Solid Food for Dad

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

My dad was served solid food today. He had roast pork, broccoli, juice, lowfat milk and Jello for lunch. For dinner he had roast turkey and mashed potatoes.

After about eight pokes and prods, they finally got about 5 cc of blood. They sent the blood to the lab for matching with donor blood. They hadn't given him the blood transfusion yet, but should by this evening or tomorrow.

Otherwise, dad was doing very well and in good spirits.


Emails from Europe

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

Here are a series of emails from Mr. Lambert, Erin's History teacher, sent from Europe.

Subject: Day Two in London

Today, everyone awoke feeling much better. What a wonder a few hours sleep will do! Well, everyone woke up except for Cody Schumaker and Andrew Layne.. who slept through both wake up calls AND breakfast. The whole group waited while they jumped up and joined everyone on the bus (who had been waiting 15 minutes for them. (oh well.) Most of the day today was rainy and really blustery! The umbrellas being inverted, like in Mary Poppins, were everywhere.

Throughout the morning we rode around on a sightseeing bus. We saw all of the London sights including Buckingham Palace. The Queen was in and we took pictures in front. We then went to Westminster Abbey. The history was truly alive! (and the people in the tombs all around were dead) We saw tombs or monuments ...Edward I, Henry III, and so many more!!! We then saw everything around the Tower of London. The castle is great. The crown jewels seemed to be all the kids favorite.

We toured around and saw many more things..but my time is just about I have to go for tonight.


Subject: London Day 2 Continued... some more time!! We shopped, went to the Madame Toussaud's wax museum and went up on the London Eye (a huge slow moving ferris wheel). Not necessarily all of us did all three, but afterwards we all met at Picadilly Circus and walked all over the place! Chinatown was a highlight...I had a great dinner at an English pub and had wonderful Fish and Chips while watching "football". Back to the Hotel and we should be going to bed soon...

Mr. Lambert

Subject: Safe and Sound in Suisse

First off, I'm so sorry for not being able to write earlier. France was not internet friendly in our neighborhood. In fact I only saw one place to send emails in the entire country on this trip. (and that was in the Eiffel Tower where I had no phone card). So, the bottom line is that everyone is still safe and sound and we have successfully made it to Switzerland. Since I last wrote we went accross the English channel via ferry, slept in a cozy French village, saw the American cemetery, climbed in WWII bunkers, visited Omaha beach, rode a bus to Paris, climbed the Eiffel Tower, saw the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, visted Notre Dame cathedral (come climbed to the top), took a cruise down the Seine River, visted Versailles (the home of Louis XIV), saw the glorious Saint Chappelle, and had a wonderful taste of home last night at Hard Rock Cafe in Paris. (Many bought shirts and memorabilia) This morning we had an early wake up (5am) to take a bullet train to Lausanne in Switzerland.. We just had lunch and leave in two minutes to see the Castle of Chillon on the side of Lake Geneva. And tonight we head to the perfect Swiss Alpine village of Wengen. Bye for now. I will write again as soon as it is possible.


Nathan Lambert, and other chaperones


Postcard from Europe

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

We received a digital postcard from Switzerland that was sent by one of the kids in Erin's group to his parents.


Dad's Out of the ICU

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

I just received a quick call from my dad saying he was now in a regular ward room at Tripler Army Medical Center, which is a very good sign. :D

He had to hang up quickly because they were ready to administer his blood transfusion.


Apple Farm Trip Cancelled

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Travel

Much to my dismay, I had to cancel our July 4th weekend trip to the Apple Farm Inn.

I know that my dad, Toni and I were looking forward to getting away at our favorite country inn in San Luis Obispo.

The cancellation policy for holidays is seven days, but Apple Farm was nice enough to honor our cancellation only five days before our trip once I explained the situation with my dad.

I'm sure we'll have another opportunity to visit this wonderful place in the near future.


Dad's Blood Transfusion

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

I talked to dad and his nurse this morning.

Dad seemed to be in good spirits and doing well under the circumstances. He was plesed to hear that my travel plans were all in order.

The nurse said that he is recovering very well; well enough to move him out of ICU B today into a regular in-patient room. He continues to get better, but his hemoglobin level is low, so they will administer a blood transfusion later today to keep it in check.


Hawaiian Airlines

Wednesday, 30 Jun 2004 | Family

I talked to Laverne at Hawaiian Airlines Group Reservations today.

