Monday, July 31, 2006

Quick post. I had Mono Ensemble practice late yesterday afternoon. Eric didn't make it, so we were without our usual singer and bandleader, but we managed to plow through some songs and improvise some stuff with a decent degree of success. I watched some TV with Mandy and Camille, including Project Runway and more importantly, Who Wants to be a Superhero? Mandy was kind of embarrassed for all of the comic geeks who were dressed up in funny costumes and running around in broad daylight. She's gonna looove having Roundball in town....
Anyhow, I think Fat Momma and Major Victory have won a place in all of our hearts.

Well, this is a very short post, but I have limited time. Maybe more later.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

It's early on Sunday, so not much to report yet. Last night I got together with Andy and Sig. We made some music and hit some grooves. I'm a little worried because Sigmund's hand is still healing, and he was maybe rocking a little harder than he should have been.
Mandy made a yummy fish dinner for 9 people (no small feat) and I helped Elf Rami grill some vegetables (I rediscovered that I like eggplant- haven't had it in years). Camille made some kind of very tasty okra and tomato thingy.
Anyway, it was a good evening.

Saturday, July 29, 2006

Quick Saturday post. Got up this morning and went and got breakfast tacos for Mandy, Camille, Justin, and Charrissa (sp?). When Mandy and Camille got back from Hannah and Chris's garage sale, we all went to the farmer's market over at Burger Center. I had an organic strawberry snowcone. Worked on the pond filter, and next we're going to the cemetary. Later on I'm getting together with Sig and Andy to make music or just hang out.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend. It's really hot out there.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Howdy. It's Friday, and that has to be a good thing.
Last night I went to dinner at Z Tejas with Camille and Mandy, The Killians (Camille's parents), and the Wilsons (Jeff's folks). It was a pleasant dinner, and Jajuan ended up giving me about half of her food (which was a really good chicken fried ribeye, and no, I didn't steal it from her- she offered it to me).
After dinner I hung out at the house with Mandy and Camille and we explored ringtone options on our phones and watched about half of Field of Dreams on HBO.
Anyway, I don't have a whole lot to report.
The Port Aransas beach trip is scheduled for next weekend, so I'm trying to get fired up for that. It'll be weird and different without Jeff, but I think it'll still be good. Almost any time that I spend time near the water usually ends up being a good thing.
Well, that's it for now.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Just a note. I learned today that Mary Dodgen, the Tyler woman who struck Jeff, Kim, and Sigmund, is going to be released on bail today. Dodgen's total bail amount is (I think) $250,000, so someone is putting up a lot of money for her release. Apparently she is going to be required to wear an electronic monitor ankle bracelet, and she will be prohibited from driving as a condition of her bond. Her release is likely to cause her trial date to be pushed back, because jail cases are always fast tracked in the criminal justice system (at least in Travis County) while cases for defendants who are out on bond proceed more slowly.
I'm obviously not happy to hear that this woman is going to be out on bond, but I think I might be ok with the thought that the trial date will be pushed back. The trial is going to be difficult no matter when it comes, but I think our circle of friends and family needs some more time to adjust themselves to the idea of it. Also, if having more time will be help the prosecutors to get their evidence and case put together, than I'm all for giving them all of the time that they need.
I know the people who are working on this case for the D.A.'s office, and they're good people, and I have no doubt that they will do a commendable job. I don't envy them for having to deal with this case. There are a lot of people watching every detail of this case as it unfolds, and no one likes working under a microscope, especially when they have their own personal feelings tied up in the whole thing (and given the fact that some of these people knew Jeff, I'm sure that they're taking this thing pretty d*mn seriously). Lots of pressure. Too much pressure.
I just want you guys in the 147th to know that I support you 100%, and we're all pulling for you.
Ok. That's it.
Hey. Not too much to post on today. Court has been slow, and I had lunch today with DK again. It's my trial partner's (Bill Swaim's) birthday today, so everyone send him some good vibes.

