Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Brook Macaradan

Hi Everyone,
I meant to email you all after Claudia and I visited Brook this past Friday....but there have been other things pressing on my time and I forgot. But now is a good time so here goes.

We arrived at the Medical Center in San Jose only to find out Brook had been moved to Kaiser Santa Theresa in San Jose...so off we went. Got there and in her cubicle (in ICU) was her first husband Doug and a doctor and a few nurses...so we waited and then Claudia set up her harp and Rich his guitar and they gave a little concert for everyone. It was nice. We all sang In The Garden and another visitor chimed in singing alto I think....lovely. Also sang Blue Moon - Doug her first husband had brought those songs so Claudia was talented enough to play along with Rich.

About Brook....while they played I went to her side several times....talked a bit with her but there was no way to really tell if she had any understanding of what was happening around her. She looks around...moves her head a bit....raises her hands and lower arms up a bit and she would move her hand to her abdomen as if she were experiencing pain. She yawned and coughed once. She could not squeeze your hand to command or blink to command.....she seemed to respond to stimuli in an involuntary manner. During the playing of music she would doze off then after maybe 3 minutes or so she would open here eyes, look around a bit, move her arms, etc but it didn't seem to be purposeful or directly related to external stimuli.

Doug told us that she was up on a ladder about one story off the ground and fell onto her back. He said she broke her lower back, had ribs that punctured her lungs and had had chest tubes in because of that, and severely damaged the right side of her face (he motioned to the right side of his face so I am assuming it was her right side also). Her face had been extremely swollen, she had had elevated intracranial pressure (swelling in the brain), and had taken 10 units of blood. She still had a tracheotomy tube in (breathing tube) and was hooked up to a machine that gave her damp air...she was breathing on her own but this machine allowed her lungs to stay moist which is good. She made no noises.

If we had had more time I am sure he would have given us more detail but we spoke with him outside of ICU for about 30 minutes. He was nice and seemed relieved to have someone to talk to. We exchanged phone numbers with him so if any of you want his number to be able to talk to him about Brook I will be happy to give it to you.

Meantime we had stopped by Brook's home to take Rich with us to San Jose (Rich is Brook's live in boyfriend) but he was not able to go. YOu can reach Rich by calling Brooks home phone number...he is there. I am going to ask Father Rick and Daniel to pay a visit or two to Rich to see what his needs are as I remember him walking with dual canes and looking pretty frail. I am hoping there are agencies out there that might be able to assist him even if just paying a call once a week or whatever they can do to give him a hand. Do any of you know Rich? I will see what the ministers say and go from there.

Meanwhile Brook is now out of ICU and in a normal room. If you wish to visit they are allowing us "outsiders" in these days. Here is the phone number of the hospital: Kaiser Permanente
408 972-7404

I think I have covered it all.....I think her next move will be a rehab facility of some kind. Prayers would be good.


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