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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Christmas went well

First, one of my oldest friends down in southern Illinois got pneumonia and is in the hospital on a ventilator.  That really hit home since I am still coughing.  I didn't believe in flu shots or pneumonia shots, but I have just done a complete turnaround.  Judy may not make it and I am praying for her.

My brother was sober about 42 days by Christmas Day and Christmas was very very nice and fun.  St. Louis was freezing cold and had a bit of snow, but we survived it.

I brought along something called Funny Faces -- cardboard masks that covered from the nose up.  So instead of the boring old group photos that we usually take, these are a much better substitute.

My sister and Tricia

Bob and Liz (Bob is bald for real so this probably wasn't the best mask for him!)


My sister and me

Sunday, December 17, 2017


Not sure what is going on with my brother.  He went home and I haven't heard a thing from him or his wife.  I guess no news is good news.  So, for me, it's been a quiet few weeks.  I hope it's the same in his household.

When I took Mia to Camp BowWow last week, I took a tour of the inner workings of the place.  I've been meaning to do it but always had to rush.  It is really really nice.  The "cabin" (kennel) for each dog is huge with a bed and plenty of room for blankets and toys and whatever else will make her comfortable.  They told me they have 58 cabins of several different sizes depending on the size of the dog.  I was so pleased to see where she stays when I leave her for a long stay, like I'm going to do for Christmas.  So she will have lots of activity during the day and a nice big "cabin" for the nights.  And I am arranging training for her every other day while I'm gong so she has that one-on-one contact, too.

And on the last day of her stay I requested a "spa" bath.  They give her a bath and a massage.

And I always bring along her food, her dish, and her treats and they have a special location where they are able to keep it all and know it belongs to her.  They call it the "lockers" but it is actually rows of big plastic containers with locking lids.  So I feel even better about Camp BowWow.  And she still loves going there.  When I pull into the street where the Camp is (which is a very nondescript little commercial area where you would never ever think there would be a doggie day care), she starts going crazy.  When I bring her in and she sees the girls who work there, it is clear that she really likes them.  She gets so excited.

By the way, I don't know if I've ever mentioned this, but if you go to Starbucks and buy something, you can get a free puppaccino for your dog, which is basically a cup filled with whipped cream.  So whenever I pull into a Starbucks parking lot or drive-through, she also goes nuts because she knows she is about to get her puppaccino.

Well, that's all my news.

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

Rehab Update

Well, we have jumped through hoops to get my brother's health insurance extended through COBRA but somehow the rehab center hasn't been paid and they are not willing to work with us so the Rehab Center kicked him out this evening.  He is now at Tricia's house in St. Louis -- thank goodness he was in a city where there was some family.

You know, you see ads on TV constantly saying "if you need help with an addiction, call us now."  So you try to get that help and it appears all they want is the money.  Very very disappointing.

I think his wife is going to drive up and get him on Saturday and take him home where he can start trying to live his life again.  We still don't know what Christmas will be like so we aren't making any plans.  We'll just play it day by day.

I've been in a "missing Marshall" mood, very down.

Monday, November 27, 2017


Thanksgiving went well at the rehab center.  And it also went well here in Colorado.

On Black Friday I went to the Subaru dealer and ended up buying a 2018 Subaru CrossTrek (in Sunshine Orange) -- my mid-to-late-life-crisis car.  It is on order and if I'm lucky it will be here by Dec. 20th, in time to drive to St. Louis.  I can't remember the last time I had a jazzy car, so this is exciting.  Here's what it will look like:

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

I think Detox is over

Well, when the 96 hours was over, they said he needed more time, so I think he's still in detox and may get released to a regular room tomorrow.  He seems to be doing really well.  Tricia has been to see him and my sister has been there, too.  They are planning to have Thanksgiving dinner with him in the Center's cafeteria -- if it is allowed.  I'm not going -- I'll stay here in Colorado with my babies.

He's lost a ton of weight (maybe about 35 pounds) and needed some new clothes.  He says he is determined to make this work.  And his wife has been very supportive, which has meant a lot to him.

I had an appointment today with my cardiologist to "interrogate" the pacemaker and all is good in that department.  Still 5-1/2 years left on the battery.

When I had that bout of walking pneumonia I was coughing constantly and wondered if all that chest "movement" would affect the wires of the pacemaker so I asked the cardiologist today and he said that after a year and a half, those wires weren't going anywhere.  Good to know.

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!!

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Rehab Revisited

Yesterday morning, after spending the night with his wife giving him heck and after my sister telling him she couldn't do this any more, he agreed to go into rehab.

No one wanted to let that window of opportunity go by, so my sister dropped everything and picked him up and drove him the 200 miles to St. Louis.  Obviously, it wasn't all as easy as this single sentence indicates, but the end result is that he agreed to go.

They got to the rehab center in St. Louis around 6:00 or 7:00 and then the intake process took about 4 hours.

So he is now in rehab!!!!!  He has to be kept isolated for 96 hours and then he can get and make phone calls.

The Center indicated that it would probably be a 30-day stay, but I sure hope they keep him longer than that.  The last 30-day stay (at a different rehab center) didn't "take" -- but then, he didn't really put his heart into the last one and he seems to be more motivated this time.

So that's the short version of today's story.  If you pray, please include him in your prayers. And at any rate, keep him in your thoughts.

Sunday, November 12, 2017


I've really lost track of the last few days.  But the bottom line is that this morning his wife called me and handed my brother the phone.  He was mumbling so bad I couldn't understand him.  So we hung up.  His wife called back and said, "He agreed to go to detox -- here, talk to your brother."

So she handed him the phone again and he mumbled but he did say he would go to detox.  I asked his wife if she would take him and she said yes.  So he said he would put his jeans on.

So she took him to the Ozark Medical Center and then called my sister and said, "You need to get over here, I have other things to do."  ????!!!!!!!! (good grief).  So my sister rushed to the hospital (which I think was about 35 miles).  If my brother's wife couldn't see this thing through, she shouldn't have gotten it started.

So at the ER, they ran tests and since they couldn't find any sort of illness they said they couldn't keep him, they were going to release him.  We spent 4 or 5 hours trying to find a rehab center that would take him and it turns out that they won't accept him unless he signs himself in and he absolutely refuses to do that.

The lady at the rehab center told us that alcoholics usually won't go into rehab voluntarily until they hit rock bottom and no longer have any lifelines.  My sister has been checking in on him several times a day and doing things for him, etc., and we were told that needed to stop.  He needs to know that he is on his own.

This is going to be really tough, not checking on him and not knowing if he is dead or alive, but I think we have all agreed that it has to be that way.  So she will be bringing him back from the hospital tonight (unless by some miracle he agrees to be taken to the rehab center in St. Louis).

Emotional.  Stay tuned for the next episode.