matters of abortion, as well as to a long-standing Jewish insistence on the separation of religion and government in American life, all four non-Orthodox Jewish movements – Reform, Reconstructionist, Conservative and Humanist – are on record opposing any governmental regulation of abortion. Moreover, many Orthodox authorities take the same position. Whatever their opinions on abortion in any given situation, a vast majority of Jewish thinkers agree that decision-making with respect to abortion must be left in the hands of the woman involved, her husband, her physician, and her rabbi. Out of this context, in consonance with her Jewish heritage, she can make a decision as she is permitted to do by the United States Constitution.

These, then, become the guiding principles on abortion in Jewish tradition: a woman’s life, her pain, and her concerns take precedence over those of the fetus; existing life is always sacred and dates precedence over a potential life; and a woman has the personal freedom to apply the principles of her tradition unfettered by the legal imposition of moral standards other than her own.

“But El, didn’t you use to be a Christian?”   Well, that’s the trick isn’t it? I am not now a Christian.  I do not believe that Jesus Christ is the Messiah of Israel.  Shit, I’m not even sure he ever existed historically.  I suspect he may have been an invention of the Romans, as proposed in the book, “Caesar’s Messiah,” by Joseph Atwill. But even as a Christian, I believed in a woman’s right to choose what happens to her own body.


Libertarianism vs Christianity

A Facebook messenger conversation between myself and my eldest son, Joshua.

(Joshua’s posts) (My posts)

It started with this post on Joshua’s timeline:

They say most people are Libertarian they just don’t know it. Well how do you know? Are you conservative on economic issues and liberal on social issues. Then your probably Libertarian. Any who good to hear a third party perspective on why the current candidates suck.

http://https://youtu.be/Xt-vL_d7tpA

The problem with Libertarianism is that it’s root philosophy is based in selfishness.

I have read your blog on this and like most things seems logical on the surface but thats not what we actual see in our society.

See if you really care about your family and society you won’t be a burden to them. You will be self sufficient as soon as possible.
I’m not talking about people who have a mental or possible physical disability. I’m not talking About the 10% of the population that has an IQ under 80 these people need help. These people can’t pull themselves up by their boot traps.
Are you saying that I am one of these? I think the NAZI Party calls them “unproductive eaters.”  Well you are right. In 2009 I was evaluated by a physician and pronounced disabled. This came about as a result of selling mattresses, particularly Tempurpedic brand, which I sometimes had to shlep out to a customers vehicle.  They are very heavy, and flop around a lot. My back was not happy about this, and I developed degenerative disk disease as a result. I am permanently disabled. I take 22.5 MG of Norco (an opiate) daily for pain.  So since 2009 I’ve been collecting Social Security Disability, SNAP, and MediCal  (California’s version of Medicaid). Two years later Social Security granted me Medicare.
Unfortunately this isn’t the case for most. See the more independent I’m am and able to take care of myself the more margin I have to help others. Im able to absorb the problems of people in my family and in my community. I don’t have to depend on politicians to rule in my favor. I don’t have be controlled by my employer either. I don’t need to beg for a raise. I create value and if they don’t pay me what I’m worth I go somewhere else.
See what is selfish is when people don’t delay gratification. They don’t save and invest. They spend more then they make and get into debt. They have no margin to help themselves or others.
Wages in the United States have not kept up with the cost of living. If the minimum wage today (adjusted for inflation)  was equivalent to what it was when it was first instituted, we would be looking at around $25.00 per hour today.  Most people don’t make $15.00 / hour let alone $25.  So after they pay out the minimum in living expenses (rent, utilities, gas, insurance(s), groceries, medical/dental etc.), there is nothing left to save. There is no discretionary spending. They don’t invest or save because they cannot.
Let me ask: how much are you investing/saving?
You we’re unemployed last I knew.  Are you on unemployment? If not, how are you making a living?
Then they feel controlled by their jobs cause they can’t quit or move somewhere where they will be valued. They can’t afford to rock the boat. What would happen if I lost my job?
This is why they need to Unionize.
What would happen if I have a bad credit score?
My credit score has been in the toilet pretty much since I moved out here.  I filed bankruptcy back in 1995.  I never really recovered though. I have no credit cards, and frankly I have found that I do not need them. I  live quite nicely without all that, thank you very much. 
The whole credit system is a scam.  Unless you are planning on buying a house (and at my age that is very impractical anyway) there is not much need for “good credit.”  The only down side is that you might have to pay more for some things. But most of the time those are things you can probably live without.
When you truly become Self sufficient you realize that life is meaningless if it is only about you and your family.
Indeed. All humans, all sentient beings are in fact ONE. It is said that we are made in the image of G-d. Like G-d then, we are one. The experience of being in many separate, diverse bodies is an illusion.  We experience this only while on the earth plane. You are me.  You are Aisha, you are Jordan and Jesse. You are everyone whom you have ever know, know, or will know.  You are everyone that you do not know.
Because of this, individuality is an illusion.  All mankind is interdependent upon one another.  We are like one body, each part having a job to do for the good of the whole.  Just as your heart is dependent upon your brain, so too are you dependent upon others, and by extension, others depend upon you.
By extension we are also one with G-d, and therefore we are G-d.  He is one with us, and we are one with Him.  There is only one. There can be no other.
“The GOOD of the MANY outweighs the GOOD of the few, or the one.” — Spock
I life well lived is one that is not just consumed with your own needs. In fact when you are empathetic and see the needs of others it is the only way to be grateful for what you have. You are content and have joy. You give because you see those with less. You also able to empower instead of enable. You know the difference between a need and necessity. You are not over compassionate and enable bad behavior.
Putting your happiness in accumulation is fleeting. It is boring and temporary. Western culture is successful because it is built on the idea of the individual. Not because it perfect. It’s just better the alternatives.
Again,  you are quoting Buddhist thought, which I subscribe to.
This where you usually “sigh” but I know you dad. I know everything about your life and choices you have made. Capitalism, libertarianism, Christianity, climate change, republicans and who will be the next president is not your problem.
You are right. I do get caught up in the mundane at times. More perhaps than I care to admit.
You had the freedom to do what you wanted and things haven’t gone the way you planned and so you want a safety net.
I grok.  I  had planned to go to college. I had planned to become a journalist.  But then I latched onto Christianity.  I was convinced that Jesus was coming back in my lifetime.  Specifically, I was taught that Jesus would return within 40 years of Jerusalem’s liberation.  So, 40 years from June of 1967.  Why go to college?  Why make plans if it’s all going to end.  I took a job as a janitor and bided my time. 2007 has come and gone. No Jesus. Why is that?
I was mislead and misinformed. 
I get it but maybe if you would lived your life knowing there was no back up plan you would have been more careful. You had the freedom to lose but you were the most selfish if where being honest.
I forgive you and love unconditionally but that because of my relationship with God and what he is done for me.
I had other choices I didn’t take. I could have moved to Canada, where things are much much more like I would like them to be. You and your brothers might be living in Quebec now and speaking French.
Do you understand that the United States, in it’s position as the most prosperous country on the planet, is the ONLY English speaking country that has a huge and growing homeless population?  (That’s not to say there are no homeless in other countries, it’s just that it’s very minimal in comparison to the US).  As the most prosperous country on Earth, there is not excuse for this.  As a supposed Christian nation (so they say) there is REALLY no excuse for it.
As we “progress” we will be finding that more and more jobs will be replaced by automation (AI and robots).  Look at the growth of self-check out at grocery stores.  Where will the workers displace by this find work?  They won’t.  The unemployment rate will grow higher and higher.  
When I speak of Libertarianism being based upon selfishness, I am alluding to the fact that modern Libertarianism is influenced by Ayn Rand. Honestly, Christianity is totally incompatible with Libertarianism. You cannot follow Christ AND be a Libertarian. You should read some of Ayn Rand’s books before continuing on this.
Maybe you should also review Matthew 25: 31-46. Are you a sheep or a goat?

