Sunday, December 20, 2009

Happy Holidays!


As we approach the end of the year, I would like to take this opportunity to once again thank everyone who has given us such tremendous support and encouragement throughout this trying year. We couldn't have made it through without all your help, contributions and prayers. We still have a long way to go with Erwin's recovery, so please keep us in your thoughts during the coming year.

Wishing you all a joyous holiday season and may your star shine brightly in the New Year!

Much Love,
Ellen & Erwin

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

New Plans

Had a great visit with Erwin's rehabilitation doctor last week. We made plans to go to Curacao for a few days sometime early next year to do an extensive evaluation of Erwin's current situation and see where he needs the most help in his rehabilitation therapy. The rescheduled visit with his neurologist is next week.

On the home front, we are being plagued by repeated thefts and an attempted break in. This sucks!!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Cruisin'

We got Erwin out in the boat last weekend. He had a good time cruising along the coastline. As we arrived back to shore, we were treated to a green flash. The perfect evening ended with dinner from Bobbejans. :-)

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Frustration & Fun

After running around all day last Monday with 3 visits to the insurance office and two to the doctor's office, getting Erwin's paperwork straightened out and going to the airport to pay for the plane tickets to Curacao, I got home late in the afternoon only to receive a call from Erwin's neurologist's office saying that his appointment for Tuesday had been cancelled and would not be rescheduled until early December. I had so hoped to be able to fine tune the dosage on his anti seizure meds, in consultation with his doctor, but now it will have to wait for another 6 weeks. So frustrating! Thankfully, his rehabilitation doctor comes to Bonaire, monthly, so if all goes according to plan Erwin will see him on October 30th.

Friends of Erwin's from his days at Toucan Diving have stopped by the past two Saturdays to spend some time with him. Yesterday they took an afternoon drive with Erwin around the southern part of the island and stopped by to visit with friends. Thanks, Mark and Resa :-).

Friday, October 2, 2009

A New Month Begins..

October arrives with no real progress to report. Erwin is holding steady. He has an appointment with his neurologist in Curacao, later this month, and also his rehabilitation doctor. After consulting with them, we will then try to figure out the next steps to take.

We bought a "zero gravity" chair for Erwin and it has turned out to be a great investment. When I go diving, we set up the chair in a shady spot on the beach, and Erwin can watch the sunset and converse with any friends that stop by. His friend Stewart has been picking up Erwin in the mornings and taking him along on his dive excursions, as well.

On a sad note, it is disappointing to see how many of Erwin's friends have pretty much abandoned him. I guess everyone is busy with their own lives and they don't have time to spend with a friend in desperate need of companionship and camaraderie. This breaks my heart.

A fisherman, that we have known for years, lost three of his fingers (just above the knuckles) earlier this week in a fishing accident. Yikes! We stopped by his house to see how he was doing yesterday and this morning he came by and spent a couple of hours chatting with Erwin.

Moko and Erwin...

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sultry September

Some good news....Erwin's neurologist gave the okay to reduce the dosage on his anti seizure meds. Just the elimination of one pill a day (from 5) has made a HUGE difference. His physical therapist had been reporting that he was going backwards in his physical recovery as a result of the medication and after yesterday's session said that Erwin was almost back to his pre meds self. This is a big relief!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

August Update

Erwin's anti seizure meds were started at a low dose and gradually increased over the course of a few weeks so that he is now taking the maximum dose. These drugs totally drain the life out of him. His recovery from the stroke is going to be greatly impaired, as long as he needs to be taking them, which his doctor mentioned would be for two years. I have asked a few US doctors their thoughts on Erwin's treatment and they concur that he needs to be on the anti seizure drugs. There hasn't been any improvement in his left arm function.