Last night a bunch of people stopped by Casa De Wilson, including Gretchen, Andy, Rami, Hannah, and Ellie. It was good to see them all, but I was really tired and in a weird mood, so I retreated to my house kind of early.

I don't have a whole lot of news today, so I'll keep this short. Maybe more later.

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Hey, guys. Work is getting a bit easier as I work my way back into old routines. I caught a quick bite to eat with DK at the sandwhich shop next to the courthouse during lunch. It was good to see her. DK is one of those people that other people (including me) want to tell their problems to, even when I'm not really sure DK's up for hearing them. Anyway, I hadn't really seen her since before Jeff's accident (she was out of town at the time of the funeral, and is still feeling like the whole thing is pretty surreal, and I assured her that I felt the same way). Anyway, it was good to catch up with her.
Not too much else to report. Jackbart and Kate came over for dinner last night (with Mandy and Camille, of course), and it was nice. We ate some kind of lasagna (sp?) and some chocolate mousse stuff that Jackbart brought and then sat outside and talked about the Da Vinci Code and other stuff. The weather was nice, and it was good to hang out with them.
Also, it is apparently newsworthy that Lance Bass of 'N Sync fame is gay. I'm not sure why this is newsworthy, and I'm sure that it would be far more shocking if someone were able to confirm that the other members of 'N Sync were definitely not gay.
Also, Andrea Yates is found not guilty by reason of insanity in the murder case against her for drowning her five children in a bathtub. The verdict shocked me, but I'm really not prepared to say that the jury did the wrong thing. It's easy to see how a jury might think that a woman would have to be out of her mind to do such a horrible thing. But then again, I would say that someone has to be incredibly sick in order to molest children, but society doesn't seem ready to cut those offenders any breaks. I don't know- the entire criminal justice system is predicated upon the notion of personal responsibility, but mental health issues draw that notion into question (i.e., if you're too sick to know what you're doing, how can you be held accountable for your actions?). Anyway, I hope that Yates is held in a mental health institution for a long, long time.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Today has been a little better at work. Bart is supposed to come over to Mandy's for dinner tonight. It'll be good to see him.
No time for blogging, really.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Went back to work today. It was a bit harder than I thought. I'm in a new court, so I'm having to deal with switching offices and getting used to a new routine in the middle of a trial week (I'm set for trial on Wednesday already), and on top of that I keep just zoning out. I also feel even more disconnected from what's going on with Mandy and Camille now that I'm officially back at work, which is weird because I think about them a lot. I only got a few minutes for lunch today which I spent moving office supplies, so I didn't get to call and check in, and then Mandy called me and I felt guilty (although happy that she called). Anyway, it's hard to concentrate.
Need to go shower so I can go across the street for dinner.
Hope everyone's doing well.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

Last night the Blooms came over and joined us for a backyard fajita dinner. I used the grill and actually managed to cook the fajita meat without destroying it, and Mandy and Camille finished it off in a skillet with peppers and whatnot (this was actually according to plan, and not as a result of my undercooking the food).
We also got a birthday cake and a card for Alicia, who's 31st birthday is Monday.
It's weird doing the backyard cookout thing without Jeff, but to me it often feels like he's nearby when we're all over there.

Anyhoo, happy birthday, Alicia!!!

p.s.- apparently Andy F. actually managed to get his boat working yesterday, and he had a successful trip to the lake with Big Johnson! Well done, Captain Sensat!!

