Sister Leslie is home, having a birthday

Leslie’s tribe of friends had wanted the feeding tube gone much earlier.

Sister LeslieI had this post about my sister Leslie converting to Roman Catholicism this year pretty well constructed in my mind. It’d have been how it was surprising it was – she did it as a secret from virtually everyone – but how it was fine by me.

Then she had this serious bicycle accident on June 4. To recap, she had been on vacation the previous month in Europe seeing her daughter Rebecca Jade sing on a cruise, but also spending a few days in Copenhagen, Denmark on her own.

She went back to San Diego and decided to start riding her bicycle partway to work. Since she is a safety official, she thought she ought to wear a helmet, so she bought one on June 1; wearing it almost certainly saved her life.

While I was in San Diego July 9-14, her friend Cathy managed to recover Leslie’s stuff that had been in storage at the first hospital she went to, Scripps Mercy. The distinct smell of dried blood remained on the helmet even days after being aired out. She’s keeping it, certainly not to wear again but possibly as a prop, along with her mangled bike, about the importance of bicycle safety.

Sister Leslie was semi-liberated from the SECOND hospital, Kaiser Permanente, on July 4, but she had a hospital bed in her bedroom at home because she still had a feeding tube attached. She was getting 1500 calories via it every night, but we – Leslie, her wonderful friend Leilani, the nutritionist, and i – agreed to start cutting back incrementally.

My primary task while I was out there was to get her from the bed, where she was not comfortable enough to sleep through the night, to a reclining chair. I became moderately competent at detaching and reattaching the “food” line when she needed to walk around.

I went to a couple of her doctors’ visits, notably to a heck and neck guy who removed the eight screws that had aligned her teeth to her jaw but were no longer necessary. Remember the worst pain you ever had at the dentist? Double that and add another 30%. That’s what the removal of the metal appeared to feel like, despite six shots of Novocaine, and I was in the room when it happened.

The good news is that, absent the metallic taste and feel in her mouth, she was more inclined to eat on her own. Then the feeding tube was removed on June 20. Leslie’s tribe of friends had wanted it gone much earlier, and I understood their feelings. I said, and she agreed, that it made her LOOK sick.

A couple of her friends asked me if her cognitive ability had been hampered. She took a test, and not only did she ace it, she explained the flaws in the testing instrument: “If Jill is taking off from her stockbroker job to raise the kids, what money are they living on?”

One of the words she’s had trouble remembering was “morphine,” which she was on during her first two weeks in hospital. It was probably just as well, as she had four broken ribs, but it really disoriented her. Except for that period, she was unfailing polite to everyone.

Given how she appeared in photos a month and a half ago, I note that she looks pretty darn good, i.e., more like herself. She has this little Harry Potter scar, and another hidden by her glasses.

The primary concern now is her left, dominant hand, which is still wrapped. Her friends need to exercise her fingers, lest they atrophy. She also likes lotion, especially between the fingers.

I’ve known sister Leslie longer than any living person and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to help her a little, even though I never did figure out all that long-term disability paperwork.

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. I hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

8 thoughts on “Sister Leslie is home, having a birthday”

  1. Happy Birthday, again, Leslie. So glad you are on the road to recovery. I pray for you everyday.

  2. Happy YOUR Day Leslie! So very pleased to hear from Roger that you are progressing nicely! I look forward to seeing you at our next class reunion!!!

  3. Happy Birthday to Leslie today July 23. I am so glad to read this and to understand what she has had to go through. I am also glad she had you with her for some time. There is nothing like family especially if you’re close like you and Leslie. I do not think her wish list for today would include the four-letter B word. I still wonder how the accident happened. In any event and no matter the religious affiliation our heavenly God was with her and answered everyone’s prayers. Amen.

  4. Have a great trip around the sun this year Leslie! Hope to see you on the horizon someday in your travels! Love surrounds you!
    Remember me from the Pist Office- the only trick in the book!

  5. yes, so happy to be feeling better every day. thanks for all the love, support and prayers. great to have roger here and awesome to finally get the feeding tube removed! I am now able to eat just about anything instead of the soft or pureed diet. looking to celebrate tonite. feeling the love and blessings. love and blessings to my brother, sister, daughter and all the village that came to help and show love and support. I am truly honored, touched and grateful.

  6. 2021- Thanks again Roger for making the post accident cross country trek in my time of need in 2018. I really appreciate you for doing that.

    Great blog. You are such a talented writer.

    Funny when I re-read the part about how I questioned the test about the stock broker quitting her job and I wondered how she would support her family if she quit her job. Whereas that might still be a realistic question, now I can add the dimension that she is able to quit because she made good investments AS a stockbroker, or they have decided to live a more minimalistic life on less with different priorities…šŸ‘šŸ––šŸ„°

  7. Happy birthday, Leslie! I’m so glad you’re making such great progress recovering, and sending love and hugs good thoughts for an amazing year to come!

  8. My respect for you is BEYOND measure! Happy birthday Leslie. I thank God for saving your life to continue to share His love with me. Friends and family ARE everything. Our purpose is to love and be lovedā€¦that is all. ā™„ļøšŸ’œ

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