Thursday, January 20, 2011

Ralphie, the ultimate straight man

Talked to Diane this morning to tell her Frank is heading that way and will see them before he has meetings today in New Orleans.  She was home on the North Shore in Covington resting and playing with their beloved kitties.

We talked for a while yesterday as she related the story of the past week for them.  A big problem is that the hospital blocks cell phone transmissions so they cannot easily make calls.  But they can get texts.  Hmm.

This is a typical Ralphie story.  After the first two strokes they are in the hospital and he is alert and looking good.  During an MRI he has a third and a fourth stroke and lapses into a coma.  Back in the room two days later, he wakes up, looks around and asks Diane where he is. 

She says, in the hospital.  Do you know who I am?
He thinks and says, Diane.  She is thrilled.
She says, Do you know who you are?  He says, Ralph.
She is even more thrilled.
Where am I, he asks again.  And why?
She tells him he has had a stroke.

He looks at her like they were talking about an earthquake in the far reaches of the world.  With his deep slow Southern drawl, he says, Bummer.

That is Ralph.

He is now in a coma.  They know there is blood in his brain on the inside, and they can't easily get in there to remove it.  So it is touch and go.  The doctor told her he was not giving up yet and she should not either.  But from our conversation yesterday, I think she is steeling herself for a bad outcome to this.

I am texting her multiple times during the day, with love messages.  And Frank will be able to really hug her and I know she will cry on his shoulder.  I asked him to touch Ralphie's hand for me and let him know we love him.

glen:  and right now, that is all we can do

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