Sheltering In Placeby Angie

Sun
22 Mar 2020
3:03 pm
0

I mentioned in last week’s post that there we had a rental property on the table: We spent last weekend laboring over the decision. We finally decided to go for it, so first thing Monday morning we asked Sarah, the property manager, to email us a copy of the lease so we could read it before going to her office to sign it that afternoon. She did send it; then emailed us again to ask us if, for the sake of “social distancing” (which was just a recommendation at that point), we would be willing to e-sign the papers. We agreed, then emailed her back about some typos. After a second round of corrections, we were working through e-signing the dozens of lines in the lease agreement when we got a text from Jon sharing the first news posts about the official “shelter in place” order that would go into effect at midnight.

I called Sarah immediately and we talked through the ramifications: We could e-sign the papers, but we would not be able to meet the property owner and get the keys later that week as agreed, nor could we move in until the order was lifted. Would we have to start paying rent on a house we couldn’t live in, or would the homeowner have to take the hit of having no renters for several weeks? If they asked for the former, should we just decline that property after all? In the end, they were kind enough to agree to put the whole process on hold. We didn’t sign the papers, but they promised that when the order is lifted we will be first in line for the house. What a relief!

Monday night was our remote PDX FHE lesson with some of our dear friends from Portland. Since moving away, we’ve been video conferencing in each month while all the Portland locals meet together at someone’s home, but this time the entire group was on Zoom. It feels good to stay in touch with far-away friends. To that end, we also had virtual Sunday School last week with one of our Portland friends, and today my mom joined us in doing it again.

Otherwise, each day has been much like the last. Monday evening, Jon had to stay late at work, getting the necessary technology in place to work remotely; so starting Tuesday morning our whole household has been working from home. We’ve also cleaned, organized, done laundry, and taken inventory. We’ve done texting, phone calls, and letter writing. We’ve spent time playing games and watching movies together. Not much is practically different, but it feels different. There’s a sense of anxious waiting, of holding back, of trying to make the best of a situation we can’t control.

It’s strange to compare this experience to our situation six years ago: In February and March of 2014, Jim and I were living in Georgia, spending time with Kathy in the final days of her life. Jim worked remotely from his parents’ home and we didn’t go out much, cherishing the time together. It was another period of physical and emotional separation from “normal life.” It prompted us to examine our priorities, make sacrifices, innovate our routines, explore new ways to connect, and foster compassion; all actions that Kathy exemplified throughout her life. And this coming week marks the anniversary of her death as well as the anniversary of her birth.

Every Spring I think of her as Easter approaches; as we prepare to celebrate the eternal life we are promised through Jesus Christ and His Atonement. But she is on my mind even more powerfully this year, with so many people experiencing unanticipated challenges and suffering due to COVID-19 and all its ramifications. These experiences have illuminated our place in a global community. It is another time of bittersweet seclusion and connection; another opportunity for change and growth. My heart aches for all those who have felt and will feel the loss of loved ones as we did at Kathy’s death. But I know that she would encourage us to hope in our Heavenly Father’s eternal plan for all His children throughout the world.

A Homey Monthby Angie

Sun
15 Mar 2020
9:03 pm
1

It’s been over a month since I was discharged from the hospital, and quite a strange month it has been. I’ve had a few follow-up appointments at Stanford and, aside from a few little blips of arrhythmia, I seem to be holding pretty steady on this new medication. I’m still not supposed to exercise or exert myself, but otherwise I’m allowed to go about my regular activities, mostly at home. The fatigue lingered for several weeks, but now I feel much more normal.

But while I’ve been getting better, we’ve been watching the world get sicker. As the COVID-19 Coronavirus has spread, many of the Bay Area tech companies were among the first to excuse their employees from working at the office. Both Brittany (at AirBnb) and Jim (at Workday) are working from home at least through the end of the month. Jaquie is delighted that she gets to sit in Jim’s lap for hours on end while he works at his computer, and I enjoy having Jim home too. But it’s not hard to remember that what may feel like a treat for us has been a frustrating–if not devastating–period for many others.

The one thing that has gotten us out of the house most is that we’re looking for our own place to live. We’ve spent the last six weeks searching listings online daily and taking a couple of trips down to Fremont each week to see properties (rentals; we’re not looking to buy yet). Twice we’ve seen homes we’ve loved but weren’t fast enough to secure them. It’s very hard to be an over-deliberate personality in the current lightning rental market. We don’t really get to choose between multiple properties at once – just, “Is this one it? Yes or no? Is there something better coming up? There’s no way to know.” We have one on the table right now that’s very promising, but we have to decide by tomorrow at 1pm. Big decisions are emotionally exhausting!

