Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Emergency Broadcast System...

A friend, "Dan", recently had complicated open heart surgery and he and his wife, "Dana", asked me, "RF", to send out periodic e mail updates to his group of friends and family so that Dan and Dana could concentrate on the medical issues knowing that they would be out of pocket until things settled down.

Below are the four updates I sent out. I am not sure why I think they might be of general interest - something about the way we talk about things that are outside the normal boundries so as to normalize the experience?

May 3, 10:23 PM

Hello everyone,

Dan is in the recovery room and the surgeon reports that everything went extremely well. The surgery lasted about five hours. Dan is doing great and In about ten minutes from now Dana expects to be able to see him in the recovery room. Later Dan will be transferred to ICU where, routinely, he will likely be all day tomorrow.

Dana sounded very, very relieved.

Great news...

I will send out another update as soon as I hear more tomorrow.

-- R.F.

May 5, 10:06 PM

Hi again,
Here's a first hand report of a Dan visit from a friend. I have redacted the identity of the visitor since only immediate family is permitted in ICU and certain classified field maneuvers were taken to get past security. The visit was accomplished with a small network spanning numerous agencies, but only a handful of officials - were involved in, or aware of, the mission.

"i was able to slip in and see dan today ... went with intention of talking to a heavily sedated patient... entered the room and said " dan we are here listen up." with that he opened his eyes wide and smiled. it was so awesome ... he is doing great... asked him some basic questions which he totally responded to appropriately. the nurse was in the room quickly to hang another bag of sedatives, it was just a nice surprise to talk to him for a few minutes.. i thought u would like to know that .. . hopefully they can wean him off the respirator tomorrow..."

No photographs or videos will be released.

I think that may be the last update until we get word that Dan is out of ICU. Will let you know as soon as I know.



May 6, 5:23 PM

Dear all,

I managed to see Dan in the ICU this morning. He asked me to tell everyone that he is doing well and to let you know that they took him off the respirator early this morning. Shortly after I arrived the staff Rabbi came by for his daily visit. Dan and the Rabbi exchanged a few pleasantries about nachus and kvelling and mishbrucha and then Dan asked if he knew any Rabbi jokes. He did not but he did tell us a good lawyer joke.

When asked if he was hungry Dan said he was "starving" (which according to everyone is a good sign). They are going to try to start him on solid food today. His room looks like a space capsule; wires, machines, beeping, tubes - you can picture it but for all the fancy technology the TV leaves something to be desired - it only gets 2 channels - one of which is the weather channel and the other seems to be a continuous loop of last year's Kentucky Derby and Al Roker seems to be on both channels all the time - talk about stress.

So the report for today is that Dan is now off the respirator, has a soft spot for Rabbi's and is an expert on last year's Kentucky Derby.

We will let you know when they move him out of the ICU.


May 10, 12:52 PM

Hi all,

Dan is doing great. He is in a private room on the cardiology unit, started physical therapy yesterday and can just about get out of bed on his own and walk unassisted. He is not quite ready to play tennis but he will be soon. I can also tell you that with the endless parade of doctors, PA's, nurses, EKG techs, physical therapists, etc. he is in schmooze heaven and keeping everyone highly amused. His room has now been named Comedy Central.

No word on discharge yet but given his progress that cannot be too far off (Friday/Saturday? (just a guess). Dan says he expects to be able to send out his own e mail at some point soon so this is likely the last news update I will have as I hand the communication baton back to the man with the big (and now new and improved) heart.

-- RF.

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