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Saturday, 3 June 2006
It's all so encouraging, this will be the final entry
On Thursday, June 1, on her first outing since the surgery, Augusta
visited her surgeon and had an x-ray. He congratulated her on her
excellent recovery so far. The pain in her knee turned out to be only
a bruise, hidden by the tight stockings she had to wear. Finally, she
has been able to take off the stockings, which allows her take
showers on her own. She and has felt better ever since.

The nurse and the health aide have finished their home visits and the physical therapist comes for the last time on Monday, June 5. All of have given Augusta kudos for her doing her exercises and recovering so well.

Augusta is now cooking and cleaning for herself but still needs help
with shopping. She won't be able to drive until mid- to late-June.
(She also won't be able to swim until after her next visit with the
surgeon on July 6.) If you feel moved to give her help with grocery
shopping, call her at 525-8870.

Augusta is enjoying this time for reflection and doesn't mind being
alone. She also welcomes occasional visits. Best to call first.

Her gratitude is best expressed in her own words:

People have really been very generous; it has been truly amazing, and I feel extra ordinarily blessed.

Augusta's brother, Sypko, and sister-in-law, Carolyn, thank all of
you from the bottom of their heart for your wonderful generosity in
providing meals, doing shopping, cleaning the apartment, changing the sheets, watering the plants, giving Augusta sessions of various
kinds, sending her healing thoughts and prayers, and helping in ways we don't even know about.. Our minds are at ease knowing that Augusta is surrounded and supported by a network of such fine friends.

Posted by John Bear at 12:41 PM PDT
Thursday, 18 May 2006
The good news continues to continue.
Augusta's recovery is going well since she returned home on Saturday May 13th. She maneuvers around her small apartment, using her walker, sits at her desk or dining table for surprisingly long stretches, and rests in bed whenever she can. Yesterday, the Home Health Aid from Kaiser helped her take a shower, a great delight. The Home Nurse and the Physical Therapist have also been caring and helpful.

Although Augusta has experienced more physical pain after this surgery than the previous one, she no longer feels the need to take pain medication.

This week, her brother and sister in law, Sypko and Carolyn, are with her almost daily, through Saturday May 20th. Augusta has been enjoying dinners with them and with mutual friends. She finds it an amazing treat to be cooked for, and have the dishes done afterwards.

Augusta feels as if she can relax and enjoy her recovery knowing that a friend is scheduled to come by almost every day between now and the end of May. Her upstairs neighbors, from whom she rents her apartment, are also kindly keeping an eye on her and helping with laundry and such.

If you want to check in with her, or find out if she needs anything from the store, please give Augusta a call at 510 525 8870.

If you can help with a meal and/or dishwashing on Wednesday or Thursday (May 24 or 25), call Carolyn (cell phone 510 684-2676). Closer to the time, call Augusta about the best time to bring the meal.

By June, Augusta believes she will be able to handle her own meals and cleaning, but will continue to need help with shopping. She won’t be able to drive for a while.

Augusta wants you to know she is deeply grateful for your help.

Posted by John Bear at 1:02 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006 1:07 PM PDT
Friday, 12 May 2006
Good news continues.
This is Friday evening's message from Carolyn:

Augusta's going home from Kaiser-Oakland Saturday morning, May 13. Her friends, Ann and Loren Dales--bless their hearts--are bringing her home from the hospital, and another friend is providing her a main meal at home. Big thanks. (More below on how you, too, can help Augusta by bringing her a meal.)

While at the hospital, Augusta was up and walking on Thursday and Friday and taking pain medication only as needed. Although she was relatively pain-free while lying still, she said that it hurt to move. While she didn't need blood during the surgery, she did receive a transfusion a day or two afterwards. She guesses this was to help boost her energy so that she could go home sooner.

Augusta sends love and blessings to all of you and is moved by the various ways in which you are helping.


A number of people have signed up to bring meals at least through the end of May. A few days are still available during the weeks of the 21st and 28th. If you feel moved to help Augusta in this way, please contact her sister-in-law, Carolyn Shaffer, who lives in Ashland, OR. Carolyn will be coming to the East Bay with her husband, Sypko, Augusta's brother, on Monday, May 15, and staying through Sunday morning, May 22.