 

See I follow Jesus. You can’t follow Jesus and not love people. They are one In the same.
A follower of Krishna can (and does) say the same thing.
My faith filter comes before my political beliefs.
And my political beliefs are derived from my faith.
So If I get off target my moral compass Jesus puts me on track. Jesus compels me to be empathetic towards people equally.
“So If I get off target my moral compass, KRISHNA, puts me on track. KRISHNA compels me to be empathetic towards people equally.”
It also compels me to empower and not enable people.
What is the difference? I mean between empower and enable? Are they not one and the same?
We are building a kingdom in heaven.
NO!  The kingdom is already built. We aren’t doing anything. Adonai has already done this.  And guess what?  WE ARE THE KINGDOM.
Political parties comes and go. Countries and kingdoms come and go. Presidential candidates serve for a limited time and go. Why would I invest time on things that are so temporary? Wealthy and things come and go.
Very similar, if not identical, to Buddhist thinking on this.
People who allow every aspect of their lives to be controlled by other entities don’t have any margin to help others.
Well, and I hate to point this out, but Jesus is an “other entity.”   Or by entity you mean something else?
At some point you have to realize it doesn’t matter where you live.
Actually it does matter. Otherwise I would move back to Kankakee.  I hate the cold, and I hate the heat. Here, on the NorthWest coast of California, the temperature never gets hotter than about 70 degrees, or colder than about 45.  But, I do miss you, and the twins, and I miss seeing and interacting with my grand kids.
Me and the twins will be successful where ever we live. If we made it in Kankakee we can make anywhere. You could have lived in Canada and you would had the same results.
I believe that.
You did everything your way dad.
Honestly?  I did everything your mothers way for the most part. It was really only about 1985 or so that I really started thinking for myself.
You had more opportunities and advantages then everyone else. You couldn’t have been anymore selfish. I mean I don’t want be harsh but what have you done for anyone or anybody that didn’t benefit you some how?
When I was living with you I tithed.  Faithfully.  Not so much to the Church (because I came to not fully trust the elders) but to various and sundry  charities who were doing things I believed in. Helping the poor mostly.
Last time we talked it was the first time you sort of admitted you didn’t know everything. You need to keep going down that road.
This moral superiority is exhausting. You have always acted your a little to good to do things. Some work is just beneath you as I recall.
I was a janitor at St. Mary’s, then Riverside, for over twenty years.  So I acted like I was took good?  What occupation is below that of janitor?
These politicians are liars.
Especially Trump.  Do you know how to tell when a politician is lying? Their lips move.  Tell me something I didn’t already know.
They don’t have the solutions. Spend what time you have left on this earth reconciling with the people you have hurt. Take responsibility for the things you have done that have gotten you where you are today.
That would be about 33 years then.  I expect to live to at least 100.  As for the rest, I have been engaged in all of that for some time now.
Realize you have legacy in Christ regardless of what you believe that will last an eternity. Start enjoying life and stop chasing some utopia that doesn’t exist.
Seen by Joshua Arseneau at 6:09 PM
Aa

My Recent Surgery, Part Two: St. Joseph’s

This account was written for Facebook by my lovely wife, Ceridwen. Enjoy!:

New Story for El:

Tonight, about 20 min. ago, El had a seizure (about 10 seconds long), sitting in his chair at the kitchen table, waiting for his dinner, and then he starts shaking and convulsing! I hurried over to keep him from falling off the chair, and then his body just slumped, and then he “came to” again, and asked what was wrong. He said he kind of blacked out and doesn’t remember anything…

So our friend who was visiting called 911 while I tried to prepare El for yet another trip to the hospital, to which he replied, “I don’t want to go back to the hospital, I just got out!”