She was very friendly and helpful. She made sure that my dad was reserved for the same flight with adjacent seating to me. I was expecting to pay a $150 penalty for changing flights, but was pleasantly surprised that they would waive the fee due to my dad's heart attack. That was very nice of them since it was in their right to charge it according to the ticketing agreement. Thanks so much, Laverne and Hawaiian Airlines! Now, if I can just get them to not charge for my roundtrip ticket. One can always hope. ;)

So, now my dad and I are all set for flights.

I now officially have our flights, my room and rental car all reserved. It looks like I've got all my ducks in a row, at least for now. LOL


Another Talk with Dad

Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 | Family

I talked again with my dad.

This time I could understand him so much better. He sounds very hoarse, but he was intelligible.

He is up in a chair now and watching television. They are givig him liquids for now and he should be eating some solids in the next day or two.

He said to tell everyone hello and that he is feeling well except for his sore throat.


Erin in Switzerland

Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 | Family

I got a call today from Erin. She was ending her stay in Switzerland and moving on to Munich, Germany.

She said that Switzerland was her favorite place so far on her trip. They got to hike in the Swiss Alps, which she said were beautiful.

She said to say hi and to send her love to everyone back home! :)

I told her about my dad's heart attack. She was a little alarmed and concerned, but it seemed that she took it very well and would continue to enjoy her trip. I told her that it was a moderate heart attack, but that he was doing well with his recovery and should be just fine.


Call from Dad!

Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 | Family

I received a call from my dad today!

He had just been extubated, so his throat was very raw. I could hardly understand a word he said, but it was wonderful to hear him just the same. He said he was doing well. I told him that I'll be flying there to accompany him back to California. He seemed quite glad about that.

The nurse told be that dad is doing very well and is looking good for a recovery. He should be ready to fly home by early next week. I don't have a firm date yet, but things are looking good for that timeframe.

I found out some more good news. There is a guest house, which is kind of like a military motel, located behind the hospital. They said I can get a room there for a reasonable price that is the size of a small apartment with a microwave and two double beds. I just need to get a note from Dr. Stewart indicating that my dad is being treated at Tripler Army Medical Center.

I will most likely be flying out this weekend. I still need to coordinate the flights so that dad and I will be seated together. His e-ticket is through Hawaiian Airlines, so I'll be booking my roundtrip flight through them as well. I got his ticket number through Harvest, so I should be ready to book it as soon as I get more information from his doctor.


Booked My Flight and Room

Tuesday, 29 Jun 2004 | Travel

I booked by flight to Honolulu today.

I'll be leaving from Los Angeles in the afternoon of July 4th and will be returning in the afternoon of July 8th.

We will be flying on Hawaiian Airlines nonstop between Los Angeles and Honolulu.

I also reserved my room at the Tripler Guest House which is within walking distance of Tripler Army Medical Center. It was very reasonable for a one bedroom suite with two double beds, air conditioning, sofa, microwave, refrigerator, cable TV, hair dryer and iron.


Update on Dad

Monday, 28 Jun 2004 | Family

I just talked to the Cardiologist, Dr. Stewart. He said that dad was doing well overall. He has removed the catheter and temporary pacemaker. He has chosen not to extubate yet though because when inserting the tube into his airway, his tonsils were nicked causing bleeding. The doctor wants to leave the tube in so that there is a lower risk of excess blood loss due to the injury and administering of anticoagulants.

Dad is currently still experiencing ventricular tachycardia. They are monitoring him closely. Hopefully his heart will get back into its normal rhythm on its own. Dr. Stewart mentioned that he does have another major blockage that will have to be dealt with using either angioplasty or open heart surgery once he returns home. Fortunately the additional blockage shouldn't prevent his recovery to travel back to California. The other blockage would require attention within four to six weeks after his return.

I should have a more definitive time for discharge, but as it looks now, Dr. Stewart expects dad to be ready for travel early next week if things go well.


Dad's Trip Home Delayed

Monday, 28 Jun 2004 | Family, Travel

I received a call at around midnight California time last night from Stephanie indicating that my father had suffered a heart attack.

He was attending the last night of the Harvest Crusade in Hawaii. He complained of neck pain during the pre-message worship music at the crusade. He was taken to the hospital via ambulance accompanied by Stephanie, one of the church members who was also attending the crusade. She was there to comfort him on the trip to the hospital and in the emergency room. I'm so grateful that someone so thoughtful and giving was there for my dad. Thank you so much Stephanie!

I arranged with a pastor from Harvest Christian Fellowship to safely store his wallet and valuables at Tripler Army Medical Center where he is staying.

Apparently my dad was coherent and able to talk during the incident although I was not able to speak to him directly. Toni and I had talked to him on the phone just hours earlier in the day. He was packing so he would be ready for his early flight back home today.