He finally got back in the water, for some swimming, twice last week which he thoroughly enjoys. Erwin is currently in extreme need of some occupational therapy but there is none available here in Bonaire so we are going to have to figure something out on that front. That will be our next project.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

7/18/09

Our granddaughter, Molly, was baptized today. This is a photo of Erwin, Jason and Molly outside the church. http://www.pbase.com/imagine/baptism

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Physical Therapy

Erwin has physical therapy sessions three times a week at Bon Fysio. His therapist is Robert Smaal...a very nice guy and also the owner of Bon Fysio. Erwin really enjoys his time spent there and gets a good workout.
http://bonfysio.com/main/page_english_english.html
Pictured are Erwin and Robert.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Difficult Times

It has not been a good first two weeks for us in the month of July. Erwin had another seizure on the 4th of July. The following week was filled with doctor's visits. He had his first visit with the insurance doctor who deemed it appropriate to tell Erwin, in the most tactless manner, that he better start thinking about another line of work because he will never work as a divemaster again and his benefits will run out in a year and a half. Poor Erwin was in tears all that afternoon. We all knew that this was probably the case but thought it was more important for Erwin to concentrate on getting better and not concern himself with financial matters just yet. All our efforts to wait until we thought Erwin was ready to hear this news were for nothing. Monday, July 13th we were back in Curacao to see Erwin's neurologist. He was prescribed a different anti seizure medicine than he got the last time. His doctor says this drug has less side effects but when I looked up the medicine online I found a lot of reports of very undesirable side effects...I hope that Erwin does well on them. To top off all of this news....I had my dive gear stolen last week! Here's hoping the second half of July is better than the first!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Father's Day 2009


Erwin spent a nice Father's Day in Sorobon, with friends and family, watching his granddaughter take her first swim in the warm Caribbean waters and seeing his son Jason's boat being christened as the Molly M. You can see some more photos of the celebration here... http://www.pbase.com/imagine/fathers_day

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Swimming

Richard Beady has been picking up Erwin twice a week to take him swimming at Sorobon. Sorobon is the only place on the island that Erwin enjoys swimming because he can get in and out of the water fairly easily. We tried a few other spots that looked promising but getting him out of the water was too difficult. Sorobon is too far for me to drive to on a regular basis, with my back problems, so we really appreciate that Richard is taking him. Erwin eagerly looks forward to his weekly swims! Thanks, Richard!

Monday, June 1, 2009

June!


Erwin visited his neurologist in Curacao last Thursday and was taken off the anti-seizure medication. If he needs to go back on them, he will be given a different kind with hopefully less debilitating side effects.

Every once in a while, I can manage to find some time for a dive. Now that it is low season I can usually have my favorite dive site all to my self.....HEAVEN! Above are two photos from Saturday's dive.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Two Molly M's


The anti-seizure medication that Erwin is taking really seemed to knock him out yesterday. He slept for most of the day and only woke for a few hours in the evening for a walk and a visit with friends. Today was a different story...an early morning phone call from our son Jason, saying that he would be arriving in Bonaire shortly with his new boat, had Erwin up and ready to go! We went to the pier at Club Nautico to see Jason arriving with the boat from Curacao. Our granddaughter Molly was also there and very happy to have her Dad back home! After taking some photos of both of the Molly M's (boat & baby), Erwin went to his physical therapy session. Erwin then ate a good lunch, took a short nap and went back over to the boat this afternoon with Jason. I am so glad to see him come back to life again today!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Home Again

Erwin was released from the hospital yesterday evening. He has been put on anti-seizure medication and we will have to make a trip to Curacao next week to see his neurologist and get an EEG done. He is doing well today and went to his scheduled physical therapy session this morning.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Bad News

Erwin had a seizure this morning while sitting and waiting for his physical therapy session to begin. He apparently fell to the floor shaking and was unresponsive. An ambulance was called and he was taken to the hospital where he will remain for observation and testing for at least 24 hours. He is stable now and talking but has no memory of what happened this morning.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Updates

I don't know how much updating I will be doing now that we are settling in back home. In the first days after Erwin's stroke, a therapist from the hospital told me that when talking about the recovery of a stroke victim......not to think in terms of days or even weeks but in terms of months. The recovery process is very slow. Since getting back to Bonaire, we have set up physical therapy sessions for Erwin three times a week. I try to take him swimming several times a week but I am going to have to find some more people to help me with this part of his therapy. We stopped by at Bistro de Paris last week to pick up the funds generated from the breakfast that Patrice served at the windsurfing event/fundraiser. We were treated to a delicious lunch...Thank you Patrice!!

