Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Day 2: Hamburg

The day started with a wake up call at 6am. Yep, 6 am which would be about 11PM my normal time. Yeah, times are really screwy in international overseas travel.

When I awoke, I got dressed for a run (I wanted to see just how far the circumference of the lake really was) and then I had a strong impression to check my e-mail. What I found was not only dreadful but quite disparaging.

My mother-in-law was is in the hospital again. She's been through a roller coaster 10 years (maybe more) of in and out of the hospital, fighting MS and infections. Sometimes she's unconscious and other times she's been intubated. The last couple of years we've seriously discussed their wishes of a Do Not Resuscitate (DNR) order. It's not easy advising someone you love to just give it up. But she's been so miserable during these bouts that it's not only unfair for her but those that love her as well.

So I read two e-mails about her admittance into the hospital. Neither one is very hopeful, both stating that she's likely going to pass away within 48 hours. The first e-mail from my wife was a little on the upbeat side. She sounded like she was managing OK and would update me. Admitting it really stinks, timing-wise, with my departure to Hamburg, she still put on a good face and seemed OK. The 2nd one worried me. It was a call me immediately. I did so and she burst into tears. She caused me to break down. After listening and feeling completely helpless, she clued me in that some good priesthood bearing friends had already given her a blessing of comfort yet she still seemed extremely upset.

After talking for about 30 minutes, she took some sleeping pills and began her drift into oblivion and necessary escape from the evils of anxiety. At times like this I really worry about her stress levels, especially when I can't be right there for her. I'm so grateful, however, for wonderful friends that support and love her. You know who you are and thank you so much for that support. Keep it up!

I then, feeling guilty for even being on this trip, departed the hotel and pursued my quest for a stress-relieving run around the lake. 7Km run. Yep, over 4 miles of running to circle the lake completely. What a great run. It felt strong. The weather was perfect. Hardly anyone was on the trail that time of the morning. Did I mention that I felt strong. I set 2 individual mile bests (still slow so I'll not share just how slow they were). The lake was beautiful. I felt invigorated and ready to face the rest of the day.

After eating at the hotel's restaurant (The Blue Marlin) I headed into work via taxi and set into a long day of working. 12 hours of work today. Yeah, kind of a lot of work needed in both Hamburg and Buenos Aires so the day was long. The good news is the team in Hamburg is up and running the development environment and has started the implementation of some rudimentary designs we've covered. We should start seeing some results of their work by the end of next week.

The weather in the late morning and most of the day has been dreary. It reminds me a lot of Seattle. Upper 60's, low 70's for the day time highs, cloudy, rainy, drizzly. The city was covered in muck today as well and walking to lunch with the team proved to be a muddy experience. But it was worth it.

We ate at a little fast food joint and I had a steak wrap. Yep, steak with tomato/cucumbers and sauces drizzled over the top, wrapped in a tortilla shell. It's apparently quite common here, delicious, fast and inexpensive. I prefer this to hamburgers. The team even told me it's more common that hamburgers here.

After work I came back to the hotel, worked a bit more and then went to the hotel's restaurant for dinner. Had a delicious fresh salad in a lemony sauce, a fresh fish fillet and topped off with sorbet. Truly a great meal.

I called the fam tonight and talked with the girls for a time. They seem happy which is an improvement from their constant "I miss you" from our last separation. Does that mean they don't truly miss me this time or it just hasn't sunk in yet? Hopefully the latter.

My wife was doing a bit better though she hasn't really heard much from her dad. What she has heard is the nursing staff admitted that the decision to not resuscitate is probably best as the infection she has is a tough one, would be nearly impossible to fight in her condition and the after effects would be troublesome. That doesn't deaden the blow of the situation any but it's something. The one bright bit of info was that her mom was slightly conscious for a time today and kept asking her husband to kiss her, which he graciously and lovingly did.

So here I sit awaiting a phone conversation in just one more hour. I have to finish up soccer registration for KSA as the deadlines are here and the teams for which I'm a commissioner are not fully final. A bit of shuffling and merging is still required and the registrar won't be to the association office for another hour. That would make it 2am in Hamburg to start a bit of registration work meaning I likely won't get to bed until 3am. Ugg!

Day 2 completed. Still need to post pictures.
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