Thursday, December 6, 2012

Heidi Mills

Friday, December 7, 2012
6:50 AM
One more thought.  Out of order.  When we were waiting to be wheeled back to our room, there was a little old lady in the MRI area who was also waiting.  It was chilly down there.  While the little woman had on a blanket, sitting in a wheelchair, she was cold.  And she was alone.  No husband, sister, or adult child on board.  Just sitting there all by herself.

I left for a few moments.  Heidi had been talking to the woman in the wheelchair in the little curtained waiting area.  The older woman was nauseous and not feeling well at all.  There was a guy sort of trying to figure out who he was supposed to take back (our orderly was nowhere to be seen).  Heidi insisted that the other woman go first.  After all we had each other.

After she was wheeled away we sat there rhinking about how lucky we are.  There are a lot of people who don't have someone to love.  There are so many people who must go through adversity alone.  We didn't really know this old gal's story - but it gave us pause to remember the lonely ones among us.

Friday, December 7, 2012
6:40 AM

Back to the room after the MRI.  Heidi not feeling too great.  She is sleeping now.  One of the young docs came in and removed the bandage.  After he left I took a picture and showed her because she wanted to see.  Not pretty.  She said something like, "Well, that'll scare the kiddies."  She was disheartened I think, although she didn't say so.  The doc said that we might be discharged today.  We were thinking tomorrow and the chance to get one more day stronger and clearer.  So that is good news/bad news.  Getting up to go to the bathroom and then back into bed is one thing.  That is 15 steps.  Maybe 20.   Getting from the van to a hotel room is quite another.  This could be a rough day.

But she is strong.  Much stronger than I.

Friday, December 7, 2012
5:30 AM

Heidi is in for her final MRI this morning (we hope!).  The nurse came in at 4:30 and asked her how she felt and it was, "SO much better.  Thanks.  I am grateful."   What a way to greet the world less than two days after brain surgery.  She got up a couple of times to use the bathroom last night by herself.  That still makes me a little nervous but I must have been sleeping hard not to hear her.

Heidi is still unsteady but gaining confidence.  She is still in the bed all of the time and not exactly antsy to get out.  We're thinking she might get a shower today.  It's been since Monday - a record for her.  Her spirits are good.  She is still a little dozy, but when she is awake, she is wide awake.

Thursday, December 6, 2012
12:25 PM

Heidi is sleeping well at the moment. She has had 2 of the 3 IVs removed and we are waiting to be moved from ICU "upstairs" to a regular room.  The care has been amazing.  It's not surprising because the nursing ratio is so high.  Many of the patients here are in need of critical care.  When I walk down the hall past some rooms the patients have their entire heads covered in bandages with tubes coming out.  Some are in comas.  Some just haven't "come back" yet from very traumatic surgery.  Some doctors and nurses have to shout at their patients' names to get them to respond - if they respond at all.  "Mr. Chang!  OPEN YOUR EYES!"

Heidi is fully present now.  She can tell the nurses and doctors what they want to hear in the order they want to hear it. "My full name is Heidi Mills.  I am at the Johns Hopkins Hospital.  It is Thursday, December 6th, 2012..."

She's back, you guys - fully back.  While she hasn't tried to read yet, something the surgeon said could take a while, she is sharp-witted, personal, brave.

She is still in pain, it comes and goes with the cocktail of drugs she is taking. Heidi is back.

All she has had to eat in the last 36 hours or so is a handful of crackers.  We've ordered lunch and she seems to have her appetite back (which, for those of you who know her is only slightly more than the appetite of a song sparrow).

The nurse took out the catheter (sp? - no spellcheck here) a couple hours ago and Heidi has gotten up to wash her face (and - yes - to brush her teeth) and to pee (very important because they won't let you out of here until you do).  She is reclined in a regular chair now - out of the hospital bed.  Her color is back and, without a speck of makeup, she is a beauty.

I'd post a picture but she would kill me.

Later - 2:00
Just finished a 90 minute nap. "The best sleep I've had since I've arrived.  I send my love and gratitude to everyone."


bluebirdwoman said...

Yeaa! So glad Heidi has come through the surgery so well. My thoughts and prayers are with you both.

Janet said...

Dear Time and Heidi--you amazing lovely brave people. I had no doubt that your most positive spirits would pull you through this and your responses would once again be shining examples of what is possible when love, hope and positive intelligent action come together. We spoke with love about you last night as Ginger, Janet and Diane DeFord dined at Miyo's. So happy to read this most excellent news. Give each other a kiss and think it might include some love from me!..your old friend Janet

Nic said...