Saturday, July 22, 2006

Well, Alicia and Collin came into town yesterday afternoon with Big Johnson arriving slightly later, so it's good to have all of them back. Elf Rami and Andy came over last night, and Ellie and Vikki came by with some yummy Chinese food (which was good, cause we'd been pretty much just eating chips and other junk all day). Weedo dropped by during the course of the evening as well.
We hung out in the back yard, and Awesome Possum made an appearance which resulted in him having to once again use his "playing possum" routine in order to get the dogs to leave him alone. That possum is pretty fearless in terms of getting to that compost pile when he's hungry. Anyhoo, everyone got to see the possum.
Not too much else to report. I went to the book store with Camille yesterday because I finally finished reading Lonesome Dove, and I wanted to get a new book. Like so many things, finishing reading the book was kind of weird because Jeff had already read the book and he wanted to discuss it with me, but he was holding off because he wanted to let me finish reading it before we talked about it so he wouldn't give anything away. We had also talked about renting and watching the miniseries once I finished the book (I've never seen it). I guess I should have read faster, but then again, there are just bound to be things that are unfinished with Jeff. He had a million interests and was always planning on doing 100 things at any given time.
Still, I was looking forward to watching that miniseries with him and hearing his take on the book.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Once again, not too much to report from today. More tomorrow.
No time for a post today. I took Sigmund to the doctor. Apparently he has a break in his fibula (i.e., narrow bone in his leg) which initially went undetected. I guess it's not a weight bearing, bone, though, and they're not even going to put a cast on it (I know- it sounds weird to me, too, but that's what they're doing). Anyway, despite this recent discovery, the Blooms seem to be holding up pretty well.
I went with Mandy and Camille to have dinner tonight with Jeff's parents. It was a nice evening.

Well, sorry this is a kinda lame post, but you got two posts yesterday, and you get whatcha pay for. I'm just tired and I have to get up tomorrow.

Best wishes from Tejas Trail.....

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Awesome Possum Strikes Back

One of Jeff's favorite backyard visitors (or at least one of the ones that got Wilson all worked up) returned to the backyard tonight. Awesome Possum. Normally none of us get all that excited about possums, seeing as how they like to root around in your trash and whatnot, but we've been watching Awesome Possum circumnavigate the hazards of the Wilsons backyard for the better part of the past year as the tiny little marsupial grew into a full grown possum. Max and Lucy, in fact, nearly brought Awesome Possum to a violent end, but Awesome Possum outwitted them with the whole "playing possum" schtick.
Awesome Possum tends to show up in search of vegetables that've been thrown into the compost pile in the Wilson's garden, and he fearlessly walks narrow tree limbs and the top of the fenceline as Max and Lucy franticly bark and jump in the yard below (often as we've been drinking beer and watching the micro-drama unfold).
Anyway, Awesome Possum disappeared about a couple of months ago. He just quit showing up on the fence, which was weird because there was still food in the compost, and we started to wonder what happened to him. Then Jeff got online and looked up some possum info, including one article which said that possums in urban neighborhoods rarely live much longer than a year due to the danger of living in an area populated with humans ( scarce food supply, attacks by cats and dogs, automobile traffic, etc.). In the week or two before the accident, Jeff had commented on how he was kinda bummed that Awesome Possum had disappeared and how he hoped the possum hadn't died. It wasn't a huge deal or anything- we just kind of liked that possum, probably because he was so fearless on the fence when he knew that at least two dogs and a couple of people were watching him.
So Awesome Possum returned tonight, a bit larger, apparently healthy, and driving Max and Lucy absolutely nuts. I'm curious where he went and what he was up to during his absence. Even though he's just a freaky little possum, I'm sure that Jeff would be happy to have him back.
Class today was only half a day.
This afternoon Mandy, Camille, and I visited the cemetary for the first time since the funeral. It's a very nice place, but I had sort of a hard time. I'm just going to miss Jeff a hell of a lot. There were these little gardners racing around on riding lawnmowers in giant cowboy hats, and I thought Jeff would have gotten a chuckle out of them. It's a peaceful place, and as I've said, I like the wind chimes and the way people have decorated spots for their loved ones.
Hannah and Stephanie are supposed to come over in awhile and bring some food. Hopefully they'll bring their kids. I've learned that there's nothing like having kids around for cheering people up (at least when the kids are in a good mood- but at this point we have the luxury of being able to bid them a fond adieu once they get especially cranky).
Cassidy has been sorely neglected since Jeff's accident, but hopefully the big payoff of having my brother's dogs move into town (new playmates!) will make things alright soon. I've been spending a lot of time over at the Wilson house, and everyone seems to assume that I'm doing it just to help Mandy, but I've actually been hanging out over there just as much because I find it comforting. It's just nice to be around people who understand what you're going through. And Camille cracks me up.
Well, that's it for now. Hope you're all doing okay.

