I went back to Ohio

First off, hello Gary and Puddy — Nice to meet you at the Baltimore airport and we hope you made your connecting flight in Detroit! 🙂

We’re back home after our Baltimore odyssey. Oh, home feels so good, for it’s been a long day after a night of sketchy sleep at the hotel. Right now I’ll throw out a few bits of news since my last update.


First, a phone message from my (biological) father’s sister. My father was admitted to the hospital from his nursing home. He has a bleed in his brain and is unresponsive. Both his doctor from the home and his sister agreed he would not wish to have surgery, so they’re not performing any. I’m fine with that.

He and I have been estranged for several years, so this news leaves me feeling pretty ambivalent. I don’t intend to go out to see him, nor do I intend to go to the funeral when he does pass. I lost him as a father decades ago, if I ever really had him as one. Callous as this will sound, this is a man who’s effectively a stranger, but one with strings attached.

Back to good news now.

Second, Howie’s decided the surgery is something he wants to have. There’s a good chance he’ll be vastly improved from it, and so much has happened to lead us there, we have peace about it.

His total time off will be about six weeks and he’ll have follow-up visits at 3-weeks, 6-weeks, 6 months, 1 year and 2 years. Round-trip airfare between Columbus and Baltimore costs almost $500 a pop each time we go. Additionally, the flights are not non-stop, and that would make for grueling post-op days for Howie when it came time for those first two follow-up appointments.

Therefore, it makes more sense for us to stay there the first 6 weeks after surgery. We’ll just drive out there so we aren’t at the mercy of trains, busses and unscrupulous cab drivers.

We are blessed and humbled by all of this — God is SO much bigger than any of us, you know? It will be strange and kind of lonely to be away from Ohio for that long, but we’ll be okay. We’ve got friends out there from Dave’s Garden, plus Howie’s old co-worker and his family live there, too.

Speaking of Howie’s old co-worker, we went to dinner with him and his family at Bertha’s. Have to tell you, the fellowship was wonderful but we were not impressed with Bertha’s. We were treated in an unwelcoming manner by the host and waitress, and this really put a damper on things. The waitress acted rushed even though it was not a busy night. She tended to other diners in the room, yet we had to flag her for anything we needed.

The food was good, but we waited a half hour before our salads were brought, an it was 45-60 minutes before we got our entrees. It was not busy that night, just a Thursday night with no live music. It was surprising and disappointing, especially after hearing such good things about them. I e-mailed and told them as much.

Update: We got a nice e-mail back from the son of the owners; he apologized for the way we were treated and asked us to give them another chance when we come back to Baltimore.

But, you know what? In the grand scheme of things, being snubbed by Bertha’s people is really pretty small potatoes. It’s good to have perspective!

This entry was posted in Family.

3 thoughts on “I went back to Ohio

  1. Kimberley, contact http://www.jhintl.net/JHI/English/Patients/Accommodations/ and ask the hospital to help you and Howie find long-term outpatient housing for the six months you’ll be staying in Baltimore. All hospitals accepting patients from out-of-town, -state, -country offer discounted rates for hotel rooms and apartments (and many of them also offer vouchers for transportation and other services). Love you — Bonnie

  2. Hi, Bonnie. I wrote to one place which offers long-term accommodations, and they charged something like $130/night the first 10 nights and $70/night after that. Granted, that was for a private 2-br townhouse. We don’t need anything that big. We would like to have the dogs with us if we can, though, and this place doesn’t allow them. We’d like to be away from the city itself, too. We know God’s led us this far and He’ll help us find the right place.

  3. There are plenty of dog friendly, safe and secure long term stay hotels near the hospital. When Howie is ready for the surgery please email me with the dates. I am also sure there is housing for patients and families close to the hospital at great rates for you guys and the pets. Sue and I are very fortunate and it would be our humble pleasure to help out in any way you guys need when the time comes. Just from emailing I know you guys would do the same if the positions were reversed. Just keep us in the loop so we know when to get involved.

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