Monday, September 20, 2010


Today Chico got out of bed for the first time in thirty-one days.   He has been exercising from his prone position more in the last two days than I have ever seen.  He says that before the removal of the ex fix and the hardware installation he was "hopping around."  That is his phrase for the way he was in bed.  Today, he seemed to be hopping around a fair amount before the crew came to put on the brace and help him up.    He must have been  tired when the moment finally arrived.  Chico was determined.  I thought there was adrenaline flowing but Chico says he was more faint headed than anything else.

Finally, around 3:27, after what must have been a chaotic day elsewhere, Al, Al, Brenna and Julie showed up to help Chico stand and move himself to the chair.  He was clear with them about the significance of this event, and clear with me about the need for documentation.  He was excited and scared, rightly so.

The move was difficult and excruciating.

Although he had imagined this moment many times, even dreamt of it, he hadn't imagined there would be four people needed to help him move a very short distance and assume a pretty similar posture to the one he has in bed.  He finds this amusing.  The move seemed to take everything he had.  Blood drained from his head and while his leg was held out in front of him by others, the blood found its way to his pinned toes and everywhere in between.  There was pain and emotion to spare.

Once in the convalescent Barko, our friend Adam, a nurse, appeared with a box from Amazon. 

Leonard Cohen's new DVD and CD arrived, as promised.  Everyone encouraged Chico to open that box and enjoy his prize.  Once they had left, Chico faintily asked me to open it and we played the DVD.  How lucky we are to have laptops here.  Playing a DVD of an old favorite at that very moment sent by a dear friend was moving. 
I wanted to post, call, email everyone right then but there really wasn't a moment to do so.  Even though it was quiet.  The air was full.  It was as if I were a catcher at that moment.  A catcher of the metaphysical. 

Chico was still. He needed...Rest...Space...

The move back took many as people and much effort.  Chico has remained positive, modestly proud and realistic. 

A few more things: this night nurse is very special.  Last time he was on he was able to draw blood without waking Chico up! 

Chico's fourth and fifth toes have pins sticking out of them-straight up out of their tops. I'm not sure how I missed that for the past four days.  Aversion I guess. 

Thanks for checking in.  Your engagement is integral to our hope and well being.


  1. This post just made me cry: with relief and confusion and hope and some type of fury, too, I suspect. Chico, your child-like glory should serve you well in these next few months. The starting words of that cd leave me almost speechless for all of you (and that is of course a pretty rare event). Love to all. Tista

  2. I am sitting in the San Fransisco airport and as I always am when I follow this journey---which I do pretty much everyday ( thank you Sue for the always scarily--right there narrative) I'm awed by the daily courage. A first step leads to a second and a third.... We are all pulling for you Chico. Tom

  3. Outstanding! What an enormous step forward! Thank you for the continued updates Susan.

    49 Mountain Street.