November 2007


Quiet day with conflicting reports from the docs (which is totally normal by the way)…. so I will let you know when the reports are all the same. They are considering two different directions. The ICU doc and the neurology are in two different camps……..though while I am away from the hospital the tribes meet and things come together. So on Friday Todd could be going into surgery or he could be on the second day of a 5 more days induced coma……. I see them making moves toward the first. ONLY TIME WILL TELL. There are still a few more tests results that need to come in before they finalize their decision. Ruling out infections and all that jazz.

It will be nice to have Eric here, someone to keep me company in the silence. A new person that has no problem rattling on and on, it will be a couple days before he tires I am sure! We will have a lot to talk about…… Todd’s mother arrives on Monday as does Selby. Todd is going to have a room full of love and kick ass woman & one lovely guy. Three girls and a guy! Guess which one is going to be talking about diapers, poop, or the lack there of! Wink.

The apartment thing is moving forward nicely, should be resolved by fri or sat.

Take care.
T&A

p.s Update: Eric has landed at Heathrow and should be here in the Netherlands soon. He is anxious to see Todd will still don’t know what the day will bring. I await a phone call from the doctors.

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Without a doubt this is a difficult time. The move back into ICU….. away from our nice window. The difficulties experienced here are not out of fear, but for the absence of Todd that I must endure. At this moment I have no wink, no inkling of a smile, no squeeze of his hand or gentle kiss to carry me on…….this is the frustration that your are witnessing.

Last night I spoke with a friend and it seems there may be some clarification required. If one person has a question then it could be more of you are thinking along the same lines. Todd’s move back to the ICU is due to procedural requirements, not that we are backsliding to where we were two months ago, by any means. This is a procedure – it is not so much an emergency, but an aggressive manner in which to handle the seizures.

“They are essentially shutting of the brain and then slowly turning it back on again.” According to Todd’s neurosurgeon.

Think of this as a restart when your computer is slogging through its applications. Generally, the restart will produce the desired results, and if not you systematically move through the computer until you get there.

Todd is stable and very very asleep. This procedure should take 3-5 days….. so prepare for some simple few days of not so much to say. The medications involved can only be administered in the ICU, also the temporary intubation (to avoid any complications or unnecessary labor for Todd’s tired body). The seizures should they continue would be difficult, but this is within the range of what can be expected with such a severe injury…..and will in time be managed.

On the Good News front….I spoke with Beth from the insurance company today. She has assured me that I will accompany Todd on the ambulance flight home. …. A HUGE concern here that has now been lifted from my shoulders. Can you tell I feel lighter now? Next resolve the apartment (which is well on its way) and I will find some peace.

We are just on this curvy road but we haven’t turned back! Soon we will move through this as we have with each hurdle, and return to my leaning over his bed to catch every whisper he struggles to deliver!

Love.
From
Alex + Todd.

p.s. I am not sure what is going on down there for Blue and Green Ball……but I have seen the word “hay bales” in print. I am going to guess that the setting up of this GRAND EVENT will be just as much an event in and of itself. (SO please take pictures of people up on ladders, outfit changes, and all the elves at work!!!) With this event you will see all the love that can not be directly administered to Todd, is poured in to the mix make it all that it can possible be. I am amazed and wish we could be there in person….CAUSE people that is a WHOLE LOT OF LOVE AND CARING.xxx

p.s.s. KooKs – Todd had always said this year we would finally join the Big Basin caravan. So know that we would have if we could have. xxx

Todd is now in the far reaches of the ICU ward, for a second I couldn’t remember what floor it was on. Then of course I just stopped off at the right floor….. and entered the ward that we had spent so much time in. The EEG was to be taken after I left, so I have no idea how long Todd will remain in this induced sleep, or how successful it is at this time. He looked calm. So I wait. ….in a new part of the ward without all our foxy and darling nurses that I thought we might be reunited with.

I am reminded that I have some very good reliable resources that share with me his amazing potential for recovery. (These are medical professionals) This is what I will hold on to and remind him everyday…… because I am sure that by now he is getting a bit worn from this constant cycle of demands on his sweet body….. so we both need a reminder! We are getting tired

Toetsie is correct the packages should always go to the same ward, if we are not there those nurses will know where we are. We will soon return to our window and Suriname family across the way, with all their sweet smiles and concern. It will always find us there, because for now there is where we are….. or hope to be.