They found that he had a blocked artery and initially tried to clear it using blood thinners. They used a defibrillator twice for his irregular heartbeat. His blood pressure was very low which is indicative of an arterial blockage. After the blood thinners only partially cleared his artery, they decided to perform a balloon angioplasty to clear the blockage. The procedure was successful in clearing his artery. I got to bed at about 3:00 am after I heard the results of the angioplasty.

He is currently in ICU B at Tripler in critical, but stable condition. He is sedated, intubated and they are using a temporary pacemaker to ensure his heart remains stable.

I talked to the Cardiologist last night and he indicated that he felt his prognosis for recovery was good. The angioplasty procedure could be critical, but he had made it through fine, so that was a good sign. He indicated there was probably at least one more blockage, but dad would need to recovery from this procedure before assessing whether another similar procedure or open heart surgery would be required. I should know more about his condition around noon California time today.

The cardiologist said that if things go well, he should be released from the hospital in five to seven days. I plan to fly out once I get a definitive date to accompany him back to California.

An Air Force chaplain who was attending the crusade with Harvest has been reassigned to Hawaii. His wife is flying back to California today, but he will be staying in Hawaii. He has graciously volunteered to look after my dad until my arrival in Hawaii.


Dad's Final Night in Hawaii

Sunday, 27 Jun 2004 | Family

My dad is recuperating from his fifteen hour day in Kauai yesterday.

He turned in his rental car this afternoon and is packing for his 5:10 am departure tomorrow morning.

Tonight is the final night of the Hawaii Harvest Crusade at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.


Erin's Off to Switzerland

Sunday, 27 Jun 2004 | Family

I just got the word that Erin had a wonderful time in Paris and is beginning her travel to Switzerland.


Disneyland with Toni

Sunday, 27 Jun 2004 | Disneyland

Toni and I got a chance to stroll around Disneyland yesterday after we left the birthday party at Chili's. We figured we ought to go since we haven't been there lately and we were already half way there in Corona.

We went to Disney's California Adventure to ride on Soarin' Over California, one of our favorite rides.

I took my camera with me to grab some shots.

Flower at Disney's California Adventure

We got some excercise walking around DCA and Main Street. It was a fun and relaxing time. We finished off the evening with a delicious meal at Storytellers Cafe at Disney's Grand Californian Hotel.


Deidre's Birthday and Anniversary

Saturday, 26 Jun 2004 | Family

Toni and I are going to Chili's today to celebrate our niece Deidre's birthday and her parents' Diana and Danny's anniversary.


Dad's in Kauai

Saturday, 26 Jun 2004 | Family

My dad is on an all day tour to Kauai today. His flight leaves early in the morning and returns in the evening.



Friday, 25 Jun 2004 | Family

I received a call this morning from Erin!

I was so excited to hear from her because I miss her terribly, but was also quite excited that her calling card worked for the first time.

She had tried for 45 minutes in London to get through using her calling card with no success. I called the company and asked for the right country code for the United States and gave it to her, but alas, no success. Well, this morning the call went through because she said that a local operator put the call through. I'm not sure why that worked better, but I'm just glad that she can use her calling card now. I had charged up the card with $140 worth of credit before her trip. It would have been a shame to not be able to use it at all during her trip.

She left Caen this morning, off to visit Normandy beach where the D-Day raid occurred. She will be traveling to Paris this evening, where she will be staying for three nights.

She is having a wonderful time, but they are adhering to a hectic schedule and putting in long days, so she is quite tuckered out each evening.


Erin in France

Thursday, 24 Jun 2004 | Family

Erin has arrived at her hotel in Caen, France just after midnight, very exhausted.

She had a long day. They got up early to visit the British Library and then take a bus to their ferry into France. They have been traveling by bus, train and subway when on land.

Tomorrow she will begin her tour of France as they arrived after dark this evening.


Dad Visits Dole Plantation

Thursday, 24 Jun 2004 | Family

My dad is driving to Waimea Valley Park today and making a visit to the Dole Plantation to sample the delicious fresh pineapple on his way back to Honolulu.

If you haven't tried fresh pineapple that's been allowed to fully ripen before cutting, I highly recommend you do. It's one of the yummiest experiences when visiting Hawaii.


Michael & Toni's 10th Anniversary

Thursday, 24 Jun 2004 | Family

Today officially marks Toni and my 10th wedding anniversary.

We were married at our church, Harvest Christian Fellowship, which made it very special for both of us.

