Shhhh. He’s finally getting some sleep. I don’t know how, with all the action going on around him in the 4 bed ward. Next to him is a young man who is handcuffed to the bed with two armed guards watching over him. Well, actually I can’t see their weapons but they must have them. He is very polite to the nurses and is worried about missing a meeting because of his parol. All I have seen of him is his feet. Across from Randy is a new patient, who seems quite pleasant, especially now that he is snoring loudly after his suppository. The cute little old lady who rounds out the 4-some is sitting quietly in her chair, not a peep unless the nurse talks to her.
The nurses are wonderful, overworked, gentle, lovely people. I miss the ICU though, where he had his own nurse and brand new facilities.
My brother is no stranger to hospitals – he has been in and out of them since he was 21 years old and was diagnosed with colitis. After years of problems and lots of scar tissue he had a second colostomy, which stopped the colitis but left him with his “methane powered walkman.” But he had a few years of no problems and no hospitals.
Randy is an 8 time Ironman – his first one was in 1983, I believe. He is amazing to watch when he does anything physical – he is the most beautiful skier on the hill. Ride behind him on your bike and you will see how technique is everything. Run with him and you will see how effortless it can look if you run with good form. He never had a heart rate monitor or a bike computer until recently. He just goes outside and does it and knows how he feels and what that means for him.
Ten years ago the doctor’s discovered that what they thought was asthma was lungs full of blood clots and they told us that he had been “an eyelash” away from leaving us. Surgery. Blood thinners. The doctors saved him. They said he had a remarkable recovery because he was in such good shape from all his training. Two years ago the doctors saved him again, this time from cancer. Again, they said he had a remarkable recovery because of his training and lifestyle.
Now I sit and watch him sleep after a stroke nearly took him from us again. Having trouble writing this through tears. They are saying that he is having a remarkable recovery again – he is a fighter, an Ironman. I call him the Bionic Man. Through all of his life and all of the times that his physical body has tried to quit, Randy”s heart, spirit and soul have fought back and won the battle. Right now the hiccups are leading the strike – horrible, painful, constant fucking hiccups. They keep him awake and if he does manage to fall asleep, they wake him up. He has trouble swallowing his food because of them. They choke him.
I asked for prayers for our brother, our hero and you sent them and they work. I honestly don’t have the words to thank everyone for how much you all love our brother. Randy is so special to everyone who knows him. He is everybody’s brother, everybody’s Uncle Randy, everybody’s friend.
I love you, Randy.