On Stu Shiffman’s birthday — February 12 — friends celebrated both the date and his continuing, gradual recovery from last June’s stroke. As Tom Whitmore told followers of Stu’s CaringBridge journal —
Stu is continuing to be off the ventilator for a part of each day — it varies a lot depending on how much therapy he’s had, and he’s the one who has to decide when he’s going to be on or off it. Which is pretty cool. He’s forming words well now with his mouth, and he’s starting to be able to write again — the words are sprawled and a bit difficult to recognize, but he’s using a normal pen and I could read a couple of the words Andi showed me from Sunday.
Stu Shiffman is almost ready to move onto the next stage of his recovery, says Tom Whitmore on the Caring Bridge journal – this time it’s a literal move, to a skilled nursing facility.
Within a day or two Stu’s expected to be transferred to Health and Rehabilitation of North Seattle. See their FAQ for visiting hours and parking information (it’s free). Andi Shecter and Astrid Bear visited and met some staff and residents already. Stu’s stay will be covered by Medicaid.
Tom cautions, Stu’s still not speaking well, so no phone calls. When they know his room number it will be posted on Caring Bridge so that it can be included when addressing letter.
Update 08/13/2012: Stu’s room number is 110.
Andi Schecter says Stu Shiffman is doing much better. She told Tom Whitmore, who maintains Stu’s Caring Bridge journal, Stu has returned to the best level he’s been at since his stroke in June. Yesterday he tried writing, and managed to hug Andi using his right arm (the one affected by the stroke).
Today doctors will x-ray Stu’s kneecap to learn whether it has properly healed from the break and, if so, they will take the immobilizer off his leg.
Stu Shiffman continues to make progress since his stroke in mid-June and the surgeries that followed.
Earlier this week doctors did an MRI and ran a 24-hour EEG to check for seizures, finding no signs of any.
On June 28, he was given a tracheotomy and the breathing tube removed. (There is still a nose-tube for feeding purposes.) Having been sedated through that, he was not expected to be responsive ‘til sometime today.
Tom Whitmore, who writes Stu’s journal at CaringBridge, anticipates Stu will be able to try talking soon.
There’s also an appeal for funds to help Andi Shecter’s transportation expenses back and forth to the hospital – for details, see the CaringBridge journal entry for June 27 at 6:12 p.m.
Stu Shiffman was off sedation for much of the day on June 21, according to Tom Whitmore’s post at CaringBridge:
The improvement in his motion, attention and reactions was very visible. At one point Stu shook his head to say “No” — which is pretty good when you consider the operations he’s recently gone through!
Gone is the fever that followed his second surgery, responding to antibiotics.
Many people have come to the hospital to visit Stu and support Andi. See CaringBridge and Facebook for additional updates.
By Edd Vick: I just got back to Seattle from a three-day visit to Larry McMurtry’s bookstore, Booked Up, in Archer City, Texas, with Tom Whitmore and (the other) Karen Anderson. We had a really fine time and I found a lot of books, including volumes by John Kendrick Bangs, August Derleth, and Walter Machen. Luckily, they ship. Tom found a folio of prints signed by its curator, his grandmother!
Booked Up fills four storefronts scattered around the central square of Archer City, which Google tells me has a population of 1,791. One store is entirely filled with foreign books and their translations, and pre-1925 books. Every night we would drive to Wichita Falls, a half-hour away, to eat.
I felt like it would be vital to visit the store soon, since there had been rumblings about it closing up for years. McMurtry is getting up there in years, and the bookstore biz isn’t what it used to be. When I saw on their minimalist website that they were having a 25% off sale, I figured the sooner the better. Our trip could not have been more timely. The word is just now getting out, and I think the signs went up the day we got there: they will be auctioning off three-fourths of their books in early August. They’ll give up three of the store locations and concentrate what remains of their stock in the largest building.
We also shopped at the second-best used bookstore in Texas, Recycled Books in Denton. Soon, they’ll be in first place.
People now have extra time — until October 15 — to apply for the SMOFcon scholarship offered by San Francisco Science Fiction Conventions, Inc.
The full press release appears after the jump.
Here’s Diana’s image of Tom Whitmore, Fan Guest of Honor at Denvention 3.