Ribh's D'Coopage

Ribh

Weirder, stranger, quirkier, lovelier
Dec 18, 2018
15,505
143,532
1,417
Island, Australia
My Coop
My Coop
My first chicken coop was an upturned trampoline covered in chicken wire. My chickens were rescues ~ so I don't feel as bad I might for being so totally ignorant about chickens. They were only in the coop @ night anyway & ventilation wasn't a problem. The girls thrived & provided our family of 7 with plenty of eggs for the duration of their lives.

This time I wanted to do things right but round here sometimes the way to get things done is to push the envelope a bit. I bought a prefab. My oldest girl was so excited about it she did the build in her jim~jams. 37379210_10210945413535381_1876272805608161280_n.jpg

I had my spot all picked out in the shadiest, most sheltered free spot in the yard. I'd picked the breeds I wanted. I'd picked out the breeder I was going to get my POLs from but we live on an island.

The sellers of the coop happily took our money ~ then realised they couldn't deliver!!:barnie We got it dropped @ one of the kids & waited...& waited...& waited until the island carrier could pick it up. * sigh * It took weeks longer than it should have.

I am notoriously devoid of any sense of direction. It comes of living some place where it doesn't matter which direction you go it is only 3 minutes to the water. So I ropped in YD [youngest daughter] to do the navigating to pick up chickens [3 BRs, 2 BAs] I was worried about transporting: 1 hour's drive, 1 hour on the barge, in August on the back seat. I thought they would be more freaked out...

38297802_10211026342278549_526078917610569728_n.jpg

But we had an egg the very next morning.
38485781_10211029622560554_9162089871517417472_n.jpg
 

Ribh

Weirder, stranger, quirkier, lovelier
Dec 18, 2018
15,505
143,532
1,417
Island, Australia
My Coop
My Coop
We lost one of the BRs in January's heat, & the prefab, as prefabs do, is already starting to come apart ~ but we have chickens so my man has mounted his white charger to come to the rescue. [I did say it is necessary to push the envelope sometimes... :D ]

The pre~fab has been condemned. The bigger & better & brighter coop will rise in it's place ~ ready for the next lot of chickens.
43201741_340901259789207_7047077700988567552_n.jpg
 

BY Bob

Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 1, 2016
33,316
325,626
1,517
Hershey, PA
My Coop
My Coop
The Story of Mrs BY Bob's Stroke

Don't say i didn't warn you, the story is long.

First of all let me say that I am going to use Mrs BY Bob’s real name throughout the story as she is the central character. As @CrazyChookChookLady knows her real name is Rose, actually Rose Marie, but we all call her Rose. I will try and keep some things confidential but you will get the full story.

I was very young when we got married, just 22. I had not seen much of the world outside of my little patch of central PA. Ironically, I had been on an airplane to Philadelphia. Not much of a flight and a propeller plane at that. Rose is older than me and had some experience traveling. So when choosing a place for our honeymoon I relied on her experience. She had been to the island of Saint Maarten before and loved it. So we booked a week at a Sheraton resort on the island. We had our own bungalow and there were many restaurants throughout the resort for us to enjoy including a marvelous breakfast location across the street.

After several wonderful days at the resort we decided that we would like to see some more of the island and rented a car at the resort. I made one of the best decisions. Having never rented a car before, I got the insurance, all of the insurance which they offered. This was the first smart thing I did.

The car was simply the tiniest thing I had ever seen. It was Suzuki. In the US at that time there were no Suzuki cars, only motorcycles. This thing was barely larger than a motorcycle. It was egg-shaped and barely larger than one. Only 3 cylinders in the engine. No seat belts either but who wore them back then anyway. I wasn’t sure it would go up the mountain on the island! But off we went.

We had a wonderful time exploring the island, driving to the peak of the mountain and seeing both cities, Marigot on the French side and Phillipsburg on the Dutch side.

It was the final night of our stay and we decided to head into Phillipsburg to have a nice dinner. We did. At, I believe, the East India restaurant in Phillipsburg.

The road back to the resort went up a large hill. Because Rose had experience driving around the island previously, I let her drive and I was navigating with the map (remember those?). This night would be the last time for over the next 20 years that I could let Rose drive me anywhere.

We were heading up the large hill when it happened. The Suzuki was struggling to get us up the hill. We must have been doing 15 mph tops. Coming down the hill was a dump truck. I remember it quite vividly still today. It was almost in slow motion. There was no bumper on the front of the dump truck, a steel I-beam in its place. Just as we were going to pass each other, the dump truck crossed the center line and hit us head on. The Suzuki was thrown backwards into a cement jersey barrier and crushed just like the egg it was.

I came to with glass all over me. My glasses were smashed. My right hand killing me. (I would not know until weeks later that I had broken my thumb, tearing the ligament off of it. This would not even be a concern as things developed.)