Oh, and he sounded fine afterwards – almost like nothing happened. He answered most of the questions the medics asked, except for the actual event, which I took over and answered for him…

I am trembling as I type this – just 2 days home, and the nurse from Mad River Hospital was gonna come over tomorrow morning to start his home care… 🙁

Anyway, they said, “Sorry you can’t ride along, because…” and they told me to call the hospital in a while and check in…

That’s all I know for now…stay tuned…

-El just called me this morning, saying that they are keeping him another day and night. The initial tests found an elevated white blood count, a minor infection they said, which seems normal after all he’s had done…but that doesn’t explain last night, so they will continue with more tests today. He sounds and feels fine, just frustrated…

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 1:

After being hospitalized for the mini-stroke he had last night, El has taken a turn for the worse:

Pneumonia in his right lung – need to drain water buildup
Sepsis (with elevated white blood cell count to fight it)
Brain shrinkage (did mini-stroke relate to recent TIA?)
Internal bleeding (red blood count of 6 – normal is 12) so they need to transfuse him
Extreme swelling in legs and feet
Low blood pressure
Low oxygen levels (probably causing the mini-stroke?)

I talked to him before and after I got this news of the test results…he sounds normal, and was trying to comfort ME!

They will try to stabilize him tonight in ICU, and try to do what they can for him tomorrow…

I put in a call to the surgeon in St. Helena – he was in the middle of a surgery and they said they would have him call me back. I plan to ask him why all this didn’t show up on his stats, as he probably wasn’t ready to be released…I mean, he couldn’t have developed all this in the 2 days he was home, right?

More later when I talk to the doc… 😰

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 2:

I’ve been on the phone a lot, with a lot of people, including El, a couple of the surgeon’s nurses in St. Helena, and a few nurses at St. Joe’s…and the surgeon is supposed to call me back regarding the updates and questions I gave him…

El called me this morning to check in…he sounded tired but coherent…

They have him on straight morphine now (in tablet form), telling me that they are not denying him anything, since he’s in a lot of pain and they need him to be calm…he’s not complaining, said he felt almost good!

They say he has chronic kidney disease, which they are monitoring closely…

Today they are giving him an endoscopy to look for internal bleeding in the upper g.i., because his stools (what little there were, as he hadn’t been eating much) were dark…

They also discussed doing an MRI of his brain, checking for atrophy or whatever – if the other tests warrant it…

He’s breathing “room air” now, oxygen level good at the moment…

They say he’ll be in ICU at least a couple more days for more tests and close monitoring..

To be continued…

 

***CONTINUED FROM DAY 2:

Just now able to write this report about yesterday afternoon…it’s been a rough night…

El called me yesterday morning to check in before they were to take him to the procedure – en endoscopy to look at the upper G.I. to try to find the source of the internal bleeding. He sounded tired but coherent…

I then went to sleep for a while and realized that my phone (a cheap android) is randomly sending calls to voicemail right away and not ringing on my end, but sometimes it does ring…anyway, I received a call from St. Joe’s (one of several attempts to reach me) and they said that I might want to come down asap to see him, that I had special permission from the floor supervisor because he had a serious episode and was in crisis mode…and we can all imagine what that could mean, right?

Well, I called a friend for a ride and got there around 5:30pm and he opened his eyes and saw me, and they widened and he responded to my talking by nodding or shaking his head…they had a breathing tube down his throat again…so I sat and held his hand while they told me what had transpired…

So here’s where it gets technical:

On the way to the procedure, they transfused him, as his red blood count was 5.8.

He did well during the procedure, they sent the scope down and located the source of the bleeding: It was a DUODENAL ULCER, which was HUGE, and actively bleeding – to the point where if they had not found and treated it when they did, he would have bled out and we would have lost him…

So they injected the ulcer with some meds to shrink the capillaries and then they put a big clip on the ulcer to stop the bleeding…apparently, all the bleeding internally was keeping the heart (and the brain) from getting the hemoglobin and oxygen they need – his BP was extremely low, and caused the heart to race to keep the blood flowing, and THAT was a side-effect of the meds that shrank the capillaries in the ulcer, as mentioned above…

Still, the doctor felt good about the procedure and started to remove the breathing tube when El was in recovery – and THAT is when the real trouble began…

Right after they removed the breathing tube, El lost consciousness, and then they lost his pulse – so they called a CODE BLUE and did CPR on him, off and on for 5-10 minutes of chest compressions (on his newly re-wired rib cage and fresh wounds and delicate heart!)…

They got him back, and spent a lot of time trying to find the delicate balance of raising his BP and not stressing his heart out again – since his heart hadn’t been getting enough oxygen, it would not tolerate any changes without getting stressed, so it was a delicate procedure to get that stabilized…

They are also checking his brain for any damage from not getting enough oxygen and blood as well…

Anyway, THAT is when they called me to come see him and the story I was told…

It was the scariest day of my life! Poor guy had been through so much, and I just sat and held his hand and talked to him and flooded him with love and Reiki as he dozed off and on last night – I didn’t leave there till after midnight…

I asked them last night if I’d be able to come back today and visit him, and they said that privilege was reserved only for those who are in danger of passing, otherwise, they are pretty militant about it…however, the nurse was very compassionate and said she’d try to put in a word to today’s supervisor to try to let me see him…

I will call and check in shortly, and then later on start a new report for Day 3…

He is still in ICU Bed 4, though I don’t think he can take any calls till they remove the tube, of course…I’ll report back when I can reach him/them…

 

Update on El’s rehospitalization, Day 3:

Just called the nurse and he said that El had a good night, is awake and alert, much more stabilized in his readings, keeping his blood pressure up almost without meds (just one right now), and writing notes on a notepad, as he still has the breathing tube in…

Today they will do a TEE to check his heart for any damage from yesterday’s episode and CPR…

They told me to call back around 4pm to see how that went, and if they can take the breathing tube out, then he can call me before then…

More later…

 

Update on El’s rehospitalization, Day 3: ***Evening update below:

Just called the nurse and he said that El had a good night, is awake and alert, much more stabilized in his readings, keeping his blood pressure up almost without meds (just one right now), and writing notes on a notepad, as he still has the breathing tube in…

Today they will do a TEE to check his heart for any damage from yesterday’s episode and CPR…

They told me to call back around 4pm to see how that went, and if they can take the breathing tube out, then he can call me before then…

More later…

***Evening update:

Today was much better, and they were able to take the breathing tube out so El can talk again! I talked to him twice today, and he sounds so much better!