Yes everyone, please come out this Saturday in all your glorious blue and green, decadent, funky, elegant, whatever! finery and show Todd and Alex how we miss them! We’re still taking art, crafts, collectibles, and your services for our auction and bazaar as well as volunteers if you feel like participating!

Aside from the fabulous items for sale, SRL is also making available a Sneaky Soldier – you can have your very own -infamous battlescars and all!

There will also be hot dogs steamed by the Neverwas Steam Car, fiery art bars from Jon Sarriugarte, food from Foodhacker Marc, swarming, flocking robots from SWARM, sculpture from the Flaming Lotus Girls, performances from Extra Action Marching Band, belly dancing by Gibson Pearl, Kristen, and Kyrsten Mate, Janice Solimeno and her troupe, Joan Jeanrenaud and DJ Vordo, a special appearance from the mysterious Unicorn made by Amy Jenkins, Wendi Prentiss, and Liisa Pine which is also up for auction, and much more all MC’d by John Rogers and Greg Jones!

And there will also be a quiet, healing space for those who want to reflect on what Todd and Alex are going through. There, one can make personalized cards to be sent over after the event. We’ll have roaming video and photographers recording image and video messages for Todd and Alex and their supporters in Amsterdam so look out for these people at the event.

The ball should kick ass since the lovely Liisa Pine and Amy Critchett and their numerous elves are working away at making this be an unforgettable night!

Somarts

934 Brannan St (@ 8th)

San Francisco, CA

8pm – 1am

Hope to see many of you there!

The struggles are plentiful at the moment. Information inconsistent. It is like rock climbing blindfolded, as you try to determine where to hold on and where to place your feet. At his beside I fight back tears as the frustration mounts, and quiet the screams inside.

Finally though the doctors spoke to me….. it is their silence or absence that I find pure torture. Information is not frightening – it is the lack thereof that is so difficult. Todd’s condition remains complicated and the seizures come often. They have moved him into ICU and he is now heavily sedated as he has not been since our struggles in ICU. It will be intense to return there, to be in a part of the building I thought was behind us. This is a more agressive approach necessary to move Todd out of this phase. The medications are terminated that could be a factor, the approach now is (like I said) more aggressive and if we are lucky by the end of this week Todd will be back in his room, and the apartment situation resolved. He won’t be wearing his bitchin’ Puma’s anymore… he now has a more permanent cast like solution to the foot drop. Soon, I am sure, he will have me bringing him chopsticks to get the itch way down deep. ( I had a cast as a young child, it was worth it though! I was the one who jumped from the highest level of the staircase! Winner! or something like that.) I so remember that itch that you can not magange to get to. This appears to be less permanent, I will talk to that doc on Thurs, at which point you will have an informed perspective on this one.

I am working hard to stay here or very near to the Jordaan. The place that when I go for lunch they ask how Todd is doing. It is a lovely combination of familiar, quiet, (not counting the bloody construction site) and good food, not to mention beautiful and near the metro. I did receive a good support phone call this morning, and I am confident we can work this out. To start anew in a neighborhood seems like a tall order…. But then it could give Davey a new project. (As if helping me move is not enough). To have peace this must be resolved, so I don’t worry about Todd and where I get to sleep and eat. Rest assured I am not alone, and those involved understand clearly the urgency, and are doing all they can to help. Except of course Simon, he is a bit ineffectual…… but we are giving him the opportunity to prove himself.

Love.
T+A

DON’T MISS THIS!
p.s.!!!!
I would like to thank those busy folks who have been working hard to prepare for the BLUE AND GREEN BALL this SAT. I encourage you all to attend! This is a shining example of what a community can do to hold up one of their own! Just by showing up, you can lend your support for Todd and his lengthy recovery….. and get some of your Christmas Shopping done while you are at it at the BAzaaR. Check out the art that is to be auctioned off! Nice one guys!

By all means take pictures, and then each and every one of you can send me an email telling us tales of the evening. Who you met and that person you haven’t seen in a Coon’s age. I always thought Todd and I would be home by this event. In October, December seemed so very far away….. and now it is not.

