For the last five days, Tom has been in the Intensive Care Unit at Baptist Hospital in Memphis. Tom was admitted to the hospital because frankly, he just couldn't breathe. He had also broken some ribs in a fall a few weeks ago which made his breathing frustrations almost unbearable and getting sleep almost impossible. So, being in the ICU and getting the supported of a breathing machine has finally given him some much-needed comfort and rest.
That said, he's had some ups and downs with lungs and kidneys, and his breathing isn't really improving as much as we had hoped.
The goal of the doctors is to wean Tom off the breathing machine while they continue to keep all of his other organs strong and healthy. That could happen today but it might also take a lot longer than that. We're in it for the long haul of course, and we are so happy to have your support.
Tom's son Dan, and Dan's lovely wife Tara, were here all weekend taking care of Tom and me. They kept us all in good cheer with their stories and help. Almost the minute they had to depart, Winnie (Tom's daughter) flew in from London and has been a delight for us to have around. Thanks to Winnie's dear husband Tim, she was able to come over while Tim agreed to take care of Hank back home.
Many of you have asked "what can I do?" --
There is something. Dan and Winnie and I have been trying our best (along with Tom's great nurses and doctors) to keep Tom still and comfortable with our constant and encouraging whispers of "breathe in, breathe out." The thing that most seems to calm Tom down is when we read to him, particularly from his own books (which he is certain are the best written ones he's ever read!). But as good as Tom's stories are, we will soon be finished with our reading of them. So, we're wondering -- do you have any? I'll give you a few ideas of stories we'd all love to hear -- for example, stories of how you met Tom, or a funny story that you remember that included you with Tom, or even a good joke -- Tom's ribs are improving, so laughter is a good tonic for all of us!
Even if you don't have a story, I know Tom would love to hear from you. And in return, I'll do my best to keep you updated on Tom's progress. We mostly just want you to feel you're with us -- on this ride -- as you have always been. Tom's spirits are good, and I'm sure hearing from the friends and family who love him will continue to keep us all in good cheer. -- Much love, Sue (and Tom)