Another milestone was reached yesterday...some movement in Erwin's left hand. This was the first time he has moved his hand since the stroke. Although he regained some slight movement in his arm last month it is not functional movement...so here's hoping that he can gain some sort of function with his left hand and arm!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Curacao Friends

While in Curacao we met a lot of new friends and reconnected with some old friends, as well. We couldn't have gotten through this ordeal without their help. One person that stands out is Erwin's ex brother-in-law, Esmeraldo, who visited Erwin almost daily, throughout his stays at the hospital and the rehabilitation center. Many thanks to him for being such a bright spot that we could look forward to every day, even through the most trying times. Some other friends I have to mention are Roy Bottse, Salma, Ele and Angeline, Leo and Cleesia, Physio Ben, Ivo Stomp, and the staff and patients at Mgr. Verriet. (Pictured are Erwin and Esmeraldo)

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

No Place Like Home

After weighing all the pros and cons, we have decided to return to Bonaire for Erwin to continue his recovery at home. We have been in Curacao for almost 4 months. Thursday, April 30th, we will be traveling back to our home in Bonaire. Please continue to keep Erwin in your thoughts and prayers because we still have a long way to go with his rehabilitation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

New Development!

One of the best items of news that I can possibly post and it happened during our trip to Bonaire....Erwin now has some voluntary movement in his left arm!!! Granted, it is limited to large muscle movement but it's a start and we are absolutely thrilled!!!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Back Home!!

We are having such a fabulous time back at home in Bonaire that we have extended our stay to 10 days and will be going back to Curacao on early Monday morning (the 20th). We did so much rushing around the first few days, trying to cram everything into a short five days, that we have decided to take it easier for the rest of our visit and enjoy the rest of our stay at a more leisurely pace! I have started a photo album of some of the highlights of our trip, since there are way too many photos to post here.
It's great to be home!!!
http://www.pbase.com/imagine/bon

Monday, April 6, 2009

Molly, Mokka and Easter

If everything goes according to plan, I hope to bring Erwin back to Bonaire for 6 days over Easter vacation. In Bonaire, Erwin will be meeting his first grandchild, a brand new baby granddaughter, Molly, for the very first time. One of the more poignant moments of this trip will be getting Erwin back together with our dog, Mokka. Mokka and Erwin were exceptionally close and Mokka was with Erwin at the construction site the day he was felled to the ground by a massive stroke. The last time Mokka saw Erwin, he was being lifted into an ambulance and whisked away. When we arrive in Bonaire, it will have been 3 months since they have seen each other and I can't wait to get them back together again!! Other plans include a boat ride and swim on one of Toucan's boats on Good Friday, dinner at Richard's restaurant on Saturday, Easter dinner at a good friend's home and just hanging out with our new grandbaby and Mokka. Being able to relax together in our own home for the first time in 3 months will be fabulous!

A big thank you is owed to Linda Baker for taking such good care of Mokka while we have been gone!

Sunday Snorkel


Ever since we got Erwin back into the water 2 weeks ago, he has wanted to go swimming again. It isn't the easiest task to accomplish but we were finally able to arrange another swim on Sunday. This time we brought along masks and snorkels. Long after everyone else was tired and cold, Erwin was still floating happily in the sea. After his swim, he took a long walk before we headed back.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Our Granddaughter

Molly, at 4 days old...

Monday, March 30, 2009

Leo and Cleesia

Meet Leo and Cleesia...they opened their home to a complete stranger (me!) for what they thought was going to be a weekend guest over Valentine's Day. Erwin became extremely ill that weekend and they have made it possible for me to stay in Curacao indefinitely and be with Erwin. A huge thank you to them for all of their help.

Erwin and Leo at Boca Sami on one of our excursions...03/29/09

Saturday, March 28, 2009

We're Grandparents!

Our first grandchild, Molly Muller, was born Friday, March 27th at 7am. Molly is my mother's name and it's her first great granddaughter after 10 grandsons and one great grandson! It is also my sister's birthday! More info and photos will follow later, since, unfortunately, I am not in Bonaire! Congratulations to the proud parents, Marlen and Jason!