They decided not to do the TEE today since his levels are holding steady and they don’t feel the need right now…so that’s a good thing and another procedure that he doesn’t have to go through…

They still have him on clear liquids, and he was complaining that he really wanted to eat…so maybe tomorrow for that…

He mentioned how much he loved having me there with him yesterday, holding his hand, and being with him…he asked if I could come again today, but they said no, he was in too good a shape to call me in again…so I guess that’s good news…

To the family: Rest easy for now – it seems he’s REALLY on the mend this time… ✨💜✨

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 4:

More progress was made yesterday, as they pumped 3 liters of fluid out of his lungs – 1.5 from each lung! So now he can breathe much easier, and when I talk to him, he sounds clearer and less wheezy…makes sleeping much more sound as well as it can be in a hospital…so the hope is that the fluid will not build up again and this will be the end of his pneumonia!

That’s how his whole day went – one procedure in the morning in one lung, and the next one in the afternoon for the other…

We have gotten into a habit of having him call me when he wakes up, and I call him in the evening before he gets tucked in and drugged out for the night…and if anything happens in between, there could be a third call, but 2 minimum per day…it’s a sweet habit and helps us have some semblance of regular, predictable contact, which is a lifeline for both of us right now!

The plan for the day of the Solstice (our first holiday apart in almost 21 years!) is to get him sitting up in a chair…

And then there’s Father’s Day coming up on Sunday, and I’m hoping that his wonderful sons will call him – which reminds me, there is a direct ext. to his room now so you won’t have to go through all the prompts:

707-445-8121, X-2254

So MY plan is to use these powerful Solstice and Solar Eclipse energies to channel some major healing energies to surround and permeate El’s body and all the auric layers around it!

Who will join me? ✨💜✨

 

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 5:

El sounds better every day. We had 3 great convos yesterday, and he is back to his snarky humour – a good sign of recovery!

The lungs are still clear, so breathing is still improving. He sat in a chair for the first time, not too long, at first, but baby steps…

He says that St. Joe’s is talking about coming to the house and putting in a shower bar and chair, and also installing a bar all the way down our central hallway…probably won’t happen till he gets home – but that will be interesting…

He was still in ICU as of last night, but they might move him to a room when one opens up, either today or tomorrow perhaps. Not sure how much work they’ll do on Father’s Day…

His number, again, is 707-445-8121, X-2254 (unless they have moved him, in which case the nurse will transfer you)…

Happy of Father’s Days to Joshua Arseneau, Jordan Arseneau, and Jesse J. Arseneau, El’s amazing and highly talented sons!

That’s all on this Solstice evening…and a big shoutout to all those who did special rites on El’s behalf last night! ✨💜✨

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 6:

El had a really good Father’s Day (considering where he is) because all three of his sons and his brother called him – that really made his day! Thanks, guys! 🙂

He is exercising more every day – now, besides sitting up in a chair, he is walking back and forth to the door of the room…

He also ate solid food for the first time – beef stew for lunch and turkey and mashed potatoes for dinner. He is very happy to be off that liquid diet…

During the night, they moved a new roommate into the room, and El says he’s a psyco…harrasses everyone around him, shouting stuff like, “You’re not doing it right”, or “Why are you looking at me like that?” His presence is disturbing to El, and he has requested a room change!

Heart patients are not supposed to be stressed, so I hope they accommodate him…

So, will El get moved to a quieter space?

Stay tuned…

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 7:

Well, in contrast to the wonderful day El had yesterday, today was a bit of a setback…

He still has a fungal infection that they have been treating with antifungals (white blood count still elevated), and when he tried to get up to walk, he got short of breath and had to sit/lie down again. They say he still has some fluid in his lungs that they are closely monitoring…

Remember when I mentioned that psycho patient that got moved into his room last night? It was around 9pm – just when El is supposed to be drifting off into a pain-free sleep from the Dilantin they give him at bedtime. His shouting, refusing to take his pills, harassing anyone who looked at him, kept El awake most of the night, and extremely stressed out…

When El told me about this on our morning call, I called the nurse back and asked that they honor his request to be moved to a different room (or move the other guy), and they told me they would see what they could do, if there was a bed available…

Then, when El called me tonight before bed, he said that they took the other guy out and now he has the room to himself for tonight – so maybe he can get some restful sleep and get his stamina back!

They were telling me that he will need lots of physical therapy to get his strength back, and I am checking into that now…

I guess I’ll have to accept that healing is not just a constant upward progress, but has some dips in it too, but I just want to make sure that his progress is not undermined by external factors that can/should be avoided…

May he rest easy tonight, and be much improved tomorrow… 💜

 

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 8:

Yesterday was better – they decided not to do another extraction from his lungs – so that is good. He was able to sit for long periods and walk a bit again, not too out of breath this time too…

He’s getting really fed up being there – especially when one of the nurses said that they would like it if he remained in the hospital and went to their physical therapy people for 5-6 hrs. a day!

He knows he needs PT, but we have our own plans to go to our own PT person at Vector – closer to where we live and someone we already have a relationship with…

Not to mention that staying long-term in the hospital while well enough to go to PT for so many hrs. is not something he can see himself doing…

There’s also some competition between home health care in Mad River and the one in St. Joe’s – they both want to be involved. So we talked and El wants to have the Mad River nurse give him the home health care, and then still allow St. Joe’s to come and install the bathtub bar and seat, and a bar down our long central hallway…

I hope we can work that out – Mercury Retrograde notwithstanding… 😉

The longer he stays there, and the better he feels, the lower his morale is – so please keep phone calls coming to cheer him up and make his long days go easier, ok?

707-445-8121, X-2232

Thanks again to everyone for the energies – you are all so loved and appreciated! ✨💜✨

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 9:

The main activity today was another fluid extraction from just the right lung this time (another 1.5 liters)…so since he was busy with that, he didn’t get a walk in, but he did sit for a long time today…

He’s getting increasingly frustrated about how long he has to be there, and this feeling did not get helped – in fact, got exacerbated – when one of the doctors said to him, “Oh no, you’re not going anywhere – we’re keeping you here till you are healed…we’re not making that mistake again…” This was delivered in a rather harsh tone…(Probably referring to his premature release from St. Helena’s hospital)…

He said, after talking to her, that he felt like a prisoner… 🙁

So what does “healed” mean to her?