p.s.- Camille apparently lost her sense of taste when she tried to help a dog with a cut on its paw, but the blood made her faint and she passed out and hit her head- NOT when she had her car accident. I apologize for any damages that may have been caused when I initially printed erroneous information.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Hey. Still trucking along with my legal education seminar. Hanging out a lot with Mandy and Camille. For those of you who don't know her, Camille is one of Mandy's friends from Boston who has come down to stay with her. She's very, very cool. One bit of Camille trivia is that she has no sense of taste, I think as a result of a head injury from a car accident, so I'm pretty fascinated by that and sometimes find myself asking her what different things "taste" like to her when she eats them. Usually I get responses like "spicey" or "creamy", which she explains as more sensation than taste.
In some ways I'm doing better, but I still have one or two "rough spots" each day, and they suck. Like I said before, it's gonna take some time...
Well, not too much to report. My brother, Roundball, has officially announced that he's moving to Austin, so all of you Adventurers keep you eyes and ears open for jobs (he's currently working in distance learning, but he knows a lot about media, computers, and dealing with academic types. He's also a smart kid and probably willing to try something new.)
Okay. That's it for now.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I'm quasi back to work this week, attending a seminar on trial advocacy skills for prosecutors which is being held at The Doubletree Hotel (the class is affectionately referred to as Baby Prosecutor School by the kids at the courthouse).
Things are okay on Tejas Trail. Mandy's friend (and my friend now, too) Susan came by today with her infant son, Robert. Robert is somewhere in the vicinity of one year old, and although I'm not normally a sucker for babies, that kid just totally cracks me up. He's got a lot of spunk, and he's constantly babbling, completely unaware that he's not actually making words, as he communicates what he wants through a wide and clear set of expressions. Susan is ok, too ; )It's good to have them around, even if they drive Max and Lucy (the Wilson wiener dogs) a little nuts.
Still can't listen to a lot of Jeff music. Eventually those songs will remind me of happy times, but right now they're too much.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

My father and mother were in town and just left this morning. They said I should write a bit more to describe the services for Jeff for people who weren't able to make it, so here goes...

On Friday morning there was a graveside service for Jeff at the cemetary which was kind of semi-private. Mostly family members and close friends were in attendance (many of the close friends group was made up of pall bearers and their families and friends from out of town). The cemetary is a very nice setting, with lots of trees. The cemetary is very Austinish and very Jeff. People have hung wind chimes from the trees and there are various decorations and lawn ornaments among the plants that people have planted. Jeff's childhood pastor presided over the ceremony and told some anecdotes about Jeff (stories about his pond, and going to concerts and so forth). We released monarch butterflies, and they were very beautiful). Many of them flittered around us throughout the ceremony, landing on the flower arrangements and slowly beating their wings. There was a guy who played classical guitar, who I believe was a friend of the family, and most of the people who were in attendance visited with Mandy and the Wilsons after the ceremony.

