You are stuck with the second string again, because “funny Tom” is driving his family to Truckee as I write this. But by starting earlier, maybe we won’t be working this thing into sleep time.
So yesterday I mentioned that Jamie had found his driver, but lost his short game. Today he has had a near-perfect round. Every club in the bag has worked. When I got here with Elizabeth; Tom, Paula, their children plus Maisie and Walker were all jammed into the room with Jamie and Gail and Jamie was pre-crash in appearance, energy and enthusiasm. It was a great arrival scene. Jamie had just sat up on the bed in his back brace with the help of his physical therapist. His whole family and Tom's family were all present to see him upright. And while he still has many weeks of rehab ahead of him and certainly more challenging days around the corner, sitting upright was a major milestone in Jamie's mind and he was beaming as a result. In our pass-off, Gail made it clear that the whole day has been consistently good—over the top. Jamie believes that his pain management regimen may have finally been figured out. And, he tells me he now will get Valium in the evening, which will dramatically increase his sleep and prevent spasms in the morning.
Tom and family departed and within minutes, Alameda neighbors John and Lisa arrived with their children—on their way home from Sea Ranch—to say hi. So Gail’s departure was delayed a bit. And as I type this, Jamie's long-time friend Tighe just walked in, so Jamie has no lack of company, and if it is tiring him, one would never know it. I am not really exaggerating it when I say it is like the accident never happened—except of course that he is in a hospital and he is managing his own health care more or less like he was just named Surgeon General of the US. Those of you who really know him understand exactly what I am saying and while it amuses us, we are damn grateful that he is that sharp and that engaged.
Shortly after I arrived, he did go to Xray as I told you yesterday he would. His brace was on and he looked very comfortable. He needed to keep it on for his Xrays. After he got back, I helped the nurse take it off and the good news is that he just reaches up and grabs the trapeze with both hands and arms and pulls himself up nearly vertical and after we undid the straps from only one side, we just unfolded it and slid the back panel up past his shoulders. There is no doubt I could have done that myself and maybe soon be able to position it correctly to put it back on. Yesterday I forgot to tell you that he has nearly full use of his broken right arm. He can pull on it all he wants and he does and it doesn’t hurt at all. What he is not allowed to do is to push with that same arm. He has several different therapists, one of which is for his right hand. Three of those fingers don’t work great—especially the middle two, which results from some nerve damage at the elbow where he ground things down to the bone. But his prognosis is very good based on what he can do as opposed to what he cannot do. He cannot type worth a damn and he has trouble with one or two maneuvers on his Blackberry. What seems to trouble him the most, however, is that he cannot offer the “Single Finger Salute.” Nice to know where his priorities are! Another thing I forgot to tell you from yesterday is that Jamie shaved himself yesterday and did so with his right hand.
So where do we go from here? We still need some progress on his blood. And we still need to manage the pressure caused by the gas, which makes him truly uncomfortable considering that the gas somehow has to share the same area in the pelvis as his swollen tissue, internal bleeding and fractured bones. Needless to say, the gas was late to the party and the others just don't want to make any room. And most of all, it would be great if his body will mend the pelvis by itself rather than requiring more surgery. Those are the goals.
One minor clarification I discovered yesterday is his ribs, which have been a moving information target. I understood he had two broken ribs, then I learned it was three. Actually, he broke four—matching pairs on both sides.
I am not sure you will get an edition tomorrow because Reenie will be Jamie’s “family attendant.” And then Gail will be back Tuesday. I would be remiss if I did not follow Tom’s lead and thank each and every one of you for the enormous expressions of concern, love, thoughtfulness and humor. Every one of you has contributed to his rapid progress.
Tom “The Hammer” Sr.