I asked tonight’s nurse (while I was on the phone with El, he handed her the phone) what the status was on his fungal infection and white blood count…she said it was trending downward from 16.something yesterday to 14.something today, and she says normal would be anywhere between 4 and 11 (seems like a wide range to me)…so they are continuing on antibiotics and antifungals till he reaches those numbers…no telling how long that will take, but they think it might take another week? She wasn’t sure and said to ask the day nurse…

I would like to talk to more than one of his doctors and nurses and see if everyone’s story aligns…

He finally got some good sleep this afternoon, and turned in early tonight…

So I’ve got my homework cut out for me tomorrow…

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 10:

So one of his doctors finally decided to call in a bacterial infection expert to look at El yesterday – and his diagnosis is that El has a Thoracic yeast infection!

They told him that if everyone will sign off on this, then maybe El can get out of the hospital – on a program of antibiotics – and that should stop the fluid buildup once the infection is taken care of…

I will be calling in today to talk to the nurse and get an update as to what the next steps are…

I kind of need a probable release date before I can arrange for the home health nurse and PT…so we shall see what we shall see…

More later…

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 11:

Today was a busy phone day for me, between talking to El, a couple nurses, a cardiologist, Mad River home health, our PT person, and a couple of appts. for me personally, there was a lot going on… First off, the convo with the caridologist: She says El has Diastolic heart failure, plus the thoracic infection, so they have modifies his meds and are monitoring him closely… I will post a link to this after this update… Because of not being able to pee much without the catheter, they gave him a superpower diuretic and this brought out so much liquid that they had to put the catheter back on! Sheesh! They DID give a tentative prediction as to when he might be released (notice all the qualifiers I used there?), and they said 3 more days (as of today), which means Monday…? Needless to say, I’ll believe it when I see it, but it does give us a date to work with for those positive visualizations, eh? Today now equals the time he was in the hospital in St. Helena…11 days there, 2 days (almost) at home, and now 11 days and counting at St. Joe’s…I’ve only seen him a few days this month! Our kitten is SO confused…

 

https://www.health.harvard.edu/newsletter_article/diastolic-heart-failure?fbclid=IwAR361WrNGdruSSqppG4fgmB_OYjLX3d9k0OWXcUdA5guinLX2yzV0uG8Lc0

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 12:

It was a slow day at the hospital, and El says that they were short-staffed (because of striking?) and that they were unable to spare anyone to give him his walking exercises…

How is he supposed to get strong enough to leave if he can’t get exercise? This is highly disturbing to him, and me…If I was there, it would not be a problem, as I took him for walks back in 2012 when he had his first heart surgery… 🙁

Anyway, he sounds restless and bored, which means he’s feeling better and so let’s hope he can get more staff to help him get up and around and stronger…

 

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 13:

Much improvement yesterday – to the point where they are talking about releasing him today!!

I will talk to the floor nurse – who will need to sign off for him to be discharged – to verify that he will be ready to go…how exciting!

His levels are stabilizing, the catheter is out, they have found a balance of meds that seems to work, after some experimentation the last few days…

I’ve been giving the house a deep clean to make it ready, and can’t wait to bring him home!

Oh, and just a heads up: El’s new replacement phone has arrived in the mail, so he will be having a new phone number as soon as he gets it programmed…

I know that all the energies from everyone are making this possible – so thanks again to everyone! ✨💜✨

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 14:

Well, I thought it sounded too good to be true…

El called this morning to say that – even though one of the cardiologists told him last night in no uncertain terms that he could go home today, the one he saw this morning was adamant that he consult with 3 other doctors before discharging him!

We don’t know if that will happen today, as two of the other doctors are on holiday vacation out of state this week!

Needless to say, El is very depressed…as am I…

I have a call in to the nurse and I plan to get to the bottom of what is really going on…and when he can really leave…

Mercury Rx strikes again… 😔

More later…

 

 

***Evening Update*** Day 14:

After getting transferred all over when I tried to get info on El’s status, I finally talked one of the doctors and she went on about needing to up his electrolytes, for which they are giving him potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, etc., which must have been drained from his system from all the meds…she had no clue how long that would take…

Then later El called me to say that he spoke to the Infectious Disease doc, who says that the infection needs to be monitored closely…and get this: First the doc said it would take another 2 weeks (!)…then he downgraded that to 10 days…then he downgraded that to 7 days…all during their convo…

So a week from now is the holiday weekend, and they are already short-staffed from many leaving on vacation this week…

The challenge is to get the cardiologist, the I.D. doc, and the Pulmonary doc to all sign off on his release at a specific date and time…

Time for some major readings…

In the meantime, he really needs to keep his spirits up, so keep the phone calls coming, ok? 💜

 

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 15:

Every day, it seems, the timing of El’s upcoming discharge changes…

Monday night the Cardiologist was “sure” that he could come home on Tuesday…then the Infectious Disease doc (Tues. morning) said that he would be in for between one and two weeks…

Shortly after that, I get a call from the Discharge nurse wanting to set up the home health care and PT…and she was “sure” he’d be released in a day or so…

I called the nurse after that and she said that El and I were the only ones she heard from that he was being released! Oy…

No word since then…

It’s to the “crying wolf” stage now, where I don’t believe what I hear from any one of them until they reach a consensus…so as far as I know, he could get out any time within a week or so…

I’ve bought special groceries for him that I’ve had to freeze now…it’s really hard to prepare…

And to top it all off, our roommate moved out last night, and we have an Airbnb guest coming on Wed. afternoon to stay for a couple months – and I’ve been working hard to get the house in order for that change too…

 

Update on El’s Rehospitalization, Day 16:

El just called me, and he is coming home today!!!