Toll-free line that rings: 866-488-0058
Toll-free voice mail line (doesn't ring): 877-488-0058

Between Mon, May 15 and Sunday morning, May 21:
Cell phone with East Bay area code (510) 684-2676

Posted by John Bear at 10:52 PM PDT
Updated: Thursday, 18 May 2006 1:06 PM PDT
Wednesday, 10 May 2006
The daily report from Augusta's sister-in-law
On Tuesday, May 9, at 9:30 am, Dr. Kan Gill and his surgical team replaced Augusta's left hip. According to Dr. Gill, the surgery went "better than expected and faster than expected." Augusta had no need for a transfusion since bleeding was minimal. Because she had a "spinal" instead of general anesthesia, she was aware of what was going on during surgery but felt no pain, which is what she wanted. Although Augusta experienced some nausea afterwards, by 8:30 pm, when Sypko and Carolyn spoke with her, she had been able to take in a meal of chicken broth and Jello. She amazed the two of them by carrying on a lively, detailed and focused conversation. She did say that her eyes were not nearly as focused as her speech, probably a temporary effect of the anesthesia.

Augusta felt especially blessed this year to have a private room at Kaiser Oakland. Her friend, Anna, who brought her to the hospital and was with her after the surgery, warmed up this room by hanging one of Augusta's mandalas on the wall and creating a small altar of treasured objects near it.

You can call Augusta directly, if you wish, at 510-752-0704. If you visit her, she's in Room 704 at Kaiser Permanente Oakland Medical Center at the corner of Broadway and West MacArthur.

She will most likely be released to go home on Saturday or Sunday morning, May 13 or 14. To find out whether Augusta is still at the hospital, call either the main Patient Information Number--541-752-1000--or, if no one picks up there, call Emergency--541-752-7600--and follow the menu instructions for Patient Information.

Posted by John Bear at 11:02 AM PDT
Tuesday, 9 May 2006
The surgery went extremely well.
As well as could be expected. Augusta is just fine, and happily has a private room (704), not a shared room as with Hip #1 last fall.

The surgery was delayed a bit, while preparations were made for blood transfusions if needed, but they were not needed; there was very little blood loss.

Augusta should be ready to take phone calls in about 24 hours, and will probably be going home in four days, give or take.

Posted by John Bear at 6:15 PM PDT
Updated: Tuesday, 9 May 2006 10:09 PM PDT
Thursday, 20 April 2006
"Back in business" for Hip #2: HOW YOU CAN HELP
It's late April, and time to wake from hibernation, because Augusta's second hip replacement operation is growing closer: May 9th, at Kaiser-Oakland Hospital. We'll post regular updates, beginning then. Meanwhile, here is a message from Augusta's sister-in-law (Carolyn) and brother (Sypko), about ways in which you can help.

One way you can help right now is to take a minute or so to imagine August fully recovered from her surgery by her birthday, August 3. See her free of her walker and walking sticks, comfortably climbing s tairs, strolling through the park, and joining in circle dances with her beloved SDacred Dance community. Also important: Imagine her sleeping through the night pain-free.

Other kinds of help and attention August would appreciate: cards, flowers, and short visits and phone calls (when she can receive these). If you visit her in the hospital, you might bring some fresh fruit and/or healthy sugarless snacks. After her first surgery, she was not able to eat much hospital food. Her diet before and after surgery includes no suger, no wheat, and no red meat, but lots of vegetables.

If you live in the Bay Area, have a car, and wish to provide hands-on help during Augusta's at-home recovery time, contact me, Carolyn Shaffer, ASAP at my toll-free home line, 866-488-0058, or by email: carolynshaff@earthlink.nete. I'll be staying in close touch with Augusta and coordinating the home help schedule. She will probably be heading home on Saturday or Sunday, May 13 or 14. We will be in Berkeley the following week, May 15 (evening) to May 20,helping Augusta settle in. Her friend Anna will be taking her to the hospital and other friends, Ann and Loren Dales, will be bringing her home. Big THANK YOUS to the three of you!

I'll be coordinating two kinds of home help, rotating and fixed. The rotating tasks can be done by a different person every day. These involve shopping and providing dinnere and simple cat care for two weeks or so. The fixedtasks are best done by the same person on a consistent basis. Dolores Prescott has alrady promised to water the deck plants as she did last fall. (Thanks, Dolores). The other fixed task involves changing the bed once a week, vacujuming, and watering the indoor plants--takes no more than 45 to 60 min. (By the way, Augusta could use a better vacuum cleaner--smallcanister type--in case you know of one available.) The treat in providing any of these services is that you get to visit with wonderful Augusta!

