Getting Set To Leave Florida

The effect is whenever the doorbell rings it’s like being at St. Patricks’s Cathedral as mass is called on Christmas Eve!

The sky is blue. The sun is warm. It’s still early spring and the humidity isn’t here. Florida is perfect today. Not nearly perfect–perfect!

My mom is doing very well. She’s still medicated to help her pain, but she’s functioning and walking around a little. She has begun to wrap her hand around soft objects like a towel and squeeze her fingers. It’s important for her to stretch her tendons.

This was my scheduled day to leave and the schedule holds. I’ll be on the 6:15 PM flight to Tampa then another flight from there to Hartford. I should be home before midnight.

I am exhausted. This is not a good place to rest! My parents are LOUD. My dad wears hearing aids in both ears which seem to be totally non-functional based on my observation.

They started talking to each other, which translates to yelling at each other, early this morning. By nine the phone and doorbell had made their presence known. The day after surgery the phone started ringing in the morning and continued non-stop all day long.

In order to make sure the doorbell is heard there is a repeater chime inside the house. The effect is whenever the doorbell rings it’s like being at St. Patrick’s Cathedral as mass is called on Christmas Eve!

The phone rings in three or four different places calling out the name of the caller after the second ring. “Katz Miriam” is a favorite as the phone speaks last name first.

My parents seem to be in good health. They’re in their 80s so expectations are different, but they got around nicely until this mishap and will again beyond the next few days. My mother will continue to wear her big slap of foam rubber until she revisits the surgeon Tuesday.

Regardless of circumstances it’s great to see them. I’ll miss them when I go.

Mom’s Home And On The Mend

That’s not to say she isn’t in some pain. She is. The percocets have begun to flow.

First impression–my mom is doing better than I expected! That’s not to say she isn’t in some pain. She is. The percocets have begun to flow.

Still, she was able to get out of bed and sit at the dining room table for dinner. I went to Subway for three roasted chicken subs. Hey Subway–I love those roasted chicken subs.

My mom’s arm is living in its own little foam rubber house. Without a hard cast this is the way the arm is kept immobile. When she sees her orthopod in a week it will be replaced by something a little more substantial. Stef suggested she ask for it to be made in pink.

I’m not sure if the attached photo gives an idea of how cumbersome the foam form is, but we drove back from the hospital with my mom NOT wearing her seatbelt. When I tried to fasten it the belt kept going up across her throat!

A friend said tomorrow would be the worst day then she’d slowly get better. We take it moment-by-moment.

We’re Waiting

The surgeon even unwrapped a sterilized pen to put his initials on my mom’s arm.

So far I’ve been impressed my everything that’s gone on here at the hospital. We’ve been kept with my mom as much as possible. She’s in surgery now.

There are a lot of people involved in her care. There’s the anesthesiologist who’s got a med student tagging along. He also supervises a nurse who’ll be monitoring my mom. There are at least two other nurses who’ve been by and, of course, the surgeon.

He’s young–but that’s not saying much since everyone seems young nowadays. Actually he reminds me of the Elliot Gould character from the movie M*A*S*H. That was back when Elliot Gould was young… and thin… and a household name.

Everyone is systematic. Questions are asked then asked again. The surgeon even unwrapped a sterilized pen to put his initials on my mom’s arm.

My mom’s arm has been numbed. She has also been given a more general sedative. We’ve been told she’ll be pretty woozy the rest of the day, even after we leave the hospital. No heavy machinery for my mom!

My dad and I walked to the cafeteria for breakfast. This hospital is immense. We got lost on the way back–twice! One time we took the wrong elevator and ended up on a surgical floor.

There’s a large flat panel monitor mounted near the TV in this waiting room. It flashes info on all patients scheduled for the E.R. They are identified by number followed by the last, first and middle name of the surgeon. No initials here.

The rightmost column shows my mom’s procedure began at 8:22 AM. Now we wait for her elbow to be repaired. The surgeon will come and see us when everything’s done.

We’re At The Hospital

We came early, before the doors were open! We waited.

I am in the waiting room at the Rothman Center, part of John F. Kennedy Hospital in Atlantis, FL. It sounds so community but the Internet sign-in page say HCA, a huge national hospital chain started by the family of former Senator Bill Frist.

We were told to be here at 5:30 AM. We came early, before the doors were open! We waited. I suspect this morning will be marked by lots of waiting.

I’m typing this from the 2nd floor waiting room. Married With Children is blaring from a ceiling mounted TV. They did not scrimp on the sweetened soundtrack when they produced this gem. It is loud and crude and seems inappropriate for this setting were many people will be on edge.

My mom has just been taken in for pre-op. As soon as her IV is started we’ll be brought in.

By the time we leave her elbow should be repaired and she should be on-her-way to full recovery.

And so the day begins.

On My Way To Florida

The word shattered when used to describe a body part is never good!

I’m heading down to Florida Monday. Helaine and Stef will be staying in Connecticut. Unfortunately, my mom fell and shattered her elbow.

The word shattered when used to describe a body part is never good!

A few days ago, after her accident, my mom dropped some nuts on the floor. She got on her hands-and-knees to pick them up. With only one working ‘wing’ she couldn’t stand. She finally had to call our friend John to lend assistance.

The good news is she says she’s not in any pain. The bad news is she’ll need the elbow surgically repaired, probably with a few pins inserted for good measure. Surgery is scheduled for Tuesday morning.

A full recovery is expected and my mom should be back on the mound pitching before the All Star break.

Comcast And My Parent’s HDTV

My parents are still watching standard definition TV, even after a visit from a Comcast installer. It’s frustrating enough to require an email from me to Comcast’s corner office.

Dear Mr. Roberts,

I am writing as both a shareholder and customer, but mostly as a son on behalf of my parents, Harold and Betty Fox of (redacted), FL.

Recently, my folks ordered HD DVR service from Comcast. Today, your Comcast installer told them the proper way to use the system was by tuning their TV to Channel 3. In other words, they were told to use the internal modulator in the DVR and the internal tuner on their TV. This method is only capable of delivering standard definition television, not HDTV. Only by using a DVI cable or 3 composite video cables, could they have actually received an HDTV picture.

They didn’t know this, but your installer surely should have.

I am disappointed for my parents, who have not gotten what they paid for. I am disappointed as a shareholder that installers aren’t better trained. Considering the fierce competition from satellite, I would have expected a better outcome on what should be a high priority product.

Any assistance from Comcast to correct this problem will be greatly appreciated.


Geoff Fox

ps – Comcast’s system prevents me from sending this directly to the proper department. I hope you can forward it on my behalf.

I’ll let you know if anyone responds.

Blogger’s note – Comcast to the rescue. Here’s the follow-up.