They just need to give him one more IV bag, and then he’s good to go! Should take a couple hours, once they get it to him…

I knew there was a reason I didn’t go to bed today…lol

He will have a pic line in, and Home Health will come over tomorrow to show me how to give him IVs (just like I did in 2012 after that heart surgery)…

We are both SO excited!!!

What a roller coaster, eh?

More later when I get him home

 

**Evening Update Day 16***

There was a ton of stuff to unpack, and 6 more prescriptions to pick up…so we laid down for a wee nap when he first got home and settled…

Now he’s getting online again and programming his new replacement phone, so you should be hearing from him soon with his new number…

Thanks again to each and every one of you for all the love, prayers, Reiki, and good vibes you’ve been sending throughout this ordeal – you have all earned some karmic brownie points for sure! I love you all! ✨💜✨

 

El’s Health Update: Closure

On Wed., July 1, I brought El home from St. Joseph’s Hospital after an extended stay due to complications from his heart surgery at Adventist Health Hospital in St. Helena. He has spent all but a few days in June in those hospitals…

He has shown tremendous improvement in the 12 days that he has been home! Amazing what some TLC and good food and sleep will do for the healing process…

When he first got home, he was very weak and wobbly – could barely walk without getting winded and having to rest frequently while catching his breath…needing help getting up from a chair or bed or toilet seat…

We blame St. Joe’s for the extent of his weakness, as they were too short-staffed to exercise him – only giving him one walk every 2 – 3 days! How was he supposed to develop strength enough to be home without exercise?

We got the old walker out of the closet that we had gotten for him during his previous heart surgery, and we were so glad we didn’t sell it! He gets lots of walking practice through our long and narrow apt – a nice long hallway to walk down…

Initially, I had to bring him his toothbrush with a bowl of water to his desk since he couldn’t stand at the sink to brush his teeth…
His stomach had shrunken from not being able to eat the crappy food at St. Joe’s, but his appetite has been improving daily…I’ve been cooking some healthy, organic food and not letting him eat anything processed, as he is supposed to be avoiding salt – and most processed things have tons of salt in them…I’m even holding off on the Himalayan salt for the moment until we are sure he is stabilized…in fact, I’m even looking into learning some Ayurvedic cooking from a friend who just completed her certification – looking to make sure all the elemental energies are balanced…

Mad River Home Health has sent nurses over almost every day the first week…the first 3 days he still had the pic line In, and was receiving IVs of antibiotics/antifungals…then they removed the pic line and switched him to oral medicines…

Speaking of medicines, he had thought that he would be able to get off all those meds, but now he has a new batch to take…some of which are temporary – some are not…

He has his urinary function working properly again, which is quite a relief…still a bit of swelling in his feet, but the edema in the legs has almost gone – we’ve been elevating his feet a few times during the day, which helps…

When the nurse listens to his heart and lungs, the heart has a good, strong, regular sinus rhythm, and the lungs sound clear on top, but somewhat muffled on the bottom, due to some fluid buildup…they have him doing breathing exercises and such to loosen that stuff up and trying to expel it…

He is off the warfarin and digoxin, and is on another couple heart meds – but we are happy he is off the blood thinners (except for a baby aspirin they prescribed)…so now he can eat Vitamin K foods again!

He will begin physical therapy soon at Vector, where we know the PT (the same one who worked with me and got to know us over the years – even took my Reiki class) – and it is very close to our house…

Mad River sent an Occupational Therapist over last week, and we are looking into getting some equipment installed in the bathroom: a shower seat for the tub, some bars to hang onto, and – since there is a dip in the road before the one step into our house – we are looking into getting a ramp to cover that…lots of changes…

So now, 12 days home, he is getting up by himself, dressing and doing his bathroom routine, even going out to the kitchen before I wake up and starting his breakfast!

He’s working very hard to be independent and not “burden” me…and I am so proud of his progress and accomplishments! He has to be so strong to be able to go through all that and do as well as he is doing today!

I am so happy he is truly on the mend, and improving every day!

Thanks again, everyone, for the caring energies! ✨💜

 


My Recent Surgery, Part One: St. Helena

This account was written for Facebook by my lovely wife, Ceridwen. Enjoy!:

El’s Surgery, Day 1:

I had gotten home a while ago and was awaiting the call from the surgeon before posting this, and I just now got off the phone with him…

El got not only a new mitral valve, a triple bypass, and a “maze”, but also a new aortic valve because it was next to the calcified mitral valve and had received some damage. This additional procedure made the surgery last a couple hours longer than usual, hence my late posting of this…

He has a lot of pulmonary pressure, and a weakened kidney function – likely due to the congestive heart failure and the medicinal complications from before…so we’ll see if the improved heart function helps to strengthen other areas as well…he is being closely observed re: the kidney function, which tends to take a further hit during anesthesia…

The surgeon says there is a 1 in 20 chance of any major complications, and he feels optimistic that he took care of the problem and that El will continue to get stronger during recovery – going from having less than half the heart function to practically full function – AND no Afib and shortness of breath…

He will be sleeping most of the night with a breathing tube, so he says if I don’t hear anything for the rest of the night, that no news is good news…and that he (the surgeon) will call me tomorrow with an update…

When I have El’s room number and he is able to talk, I will pass it along…

Stay tuned, and please continue the energies, prayers, Reiki, etc..

Open-chest maze surgery
The open-chest maze procedure is the most invasive type of surgery for AFib. Your doctor makes an incision in your sternum — the bony area that connects the right and left sides of your ribs —to access your heart.

During surgery, your heart is temporarily stopped, and you’ll be put on a heart-lung machine to keep blood pumping through your body.

Your surgeon makes a series of small cuts on the left and right side of your atria that when healed will form scar tissue. Scar tissue is dead, not living, and isn’t able to conduct electricity to cause an irregular heartbeat. This returns your heart’s beat to its natural rhythm.

Open-chest maze surgery can take up to six hours to complete.

