On Sunday, five days ago, I was visiting Kelly in the hospital with Erica, Jordan, April, Austen and Brett. We were totally breaking the 2-person limit in Kelly's ICU room (which has a window that lets in natural light, by the way!), when Brett asked her this question. I live under a rock these days when it comes to professional sports--baseball in particular. The only cards I know of come in sets of 52. I was confused, but Kelly sure wasn't. Despite being quite loopy from pain killers, she quickly responded, "Kicking butt and taking names."
This photo is from Sunday, Oct 13, when (in order of appearance) Jordan, April, Erica, Maggie, Brett & Austen (taking photo) visited Kelly in Room 10, when Kelly was full of witty one-liners (including the one about the Cards). Please note the lovely poster Austen bought for Kelly from the National Sheepdog Finals in Middletown, VA. Our friends threw a big Southern-style field party & pig roast over the weekend and Austen's car made an obligatory stop at the races down the road. http://www.nationalsheepdogfinals.org/ in case you're considering competing in 2014. DVDs are available from this 2013 race; study up!
While I still don't follow baseball, my ears have perked every time I hear talk of the Cardinals this past week (admittedly, it comes mostly from the only folks from St. Louis in the room, the Dillons and Brett). So when they beat the Dodgers tonight, sending them to the upcoming World Series, that
was a NYTimes alert I actually paid attention to. In the same way so many of you are sending cheer to Kelly via Instagram #goodvibesKelly
hashtags, love through the mail in the form of dark chocolate and pears,
laughs in her inbox from ridiculous animated gifs
... I couldn't help but think that the Cards got a little extra help tonight from a dedicated Warrior Woman Fan named Kelly, rooting for them from room 10, with the window, in the back left corner of Intensive Care Unit 3G.
Change is a constant in the hospital: Kelly's heart rate goes up, comes back down. Her blood pressure does the same. Surgeries are scheduled... sometimes they're delayed. We've all learned to be nimble and patient--Kelly, of course, more so than anyone else. So it's worth passing along the update that, yes, Kelly is back in the ICU as I've reported here. I believe we posted on Monday about her move into a shared room, but after a fever spike on Monday night, she's back where nurses are constantly monitoring her health. As much as we don't like for her to be in the ICU, we do
feel good the 24-hr supervision of our Warrior Woman!
Kelly's father, Todd, took this photo today. Kelly looks great, doesn't she?! A smile on her colorful face, socks for arm warmers (her vascular doc made sure to poke fun at her style), braided hair... nimbleness spurs creativity in this unit, and patience brings improvements.
Kelly's bright eyes and pearly whites reflect today's marvelous medical breakthrough:
pain management success.
The docs have given Kelly the gift of a nerve block in her left leg. You may notice the two gold & green rods connecting Kelly's femur to her lower leg... there's a lot going on in there with rods & incisions, and it's been excruciatingly painful for Kel when she's not (and even sometimes when she is) completely doped up on narcotics. She told me today over the phone that she feels "like a whole new person", with the nerve block, and Debbie happily reported that Kelly was giddy all day. Todd added, "It's as if she just got out of San Quentin." No pain for the first time in a week will hopefully enable her to sleep well and function normally during the day. MIRACULOUS! GREAT NEWS!!
In other medically-related updates, Kelly's surgery #4 went well yesterday. However, the docs were unable to start in on the bone repair they'd hoped for. They found a bit of lingering skin infection, which kept them from beginning orthopedic work. Nonetheless, cleaning up unviable tissue and making sure everything else looked good in there were small steps of progress. Surgery #5 is scheduled for Monday.
I took a quick visit to the hospital this evening after work. In the family waiting room, I found not only Todd and Debbie, but Connie too! Visiting the Dillons from Louisville, KY, Connie was a roommate of Todd's from way back when! Here's to hoping our Arkansas Ave Family of roommates (past & present!!) is still there for each other years from now.
Todd & Debbie (Kelly's parents) and Connie
I also had the pleasure of hand-delivering a package that our dear friend Lois sent to Kelly. Included was a HUGE bar of dark chocolate (enough to share!!) and these homemade healing cards. Yes, Lois. We're photo documenting it all and embarrassing you on the internet. It's for a worthy cause :)
I'll sign off with a note to reiterate how much it means to Kelly to be surrounded by the warmth of your love. Kelly's community both in DC and afar have reached out, even if they don't know her, with so much positivity and support. Kelly told her mom today that she couldn't imagine going this alone. "I'd be so depressed," she said. So please know, your presence, your notes, your kind words of encouragement and cheer, your posts on Instagram, your magazine collages, your hand-written notes, gifts of books and food... it makes a difference. You are the fuel for this Warrior Woman's fire right now, and she'll need you in the weeks to come.
Stay tuned for more from us here at the Arkansas Manor. Word on the street is that Erica has set up a page where we can organize dinner & other food offerings! Yahoo! And does anyone know how to embed animated GIFs in the Weebly template? I've tried pasting the copied url into an "embed code" frame, but it doesn't show the images. Humph, I have something funny I want to share! Solutions? K, thx.
I'm out like a fat kid in dodge ball, peace y'all!
Maggie & the clan of warriors on Arkansas Ave