Later that evening there was a larger, celebration of life ceremony at the Umlauf Sculpture Gardens. The setting was beautiful, taking place in a sort of grove which formed a natural amphitheater among the tall trees, plants, and sculptures. Jeff's minister, Dan, once again gave a short talk, and then a number of people stood up and told stories and said kind words about Jeff (including his boss, current and former coworkers, and other friends). We hooked Jeff's IPod up to a PA system and played some of Jeff's music, and there was a slideshow of photographs that Andy had put together of Jeff with Mandy and friends. Lots and lots of people from the courthouse, from Cleburne, from Beaumont, and just friends from around town showed up. After the short ceremony we all just talked about Jeff and what he meant to everyone and how much we would miss him. The entire affair was very nice and it was great to see so many people come out who genuinely care for Jeff, the Wilsons, and Mandy (and myself).

The formalities have all kind of passed now, for the most part, but we're all still kind of trying to figure out how we're going to go on without him. He was an integral, driving force in so many of our lives, and it's going to be extremely difficult to just pick up and go on without him. It's going to take some time and some healing, but the support that we've gotten from everyone has already helped to ease the process somewhat. Thanks so much.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Thanks to everyone who came out to the memorial ceremony at Umlauf yesterday, and to the smaller crowd who was at the private ceremony at the cemetary. Both services were beautiful, and I think Jeff would have grudgingly approved (I only say grudgingly because he wasn't really the type of guy who enjoys sentimental occasions).
The blogging will probably be kind of light for awhile as I kind of readjust to things. Mandy seems to be holding up fairly well, all things considered, and to be honest, she's and her friends have been helping me through this as much or more than I've been helping them.
I know I'm starting to sound like a broken record, but I'm sincere when I say thanks to everyone for all of your support. It's been an unbelievable outporing, and in many ways it has been life affirming in the midst of such a terrible time.
That's it for now.
Thanks again. Please continue to keep the Wilsons and Mandy in your thoughts and prayers.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Celebration De Wilson

Just wanted to let everybody know that a service will be held in Jeff's honor at the Umlauf Sculpture Garden on Friday night at 6:00 p.m.. Dress will be casual, as the event will take place outside. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to a memorial fund in Jeff's honor. Make donations to the Jeff Wilson Memorial Account, care of Amanda Wilson, at 1504 West Avenue, Austin, TX, 78701. Donations will contribute to some form of charity, but Mandy is still working on deciding exactly how they will be used.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hey, guys. Things continue to progress. Funeral arrangements, meeting with the insurance guy, and visiting the proposed cemetary. Everyone is sad. Sometimes we cry. Friends are here, and mostly we talk about better times with Jeff and sit around realizing how much we all mean to each other.
I think the funeral is going to be on Friday evening, possibly at the Umlauf sculpture gardens. Mandy thinks it should be outside, and given how much Jeff loved to be outside, I think she's probably right on track (in addition to his obvious love of fishing, camping, and swimming, we rarely made it through a two hour movie without Jeff getting up halfway through it to walk around outside and "check on the pond" or examine the garden and the plants in his yard).
Anyway, I'm tired, so I'll keep it short, but thanks for all the love and support.

Monday, July 10, 2006

For those of you who haven't heard, Jeff suffered brain death today at around 11:30 a.m. at Brackenridge. His blood pressure began dropping in the middle of the night last night. They took Jeff out from under sedation, but couldn't get back any positive results when testing his reflexes and autonomic responses (such as coughing and the like). A brain flow test was administered on Jeff and it was determined that he had no blood flow to the brain- a result which indicated brain death.
Jeff's family, Mandy, and myself thank everyone for their support. Jeff was clearly an amazing person, and the tremendous outpouring of love and support that he and his family have received is a testament to the quality of his character and the degree to which people loved him. He was one of the most vibrant, energetic, fun-loving, and caring people that I've ever known (he would be embarrassed by that last bit of description, but it's absolutely true- Jeff would go to any lengths for a friend in trouble, and I say this out of personal experience).
I have lived in Austin for most of my life, and I have never seen the level of empathy and compassion that this tradgedy has produced within our community. Please keep the Wilsons and Mandy in your hearts, thoughts, and prayers as they struggle through the grief of this event and try to begin the healing process.
On a final note, please, please, please don't drive after you've been drinking. Drinking and driving has killed one of my best friends, and it can be averted for the cost of a cab ride or with a phone call to find a different driver. Don't let your ego become involved when you start drinking. Alcohol impairs judgement, and just because you feel that you can make it home doesn't mean that everyone on the road should have to assume the risk of your questionable decision.
At any rate, that's all for now. I love you, Jeff, and I've loved being your friend and neighbor.