 

El’s Surgery, Day 2: Update added below***

Having heard nothing today, I called in the afternoon and they said he was doing well, sleeping, they took the breathing tube out, left the balloon pump in, he’s still in ICU for another night, then they think they can move him to a room tomorrow…

They told me to call back around 9pm our time, when there will be less chaos and I can actually speak to his nurse, and hopefully, him if he’s awake…

So there will be an evening update on THIS thread below after my attempt to call tonight…that is all I know for now…

Thanks again for all the energies – they seem to be working!
✨💜✨

***Actually spoke to El tonite! He sounded muffled, like he was having trouble enunciating, which is not surprising, having had a breathing tube stuck down his throat for over 24 hours…

Other than waiting for some pain meds to kick in, he sounded good, just sleepy from the meds and all…I told him to call me when he’s in his new room – or have the nurse call me and tell me what room he is in and how he’s doing…

Once I have that info, and can see when he can talk easier on the phone, I’ll pass that info along…

 

El’s Surgery, Day 3:

They decided to keep him another night in ICU, planning to move him to a room on Saturday morning. They left the balloon pump in all day as well…

I spoke to El tonight, and he sounded pretty drugged up, momentarily confused about what day it was and which hospital he was in…but mostly coherent and seeming to be stronger every day…

He hasn’t had access to his own phone yet, but I encouraged him to ask them for it when they move him so we can do some face time (we’ve been practicing here at home on zoom)…

The timing still looks like he’ll be released on Monday, so fingers crossed!

Will report earlier tomorrow about the room shift…

 

 

El’s Surgery, Day 4: Addendum added below***

Just spoke to El and his nurse…they took the balloon pump out, and are moving him out of ICU into a room around midday tomorrow, “downgrading” they call it, so that is good, however, there are a couple of concerns they are watching:

His renal function is touchy, so they are proactively giving him antibiotics. It was already weaker than normal when he went in, and the anesthesia further takes its toll on the kidneys, so they are watching it closely…

They also said his vitals are mostly good (no Afib!), but some of his numbers don’t line up (or “make sense”), so they need to monitor that too…

My personal concern the last couple times I talked with him (and especially tonight) was that he is still confused as to where he is…he keeps insisting that he was in Arcata, and NOT St. Helena, and I had him ask the nurse each time to tell him where he was, and then he acts like it’s a surprise…I even asked him “how” he got moved to Arcata, and he had to think a moment and then said that I drove him there…and I asked if he remembered seeing me since I dropped him off, and he couldn’t remember, so…

Also, he is still confused about what day it is too, which is pretty normal under the circumstances, and he was CONVINCED that he was being discharged tomorrow, instead of just being moved to a different room…so he was desperately trying to call me to arrange being picked up tomorrow! The nurse said it might be a few days, hard to say…

I’m thinking it’s all the pain meds he’s on – hopefully, that is all it is…

Stay tuned…

***Nurse just called to say that they are transferring him to a room tonight, in about an hour from now…no change otherwise…I’ll verify the number later so people can call him tomorrow…

 

 

 

El’s Surgery, Day 5:

Well, it looks like coming home tomorrow (Mon.) isn’t happening…they say he is too weak and the blood pressure is pretty low…they tried to get him to walk around today and he only made it from the window bed to the door before having to stop and sit down again…

He has an external pacemaker that they are leaving in for the time being, and the nurse will keep me posted on progress. He will likely see the surgeon tomorrow, so I have requested to be called after that…

Today was so strange – they lost his new cellphone! He had it with him in his bed in the ICU, and when he got to his new room, it was nowhere to be found. They have searched high and low in both rooms (unless it fell out en route) and they said that if housekeeping finds anything lying around, they take it right to the floor nurse and say which room they found it in…but no sign of the phone so far…and El is quite upset about it, as am I…

CONTACT HIM:

707-963-6502

Room # 541, Bed 2

He would love to hear from everyone while he is in this waiting pattern – it would lift his spirits immensely, I’m sure! 🙂

Stay tuned for another installment in the continuing saga of The Bionic Druid…

 

https://www.ausmed.com/cpd/articles/postoperative-delirium?fbclid=IwAR0_-9KG5x4FmfEcBZFmL48E5Xs6hvxe2fMnS7MarHyxwV1uPIH2EN9bqaI

 

El’s Surgery, Day 6: addendum

The link I just sent is what I suspect El has been experiencing…it explains the confusion and really seems to fit – thanks Maia for sending it to me!

Another day in ICU for observation – he is so weak that he hasn’t even been able to go for walks yet, and feeding himself is difficult, as his arms are weak and the nurse had to feed him his soup, as he couldn’t do it without spilling…

I didn’t get to speak with him again last night, but the nurse says it can be a few days before he is well enough to leave (it’s already been a week since the surgery), so the waiting pattern continues…

I have thought that maybe while he is gone and I am in this house by myself, that it would be an ideal time to mourn my mom’s passing, but all I can think about is El, and until he is safe at home where the real healing (and restful sleep) can begin, he is all I can focus on… 😔

 

El’s Surgery, Day 7:

El sounded so much better when I talked to him yesterday, and they moved him out of ICU again into another room:
He actually got his first good night’s sleep all week, which I am sure helped…

You can now reach him at 707-963-3611, Room 535, bed 1

They removed the pacemaker, but he still has the drainage tubes…

Now they are hinting about possibly being released on Thursday, but I will have to see when I call him today…

So give him a call and raise his spirits – he could use it!

Thanks again for all the energies, love and prayers!

 

El’s Surgery, Day 8: Early update:

Just talked to El, who just talked to the doctor, and now he says “for sure” he can leave on Friday!

So that is the visual I want to encourage everyone to hold:

Picturing El being wheeled out to the car, a smiling reunion, a restful drive home, speedy healing with his beloved wife pampering him…

I will call him again tonight and share any other news…

He’d love to hear from family and friends – he’s well enough to be extremely bored!

