Saturday, February 28, 2009
My mom had to head home this morning which is a big bummer and will be really hard on her. Yesterday she went out to the grocer store for me and came back with an enormous yummy salad, a bunch of fruit, some chips and guacamole. Between that and the Taft family gift basket I'm living large on the food front. The hospital food is pretty good, it just doesn't come across as all that healthy.
My friend Morgan Putnam is coming in this afternoon and will be here tomorrow as well, which is pretty cool. He's one of my best buds from high school and is doing a phd program out at Cal Tech these days. Kid's wicked smart. He's nicern'n hell to and a load of fun, so I'm really looking forward to that. I just wish we could sneak out and take a few runs at Alta as long as he made the trip.
Getting back to my feet, last night was an unusual but exciting experience. I was getting ready to hop back on the computer so naturally I got real warm, and then my feet started burning. You know that feeling during a hot summer run when your feet are prickly hot and ready to blister? And you can feel the blood throbbing in every vein? Well, for the first time I think I felt that hot, burning, throbbing sensation in all my toes, even the big ones. On the other hand, I know that the mind can play tricks with this stuff so I'm not letting myself get too optimistic. In addition, even if I am getting blood flow, if the tissue has been sitting without blood long enough it may not recover. In any case though, that was the first time that keeping all my toes went from an abstract goal to a concrete possibility in my mind. So, let's keep our fingers crossed eh?
Thanks again to everyone for the flood of support, it's pretty overwhelming. For those of you who have sent me emails, I sooo appreciate it and am slowly responding as I have the energy.
I also can't thank everyone enough for the postcards, notes, phone calls, blog comments, views, g-chats, and everything else. I feel so lucky to have such a great support crew scattered throughout the country and the world -- all of you just blow me away. Thanks.
Thursday, February 26, 2009
Grand Teton Races - 2006
This is the year that I met Chris. I had done the 50 miler the day before and he won the marathon that year.
This is a picture of Chris, me and our friend Cole after a great run up Static Peak and back through Grand Teton National Park. We started and ended at the new Rockfeller Intepretive Center in the park.
This picture was taken on top of Death Canyon Shelf in the park. We did this run with our friends, Kris and Julie and it was a spectacular day.
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
It's difficult to tell just how deep some of the dead tissue goes, but as we go along here there'll be more encounters with sharp objects to sort that out. I'm back on standard system-wide blood thinners again to try and persuade more blood towards my toes. Other than that, I've discarded a lot of tubes and wires. The catheter is now out so I get to practice my road trip peeing technique pretty frequently.
It's been so great to hear from so many people over the past few days. It's almost hard to remember what's going on when the phone is always ringing and the emails and comments are pouring in. I don't know how I'll ever be able to thank all of you for your incredible support through this but it all means just so much to me.
I feel so lucky to have such great family and friends. The efforts that have been made to clear schedules, make phone calls, travel down here, and take care of my business back home have been unbelievable. A very special thanks to Lori for being the best part of my life and for everything she's done for me. Without her I likely would not have gone to the hospital until it was far too late to save anything. She was also the voice of reason when I was unsure about coming to Salt Lake. I could never list all of the ways that she makes my life better, but those are certainly the most immediately relevant examples. I couldn't imagine a better friend and partner for all of the ups and downs of life.
Not sure what's on the schedule for tomorrow, other than some physical therapy. I'll get to stand up on my heels! Not exactly a thrill ride, but it'll be something.
Allen appears to have a misstatement of fact in the FAQs, I may have been a bit fatigued, but not tired. It's cool, just want to be sure that it's known that I don't endorse the use of the "t" word.
