A Day of Surprises

Apr 30, 2019 | 5 comments

Gone (nut not quite forgotten!)

This day (Tuesday) is not even half over and, already, there have been several surprises here in Nye’s ICU room at St. Vincent’s Hospital.

The first surprise was mine.  When I arrived at about 7:45, Nyel was semi-sitting in bed, his endotracheal (read “breathing”) tube – that’s the flexible plastic tube that had been placed through his mouth into his trachea – had been removed, and he was off most of the sedatives and was fairly alert.  “Fairly” might be the operable word here.  He had no concept, of course, that the surgery had taken place on Sunday or that two days had gone by. Nor had he yet learned the results of said surgery.

Nyel Getting Ready for Bed

Surprises two, three, and four were visitors!!  A short time after my arrival, in came Casey with cookies and concern and offers of “anything I can do.”  So, after he had done his usual Casey stuff (“I thought I could get away with telling them I was the proctologist on duty…”) and visited for a while, I had him take some extraneous items out to the car for me.  He makes a great Sherpa!

Surprises three and four were Tucker and Carol – returning home after a visit to Carol’s dentist here in town. They gave us a first-hand report on the House Concert and left us eager to see the video footage that Wes streamed live through his FB page.  As soon as Nyel is a bit more lucid, we are planning to enjoy it together – both sets!

Soon after all the visiting was done, I took a break to get something to eat.  Imagine my surprise when, on my way back to the ICU, I came across Nyel in a wheelchair being pushed by his nurse.  They had been outside in the sunshine for a few minutes!  Fabulous!  He may be able to go out again later – depends on whether or not his nurse has time!

And into bed he goes!

I was, of course, curious about how they transferred him from bed to wheelchair with that missing left hip. “Slick as a whistle,” Nyel reported.  Apparently, they had put him in a sort of sling-and-hoist arrangement.  Soon, I was able to see them use the same device to get him back into bed and even got a few pictures!!  Nyel and I had a few fantasy moments considering the best placement of such a device in our house but Nyel thinks the house is too old to consider such an adaptation (although I’m thinking that I’m the one who’s too old!)  One way or another, we are hoping that due diligence and physical therapy will result in making mechanical hoists unnecessary!

I’m pretty sure the surprises for today are not over yet.  But I’m thinking that I’d better post this blog to let Nyel’s concerned followers know how things are going.  We both send our heartfelt thanks to the many people who have sent messages of love and support.  They are the greatest “lift” of all!


  1. Sandy Stonebreaker

    So nice to read this somewhat positive report. Know it is a very long journey for both of
    you. Nyel seems to be such an optimist and willing to “do the work” to progress in spite of all odds. And, you Sydney, also need to take lots of credit for being steadfast in your support and efforts. IF you think of things I can help with PLEASE let me know. I can feed chickens and gather eggs after one lesson from Tucker or you. Know in these situations the two of you sometimes don’t yet know what you need. Sending VERY positive thoughts your way.

  2. Bonnie Gilmore

    Oh, Sydney. I follow you every day and hope each day to see posts about the antics of the chickens, gatherings at the house and whatnot. Today I will post and say that I am beyond sorry (and frustrated for you and Nyel) for this next hiccup in his recovery. I recognized and loved the picture a day or two of you both on San Juan Island. It is a magical place. Chuck and I send all best healing wishes. And I send lots of hugs and love.

  3. Caroline Miller

    Appreciate that you are sharing with us. Such a stressful time. Hugs.

  4. Claudette Maxim

    Looks like progress. Nyle will make it with your help & ?? love

  5. Anne Kepner

    Sydney and Nyel,
    We want you to know we are thinking of you both. You are close to us and we didn’t try to visit you because we thought “no visitors”. We are in Utah now and will check in with you next week when we return to PDX next week. It is good to see Nyel up and progressing. Our best wishes and prayers for you.


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *