Craig here we come

19 Dec

Lots happened Monday. First of all, Mom toured Craig Hospital with Bob Asmuth and Mary Heigel. They were all extremely impressed. The have a “never say never” attitude. They encourage active participation from the family, and they will have a custom-made wheelchair for Joel within his first 24 hours there.

They are going to be able to give Erika a place to stay, and we will give her a car. So Joel, Erika and all of us decided Craig is the place to be. Right now it’s a wait-and-see game as to when he will go.

I was just told that Craig will keep a bed open for him until Thursday. Joel and I are hoping he can leave tomorrow sometime. The big thing is his chest tubes and whether the doctors will sign off on a transfer. They may leave the tubes in for transfer. The transfer will include: putting Joel in an ambulance and taking him to the Flagstaff airport, then flying him to Centenial airport in Denver and then putting him into an ambulance to Craig hospital. Erika will go with him for the whole transfer.

I talked to Dr. Glover, Joel’s spinal surgeon, this morning. He said Joel has “sailed through surgery.” He’s seeing a lot of good progress. He didn’t say anything about increased sensation, but he liked the way his chest x-ray looked. So Joel and Erika will be in Denver either Wednesday or Thursday.

Today, Joel might leave his ICU room and visit the hospital — maybe even go outside. He’s sleeping and eating well and his mucus is diminishing. This is all great news.

— Bryan


Posted by on December 19, 2006 in Previous Posts


9 responses to “Craig here we come

  1. recoveryjoel

    December 19, 2006 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Joel;

    This is Piper writing (I have amazing dexterity with my toenails),
    I’m Bryan and Jess’ golden retriever. I’m having a fun old time at
    Jean’s as her fence blew down and I get to play with a big sometimes
    cranky golden retriever who lives next door (we’re sharing back yards
    right now). Lady is too old to play much, even though I invite her
    as sweetly as I can. We do get along well though.

    I even found a (ta DAH) ball and tried to bury it in Jean’s garden
    bed. For some reason, she didn’t like the fantastically,
    delightfully filthy ball dropped on her carpet in her office! Can
    you imagine that? Geesh, what a grump (not really, just about the

    I hope you’re doing better – if you can feel your toes, that’s a
    really good sign, isn’t it? I like to chase my tail; have you tried
    that? It’s really fun, except when my mouth forgets that it’s MY
    tail, and chomps down really hard (that hurts!). You probably
    wouldn’t chase your tail quite like I do – after all, I DO have a
    gorgeous very hairy golden retriever tail! It’s quite inticing to
    chase. I understand that human tails aren’t much to brag about.

    Jean refilled my food plastic bag, so all is VERY well here.

    I hope you get better REALLY soon! You have a lot of people pulling
    for you, plus at least one cheery, happy dog.

    Love from Piper

  2. Amber

    December 19, 2006 at 6:01 pm

    HI Yoel!
    Everything sounds so fabulous! I was just reading up about Craig and it sounds like a great facility! They seem so positive and experienced! It sounds like this has been a difficult decision but it looks like a good one. Now all us southwesters have an excuse to go to Colorado! We will miss you though!

    I hope you get to go outside today!The fresh air will be heaven sent! Help get rid of that mucous!

    You are making such great improvements…I am very proud of you!!
    Always in my thoughts!

    PS I hear what your cluckin’, Big Chicken! (My favorite, Joelism)

  3. Eric

    December 19, 2006 at 6:51 pm


    This is great news — Craig Hospital sounds phenomenal! Good luck with the transfer and we’ll talk to you once you arrive in beautiful Colorado. We can’t wait to see you — sometime in Feb or Mar.

    Be good,

  4. Kim, Mike and Matilda

    December 19, 2006 at 7:22 pm

    Fabulous news on the transfer to Craig. We are hoping and praying that all the details fall into place with the doctors, nurses, ambulances, flights, etc.
    A former co-worker of mine had a family member that was at Craig and had a wonderful experience and full recovery with them.
    Hopefully we will see you all soon and be able to challenge the Yates boys with a ride up to Jamestown this spring!

  5. Amy

    December 19, 2006 at 8:10 pm

    Joel, Craig looks like an excellent facility, even an indoor basketball court – I envision you mastering the game of wheelchair basketball in no time! They seem to have a great reputation and based on what I saw, I’m sure you’ll be impressed by the plan they put in place for you as well.

  6. Matt

    December 19, 2006 at 8:31 pm

    Good to hear things are continually improving. I hope you get to go outside and be one with nature again. Once your in CO ill have to fly up from where ever I am and drop in, maybe with a case of Fat Tire, well maybe a holiday 10 or 11 pack, they are pretty good. I hope tomorrow brings continued improvements.

  7. Maria Hansen

    December 19, 2006 at 10:23 pm

    Keep coughing up the mucus! Use that incentive spirometer and try to hug a pillow. Keep up the good work, we’re all thinking of you in Boston.

  8. Lacy

    December 19, 2006 at 11:28 pm

    I am so glad to hear that your surgery went well, my thoughts and prayers have been with you every day. The place in Colorado sounds wonderful and I have no doubt that your improvements will continue to be greater and greater.
    I have really missed working and hanging out with you these past few months, my 13 hour dates have not been the same without you around to laugh at them.
    I hope that you and Erika have a safe move back to Colorado this week, I will continue to check up on you using this impressive web-site.
    Take care,

  9. Brad

    December 20, 2006 at 5:36 am

    Good to here you are doing better.
    Later Brad


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