Did Chris really think the trip would only take 3 hours? No!!! That was my mistake...when listening to the story over and over again, I so how got it in my head that it was supposed to be a short trip and at the time, that made sense. Obviously, the day trip took longer than expected, but they weren't off by 20 hour (although it was quite funny that those that know Chris pretty well were not surprised at the possibility of a 20 hour miscalculation). I promised Chris I would clear that up...my bad ;)
How is the Lundberg family doing? Well, about as well as could be expected. It depends on the time of day I guess. It was nice to see my mom for a second and that she was able to make the trip. It is also nice that her and my can be there together before he heads of to Kansas for work. I am so/so...I mean I am happier than can be that nothing worse happened to Chris, but when someone as important as a younger brother gets hurt in anyway, it is tough to deal with and all I want to do is help him get better and wish I could have been their to protect him in the first place ;)
How is Chris' friend? Derek is ok...a little tired, but nothing major. There are so many factors that could cause one person to ok and another to not in a situation like this. All I know is that when I talked with Chris on his birthday a week ago, he was tremendously excited about the ski and thought that Derek was the best skier he had ever met, so he knew he was going to have to do his best to keep up ;) So, my guess is although Chris is very fit, that his body just got too tired and he couldn't produce enough heat anymore in addition to his choice of socks, etc. It is just one of those things...on a different day; there could have been a much more positive result for an excursion like this.
Anyone who knows Chris knows that he is exactly who he should be, his truest self. It’s not stupidity and far from a death wish, but the other side of it, living life fully. People like Chris and Derek smile all the time; they are the best company in the world, totally positive, giving and grateful. I think because they get out and do long trips in the mountains, it soothes everything in them. Running and skiing to them is like breathing to others.
I just think Chris going to be okay, not right away and not without great expense but he will be fine. And back to doing what he does. I can’t wait to get him home.
Because it’s a blog, I’ll end with a quote:
“The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation and go to the grave with the song still in them.”
Henry David Thoreau (who also has a sweet beard)
Just a note to those concerned with Chris’s beard, his beard was in not harmed in any way during his hospitalization. He did however get a little manscape-ing down there for the central lines. Pictures to follow.
The big question, I assume, is whether or not I get to go through an amputation as a result of the frostbite. Like Allen has noted, that's a difficult question to answer right now. I can say that my fingers are in pretty good shape, though swollen and blistered, so I ought to be keeping those I hope. On my left foot, the biggest question marks are my big and little toes, though all of the toes are somewhat vulnerable. The right foot is the bigges issue though -- at this point about half of my foot and all my toes are at risk. The extent of all of this depends on how I recover over the next couple weeks.
What I can say for sure at this point is that regardless of what does or does not get lopped off of my feet, I won't be slowed down. It's a setback for sure, but we've all had setbacks and dealt with them over time. This is just one more challenge. I had been hoping to race the Eugene Marathon in May this year, which probably won't be happening. It's probably a bit early to commit to a race right now, but I'll be aiming for something in the spring of 2010. I'll also try to put some updates about that up over the next few months.
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
Chris is currently struggling with caffeine withdrawal. He is unable to consume caffeine until the fate of his feet, toes, and fingers has been decided and any necessary surgical procedures have been completed. So, you could imagine what his head feels like right now. Therefore, it is difficult for him to make phone calls because of the pain in his head. Also, until this afternoon Chris has been limited to a laying-down only position, so e-mailing has been tough too. Hopefully over the next couple of days, his severe headache will improve and he will be able to sit-up and type and possibly talk on the phone.
If you would like to send Chris anything or visit him over the next week and a half, he will be at the University of Utah Medical Center: University Health Care 50 North Medical Drive Salt Lake City, Utah 84132. Over the next couple of days, we will let you know the address of where Chris will be staying in Jackson Hole, WY if everything goes as planned.
Thank you all again for all of your support during this difficult time and check back for updates.
On Saturday Chris and a friend climbed into the Tetons for a back country cross-country ski that ended up taking 23 hours due to more difficult skiing than they imagined, a dramatic change in weather (the temp started at 40ish and dropped to -10ish by the end), and the navigation issues that go along with skiing in the back country. With the combination of the dramatic temperature change and the exhaustion of skiing for such a long period of time, Chris' feet and fingers went from sweaty to frozen and his body could not produce enough heat to unfreeze them. The doctors at the Jackson Hole,
Upon arriving in
Chris is in as good of spirits as could be expected, but he is obviously very concerned about the future of his feet and hand. The doctors tell him that in the situation he was in, he made the right choice by continuing down the mountain rather than stopping to build a fire, etc. which makes him feel a little better. Plus, he had a blast skiing with the exception of the frostbite and thinks that it was the hardest workout he has ever completed.
We are all thankful that Chris is alive and hoping that he gets through this with the least amount of damage and without any complications in response to the treatment he is receiving and throughout the recovery process.