” An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain…”

Aug 1, 2019 | 6 comments

Dick Hawes

It promised to be the best weekend of many-a month!  Friday our long-time friend Dick Hawes was to come from Bainbridge Island in time for our Friday Night gathering.  He planned to stay through Monday for the first good visit we’ve had in almost two years.

Saturday is the Oysterville Regatta, followed by the Regatta Dinner — usually a festive gathering with upwards of 80 people!  Regatta Day is the highlight of Oysterville’s summer and Dick and I had worked out how we would get Nyel down to the end of the lane in his wheelchair to see the races.  Also, unbeknownst to Nyel, Carol and Tucker were planning to open the dinner festivities with a cake and have everyone sing “Happy Birthday to Nyel” as a special surprise for him.

Noel Thomas

Sunday, August 4th is his 76th birthday!  The plan was that Noel Thomas would join us and Dick at the Bridgewater Bistro for a quiet birthday dinner — probably one of those affairs that begin with the “organ recital” (as in which ailments each is dealing with and how) and morphing into exaggerations and lies about the good old days.  Except with that threesome, the truth is often stranger than the alternative.

But last night the gods did it to Nyel again!  Severe pain prompted a call to the EMTs and a trip to the ER at Ocean Beach Hospital.  As of one or two this morning, he was back at St. Vincent’s for evaluation and possibly a third “wound clean-out” surgery.  I will join him tomorrow afternoon when, the gods willing, George Hill will have my car repaired and road-ready.

Waiting for Nyel

The good news is — no sooner had Nyel arrived at St. V’s than he was notified that the wound-care team, the infectious disease team, and the cardio team will all be weighing in to the orthopedics surgeons on any decisions about next steps.  A few minutes ago he called to say that if surgery is indicated, it won’t happen until tomorrow (to give his blood thinners a chance to dissipate from his system). Also, the infectious disease people have him scheduled for an MRI (as we speak) to determine if he might have chronic osteomyelitis — a bone infection that will not require surgery but could keep him in the hospital for a while on IV antibiotics.

We think it’s the latter scenario we are hoping for (especially the non-surgery aspect) but we are trying not to anticipate anything at all.  And we have very little information as yet.  As Robert Burns so succinctly put it:

The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men
          Gang aft agley,
An’ lea’e us nought but grief an’ pain,
          For promis’d joy



  1. Idolene Ellis

    Sydney, I don’t know you personally, but I do like reading your blog. We live just north of the Port and I heard the sirens go by last night. I usually say a prayer for whoever might be needing help and a special one in case it is heading to your house. I hope Nyel makes a speedy recovery without having surgery. An early Happy Birthday wish for Nyel.

  2. Sandy Stonebreaker

    Positive thought for Nyel’s healing. And, Sydney I can’t really imagine all you are juggling!
    I’ll call on Monday to see what I might be able to do to help.

  3. Shirley Brooks

    Prayers are being g lifted up for you and Nyel. May God’s precious healing be over both of you during this trying period. It has been a rough year and may you be home soon. Love you.??

  4. jean Nitzel

    OH, Sydney, I wish I could tell you how sorry I am for yet another big hiccup in Nyel’s recovery, I haven’t been there for Friday nites just because I have been so tired lately, after my surgery, which is doing very well. And i just didn’t want to impose on your wonderful hospitality. I know you totally enjoy your Friday nights, but I would be just a newbie and
    not familiar with all you do. Easier for me to just wait til another time! The main reason for this is just to let you know you are not forgotten in this house and my love and good thoughts are with you daily. Stay strong and try to save a bit of time for you! Love and Hugs!

  5. Nanci

    Thinking of you both with love.

  6. Ann and Tony

    Ah shoot! Just when things were looking up. We are sending our love and best wishes to Nyel AND you.


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