Rose was much worse. She was slumped over the steering wheel. There was blood everywhere. A group of people arrived and started pulling us out via the windshield. Rose started to come to as they pulled her out by her shirt. An ambulance arrived and we were off to what they called a hospital.

Rose was fully conscious for the ambulance ride. She seemed to be fine except for a thousand cuts from which she was bleeding, hence all the blood I saw in the car. She was mostly upset that her favorite white shirt was probably ruined. (My mother would later spend days getting the blood out of that shirt for her. Anything to make Rose feel better.)

When we got to what they called a hospital, it was scary. Understand that at the time we both worked at 700+ bed trauma center. They did not even have a roof over the “hallway” from the ER to the Lab. I will never forget that I could hear the surf as I waited while they worked on Rose.

The removed glass from her and stitched her up with what Rose would affectionately call hemp rope. The thread was huge. 10 years later there would still be windshield glass coming out of her body that they had not removed at the ER. After they had stitched her up they pronounced her fit and we went back to our bungalow, thanking God that we have come through the accident so well. The people at the resort could not believe that we were ok. They had seen the car on their way to work that evening and assumed whomever had been in the car were dead.

Of course, no issues with the rental car company, I had after all signed up for all the insurance. That would be the last “no issues” that would be associated with the incident.

There was moment that night that would foreshadow what was to come but we had no idea at the time. At some point in the middle of the night Rose woke me and said that she “felt funny”. It would pass in a few minutes and we went back to sleep. The next morning we got up, again thanked God to be alive, and headed over for one last breakfast at the restaurant across the street. After another marvelous breakfast, the croissants and fruit were just amazing, we were walking back across the street when it happened.

Rose collapsed.

She could not move the right side of her body. At the time, we had no idea why. The people at the restaurant saw it happen and called the front desk. A short time later a golf cart showed up and they whisked us off to the resort physician. Can you believe it! They had a resort physician. Not only that, he was exceptional at his job.

His immediate concern was that Rose had a bleed in her head from the trauma of the accident and he took immediate steps to reduce the any swelling in her brain. He then reached out to the nearest trauma center, in Miami FL, to consult. Obviously he had limited equipment but he seemed to have better equipment than the hospital did. After he consulted with Miami, he sat me down and told me about his diagnosis of the bleed in her head. He explained that we needed to get her someplace with better equipment as quickly as we could.

This is when I did the second smart thing that I would do. I asked him if he would speak with a physician friend of ours back at the trauma center in the US. Rose’s made of honor was married to endocrinologist at the medical center where we worked. I knew that he could “grab some folks” and give me the best idea of what to do. The resort doctor agreed and we Ron on the phone.

After they had their discussion, Ron told me to just get her home as quick as I could. To them if I could. This advice from Ron and the consult would save my financial bacon.

After I hung up the phone, I asked the resort physician how I could get her home. He said there was a medical air ambulance company out of Miami that would come and get her and fly her home. I said let’s do it and he made the phone call to them.

Once he had them on the phone and had explained the situation, he handed the phone to me to handle the details. They asked to where I wanted her flown, I told them Williamsport PA which was the closest airport to where the trauma center was located. They said fine. They asked if I would like to have neurologist on the flight or if I was fine with only having a nurse. At this point it occurred to me that this was probably going to cost money. So I asked how much and how much more would the neurologist be? It was something like another $1,200 for the neurologist with a total cost of $12,919.90. Knowing that I was making about $16,000 per year gross at the time, I knew I could never pay that bill. Was difference was another $1,200. I said throw him in.

Of course then I started thinking about how I was going to pay for this? I thought, well I could bounce a check and deal with the consequences of that later. Back then they could not check your back account balance like they can now. And then it occurred to me, I had an American Express card. They have no credit limit. So I asked, “Do you take Amex?”. They did. Amex approved the charge and we were good to go.

Once we had arranged for the flight I got Ron back on the phone and gave him the plan. He arranged for the trauma center’s helicopter to meet us in Williamsport to fly her to the hospital once we got there.

I will never forget, as they were loading Rose into the small jet airplane, the pilot pulled out one of those mechanical credit card machines that had suction cups on the back. He stuck it to the wing of the plane, took my card, put the slip in, pushed the bar back and forth with a shook shook, filled in the $12,919.90, and I signed it knowing that there was no way I could ever pay it back. Then we were off.

Here is the receipt which he gave me in addition to the credit card receipt.
20171208_161922.jpg


Because they thought that Rose might have an active bleed, we could not fly above sea level or the vessel might burst from lack of air pressure. Because of that the plane did not have enough fuel to reach Miami due to the higher air density at the lower altitude.

That meant that we had to stop and refuel in the Grand Turks. I did not know it at the time but every stop would have consequences later but what could I do, we needed fuel. Well maybe if they had been ready to fuel the plane when we landed it would have helped but they were not. I will never forget the pilot getting off the plane screaming at the ground crew for fuel. Eventually we got our fuel and were off to Miami.