We spent our honeymoon in San Luis Obispo at the Apple Farm Inn and in Monterey, both places we love very much.

It's hard to believe that it's been ten years since we got married. It seems like it went by so quickly. I can't wait to share another ten years with Toni because we love spending time together.

To celebrate, we're going on a trip to the Apple Farm Inn as I mentioned in an earlier post, but tonight I'm taking her out to our favorite place for steak fajitas, On the Border. It's not a super fancy place, but we love it so it doesn't matter. We'll be a happy boy and girl while we're there. :)


Vacation in Seattle

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Travel

Toni, Erin and I are excited about our summer vacation.

This will be the first real vacation we've had together as a family in about eight years. We're staying four nights in Seattle and four nights in Northern Washington.

We're going to visit Seattle, Washington and Victoria and Vancouver, British Columbia.

We'll also get to see my good friend Lori while we're there. She lives up very close to the Canadian border in Washington.

Just recently, I went to my mailbox to find a huge manila envelope stuffed with brochures for everything we want to see and do on our trip. Lori was nice enough to gather every brochure in sight and send them to me.

Thanks for all your effort, Lori. I appreciate it lots! :)

We'll get to see Lori and my friend Char in Seattle as well as meet Lori's daughter, Melissa who just had her first baby.


Erin in the United Kingdom

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Family

I called Erin at her hotel to see how everything was going.

She has had a blast so far and was very excited. She says that she catches herself speaking with a British accent once in a while because she's immersed in the language 24/7.

She's seen and done a bunch of things already, including:

The British Museum
Westminster Abbey
Big Ben
London Eye
Buckingham Palace
Tower Bridge
Shakespeare's Globe Theatre
Shopping, Shopping and More Shopping

And tomorrow she's off on a six hour ferry ride to Normandy, France.


Dad's Luau

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Family

My dad is attending a luau in Oahu this evening.

I recommended the Paradise Cove luau because I've heard it's the best one in Hawaii.

He reserved their Deluxe Luau Package with V.I.P. Royal Box seating, table service and all the extra goodies.

I hope he has a great time. :)


Phone Call from Erin!

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Family

I just got a quick phone call from my daughter Erin in London, England.

She said that she got there safely and loves it there in the United Kingdom.

She apparently had trouble with her calling card I bought for her and had to use her friend's card to reach me. I've been carrying my cell phone with me everywhere I go anticipating her call. I guess I'm just a dad through and through.

Erin sends her love and a big London hi to all her family and friends in the United States.


Erin's European Itinerary

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Family

My daughter Erin is touring Europe this summer with her school's history class.

06/21   LAX to London Gatwick Airport
06/22   London, England
06/24   Caen, France
06/25   Paris, France
06/28   Wengen, Switzerland
06/30   Munich, Germany
07/02   Venice, Italy
07/03   Florence, Italy
07/05   Rome, Italy
07/08   Rome Fiumicino Airport to LAX


Anniversary Trip

Wednesday, 23 Jun 2004 | Travel

I'm getting quite excited about our 10th anniversary trip to Apple Farm in San Luis Obispo.

Toni and I stayed there on our honeymoon on our way to Monterey, California and have loved it ever since.


Downtown Disney

Monday, 21 Jun 2004 | Disneyland, Family

I took this picture on a recent trip to Downtown Disney with my dad.

Parrot at Rainforest Cafe, Downtown Disney


Father's Day

Monday, 21 Jun 2004 | Family

I got a call from my dad in Honolulu. He told me he was on his hotel room balcony sipping Kona coffee looking out at the beach.

I had breakfast with my daughter Erin and was able to spend the day with her before her departure for Europe tomorrow. She and my wife ensured that I had a wonderful Father's Day. I am very fortunate to have them both in my life.


Erin's Gifts

Saturday, 19 Jun 2004 | Family

Toni and I got Erin a journal, a pen that lights up so you can write at night with the lights off and a bookmark so she can write journal entries during her trip to Europe. She's leaving on Monday for an eighteen day trip with her school. She's very excited about her trip abroad.


Toni Sees My Blog

Saturday, 19 Jun 2004 | Family, Internet

Toni just took a look at my new blog and thought it was pretty neat.


Dad's Off to Hawaii

Saturday, 19 Jun 2004 | Family

Toni and I saw my dad off on his trip to Hawaii for the Harvest Crusade. He was scheduled to leave Harvest Christian Fellowship by bus at 2:30 pm to meet his flight from LAX to Honolulu. He's scheduled to be in Hawaii from June 19th returning home on June 28th.


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