I’ve wrung my hands at length about the on-and-off (mostly off) Wi-Fi provided by the Cleveland Sight Center–my only real complaint about this place, in the 2+ weeks it’s been my base of operations. Since it’s cooperating for now, I’ll sit down and type an entry while I have clothes drying in the basement. I have Al Stewart on my Windows MediaPlayer ("Song on the Radio") and I’m at the desk in my room.
I don’t consider myself to be superstitious, but I am a little reluctant to relay the latest news about Steph’s hospitalization, for fear of jinxing it.
Steph may be getting out tomorrow (today–it’s just after 12 midnight, but to my reckoning, it’s still Thursday night). Her Coumadin level has been at 2.0 during her last two blood draws, which is the minimally acceptable level in the eyes of the cardiologist who comes to see her every afternoon. His only worry now is her fluid retention, but he has increased the Lasix, which meant that Steph has been making several mad sprints from her chair to the bathroom. (The down side to that is that she feels she can’t take walks, because she’d be too far away from a bathroom.)
Her walking is easier now, because the doctor discontinued the Heparin drip. Whenever she’s ventured out of bed, she has to drag along a metal pole where her bags hang, and with two different digital monitors attached. Her first walk (to the north solarium on the 10th floor, 75′ from her room) without the pole was a little funny, since she’s used the pole like a cane. It’s analogous to the first untethered spacewalk.
(By the way, a physical therapist told us the way to measure distances in the Clinic: Each ceiling tile is 2′ x 2′, so just count the tiles above you and double that figure. The things you notice when you’re bored…)
I have yet to hear Obama’s acceptance speech, but when I’m back in Columbus, I’m going to try and stream it from CNN’s Website. I wish I had heard the speeches of both Clintons. Even though I knew it was coming, I was on the edge of my chair watching the states’ roll call. I admit I did hold my breath until Hillary Clinton announced that she was turning all her votes loose so Obama could be nominated by acclamation. (If I could trust this Wi-Fi, I’d listen to the speeches here and now.)
I spent a little of the $30 gift card from Rite-Aid. I checked back every day to see if they had MP3 players for sale (there was a hook for them, but they were out), so instead I bought two Hot Pockets and a bottle of Diet Pepsi. I also spent about $10 on a little 3K Rite-Aid digital data organizer. I would never had paid for something like that out of pocket. Since there are no Rite-Aids in Columbus, I decided to buy something fun but useless in the long run.
The nearest pop machine to Steph’s room is in the sixth-floor family waiting area. I’ve made the trip down there to get my "fixes" of Diet Pepsi, and it seems that there are people elbow to elbow and sprawled out on the floor and furniture in sleeping bags, blankets, pillows, etc., regardless of what hour you come by there. It reminded me of pictures of the post-Katrina Superdome in New Orleans.
Steph isn’t totally recovered. The right arm and hand have healed much more quickly than the doctors said they would, although she still lacks some flexibility in the fingers. She says that her strength and stamina are better than they were in the months preceding the surgery.
There was an air show in Cleveland during the afternoon. Looking out the windows, we could see four or five jets flying wing to wing (maybe about a foot apart from one another) and doing different pitches, rolls, loop-de-loops, etc.
This is the longest I’ve ever been away from Columbus since I moved there in 1995. It is also the longest Steph and I have been separated from Susie. (The previous record was a week when she was at a UCC camp in Brinkhaven.)
I am actually looking forward to going back to work. I am counting down the time until 7 a.m. on Tuesday. I don’t plan to E-mail ahead to my supervisors, but rather to just stroll through the doors, sign in, and start collating the morning reports that I deliver at the start of each day.