Chatting It Up

Wednesday, June 21, 2006 at 1:23 am 5 comments

Word must have spread that Doug's feeling well and people had time to arrange schedules and transport, because there was a stream of people to see him tonight. When I finally managed to leave work, I was worried that no one would be there and Doug would be fast asleep by the time I got to the hospital. My fears were quickly allayed when I walked up to the front door and right into a sizable crowd of Dougsters and Markgrafs.

Doug seems to be doing really well, despite being a little bored, a little antsy, and definitely ready for real food. It was pretty obvious that he enjoyed having so many people come by to visit tonight and relished the chance to chat with everyone. Well, I assume he was happy to see all of us. He also had a few chocolate chip cookies today, his first real food since the accident, so he could have just been happy about that.

More seriously though, he definitely wants to see people, and it's a great time talking with him. Amusingly, he's still a little different than before—an even more mellow and friendlier Doug, if you can picture that. I'm not kidding. He's currently the most chill, laid back person living in the city. Speech doesn't seem to be an issue, he spoke very clearly and loudly all night. Memory is still a problem though.  He doesn't remember people visiting this weekend, and even today and yesterday seemed kind of hazy to him. He also didn't remember stories I had from the spring and winter. On the upside, he remembered people he'd met in the fall and races from last year, among other things.

More encouraging was that he seemed pretty upbeat about everything. He was hopeful and confident that those memories will eventually come back, and seemed to enjoy hearing stories from recent history that he can't recollect right now. I wouldn't hesitate at all about just asking him if he remembers some memory, and then telling him the story.  Also encouraging was that he talked a great deal about cycling, and is thinking a lot about getting a new bike and hitting the road.  To me that sounded great: He's not focused on the rough patches ahead, not unduly angry about what's happened, and by no means broken or dejected.  Tonight he was quite the opposite, energetic and optimistic.

Hopefully everyone can head out there and see him this week.  It's incredibly heartening to talk with him again finally, and I think it brightens up his day a lot.  In order to not have a huge crowd arriving all at once, we'd like to coordinate visits a bit.  So, if you can, please drop a line or give a ring to Andy E, Doug's roommate and partner in crime, to see about when might be a good time to go.  You can reach him through 814-880-8117 or instant messaging davandavan.  Again, visiting hours are 4:30pm to 8:30pm, and I recommend not staying past that lest you incur the wrath of the nurses.  The address is:

Room 490
Drucker Brain Trauma Center
60 East Township Line Road
Elkins Park, Pa, 19027 

Also, don't forget about the charity ride this Saturday for the Brain Injury Association of Pennsylvania.  Jen, myself, and a few of the Drexel guys are planning on going, and there's no reason any of you can't do the ride, so come on out and join us!

– joe

Entry filed under: update.

Talking Escape Artist

5 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Andy Evensen  |  Wednesday, June 21, 2006 at 7:35 am

    another note, for at least this week, try to keep visits between a half hour and an hour (as good as doug apears to be, we dont want to exhast him too much).

  • 2. JM  |  Wednesday, June 21, 2006 at 9:04 am

    Just to clarify a bit here: Yesterday Doug was given a swallowing test with blue dye and water and was also able to eat a graham cracker. Today he begins eating a pureed diet for the first time. He will have his meals in the dining room and an aide will be observing him as he eats to be certain that he can tolerate the food as well as swallow and use the muscles to chew his food. He will be on this diet/observation for the next several days and hopefully the trach can be removed by the weekend. Even when Doug can tolerate eating it is crucial that visitors DO NOT BRING any food to the hospital for Doug until there is clearance from his doctors that his throat and esophagus is functioning well. Doug has requested however that his first real food be GRILLED CHICKEN, so perhaps we can put together a barbecue outside on the grounds at Moss in the near future! Doug we are so very proud of you. You are a Miracle that keeps revealing itself to all of us each and every day!

  • 3. Alan Ostrow  |  Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 12:44 am

    Hey Doug!

    I was hoping to visit you on Thursday evening with Mrs. O. and both of my little O.s I am so glad that I didn’t lose the worlds best competition announcer! We need you healthy for Ramp Riot!! See you on Thursday!

    Mr. O.

  • 4. Colonel Sanders  |  Thursday, June 22, 2006 at 6:54 pm

    Grilled chicken? I thougt you were a man? JK.. Heal up and conquer the world.

  • 5. Nita Gupta  |  Saturday, June 24, 2006 at 12:12 am

    A Doug that doesn’t talk just isn’t a complete Doug! Hooray!!!!! Can’t wait to talk to you soon! 😀


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