Sunday, July 09, 2006

Another fairly long day at the hospital. Thanks again to everyone for their words of encouragement and support.
The ICU staff continues to work to make sure that Jeff's brain is receiving the necessary levels of oxygen despite the problems with his lungs. Apparently Jeff's lungs are not suffering from infection as previously believed, but are actually suffering from ARDS (Acute Respiratory Distress Syndrome), which is a syndrome characterized by secretions and inflammation of lung cells. One of the main causes of ARDS is traumatic injury.
Jeff has been placed on a proning bed in order to aid the healing of his lungs. The proning bed is a giant contraption which Jeff is strapped into which rotates him slowly to various angles before returning him to a flat, faced down position. The proning bed has significantly increased Jeff's oxygen levels, and he is breathing better (the ventilator is doing less work and Jeff is breathing more on his own).
The down side to this is that the movement of the proning bed has caused an increase in the intracranial pressure in Jeff's brain. Although the doctors don't like to see the pressure at the levels that they are currently seeing in Jeff, they deem this increase in pressure to be an acceptable risk given the current need to repair Jeff's lungs and make sure that his blood stays oxygenated (which is also essential to the functioning of his brain as well as the rest of his bodily organs). The pressure has gone up and down throughout the day to day (they continue to try to control it with meds), but on the whole, it has been considerably higher than it has been on any other days since he entered the hospital.
In short, Jeff's condition remains extremely grave, but at the moment it is stable, and the nurses say that his lungs continue to show signs of improvement. What we are looking for are for his lungs to heal so that the ICU staff can go back to focusing on getting the pressure down in Jeff's brain.
Once again, that's about it.
Mandy seems to be holding up pretty well, all things considered. She's certainly a much stronger person than I am, and she continues to amaze me. Jeff's family are hanging in there as well.
That's it for tonight. Thanks again for the support! Keep it coming!
It's been a very long day, so my post will be short. Jeff suffered some difficulties today relating to his breathing and the amount of oxygen that was entering his bloodstream through his lungs. The medical team extracted some fluid from his lungs, but decided that the fluid was not what was actually causing the oxygen issues, and told us that his lungs were likely suffering from an infection caused by fluid in the lungs following the accident. We went through an extremely scary period in which they couldn't get the oxygen levels to remain constant, even with the use of a respirator. They tried different kinds of antibiotics, but initially none of them helped. Around nine thirty or so, however, Jeff's oxygen levels began to rise and his intracranial pressure began to decrease (both very good things). By the time I left tonight, Jeff was doing much better, but it's still not exactly clear whether the antibiotics were what helped or whether something else is going on. Jeff has been placed in a special bed which will actually hold him in a face down position as his lungs try to heal.
In short, we have dodged a bullet for the moment (and are feeling quite relieved), but Jeff has developed a serious complication in terms of this respiratory problem. Also, of course, the extent of his brain damage continues to be a major concern.
It's very late and I'm pretty exhausted, so I'm going to sign off. Please keep up your prayers and positive thoughts. We had a stark reminder today that Jeff isn't out of the woods yet.

p.s.- Kim and Sigmund are okay. I saw them today as well.