Windsurf Challenge

The photo shows Prime Minister Emily de Jongh-Elhage and Taty Frans with Erwin Muller just after Taty completed his sail from Bonaire to Curacao in 2 hours and 14 minutes. Taty broke Erwin's record of 4 hours that stood for 20 years! There was a very nice tribute to Erwin and a great day was had by all. It was wonderful to see Erwin surrounded by so many friends and supporters. Thanks to everyone who organized and participated in this event and congratulations to Taty!

Friday, March 27, 2009

Big News

Mark this day on your calander. Saturday April 11th. Richard.......from Richard's resturant will be donating 100% of the money taken in that day to Ewrin. Erwin will be there from about 6:30 pm....till he can no longer stay awake. Drop by to say Hello to Erwin and have a drink or even dinner. The best advertising for this is word of mouth so please.....pass the word around.

Thanks Richard.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Back to the Sea

We got Erwin back into the ocean last Sunday, at Baya Beach, where he thoroughly enjoyed relaxing in the waters of the Caribbean Sea for an hour and twenty five minutes. Thanks to some good friends who made this possible.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Whoo Hoo!!!

Excuse my shouting but Erwin is making fantastic progress. This week saw his first steps taken with the aid of a quad cane. He is doing so very well.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Erwin More Popular Than Fish!

I told Erwin last weekend that his birthday photos were much more popular than my underwater photos..he got a big kick out of that!!

Monday, March 16, 2009

Excellent News!

Erwin had a doctor's appointment today with his surgeon to see if he needed to have his gall bladder removed and he is doing so well with his diet and has been pain free since leaving the hospital that the doctor gave him a clean bill of health and told him to return in 3 months! What a relief!

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Tourists!

As mentioned earlier, Erwin can leave the rehabilitation center on the weekends. Being bound to places that are wheelchair accessible, Saturday we decided to go to the Curacao Seaquarium. Not a place that we would normally go but we spent an enjoyable few hours there. Afterwards, we went to the movie theatre to see one of Erwin's favorite comedies. The end of the day was spent strolling Brionplein and Rif Fort in Otrobanda and enjoying a bite to eat along with Erwin's favorite treat a watermelon batido (shake) made with only fruit..very healthy! It was a picture perfect day.

On Sunday morning it was raining, so we all slept late! In the afternoon we went for a long drive to the northern end of the island, up to Westpunt. On the way back we stopped at Sunset Waters for a late lunch. Our final destination was Boca Sami where Erwin had a delicious dinner while watching the sunset over the ocean.


Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Windsurfing Oldies!

This photo appeared in the Extra newspaper last week in connection with the Windsurfing Event that has been rescheduled for March 22nd. The photo was taken at Captain Don's Habitat in 1987 and shows from left to right, Erwin Muller, Naro Thode and Elvis Martinus (with Roy Bottse) receiving their prizes after sailing from Curacao to Venezuela by windsurf.

Verriet

A few people have asked to see some photos of the Verriet Rehabilitation Center in Curacao, where Erwin is currently a resident for his recovery and therapy, after suffering a major stroke. At the entrance you are welcomed by water lilies and bright murals on the walls. One half of the facility is for children, the other for adults...
http://www.pbase.com/imagine/verriet

Monday, March 9, 2009

Outings!

The windsurfing event planned for Sunday, March 8th, unfortunately was cancelled due to dangerous seas and high winds but even so, Erwin had a fabulous weekend. This was the first time, other than the car ride from the hospital to the rehabilitation center, that Erwin has been out and about since January 10, when he became ill.

Saturday, some friends picked him up and we toured around to a few scenic spots and ended up stopping at a beach where we ran into Erwin's niece and her husband and kids. He had a great time chatting with them and being out in the sun and near the ocean.

On Sunday, an old friend from his windsurfing days picked us up and this time we were looking specifically for places that are wheelchair accessible. We headed out to Caracasbaai where there are some nice walkways and stopped in at Windsurfing Curacao and said hello to Ingmar. We decided on a late lunch at Papagayos that was delicious and once again Erwin got to spend a nice amount of time relaxing by the ocean. On the way back to his friends house we stopped by to see another old windsurfing acquaintance and things got very emotional. We then went over to his friends house where Erwin decided he wanted to try and negotiate some tricky stairs to get up to the living level of the house. Erwin got in some good physical therapy, carefully and slowly, getting up and down those stairs. After enjoying the gorgeous view and great company, we headed back to the center. The ride back was filled with conversation and excitement, discussing plans for next weekend's outings!


Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Erwin's Birthday...Thanks!!

A big thank you to everyone who made Erwin's birthday so special. To all his friends and family who made the trip over to Curacao by boat and plane and those who sent cards, donations and words of support, our warmest thanks. Erwin's spirits were really lifted being surrounded by so many loving friends and family. It was a wonderful day. Erwin needed this celebration after the trying 12 days he spent in the hospital last month...it was just what the doctor ordered! Masha, Masha Danki!!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Happy Birthday Erwin

(posted by Linda)
This is just an update on the birthday party. Unfortunately I could not attend it so I have to get all my info from someone who was there. There are way to many photo's to post so bear with me till I can figure out how to post them elsewhere.

My short report: It was a blast and a rollercoaster ride of emotions, all in one day. Erwin Muller celebrated his birthday and boy, CuraƧao will remember this a longtime from now. An impressive group of family and friends took the opportunity to sail and fly over to give the big man the celebration he deserved.

Erwin was at first overwhelmed by emotions because he realized how many people love him and care for him, not only by showing up in person but also the amount of cards (the majority with very generous donations), presents and of course Bonairean 'Bolo' (birthday cake) touched him deeply. His long time friend Benny celebrated his birthday as well so we had twice the fun. After the initial stroke and the many problems in the weeks after, it is amazing to see how he is doing.

To start with; Erwin is on a strict diet and it shows. He lost around 30 pounds in a month. Erwin does not like to be on a diet as everyone knows how much he likes to eat well. He is already able, with some help, to move from a wheel chair to a comfy lounge chair from where he welcomes his guests. The best news is that he can move his left leg better and better, he also has started to notice sensations and involuntary muscle movements in his left arm. This could indicate that his body is starting up again. The PT sessions (three times a day) will push him forward. It is still a long and hard road ahead but all signals are positive.

Other good news is that Erwin is allowed to leave the therapy center during the day time on the weekends so family and friends can take him for a ride.

More birthday party photos here...
http://www.pbase.com/imagine/erwins_birthday

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A message for local readers

I got a call from Martijn today. He and Monique are going to fly over to Curacao for Erwin's birthday party. He has offered to take down any cards or small presents to Erwin for those of us who cannot fly over for the party. If you want to take advantage of this offer you will have to bring the cards or present to him at Sunbelt Realty this Saturday (Feb 28) between 0830am and 1230 pm.

Thanks you so very much Martijn and Monique. Please give Erwin a huge hug from me.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Amazing News

Ok.......where to begin. The best thing I heard over the past couple of days is that Erwin is getting some feeling back in his left leg. He is actually moving it. This is amazing cause that means that he will walk again. YEAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH

The next thing that finally happened today was that he was sent back to the Rehab center. He was getting some PT while he was in the hospital but.......now he will get even more.

The birthday party plans are coming along. A bunch of his Bonaire friends and co-workers will be there for him along with friends and family from Curacao. He sure is one loved man. How blessed he is. I can hardly wait to see the photo's from the party. I promise to post them as soon as I get them or Ellen will post them which is better cause then you will be getting the news first hand and not translated by me.

The windsurfer guys want to get Erwin up in the helicopter when the guys arrive. Not sure if that is possible but what a great event if it can take place. I would love to be there with him that is for sure.

Bottom line........the sun is starting to shine upon Erwin once again. SMILES!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Bless the windsurfers

Bonaire – March 8 is a monumental day when Constantin “Patun” Sargoza and Elton “Taty” Frans windsurf from Bonaire to Curacao. The event is a fundraiser for Bonaire’s own Erwin Muller. Erwin, a dive master and former windsurf hero on Bonaire suffered a serious stroke in January. He is recuperating in Curacao and has a long rehabilitation ahead. Erwin is well known in the community for being a man who loves adventure whether it’s riding his quad or delivering a yacht across the Caribbean. Locals and tourists are rallying to support Erwin and his family, Ellen and Jason. The March 8 race is dedicated to Erwin, one of the original founders of windsurfing on Bonaire. Saragoza, a former Olympian will race across to Curacao with Pro Windsurfer Taty Frans. Taty, one of the top freestyler’s in the world recently circumnavigated the island in 2008. He is perhaps the fastest slalom sailor presently on Bonaire. The race commences at 9 AM outside BOPEC. Spectators are welcome for the send off. Helicopters and chase boats will accompany the two sailors across the passage. The record set back in the 80’s by Erwin is 4 hours. They will race to Light House Point on the East side of Curacao and then head down to the pier near Breezes Resort. Donations for this fundraiser may be contributed via Paypal to: Erwin2CanDive@gmail.com or by depositing into MCB # 400 050 800 c/o Linda Baker. You may also speak to Elvis Martinus about other contributions for the fundraiser at 786 2288.