Did you see those limited edition Frisbees?!! Man oh man.

It was just a few years back, we were doing this for another dear human BEing Tim North and His family Susee and Trista.(It was also at SOMARTS) I still laugh when I remember Todd and I going head to head with Eric & Jill during the auction for the cocktail cart! The back and forth glances, the enthusiasm!! Then how stoked Nathaniel was when he won his bid…… only to discover later he had bought something completely different than he thought! Duoh! So watch out guys and keep your eyes on the ball! The BLUE and GREEN ball that is!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Well, the doctors move forward and the current status of Todd’s condition remains the same. We are still in medium care his consciousness minimal at best. There are a couple of medications that have a known side effect of seizures in a small number of patients, so they are currently weaning Todd off these drugs. They systematically work through his condition, much like Todd solves a computer problem. They never waiver or give up, the move from the relatively simple to the increasingly complex….. and we do the same.

I received lovely news today! Eric Paulos is coming around the end of this week. I thought Todd and I would be alone for a couple of weeks, but looks like those couple of weeks have filled up now. Eric, Selby, and Zander will all be here by Todd’s side at different times. Each of one these fine folks have seen Todd at an entirely different period in his recovery, a very good perspective so very different then mine, for it includes a space of time. For those of you who don’t know, Eric was with Todd in the ambulance and at his side during those first few very critical days….. ( one should mention, there were others VERY present as well, Todd was never and has never been alone). Friends and family together are what sustain us here, while we wait to return to our home. Do not underestimate your power.

I can’t believe this month is coming to a close. We will hopefully finalize an apartment by the end of this week! The holidays are upon us and I without a doubt would like to avoid a whole new neighborhood. Yikes. It is difficult to plan for such an uncertain future….. for we have no idea really how long we are to remain here in Amsterdam. What we do know is things take time………. a lot of time and patience.

We love you.
Alex + Todd

p.s. I was telling Julie that as connected as Todd and I are at the moment and always have been we are in two very very opposite positions. Todd can’t wait to get up, while I on the other hand can’t wait to lay down.

Dear all,
So today is my last day in Amsterdam, and i am going back home to Berlin tomorrow. Today, according to me, Todd was looking the most like himself since the accident. He was more awake than yesterday (however not quite), and his expression and his mimics were those that were familiar. It is very very very hard to go back, to leave Todd and Alex here in Amsterdam, however it is not as difficult as when I was here in October and Todd was still in the ICU. The reason for that is because although there have been some setbacks in the last couple of weeks, Todd is much much better than the first condition in which I have seen him in the beginning of October, and now, at the end of November, there is lots and lots of light at the end of the tunnel. This light was not clear then – back in the beginning October – and everyday – back in the ICU – we had had to hear from the doctors that could have been the best of the recovery that might be possible. Well, that has not been the case at all, since everyday has brought along many big improvements daily, even hourly. So I would like to remind us all of how much we have come forward since the accident, and how easy it is to forget that, since it is in our very human nature to adapt to the better conditions much much easier and quicker, compared to those which are harder and more painful. I was thinking this today of myself; the day I arrived Todd was so happy to see me, he smiled and held my arm and it was such a luxury. Unfortunately the rest of the days that I have been here, he was unconscious and we have not been able to communicate at all. So I was saying, it is like being a child that got the taste of the candy on that first day, and wanted more, but just could not get it and is whining about it, however there will be so much more of it in the future. So I guess that is us – human beings -, and we do always tend to want more… And we will be getting it, but what is needed is just a little patience…

Yuksel.
PS: I do not even begin to write about Alex, since whatever I try to write, the words would be looking dumb and shallow…

Yuksel’s words are a good reminder for me…. and I will say little more today. (Since, for the next bit of time you will mostly hear from only me.) At the moment, I feel like I am working here with my hands tied behind my back….. just impossible to do anything and yet we manage to come up with ways to fill up Todd’s day with some small pleasures. The seizures continued today but we have an increase in consciousness. The medications are being changed and slowly they will find the combination that allows Todd to move through this without heavy sedation. From the doctor’s explanation there is a fine line between too much and too little…. so more trial and error. What we do know is that Todd is in wonderful and extremely committed hands.

Love.
Todd + Alex, & Yuksel

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