Friday, July 7, 2006 - The New Beginning.

I think this is the blog entry I’ve been waiting for more than three months to post.

Unless I have lost my mind and am completely delusional, I think… that Mike is back.

At around 3:45 pm, while I was resting at Tomtom and Mary’s, CSM called from the hospital. She told me that Mike was doing amazingly well and that he had even asked her if she could raise the head of his bed for him. He also answered a gazillion of her questions correctly…. She also said he could not only identify the three of us in a photo on the wall, but could read the 1" print underneath that said, "Christmas 2005"

I got back to the hospital at 5:30 pm. I ran into Kevin and Beth in the lobby of JHN. They had been with mike about 10 minutes prior. When I got in to Mike’s room, I asked him if anyone had visited him. He told me that Kevin and Beth were just there. He then said, without prompting, “The nurses are going to get me a dinner tray.” I immediately ran out into the hallway to verify this announcement. Indeed, nurse Sue and Mike had talked about getting him a dinner tray about 5 minutes prior.

It quickly became clear, just from the non-vacant look in his eyes, that he was himself. He was here in this moment. I asked him some questions about what he remembered and it seemed a bit overwhelming and difficult for him to put together. I asked if he’d like me to tell him the story of what’s been going on. he said yes. I started with March 18th, when sasha and dee got a crazy call from me flipping my lid and we rushed Mike to the ER… And I calmly told him all the highlights from then through now. He placed his hand on my hand and with true emotion in his face said, “Poor smoosher. I’m so sorry. You must have been so worried.”

"You have no idea." And yes, I sobbed uncontrollably on and off for several hours this evening.

From what I can gather, Mike has sketchy memories of some things…. But he also sort of feels like March 18th was literally yesterday.

I told him I’d take dictation from him if he wanted to write a little note to all our friends. He seemed a little overwhelmed at the hugeness of the task, so kept it simple – very Mike like:

Hi Everyone!

I’m back from the dead. Thanks for all your kind words. I’m recovering and will be in the hospital for the next few days.

Emails appreciated (added from danna: send to 185cranios@gmail.com).

That’s all for now,

We spent about an hour making phone calls to family, friends, and doctors. It was great having Andrews on speaker phone with us. He seemed really shocked at the speed of Mike’s return. They laughed together on the phone about it.

As for me? I don’t really know what to do with myself. I sort of feeling like throwing up … or maybe throwing a party. I don’t know.

I guess I’ll know better tomorrow – or maybe the next day.

Mike’s in room 6609b at JHN. Visitors welcome. For those of you who have visited a lot over the last 4 months: Hey, Suckers! Mike won’t even remember those visits! Now’s the time to go see him… plus, he’s quicker and more fun and really fast with the insults (e.g.: on the phone with Kevin: What the f*ck do YOU want?). Good times.


Interesting tidbits from the last few days – that now pale in comparison to today’s events:

Irene, the OT who has been working with Mike daily at Magee, told me an interesting detail. Everyday when she works with Mike she asks him if he remembers her name. He doesn’t. So, she says, “Goodnight….” And he says “Irene.” Two days ago when she did this with him, she said, “Goodnight,” he said, “Irene,” then paused, looked at her pensively and said, “I think I remember doing this with you before.”

He never expresses anything like that…. This is the first I’ve heard of him referring to a recollection of something.


So, at Magee, there’s a nurse named David who is so funny and cool. He always gets Mike laughing. He wakes him up with some hardcore hip-hop music and always have wise observations to share. Like, “You just remember, Mike, every woman has a little bit of anger towards men. Even the sweet ones have it.” Mike always cracks up at this stuff and replies with things like, “I hear you,” or “You said it.”

So, as the ambulance folks got Mike on the stretcher to transfer him to JHN yesterday, everyone was kissing Mike goodbye and telling him to kick some tumor ass, and David says, “Hey Mike, you hurry and get your butt back here, man.”

Mike looked over, nodded his head and replied, “Alright ma’ brotha’.”

I almost peed my pants from laughter – ok, and a pinch of embarrassment, too.

I said to David, “How did you like that my whitey white husband just called you his brother?”

David said, “S’alright, man. He’s my man!”


So, the other day, I bought sticker letters to put Baxter’s name on all his sippy cups for daycare. Then, because I have nothing better to do, I used some to write Mike’s name on his big orange water bottle. Yesterday when I was with Mike, I gave him the bottle and told him about the lame stickers I put on it to spell out his name. In doing so, I mocked myself for having done it and him for having such a juvenile water bottle.

After a couple of minutes, I looked over to see Mike smiling in his bed. “Are you happy?” I asked.

“Yeah,” he continued, “It’s just funny.”

“What is?”

“You. You’re so cute. Putting stickers on that,” he said, gesturing in the direction of his water bottle.

“You can see them?”

“No – but I can see the bottle – and you said you put stickers on it.”



csm said...

Was able to bring Mike & Danna some cheesesteaks, fries and cokes for dinner tonite. Mike was amazing. Ate, laughed, even attempted to burp the alphabet for us (he got as far as C before I begged him to stop).

It makes me feel so good to know that he's "back," and that Danna can rest a bit easier now.

God, medicine and miracles. I believe a little bit more now...


Anonymous said...


love to you BOTH,

Anonymous said...

OH MY God! The post you've been waiting to write is the post we've all been waiting to read!!!! Whoa Nelly, I have goosebumps. We don't have childcare this weekend, but Michael and I will try to visit on Monday; please tell Mike we can't wait to see him! Big hugs to you, Danna, Mike and tell Baxter the twins say HEY!

Peter said...

Uh, Alex and I just got home and there was a message on our answering machine. Um, it was Mike. (And Danna.) Well. Well I just burst into tears. I am so excited for this development. We have to be somewhere part of the day tomorrow, but I will be at JHN to see my friend Mike for the first time since like March, sometime Saturday afternoon. Holy fucking shit. Holy fucking shit. Hey Andrews -- you rock, man. You rock.

Jalena said...

I am dancing with joy for you both and the Baxman also. He will really have his Da Da again!!! How wonderful. This is almost good enough to make you want to slap yo Momma. Ok, its a southern thing but you get the idea!!!

Anonymous said...

Mike & Danna,
What great news!! I look forward to meeting you, Mike. As you probably know, you have a wonderful wife and we are very happy to have her join our Communication family.

Carolyn Clark

Anonymous said...

Alright! Amazingly Great news.
Welcome back Mike, we've missed you.
Love to You & Danna & the Baxman

Anonymous said...

Whoo hoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
No words can describe how happy I am for you guys.

Michaela said...

Yay. Mike.


WOW!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!! Mike, it is about TIME! Welcome back!!!!!!!!! I'm really so amazed and happy and relieved. Those doctors are truly amazing, but Danna, you get just as much credit as they do! and Mike, even if you didn't know it, I bet your brain cells were working really hard to recover, too. :) WELCOME BACK!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Whoo friggin hoo! I know there is still some recovery left, but HE'S STILL THERE! This great news gives a lift to all who love Mike and Danna and I hope strength to those on the front lines of this thing.

Stay strong...


Coleen (Dougherty) McAdam said...

Mike and Danna;

SOOOOOOOOOOO glad to read yesterday's posts! What great news! Keep the faith!
The McAdam Family (Kevin's sister)