Friday, July 07, 2006

I appreciate all of the thanks that I've gotten for posting these updates, but it's really the least I can do, under the circumstances. As much as you appreciate the updates, I appreciate the support.
I spent pretty much the whole day again at the hospital. Apparently Jeff's parents spoke with Jeff's doctor before we arrived, and his report is probably best characterized (to the best of my understanding) as very guardedly optimistic. The doctor stated that the first 72 hours after the traumatic event are the most critical in a brain trauma case, and that he (i.e., the doctor) was fairly satisfied with Jeff's slow but fairly steady progress during that period. The brain swelling continues to be an issue, but it's an issue which is apparently common to all of these sorts of cases, and the doctor felt that Jeff's swelling has been controlled fairly well. The swelling continues to make it difficult for the medical staff to make an assessment of the extent of Jeff's injuries, but from what they can tell so far, the doctor says that there is good reason to hold out hope for recovery. Essentially, the fact that Jeff hasn't gotten any worse and has made it through the first 72 hours without further injury from brain swelling is a big victory, but Jeff hasn't made it out of the woods yet. Jeff now has had a feeding tube inserted so that his body can contiue to receive nutrition as he recovers, and although he can breathe on his own, he's on a ventilator so that he can be given increased levels of oxygen (which is supposed to help speed the recovery process in his brain).
So we're happy. We're not exactly ready to throw a party yet, but the simple fact that they're now saying that there is a valid reason to hold out hope makes us all feel a lot better.
Kim and Sigmund visited the hospital today after another doctor's visit, and they seem to be holding up pretty well, all things considered. They both, of course, remain extremely concerned about Jeff and seem determined to lend their support to him in any way they can, which is pretty incredible considering how much they've been suffering themselves and the ordeals that they're going through in their own recovery.
At any rate, thanks again to everyone for being so supportive. This ordeal has been, of course, extraordinarily difficult, but the positive energy that has been provided by the community of friends and family surrounding the Wilsons and the Blooms (as well as myself) has not only fueled our ability for dealing emotionally and spiritually with such an event, but it has laid the groundwork for what we hope will be a successful period of recovery. I know that everyone has their own lives to lead, but please don't forget the Blooms and the Wilsons as time passes and the shock of this event fades. They will continue to need and thrive upon your support.
Good night, guys. I wish you all the best.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Once again, I just thought I might let everyone know how Jeff and the Blooms are progressing following their accident. I spent most of the day at the hospital, and the short version of the story is that the medical staff at Brackenridge is fighting a constant, ongoing battle to keep the swelling down in Jeff's brain so that he can avoid any further brain damage (the current level of damage is unclear). The swelling seems to periodically start to increase, and then the hospital staff adjust Jeff's meds to bring the swelling back down and under control. Apparently this sort of cyclical swelling pattern is not uncommon in patients with brain damage, and the hospital staff walk a tightrope in administering enough meds to stop the swelling without administering too much medication, risking additional damage.
At any rate, Jeff remains under heavy sedation in order to help control this swelling (so he's pretty much nonresponsive to stimuli), but his vital signs remain strong. Essentially, Jeff remains in a sort of holding pattern under the watchful (and apparently quite skillful) eye of the Brackenridge ICU staff.
Kim and Sigmund visited the ICU waiting room today and stayed for quite awhile before I took them home. They're sore, but continuing to recover, and Sigmund's family began to arrive in town today to help with their care. Incidentally, today was Sigmund's birthday, so those of you who know him may want to send him some birthday wishes (although they may be belated- but better late than never, right?).
At any rate, things continue to progress, and since I'm pretty much operating under the theory that if it's not bad news it's good news, I guess I feel okay about how things are going.
Please continue to lend your support and keep Jeff and the Blooms in your thoughts. The road to recovery will be a long one. I'm having a hard time returning the many, many phone calls I'm receiving, so bear with me, please, if you've called me and haven't received a return call.
That's it for tonight, guys.
Love, peace, and all the good stuff....
Well, I just wanted to post a quick update after spending most of my day at the hospital. Jeff continues to fight his way through recovery. His condition is still critical, and we're basically still waiting to see how he's doing once the swelling goes down in his brain (he's currently in a medically induced coma meant to protect him until the brain swelling subsides). He shows small signs which give us hope, but he is severely injured and has a very long way to go.
I didn't see Kim and Sigmund today, but I talked to them several times on the phone. They visited their doctor and are resting and recuperating at home. They both are in a significant amount of pain, but they're managing it with meds and rest, and they seem to be staying in pretty good spirits.
The support that Jeff and his family have received from friends and everyone in their extended community has been tremendous. I want to send out my own thanks to everyone for all the love that has been shown to them. Please continue to keep them in your thoughts and prayers, as Jeff's road to recovery is likely to be long and difficult. The positive energy that's been given to to Jeff and his family (as well as Kim and Sigmund) has made all the difference in the world, I assure you.
Thanks again. Don't take any of your friends or loved ones for granted, guys.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

