18 June 2011 ~ 0 Comments

Many Miracles

After this long week, it was wonderful to go back to the hotel room WITH Colleen. I’ve been staying at a place called “The Inn at Virginia Mason”, a cool 1920’s hotel that is actually physically connected to the Virginia Mason Medical Center that primarily serves patient’s families. I would highly recommend it for anyone who has family here and needs a place to stay.

Interestingly, our room overlooks the ER ambulance bay that Colleen was brought in on. It really reminds me of the ER ambulance bay on the old show, ER, which was me and Colleen’s favorite show back in its day. I’m sure because Colleen’s case turned out so well, it’s kind of a nostalgic thing to see that bay each day from our room.

The other reason it reminds me of the show is because Virginia Mason Medical Center is a teaching hospital, which means a couple of interesting things. For one, we kept being introduced to “attendings”, “residents”, and “interns”. Personally, I could hardly keep straight who was what and what that meant. I just wanted to know who really knew what they were talking about and who was TRYING to talk like they knew what they were talking about! THAT reminded me of the show for sure.

The other thing that was a little funny in Colleen’s story is that these folks apparently don’t get many cases of pericarditis with the signature “friction rub” feature of the heartbeat. That meant that everyone and their brother wanted to come and hear this interesting “rub”. Who knows HOW many attendings, residents and interns came through her room! All I know is that there seemed to be a fairly unending stream of people who would pop their head in, ask “can I listen to your heart?”, Colleen would say “yes”, they’d listen, then say “thanks” and walk out.

I kept thinking this would be someone with another opinion, but NOPE, it was just another person wanting to hear the interesting heartbeat. We never felt it was overstepping of boundaries. They were always very sensitive. As a matter of fact, we both felt this hospital experience was excellent in care and professionalism throughout the stay. We took being here as one of the miracles God gave us this week. Colleen actually is walking away with what she feels is a wealth of experience for her own teaching of Certified Nurse Assistant’s from what she observed.

Another HUGE one of the many miracles that took place for us this week was that we purchased travel insurance with our cruise package. It cost a $50 for Colleen’s package. We bought it primarily because we weren’t sure at the time what would be happening for Jonathan, and thought it was possible we’d have to cancel or postpone.

Once Jonathan was placed in Utah, we actually considered cancelling just because of the cost of placing him and all of its expenses. But it turned out the travel insurance would only allow for 75% of future cruise credit when canceling for non-medical emergency reasons. The only reason we would cancel would be to recover the cash, not to postpone, so cruising we would go….or so we thought!

HOWEVER, we did NOT know when we purchased the travel insurance that it also covers onboard medical emergencies, and most of its resultant expenses, like the medivac air ambulance, hotel needs and the flights home! A HUGE blessing indeed!

Anyway, I digress. You’re probably wanting to know how Colleen is today. Well, the picture says it all! I think I’m more tired than she is! She did great today! We slept in, lazed around and rested a lot. It was our first rainy day in Seattle, but not overly so. She couldn’t help but re-pack our suitcases to prepare for tomorrow’s flight home, so she spent some time doing that. The day included a nice long nap together. Like I said, we rested a lot!

This evening, Dawn Truelove, a gal who was part of our youth group in the late 80’s and early 90’s, who lives close by, came and took us over to Pike Place Market, which was a lot of fun. We also met Dawn’s sister, Cheri Williams, there. It was a neat reunion for a few moments!

We saw the very first Starbucks store, among other things, and enjoyed dinner at a place called The Athenian. It was featured in the movie “Sleepless In Seattle”, in a scene where Rob Reiner and Tom Hanks are having lunch. It was great to catch up with Dawn and all that’s happening in her life. She and Colleen had a lot to talk about as Dawn has become a nurse as well. Cheri too!

We’re back at the hotel settling in for the night. We have a flight out of Seattle at 11:45 am that lands in San Francisco at 1:53 pm. Pete & Kathy Vigliotta, our long lost friends we left behind on the cruise, will pick us up in our van, as the cruise ship docks there and they disembark in the morning. We’ll drive home together, catching up on all of each other’s VERY diverse and unexpected experiences of the week.

In some ways, it seems like we’ve been away from home for a VERY long time. It feels like we never made it to Alaska (we barely did really) and have no idea how the future possibilities of completing this trip will pan out. We’re just glad that Colleen is OK and to have made it through another tremendous adventure. One friend said to me this week, “it seems like your life just gets larger and larger every time you turn around.” We laughed about it, and I agreed! Though I’m about ready for it to be smaller for a season!!

Next weekend, Colleen’s family comes into town for a family reunion. We are very much looking forward to it, especially after a week like this. Every health difficulty we endure makes the beauty of family a bit more treasured and appreciated.

That’s it for now! See you back at home!