This is when the pilot and the neurologist started ganging up on me. They wanted to stop in Miami and take Rose to the hospital there. They could rule out a bleed in her head and we could then fly above sea level. If there was no bleed, then we could then reboard the plane and continue on but if there was a bleed they would keep her at the hospital there. I was forced to make a decision with possibly severe consequences. Ron’s advice kept going through my head, get her home as quick as you can. I declined and said I wanted to go on.

So they went around my back and spoke directly to Rose. They had the nurse talk her into asking me to stop. That did it. I could not tell her slurred voice no. We stopped.

When we got the hospital I called my family for the first time. I filled them in on what had happened, what we were dealing with, the chance that I might be staying with her in Miami if it was a bleed, and the plan to get her home if it was not. Unbeknownst to me, when I hung up my mother called a travel agent and made plans to join me in Miami. A woman who had never flown in her life was planning to come. She even made a hotel reservation for me. Something I had not even considered.

The results of her CAT scan were in and they came to get me and tell me the verdict. The news was good. There was no active bleed. They notice 5 different “dead spots” in her brain but they thought those were old. We could continue our trip home. I called my parents again and they prepared to meet at the airport in Williamsport as I could not fly with her in the helicopter. They would pick me up and take me to the hospital.

We took off again and our next stop was to be Wilmington, NC for more fuel. Adversity awaited us there as well. We were undertaking all of this in December. The weather in December in Pennsylvania can be quite changeable. There was a storm front crossing the state bringing an ice storm with it. All of our delays along the way had enabled it to beat us to Williamsport. We would not be able to land there. The next airport east, ahead of the storm was Scranton. The pilot felt he could beat the storm there. I called Ron to reroute the helicopter and of course, it was grounded by the storm. He would send an ambulance to Scranton to pick her up and bring her back. I called my parents and told them to just go our house by the hospital and I would let them know when we got to the hospital.

We beat the ice storm to Scranton and after a hairy ambulance ride of almost 2 hours finally go to the ER at our home hospital. Nothing ever looked so good.

After hours of tests, we finally knew what had occurred. During the accident Rose’s right carotid artery had dissected. Instead of her bleeding out it had clotted off. Fortunately, she was young and there was enough collateral circulation from the left carotid that there was still enough blood flow to her brain. That morning at breakfast 5 different clots broke loose from her right carotid and moved to different portions of her brain. Essentially she had 5 strokes.

The results were that she was paralyzed on the right side of her body. She had memory loss. She had a vocabulary deficiency that persists to this day; she will get stuck midsentence when speaking because that word is gone. She has relearned many words but not all. Her fine motor skills and hence her hand writing have never really returned either. Otherwise she is the picture of health.

This is especially for you Bob. It took months of physical Therapy for her to be able to walk well, really use her right side of her body at all but she did do it. We did it all as an outpatient but I think that it would have gone much faster had she been able to have concentrated attention.

As far as paying the bill for the medical air ambulance. Unfortunately American Express was not real understanding. They wanted payment in 30 days which I clearly did not have. However, consulting with Ron, in the end, saved my bacon. Our health insurance came from the hospital, it was their own health plan (Very unusual in those days). Because I consulted with one of their physicians and he told me to get her to the hospital, he in an essence had authorized the treatment. After the intervention of several people in power at the hospital, the health plan paid American Express. It would be way more than a decade until I had another American Express card but I will always be grateful that I had it that day.
 

Ribh

Weirder, stranger, quirkier, lovelier
Dec 18, 2018
15,505
143,532
1,417
Island, Australia
My Coop
My Coop
One reason for the pre~fab was simply space. Most of our block is steep. The very bottom bit, though flat, floods in a super king tide. However where the coop belongs is vying for space with these huge slabs of wood & 2 stringy mangoes.

MEMO0040.JPG


Step 1 is quite simply removing the slabs. They are going to form the benches in what will be my husbands work area. In order to move the slabs we have had to clear 30 years of accumulated junk out of the work area, clean it & tile it. My middle son did that yesterday.
54256107_495860510947805_6575161366112370688_n.jpg
The slabs will get sawn up & built in over the next few days ~ one step closer to the coop!
 

BY Bob

Proprietor, Fluffy Butt Acres
Premium Feather Member
6 Years
Jan 1, 2016
33,316
325,626
1,517
Hershey, PA
My Coop
My Coop
I promised to update everyone. The time has come for my poor Isabel. I just called to start the arrangements. She is laying in front of the TV. When I went to check on her, Éowyn came with me and groomed her head. It was so sweet and something Isabel would never allow.

I say this so if you notice my mood to be off or that I'm missing, this is why.

She has had a glorious 17.5 years. I cry for me, not for her. But none the less I am already grieving.

I will make certain Davis and Éowyn get to see her afterwards and I am planning to bury her next to her best friend, Pungie, our dog.

My sweet old lady.
20210429_091308.jpg
20210328_213645.jpg
 

New posts New threads Active threads

Top Bottom