Progress

After an extremely trying ten days in the hospital, there is finally some good news...if all goes according to plan, Erwin should be heading back to the Verriet Rehabilitation Center tomorrow. Hooray!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Words from Dara

Erwin had another scan of his belly and the doctors have determined he has gall stones. The gall bladder will be removed in the near future after Erwin has built his strength back up.

The tubes were removed Thrusday and he was given water and clear fluids to drink; today he is moving on to soft foods....trim the sails, move into the wind, make headway little by little, a small ripple at the stern, progress. For some reason I am thinking of watching Erwin sailing; he knows how to catch a light puff of wind and make the most of it. There will be wind in his sails again soon!

He has had a lot of company in the past couple days. Lots of support from fellow fishermen and old windsurfing friends stopping by to give him encouragement. The birthday celebration is still planned. If Erwin is lucky, he may even get to eat cake!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Another hill to climb

Yesterday was a rough day for both Erwin and Ellen. It was very stressful. Erwin was taken for a CT scan but was waiting for hrs for the scan and again more hrs to be picked up and taken back to his room. The good thing is that he is in the surgery ward so the nurses are keeping a much better eye on him this time around, They were promised that they would get the results from the tests that day but that of course did not happen.

Today Ellen had an appointment to see the Dr and when she got there she was told that the Dr. had to consult with the Radiogolist. Finally they got the results which are.......the small intestine is not functioning correctly. The Dr. mentioned the Duodenum was dilated. He seems to think that this problem is related to the stroke. The Dr. just said that it will take some time for him to recover. They are not sure how long it will take to correct this problem.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

update

Ellen went directly to the hospital when she got to Curacao. Erwin was still in Emergeny when she arrived. He just got out of the recover room not at about 4:30 ish. He is presently in the surgery ward. They are taking his BP every 2 hrs or so.

They do not know what is happening. He definately has an infection but they do not know what kind of infection it is and they will not give him any antibitoics till they know. Because of that they are only giving him a IV for the next few days. If things get worse then they will do another scan tomorrow. If he stablizes for now then they will deal with him on Monday because it is Carnival. This is aparently the worst time to be in the hospital in Curacao. Please keep Erwin in your thought and/or prayers once agian.

Comments

This is for everybody who has wanted to add a comment to this blog. I think I have got that part fixed so please comment away. You no longer have to sign up.

Thanks

Valentine's Day will not be so good

Here is an email I got from Ellen last night.

Erwin is very sick....not eating, vomiting, stomach ache, I could barely understand him today....

I called her and we talked. She was very upset. I told her not to worry because it might just be a 24 hr flu. That is what I was hoping for anyway. Well I was wrong. I stopped by her house before she was to fly to Curacao. She told me that the people from the Rehab. center had to take Erwin back to the hospital. I will call Ellen tonight and update you with more after that.

This so sucks as Ellen planed a wonderful Valentine's day for Erwin.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Sincere Thanks From Ellen and Erwin

I would like to use today's blog post to offer a message of thanks (also posted on Bonaire Talk and Digital Diver)...

Thank you so much to everyone for your contributions and words of support. Erwin and I can never thank everyone enough for the caring and concern that we have received during this difficult time. The donations received so far will help make a nice dent in the hospital bill. I have returned to Bonaire for a few days to take care of some things and depending on how well (or badly) Erwin handles my absence, I will make a decision on whether to fly over to Curacao on weekends or make arrangements for a prolonged stay in Curacao. The visiting hours on the weekends are 9am - 7pm and dependant on his progress there are also possibilities of leaving the center for excursions. During the week the visiting hours are restricted. I hope to post a more detailed update next week on Erwin's progress and for this next trip over to Curacao I will have my camera with me and take some photos. Again, many, many, heartfelt thanks to all of you. With Love, Ellen.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Words from Ellen

Todays blog is written by Ellen herself. I am so grateful for that.

