04-27-2003 Day 44 (Sunday Morning)

 Two steps forward one step back. Robbie wasn’t ready for his new home yet and they weren’t ready for him. So now Robbie has a new temporary home. They moved him across the street to Plano Medical Center (a very large hospital), 1600 Coit Road, Plano, TX 75075. He is in the CCU after having a long night and day after leaving Parkland. When he was examined yesterday morning at the Specialty hospital his heart rate and breathing were fast. They had been that way for most of the night. The doctor wanted more tests that couldn’t be conducted at the smaller hospital because of his rates and he was running a fever of 101.8.  He didn’t know what was happening but wanted to get a good handle on Robbie. This Morning Robbie is finally calmed down and very stable after all the tests and is back on the vent for a little while. This actually has been a good move for Robbie since now he has a different set of doctors looking at him. They believe that the fever is coming from the pneumonia that is still in his lungs. He is back on antibiotics to treat it and they are working to get his lungs back in shape again. The visiting hours in the CCU are a little different but here they are:

10:00 to 10:30

12:00 to 12:30

14:00 to 14:30

16:00 to 16:30

18:00 to 18:30

20:00 to 20:30

22:00 to 22:30

Again we welcome everyone to come visit Robbie and We will let you know when he moves again,

John, Marleen and Karen Grinnell


04-28-2003 Day 45 (Monday)

  We had a very alarming day yesterday. Robbie’s concaved head where the bone flap was taken out was now looking normal, which we thought, might be swelling of his brain. As it turned out he had become dehydrated and as they were giving him fluids his body retained those fluids thus the swelling of his brain area. It turned out that this is normal for someone who has a bone flap out. He was also running a fever, which started to break late last night. Today found him very relaxed. His breathing and heart rate have really settled down. They tell us his pneumonia is almost over but he has a very bad sinus infection that they are treating now. His white blood cell count was down to 8,000… another good sign. They have him on the vent and giving him respiratory treatments. Maybe in a day or two they will again try to get him off the vent. We received an email today that was forwarded to us and is floating out there in cyberspace that we want to share with you….. Here it is:


Michael is the kind of guy you love to hate. He is always in a good mood and always has something positive to say. When someone would ask him how he was doing, he would reply, "If I were any better, I would be twins!" He was a natural motivator. If an employee was having a bad day, Michael was there telling the employee how to look on the positive side of the situation. Seeing this style really made me curious, so one day I went up to Michael and asked him, "I don't get it! You can't be a positive person all of the time. How do you do it?"

Michael replied, "Each morning I wake up and say to myself, you have two choices today. You can choose to be in a good mood or ... you can choose to be in a bad mood. I choose to be in a good mood. Each time something bad happens, I can choose to be a victim or... I can choose to learn from it. I choose to learn from it. Every time someone comes to me complaining, I can choose to accept their complaining or... I can point out the positive side of life.

"Yeah, right, it's not that easy," I protested. "Yes, it is," Michael said. "Life is all about choices. When you cut away all the junk, every situation is a choice. You choose how you react to situations. You choose how people affect your mood. You choose to be in a good mood or bad mood. The bottom line: It's your choice how you live your life."

I reflected on what Michael said. Soon thereafter, I left the Tower Industry to start my own business. We lost touch, but I often thought about him when I made a choice about life instead of reacting to it. Several years later, I heard that Michael was involved in a serious accident, falling some 60 feet from a communications tower. After 18 hours of surgery and weeks of intensive care, Michael was released from the hospital with rods placed in his back. I saw Michael about six months after the accident. When I asked him how he was, he replied. "If I were any better, I'd be twins. Wanna see my scars?" I declined to see his wounds, but I did ask him what had gone through his mind as the accident took place.

"The first thing that went through my mind was the well-being of my soon to be born daughter," Michael replied. "Then, as I lay on the ground, I remembered that I had two choices: I could choose to live or... I could choose to die. I chose to live."

"Weren't you scared? Did you lose consciousness?" I asked…. Michael continued, "...the paramedics were great. They kept telling me I was going to be fine. But when they wheeled me into the ER and I saw the expressions on the faces of the doctors and nurses, I got really scared. In their eyes, I read "he's a dead man. I knew I needed to take action."

"What did you do?" I asked.

"Well, there was a big burly nurse shouting questions at me," said Michael. "She asked if I was allergic to anything. "Yes, I replied." The doctors and nurses stopped working as they waited for my reply. I took a deep breath and yelled, "Gravity." Over their laughter, I told them, "I am choosing to live. Operate on me as if I am alive, not dead." Michael lived, thanks to the skill of his doctors, but also because of his amazing attitude. I learned from him that every day we have the choice to live fully. Attitude, after all, is everything. "Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." After all today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday.

You have two choices now:

1. Delete this.

2. Forward it to the people you care about. You know the choice I made.

Enjoy each day, each breath and mostly---each and every friend.

Thanks for being our Friends,     

John, Marleen and Karen Grinnell



Robbie's new ride for the day

Another road trip.... just going across the street

Looking at Mom as she talks to him

Robbie's Sandal to keep his foot from dropping

Robbie's Room is the third window on the left from the arch




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