It’s even harder to jump at any property when we’re so happy right where we are.  It’s been amazing living with Jon & Brittany for the last year – we’ve loved it. It’s very hard to leave, but we promised ourselves that this was a temporary blessing and have always known that we wouldn’t stay too long. We want to be nearer to Jim’s work and we need to be nearer to Stanford. So, it’s time to move again for the third time in four years. Please wish us luck!

Filed under: Posts by Angie

And We’re Doneby Jim

Wed
5 Feb 2020
4:02 pm
0

The nurse just finished discharging us. Dr. Lui came by to chat for a few minutes this afternoon. He seemed more optimistic than he was a few days ago and it sounds like while this recent incident was not a good sign, as long as we can keep the arrhythmia under control, we shouldn’t have to advance to the next stage, which at this point is getting on the transplant list. While we know that we’ll need that lifesaving surgery eventually, we want Angie to stay healthy and get as much mileage on her current organs as possible.

Thank you for following along on this visit. Thank you also for your thoughts, prayers, and concern for us. It really means a lot to have such a great support network. The doctors here have mentioned what a difference it makes and I’m grateful we are blessed with such a wonderful one.  Hopefully, if everything goes well for the next couple weeks, we’ll be light on news for a few years.

Sinus Rhythm!by Jim

Wed
5 Feb 2020
12:02 pm
0

They just did a device check and determined that Angie has had no episodes of arrhythmia since the cardioversion. That’s great news! That means we should be going home today. Hooray!

UPDATE: The attending doctor just visited us and used the words “discharge papers,” which means we should be only hours away from going home!

Probably Leaving Todayby Jim

Wed
5 Feb 2020
10:02 am
1

We were just visited by a pair of doctors. They listened to her breathing and checked a few other things. They told us that she’s been in normal (sinus) rhythm as far as they can tell, so unless something changes, we’ll get to go home tonight. I’m sure we’ll get some more information about follow-up appointments before we’re actually discharged, but it’s great that doctors are talking about going home. It usually takes a few hours to get the whole process finished from when “going home” is mentioned and when you’re walking out of the hospital.

Gray Hairsby Jim

Tue
4 Feb 2020
1:02 pm
1

We just heard from the doctors. Dr. Lui and Dr. Khandelwar and a few other younger doctors in training came and spoke to us about what the plan is. Angela was in arrhythmia for so long that they want to watch her overnight to make sure she stays in sinus (normal) rhythm. They want to keep her on the amiodarone unless she flips back into arrhythmia. So, if her heart behaves, we’ll go home tomorrow. If she goes back into arrhythmia, we’ll stay for several days while they transition her back to the dofetilide and do another cardioversion. We’re hoping for option 1. Everyone seems to be pretty hopeful. I could tell they were pleased that the procedure went well this morning. It was a big difference from yesterday when the doctors, especially Dr. Lui, seemed very concerned about where we were. Things are definitely looking better from here.

There was a very tender moment just before the doctors left. Angie pulled off the hair cap they put on her before going into the OR and told Dr. Lui she wanted to show him something. “Look, I have gray hairs because of you. Not because you gave me gray hairs, but because I’ve lived long enough to have gray hairs. That’s because of you. Thank you.” He didn’t really say much after that. I could tell it meant a lot to him and that he was getting emotional. He’s really a wonderful doctor. We’re very fortunate to have him on our team.

Never a Dull Momentby Jim

Tue
4 Feb 2020
12:02 pm
1

Just a few minutes after my last post, the fire alarm went off. The policy at the hospital is to shelter in place unless otherwise directed. Everyone in the waiting area was very relieved when the alarm finally stopped ringing. It’s a digital tone, but it is definitely loud enough to get your attention. A few minutes later, the nurse came to bring me to recovery to see Angela. She’s smiling and in good spirits. The doctor that did the cardioversion wanted to keep her sedated as short as possible because the longer you’re in sedation, the harder it is on your body and the longer it takes to wake up. That’s why they only did one zap. Fortunately, that means that Angie is awake and feeling well, all things considered. I’ll post again when we have word from the doctors about the next few days’ plan.