For those of you who don't already know, Jeff Wilson (aka, Crackbass), Sigmund Bloom, and Kim Bloom were involved in an accident on Monday night. I was out of town at the time visiting my family down in Houston. The Wilsons and the Blooms were leaving a Black Crowes concert at the Backyard (an Austin concert venue) and were standing on the side of the road waiting for sheriff's deputies (who were directing traffic) to wave them across the highway so that they could reach their car when a drunk driver jumped the curb and struck Kim, Sigmund, and Jeff as well as two other people that I don't know. Kim and Sigmund were transported by ambulance to Brackenridge and Jeff was transported by lifeflight helicopter. Kim suffered broken bones in her foot as well as many bruises and scrapes, and Sigmund suffered a concussion, broken bones in his hand, and many scrapes and bruises, including a black eye. Jeff suffered a fractured skull and brain injury. He remains unconscious as I write this, and has gone through surgery to alleviate swelling to his brain. His prognosis is uncertain, and we're all just waiting, hoping, and praying to see what the extent of the damage and what his recovery will be.
Apparently one of the other people who was struck was also placed in Brackenridge's ICU with Jeff and is making some progress. The fifth individual suffered serious, but non life threatening injuries.
Mandy, Jeff's wife, was present at the scene of the accident, but was not struck by the vehicle.
I know that the Travis County criminal courthouse community and everyone within Jeff's very wide circle of friends is filled with a sense of shock and grief at this turn of events, though we remain hopeful for his recovery. Please extend your thoughts, prayers, and support in whatever way you see fit to Jeff and his family. Jeff has already beaten the odds several times in simply surviving this far (when he was initially brought to the trauma center, doctors said they didn't expect him to live through the night), and I believe that he can and will continue to make progress, but this is also a sad and scary time.

I know Jeff and I have often bickered on this blog and others like a couple of old hens, but I really do love the guy like a brother (I think it's actually because we're such good friends that we manage to argue so much and then hang out together on a daily basis). My heart and the best wishes that I can possibly muster go out to Jeff, Mandy, Jeff's family, and Jeff's other friends.
Likewise, I wish the Blooms a speedy recovery in both body and spirit. They've suffered tremedously in this ordeal and I hope they get better fast.
I'm not an overtly religious person, but I'm not without sprituality, and I believe strongly in the power of connections between people and their ability to change the world in many ways. Please, please, please send Jeff your positive thoughts and/or prayers and lend he and Mandy your support. They're among the best folks that I've known and I love them both.
I'm very tired. I'll try to let you guys know what's going on as things develop.

Monday, July 03, 2006

The 4th of July weekend vacation has gone well so far. After Roundball and McSteans showed up, the Admiral carved up a brisket that Karebear had prepared....
and Roundball caught up on some family gossip with Cassidy.

We all took a trip to the science museum...

....where we looked at butterflies....

....... and dinosaurs.

It's been a nice, pretty relaxing trip, and we've eaten a whole lot of good food. It's been raining quite a bit, but we even managed to get some sunshine for swimming in my folks' pool yesterday morning.
Hope you Adventurers are doing alright!!!!