More later…

 

 

El’s Surgery, Day 9:

El just called me to say that now they are going to keep him till Saturday… 😔

Apparently his kidney function is not where they want it to be, and he’s been having trouble peeing, so they put another catheter on and gave him some flo-max to shrink his prostate and help him pee…

So yet another day…

But he is getting stronger and walking more in the meantime, so there’s that…

Sigh…

 

El’s Surgery, Day 10:

I spoke to El this morning and he said the doctor gave him the go-ahead to go home tomorrow! For sure! His stats look good, his heart sounds normal, kidney function improved, taking the catheter out today to see if he can pee on his own…

He sounds great, has been stronger and walking more, and he is beyond excited to come home!

So…all your prayers, energies, Reiki, and love has paid off, and we are both so grateful for all of you! 💜😻

 

 

El’s Surgery, Day 11:

This is my last installment of the surgery story, and El will probably be online after a good night’s rest…

Went to pick him up, and at about the halfway point (in the middle of nowhere with no phone reception) of the 5 hr. drive,we got a flat tire! Turns out that our car has everything but a jack…so a sweet woman (who was actually going in the opposite direction) does a u-turn and assists us in removing the dead tire (beyond repair – with an unexplained gash on the sidewall) while her daughter waited in the car, and she had a son in hospital…

So we limped to the next town on our spare tire and got charged a lot of money for a new tire…which caused a delay in our journey…so I finally got some reception so I could call El to say we were running late…

Finally got to the hospital and rescued El took him to get some food he requested, so ended up at home 12.5 hrs. after we left!

There were lots of home care procedures to go over, and he is still wearing a catheter bag, and I picked up multiple prescriptions for him…

He’s moving slowly and carefully, has back pain, but is in good spirits. The home care nurse will begin working with him on Tuesday, setting a schedule for the next couple months or so…

Thanks again everyone! Now the real healing can begin! 😻💜🤩


Heil Trump!

We now have a dictator.  Or at least, someone trying to be one.  Donald Trump is exhibiting every trait that a dictator could possibly exhibit.  But the thing that bugs me the most is the lies. The constant unceasing barrage of lies.  I don’t think the man is capable of telling the truth to save his life.

The Washington Post has reported that in his first 1,226 days, President Trump has made 19,127 false or misleading claims. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/06/01/president-trump-made-19127-false-or-misleading-claims-1226-days/

On June 1, as demonstrators gathered and marched in Washington and around the country to protest the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, President Trump, in a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden, called for states to use the National Guard to “dominate the streets” and promised that if they didn’t, “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” Federal forces then used tear gas and stun grenades on peaceful protesters to clear a path for him to walk from the White House to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op with a Bible as prop.

“The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) — noting in an opinion column three days later that the president’s “attempt to use chaos to shred democratic safeguards and consolidate authoritarian power is deadly serious” — put it this way: “This is our own Reichstag fire and, yes, Trump is playing the role of would-be Fuehrer, proclaiming a ‘God-given signal’ to seize more power.”
In one hundred days we will go to the polls, or stay at home and vote by mail (as I will).  I predict Joe Biden will be our next President and the Trump tyranny will be over.  Or, Trump will refuse to accept the election results and try to remain in power.
I guess we’ll just have to wait and see.

 


Looking ahead to Trump’s defeat

Bernie has dropped out of the race, but he has also thrown all of his support to Biden.  Face it, the very most important goal is to deny Trump another term.

So now the “Bernie or Bust Trolls” have come forward.  Suddenly allegations that Biden is a rapist and a pedophile are coming forth (where were these when Biden first threw his hat into the ring?).  “I could never vote for a rapist….”   — but you can leave a rapist in office for another four years?

If there was only a way to trace IP addresses in Facebook. Then you could see that many, or most, of these posts come from Russia.

Hopefully, American Progressives are smart enough to see someone trying to pull the wool over their eyes.  We’ll just have to cross our fingers.


Virus

Humboldt County is in full Coronavirus lock down mode.

Ceridwen and I are staying at home. Happily we have internet, cable TV and a Taliasen (our four month old kitten) to entertain us.

I find it interesting to compare the different practices that various stores are using to help contain the virus, which are varied and sometimes just crazy.

Northcoast Food Co-Op will only let 6 people in the store at any time. There is a line and as people leave the store, others may enter.  No bags (you know, the ones the Co-Op has encouraged people to use) are allowed.  Plastic tape on the floor provides 6 foot barriers at every check out stand.

Winco has the same deal so far as letting people in the store goes.  As of tonight they have also closed the self-check out.  You can bring your own bags.

Safeway has no restrictions, except that bulk foods are not available.

Costco has no restrictions, but the Food Court is closed to seating (take out only) and last I was in there, only Pizza and Hot Dogs were available.  Also, they have someone on duty to fill your beverage cup.

Target has no restrictions.

All of the stores have limited hours.

Our friend Jenna has come over for psychic services (and a meal) on several occasions, and we’re thinking about having a takeout dinner for our closest friends in the near future.

My worries are slight.  My license sticker expires May 1st.  I tried renewing it on the DMV’s website, but it told me I couldn’t, but wouldn’t say why.  Our local DMV office is closed, as is the AAA office.  So I don’t know what I will do.


Can Bernie win?

Yes he can.  In fact I believe he will.

For months on end polls showed that no matter who won the Democratic Party nomination, that person would win.  So, there is that.

But suddenly, with Bernie’s victory all but assured, he can’t win.  “SOCIALISM” will keep people away from him.  Sorry, but I don’t buy it and in fact I believe his embrace of Socialism is a plus.

He’s the guy.

Two of his opponents, Mr. Buttigieg and Mrs. Klobuchar, who early on both embraced the “Medicare for All” concept have both washed their hands of it and are now saying that Americans don’t want it.   I guess that will happen when the insurance companies and big pharma both write out BIG GIANT campaign contributions to your campaign.

An other thing I notice is that the Republican talking point, “How will you pay for it?,”  is now part of the rhetoric of many Democratic candidates.  The fact that practically the whole rest of the world pays for it just fine just goes right over their pointy little heads.  I have a proposal: slash the Pentagon’s budget.  We could afford to reduce defense spending by 1/16th and have plenty of money to do ALL of the things Sanders has proposed and still outspend the other 10 countries (in defense spending) by billions.