Wednesday, February 13, 2013


While the surgical team was closing Gabriel's chest we attended services at the Memorial Church on the Stanford Campus. We arrived about 15 minutes late to hear the Dean of the Theology Dept. delivering a sermon focused on recycling, selecting energy efficient light bulbs, bicycling and walking as preferred modes of transportation, and details of the positive aspects of alternative energy solutions. It was also a scholarly sermon as he "footnoted" his commentary by giving credit to his sources throughout his talk. Arriving late we had missed the abstract so were wondering how he was going to tie all this together. He closed by stating that people of faith should be the first ones to honor, protect and defend creation. Seems like a no brainer but I found it quite profound. To honor the Creator the faithful should be those who defile his handiwork the least (Earle's interpretation of the Dean's summary).

 The Church itself is an amazing display of craftsmanship; stone carving, mosaics, stained glass, woodworking and of course architecture all guided by Mrs Stanford.
At the end of the service the Dean stated they had a "talk back" group which met in the round room and discussed the topics of the day's sermon. Beth had to return to the cottage for motherly duties for about an hour, so we wouldn't get to see Gabriel all closed up for at least that long. I asked if she would mind if I attended the session, she acquiesced and off I trotted. The kids spent Fri to Mon with us so Beth took them in tow and returned to the cottage. An hour later after unsuccessfully attempting to call Beth I walked to the hospital and received a call from her shortly after. She was circling the campus unable to find me at the agreed meeting site, the kids had battled since we separated several hours earlier, her phone had died and she had just found the charger and she had gotten lost both on her way to the cottage and to the hospital. I had decided poorly. The kids improved over the course of the day, Beth was soothed by Gabriel's closed chest, I worked at not being a dumbass, posted the last blog and we had a family date night watching The Pacifier. Whether or not you like the guy, "Vin Diesel" is one of the coolest screen names of the era. The next day Grandma and Grandpa drove up to pick-up the kids and I made it to the hospital while the Doctors were conducting rounds and formulating the plans for Gabriel. Extubation on Tuesday! The head of the staff for the CVICU made rounds to each patient and asked either a resident or nurse practioner what the status and plan was for the patient.
 Gabriel's breathing tube is removed but he is back on the CPAP. They also removed one of the chest tubes (drainage of his chest cavity) and the rectal thermometer. The small orange line is a feeding tube which enters through his nose and runs down his esophagus to his stomach. He receives a constant drip of breast milk via this tube.
 Today though just high flow, humidified O2 at 8 lpm via nasal cannula. The nurse began to describe what "humidified" was, I told her we understood but it placed the patient/staff relationship in context. Who does not know what humidity is?
 Gabriel and Dad already have a lot in common, both are experienced Draeger operators.  The ventilator used by Gabriel is made by the Draeger Corporation which also created the LAR V oxygen rebreather I dove in the Marine Corps. Mine was a pretty cool system that allowed the diver to rebreathe their own oxygen and therefore not emit any bubbles which would alert persons on the surface of the divers whereabouts. Gabriel's Draeger has taken him through CPAP, intubated breathing tube, back to CPAP and now to a cannula.
Beth's first trip to Trader Joe's! She's been before but this was her first trip on this trip. She has been a bit busy so I've been tackling most of the shopping and cooking.

 Beth's first time selecting Trader Joe's Bran Flakes.
 Beth's first time saying "Stop being a dumbass!" (while in a Trader Joe's on this trip).
 Beth's first time departing a Trader Joe's (on this trip & I think her 17th time saying "Stop being a dumbass.")  Actually she doesn't say "dumbass" she just says "Oh Earle" but it's much more fun saying she says dumbass.

The end result of Trader Joes and our Fat Tuesday throw down! I made crostinis with thin sliced ribeye on top of wilted spinach sprinkled with gorgonzola. I could not resist the 1967 vino (bottled in 2009). Beth is allowed a glass a day, to which she adheres strictly. Earle kindly removes any other temptation.


Norma from Idaho said...

1967--good things were made in that year, weren't they? Your crostinis looked delectable and your wife is beautiful.

It's an interesting experience to attend the Memorial Church. If you missed the music, you missed the best part. Of course the mosaic is always worth a look.

Sorry the phone died. That's where there are two charges. I should have sent a car charger. Sorry.

Glad that Gabriel has less gear on.

Keep the blogs coming.

Amaya Odiaga said...

All your blogs are wonderful and so entertaining! It was so great to visit sweet Gabriel today and see his little face and eyes.