Beautiful post, beautiful lady, beautiful people...

Mariana Souto-Manning said...

We have been thinking of you and Heidi, Tim! We are happy to hear that she is back! :) Sending you lots of love--today and always, Mariana, Dwight, and the boys

louise said...

Tim, Gylton and I have been thinking of and praying for Heidi non-stop since Tuesday night and especially throughout yesterday. I'm so grateful to hear that it has all gone so well, that Heidi and her beautiful smile are back, and that you have each other. What a beautiful pair you are, individually and together. Thanks for sharing this experience through your blog, keeping posted all of us who love and admire Heidi. Lots of love to Heidi and you both -- Louise, Gylton and Alex

Deborah said...

Dear Heidi and Tim,

I have been thinking of you all week. I am happy to read such positive news. I'd like to share a short story with you. Today I was wrapping up the semester with one of my classes and I chose to read The Table Where Rich People Sit by Byrd Baylor, a book that I first heard when Heidi read it to me. Unexpectedly, as I read, I was brought back to the time when Heidi first shared the book with me. I stopped for a moment to gather myself and to remind my students of the power of great books and the connections we feel with the people who share them with us. So, in a way, Heidi did read today. Keeping you in my thoughts, Deb.

Ruth Anne O'Keefe said...

Hooray! Your worst day (or 30 hours) is over. And the brain tumor is gone. Many congratulations. I know you and Heidi never did take life for granted. Never will now.

I am in Minnesota with Mike and Caitlin's family. Thanks for doing such a beautiful job of keeping us posted.

Much love! Ruthie

Jean Anne said...

Dear, Dear Tim,

Knowing that Heidi smiled that smile brought such enormous relief, and a knowing that she has indeed experienced a miracle! And even though the road to recovery will be bumpy, Heidi couldn't have a more perfect travel partner than you.

Thank you for including all of us in the journey. As all who love you focus on sending healing energy, it is so comforting to know what's happening.
Kiss Heidi for us when you can (and blow kisses to her until that's possible)...and know how much we love you both.

Jean Anne & Mark

Bobbi said...

Hey Tim and Heidi,
"Very grateful."
We all are.
Love, Bobbi

Sabina said...

Heidi and Tim,
Sending lots of loving thoughts and prayers your way! Love, Sabina

Chandra said...

We are superstoked to hear such wonderful news about Ms. Heidi! Stay strong and keep feeling the love being sent your way.

Love and Blessings,
Chandra,Roland,Laila and August

Jennifer said...

What an amazing woman and what an amazing couple! Your strength and your faith are such an inspiration to us all!

It made me smile to read Tim's description of your wonderful smile, the one that lights up a room, that lights up the world. Welcome back, Heidi!

Unknown said...

Mr. O and Heidi,
The Cheatham family is so glad to hear you are doing well. We've been praying for you. Bennett grinned his big grin tonight when I told him that Dr. Mills was feeling better. I know he will be glad when you're both home.
We're still praying for you both!
Cheryl, Weston, Colby, Bennett, and Daniel

Stacie said...

Dear Tim & Heidi,
I accidentally came upon your news through FB...Cheryl C and I are friends. I am reading through your blog and (as I always have been), i am warmed by your enduring love for one another and strength! You are amazing people and I am so happy to hear that all is fine. Be well and know that one more person is praying fervently for your family!
Take care,
Stacie Mandrell

Anonymous said...

This makes my day. I love your post - I can see her.
Love you guys. I'm thrilled!


Brent Petersen said...

What a blessing to have come so far and to be so strong. You are both amazing. Heidi, you are a true inspiration and your inner and outer strength are unmatched. Tim, your commitment and love is so amazing. I will continue praying for you guys for a continued recovery and please know we are here for you if you need anything. Love you both

Brent Petersen said...

What a blessing to have come so far and to be so strong. You are both amazing. Heidi, you are a true inspiration and your inner and outer strength are unmatched. Tim, your commitment and love is so amazing. I will continue praying for you guys for a continued recovery and please know we are here for you if you need anything. Love you both

Tasha said...

Tim, thank you for sharing this with us. The love the two of you have cultivated over these many years will carry you through this. Sending both of you all my love-Tasha

Bobbi said...

Heidi, Every time you say that you are grateful, I am grateful all over again. Love, Bobbi

Unknown said...

Your replay of the past few days makes me feel like I am there. You have a way of getting your thoughts conveyed that captivates the reader. Add to that, that the reader is captivated by your lovely wife and the relationship that the two of you have. Praying for quick healing and continued strength and endurance for the coming days. Hugs to you both!