5/14 - What goes around, comes around

Yesterday marked 6 months since Jamie got sick. During these/those six months, everything has sort of folded-in on itself. We keep seeing the same story lines repeat themselves or the same issues or characters keep reappearing. So, here's a quick sampling of our week, with the theme of "What goes around, comes around" -

1) MRSA - This is an example of something that went around, and now has come back around... I think we got rid of this twice, but, when you're in the hospital constantly, its almost to be expected. Jamie has two wounds on her knee caps that aren't closing as quickly as her other wounds. This is an issue, but not too major of one. It will n
eed to be monitored, especially as she gets fitted for her temporary prosthetics (should be standing for a few seconds on Friday!). Still, as her knee flexes and extends, the wound moves - and sort of looks like a winking eye - and, just like with Jamie's wounds on her butt back in Houston, these wounds just happen to be very inconveniently placed. Whereas the wounds on her butt were preventing her from doing as much physical therapy as we all would have liked, the wounds on her knees may end up slowing Jamie's first week or two on the prosthetics. Honestly, the prognosis on these wounds isn't that dire or negative, but I usually have low expectations when it comes to time tables, so this is just my outlook on the situation. No one has said that it would be too big of an issue, I'm just wondering about it...

2) Thomas Turner from Ghostland Observatory - For those who don't know about Ghostland Observatory (I'd like to send a Helllooo to Papa Gene, and a Hey Cowboy to Papa Zeke), they're a local (Austin) band comprised of two folks - Thomas Turner and Aaron Behrens. Their music is a mix of electronic/dance/funk/rock - or, as they describe it on their myspace page (click the link above if this is being read on the blog), their sound is like "A robot making love to a tree." And, as someone who has heard both, they're telling the truth. Jamie and her friends are huge fans and totally worship these guys. I've heard their music through Jamie, and I'm hooked too. They're really good - check out "Sad Sad City"; "Midnight Voyage"; or, my favorite "Piano Man".

Anyway, the day after Jamie got sick, she was supposed to attend her sixth Ghostland Observatory concert. As you know, she didn't get to leave the hospital, even though, in her heavily medicated mind, she thought she left. Well, as luck would have it (and as I'll explain in the book that's coming out about this whole situation), we were able to arrange for Thomas Turner (drums, synthesizer, backup vocals according to wikipedia) to come visit Jamie. [For this, I'm heavily indebted to Becky and Cater. Thank you both very much!]. Sorry about the over-reliance on parentheses... So, on Tuesday, Thomas Turner came to visit Jamie in the hospital. It was supposed to be a surprise, but I sort of blew it. Jamie and her friends loved meeting him. He was such a sincere and normal guy. He brought Jamie an LP that he signed with a really nice message to Jamie. Thomas Turner and the girls sat around chatting for a while, and mom, Uncle Zeke and Aunt Shirley took pictures and talked. The girls showed Thomas the scrapbook that they’d made for Jamie – its called “The Shit that Happened while Shit was Happening” – and, conveniently enough, it is riddled with Ghostland Observatory lyrics. Thomas stayed for a while, and really only had to leave because he had to pick up the kids (see? Normal.) Also, when we pointed out to him that Ghostland would be performing on Saturday, October 3, which is the night before Jamie’s 21st birthday, he offered to arrange something special for Jamie and maybe a couple of friends, but more on that later. As I write this, on Thursday morning, Jamie’s room is likely buzzing with anticipation as the other half of Ghostland Observatory – Aaron Behrens – is coming to visit today. I’ll post pictures of that as soon as I can, but I’ll be in DFW until the beginning of next week, so who knows when that will be. Honestly, meeting Ghostland Observatory is a huge milestone in Jamie’s recovery. This is arguably her favorite band, and Jamie’s a music lover, so that means a lot. She’s also a dancer, and that’s what you do to Ghostland’s music. (Prior to my drive from Houston to Austin with Jamie, I’d never seen anyone dance for more than two hours in a row [without paying by the song], and Jamie accomplished that, with gusto). What a treat! I wonder – When we look back on this week in the future, will this be the week that Jamie stood for the first time since November 13, or will it be the week she met Ghostland Observatory? That’s how cool this is.

3) Seton Doctors are Back – Remember Dr. Morrison from Seton in Austin? He was Jamie’s main doctor, in addition to Dr. Bummer, who oversaw her care while Jamie was in ICU – for those three or four weeks where she was the sickest person in the hospital. He was our rock, really. We relied on him to keep us steady and to tell us the truth, but in a way we could handle. His demeanor (and sweaters) make him sort of like a Medical Mr. Rogers…. A Dr. Rogers, if you will. (Oh man, I’m on a roll today). Anyway, he was in St. David’s and I stopped him from going in an elevator – “Dr. Morrison! Hey! Come here, you’re not going to believe this!” – and brought him to see Jamie. Bless Jamie’s heart, but she didn’t really remember him at all, but Dr. Morrison was flabbergasted. He was very impressed by Jamie’s overall condition, especially with how much of her extremities we were able to keep. If you recall, the plastic surgeon at Seton recommended cutting Jamie’s hands at the wrist and her legs… we were told that “we’ll have to see when we get in there, but it could be above the knee or below the knee, who knows?” So, it was really neat to see Dr. Morrison again, and, on top of that, Jamie’s doctor at St. David’s, Dr. Heinze (pronounced like the ketchup – Heinz – then add an E), is considering an Infectious Disease consult regarding her knee wounds. That doctor? Dr. Bissett, Jamie’s infectious disease doctor from Seton. Crazy, huh?

Before I go, I wanted to let you all know that the House Higher Education Committee was canceled and will hopefully be rescheduled ASAP, but the prognosis for getting SB 819 passed has become more bleak. I know we've asked a lot, but if you could call your Representative (Again!) and implore them to put it back on the calendar, it would mean a lot to all of us. Thank you very much and we hope to see you all soon.