Our Echo
Title, story type, location, year, person or writer
Add a Post
View Posts
Popular Posts
Hall of Fame


Story ID:7605
Written by:Frederick William Wickert (bio, link, contact, other stories)
Story type:OurEcho Community
Location:Gilboa NY USA
View Comments (9)   |   Add a Comment Add a Comment   |   Print Print   |     |   Visitors
To all ofthe Ourecho family - greetings!

It has been a while and I owe you some explanations. To begin with, my computer crashed and I could do nothing with it. I was unable to contact my computer genius friend to come and fix it. For almost five months, I was not on the internet.

Later, events caused me to doubt whether or not I ever would have the ability to be on line again. I was considering one of these programs that recognizes your voice and writes it for you because I did not know if I could manage a key board.

It all began while I was driving to Lake Katrine to visit my wife, Tae. My left hand kept going numb on me. The next day the numbness traveled to my right hand and then to my forearms. I had a doctor appointment previously scheduled and I told the doctor about it. She ordered blood tests, X-rays and an EMG. By the time the EMG was done, the numbness had spread to my feet, legs and thighs. Additionally it crept into my left rib cage and shoulder, neck and chin.

Suddenly I found myself unable to function. My brother in law brought me a wheeled walker with a seat on it and I already had a cane. Some neighbors helped me with taking care of the birds and cats in the beginning. Two nights before the EMG I took him home in my truck. It was after dark and was raining outside.

When I returned home from taking him home, I went to step on the brake to stop. My feet were light bricks made of lead. They could not discern between the brake and the gas pedals. That resulted in my flooring the gas pedal rather than stepping on the brake. I took a wild ride over a steep embankment and crashe into the woods. The truck was destroyed and wedged between two trees.

I was fortunately un hurt, except for my feelings. I was hoping someone would hear the crash or see the lights go over the bank but no one did. I had my cane with me but couldn't walk. I had to crawl on my hands and knees for about two hundred feet in the rain to get back up to my driveway and into the house.

I have now learned to take care of everything myself in caring for myself, the birds and the cats. I now have a folding wheel chair to take with me when I go some place and I have a power wheel chair for the downstairs where most of the work is involving the birds and the cats. When the weather is dry I take it outside to take out the trash and check my mail. When the weather is bad or for some other things I cannot do in the wheel chair I have a lawn tractor parked outside the door. I crawl on that and then take care of whatever I have to do.

It was a beautiful sunny day in the 60's on election day, so I drove the power wheel chair to the Town Hall to vote, and then return home. It only took two hours.

I cannotm drive so must get someone else to take me whenever I have to go somewhere. Consequently, I have only seen Tae twice since this happened.

About Tae, we still desperately need your prayers. She was in the vent unit. While there, she made a lot of progress. First, she came out of the coma. Then she was weaned off the ventilator and was breathing on her own.

She was being taken every morning for physical therapy and had regained the use of her left leg. She had begun to be able to move her left arm, shoulder and hand by herself, though she complained of pain in her arm and shoulder. She had strength in the left hand.

She was being givenoxygen through the trachia, but it was reduced to night time only. She was doing so well that they tried three times to let her go 24 hours without oxygen. She did well with that so they tried her for 72 hours without oxygen. That too,was a success.

The decision was made to remove her fromthe vent unit and transfer her to another unit in the care center. That was done around the end of August, or on the weekend Hurricane Irene caused so much destruction in the area.

Since being in the new unit, she has refused to cooperate with physical therapy. Consequently they are no longer giving it to her. Her body is now requiring oxygen. In the beginning it was 27%, then 40% and now 50%. It is given by a hose attached to the trachia so she is unable to talk. When I visit her she cannot talk to me.

On the night of November 13, 2011 The Care Center called me to inform me she was vomiting uncontrollably and her temperature was rising. They did not know the cause and could not stop it, so they had called the ambulance to take her to Kingston Hospital. By morning of the 14th, the hospital had stopped the vomiting and the temperature had returned to normal. They had her on antibiotics and the cause had been determined to be a urinary infection.

At noon on November 16th she was returned to the Care Center. She will continue on the antibiotic for a few more days.

Regarding my computer, my friend was having phone problems and was unaware of it. Our wonderful friend, Sandi from Florida, called me on the phone. She volunteered to send an e-mail to my friend and two days later, he worked twelve hours non stop on my computer to get it going again. Unfortunately in the process, many things were lost - including my address book. That is slowly being put back together. Bob Mitchum, please send me an e-mail so I can regain your e-mail address.

I beg all of you to pray for Tae and for her recovery. If you have any left, please pray for me too. I thank all of you who have prayed for usand I hope you will continue to do so.

There is some light in the tunnel for me. More tests have to be done to be sure, but my neurologist thinks there is a problemin my spine in the neck area. If so, it may be correctable by surgery. I can tell you that over the past three weeks my legs have begun to work again a little. I had lost more than half the dexterity in my hands as well. They too are getting better. I don't know if the severity is lessening or if I have just learned to adopt. I just know certain things like opening bottle caps and buttoning my shirt have become a little easier than they were.

God Bless you All and have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Fred Wickert