One other way of serving is to be the stand-by coordinator in case some unexpected event keeps me from doing this crucial job. If you feel the impulse to offer this--and don't mind emailing and phoning people if called upon--please let me know as soon as possible. This is one service you can provide from a distance.

When the two of us--who now live out of state--reflected on how we can best help (besides traveling to be with Augusta shortly after surgery), we chose to defray some of her medical expenses. We mention this in case financial support would fit better for some of you who might find providing hands-on help a challenge. If so, make your check payable to Augusta Lucas-Andreae and sent it to her at 907 Keeler Avenue, Berkeley, CA 94708.

We feel deeply blessed to have Augusta ion our life. We want to be updated on her situation often and thought you would, too. And please know that Augusta sends heartfelt thanks to all of you who have already given, or plan to offer, help.

Wishing you well.

Carolyn Shaffer and Sypko Andreae
Toll-free 24-hour voice mail: 877-488-0058
Toll-free line that rings in home-office: 866-488-0058
PS: Call Augusta (510-525-8870) if you have a lead on a small vacuum cleaner.
PPS: And be sure tocontact me (Carolyn) ASAP if you're ready to sign up to provide any kind of at-home help for August sometime from mid-May through the end of the month.

Posted by John Bear at 5:51 PM PDT
Wednesday, 26 October 2005

This report received by email from Augusta's sister-in-law, Carolyn:
When she met with her surgeon last week, he was amazed at the speed of her recovery. Augusta give much credit to the surgeon himself. She is very grateful to this man who clearly loves his work and is so good at it.

Augusta now walks with only sticks and canes now. She can also shower now that she no longer has to wear the tight support stockings. She is trying driving around her immediate neighborhood. If that goes well, she will venture a little further afield by car--to the grocery story and such. She plans to return to work at Kaiser-Hospice on November 1.

She says that she has never wanted for a thing during her recovery process. She feels blessed and grateful for all the help people provided.

Augusta feels rested and revitalized and in better spirits than before the surgery. She wants to stay connected with herself in this way as she re-enters the outside world, which she promises to do step by careful step.

Posted by John Bear at 9:49 PM PDT
Monday, 10 October 2005
After a month, all continues to improve
Augusta's sister-in-law reports that the recovery is going well, and Augusta continues to be in good spirits. With the physical therapist in attendance, she has gone up and down stairs for the first time. And with a home health aide coming twice a week, taking showers becomes possible again. (The aide will continue to come as long as Augusta needs to wear special post-surgery stockings.)

With Barbara doing the shopping, Augusta will be starting to cook for herself again.

And as soon as the surgeon gives the OK, perhaps in a few days, she can begin driving again. The problem with the Honda Accord Delux has been diagnosed, but still needs to be fixed.

Augusta reports that she feel enormously blessed, with help from so many family and friends, and sends her heartfelt thanks to all.

Posted by John Bear at 1:08 PM PDT
Saturday, 24 September 2005
Augusta's doing great . . . but can anyone fix a Honda?
Augusta reports that she's really enjoying her enforced rest and relaxation. She is sleeping better, feels well supported, and says it is magical, how kind and helpful people are being (and she has been enjoying the varieties of food being brought).

She does fret, however, about the condtion of her old Honda Civic, which does not start reliably. AAA can get it started, but then it fails again. If anyone can help, or knows someone who might, that would be very much appreciated.

Meanwhile, normal life creeps back in. She had a Rosen treatment session today; and her writing group will meet at her house tomorrow.

Posted by John Bear at 11:30 PM PDT
Sunday, 18 September 2005
Home from the hospital, and all goes well
Sunday evening

August made a very smooth transition from hospital to her home yesterday, with friends helping at every stage of the process, including moving furniture around for increased mobility. She says she feels "fully supported by good angels."

She gets about either with a walker, or with crutches, and spent six hours out of bed today. She's sleeping well, and is already off all her pain medications except Tylenol.

Things are, of course, still challenging. See earlier listings here for ways you can help, and foods you can prepare and bring.

Posted by John Bear at 8:47 PM PDT

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