After a rough weekend, on Monday Erwin's spirits were high and he was happy to be back into his Physical and OT therapy routine. He was very excited to report the progress he is making with his Physical Therapy sessions.

Norin from Toucan Diving visited with Erwin on Tuesday. She brought him some presents from the dive shop and an apple tart that Emile (manager at Toucan Diving) made for Erwin (yummy!) which he divided up for all his friends at the center to enjoy. Norin also reported how pleased Erwin was to show her some slight voluntary movement in his left leg.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Birthday wishes

Oh my gosh guys. I have been meaning to put this out there. It is Erwin's birthday on March 1st. If you can find a really funny card... it would be wonderful for him to get a bunch of mail on his 49th. Ellen is working on getting as many of his Bonairian friends to fly over for the day for cake and ice cream. Party time.

I hope to get a phone call in to Erwin tomorrow. Time to get some news from him instead of 3rd party.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sending love

I understand that some of you would like to send Erwin a get well card or a letter or something. Here is the address :

Erwin Muller
c/o Fundashon Mgr. P. I. Verriet
Salsbachweg 20
Santa Maria
Curacao, Netherlands Antilles
Dutch Caribbean

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First day

Today Martijn and Monique...a couple that use to work at Plaza with Erwin came to visit him. I am waiting for a photo from them of Ewin with is tumba mask on. HAHAHAHAH That photo of him without his beard.

He had his first PT and OT but have not heard how it went or what they did. Martijn was telling me that he was there while Erwin was eating. He says that Erwin tried to eat by himself. He still needs his food cut as that is not easy with one hand.

They also tell me that Erwin is still very emotional when someone new sees him. That is very normal for stroke survivors.

A very special thank you to Monique and Martijn for visiting with their friend and for taking photo's for the rest of us to see how wonderful Erwin is doing. Go get them big guy,

Monday, February 2, 2009

The big move

Today was the big day. Erwin is finally at the Rehab. center. He is in a room with 5 other people. He is now eating regular food and not mush. He is very happy there and said........what took you so long to get me here? Go figure.

The past couple of days....while waiting for the big move...they (the hospital staff) basically forgot about him. They did not put him into his wheelchair unless his friends were there to do it. He has a cut on his bad leg. They have not atteneded to it as it is now infected.

Tomorrow is the start of a new life for Erwin. He has alot of work to do and I will let you all know his progress as it happens.

Stay tuned.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The light

There is finally a light at the end of this tunnel. Ellen finally got the news we have all been waiting for. Erwin is going to the Rehab. place on Monday. Thank you lord.

Till then, Erwin remains in a private room unless a bed in the general class comes open. We keep on praying that that bed never opens up. Ellen has moved from the hospital into a room at Kon Tiki which is owned by the Plaza so there are no cost there. Ellen is going to see about hiring a driver for the next week to get her around. He poor back just cannot handle the crowed bus rides.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The rollar coaster ride

Ok.....I have some cathing up to do. Let me see if I can remember everything that Ellen has told me.

First of all....Poor Ellen has a nasty cold. I can hardly understand her as her voice is almost gone. The good part is that her back has been holding out.

Erwin still gets alot of visitors and people call him on a daily basis. This makes him very happy. He continues to sit up to eat but is still on soft food. With the uniary track infection Erwin has to take a anitbotic. He cannot swallow it. Ellen has found it in his mouth when she goes to brush his teeth. I cannot believe that they would give him a pill to swallow when he cannot swallow pieces of food which would be softer. UGH

Erwin is having preseption problems and Ellen seem to think that he may not be understanding everything she thought he was.

Yesturday when I spoke with Ellen she said that they would be back home soon as Erwin's Dr. said that the Rhabilation Center would not take him. This was in a way a relief for her as the extra expense would now be off her shoulders. Later in the afternoon the Dr. from the Rehabilation Center came see them and he said that they wanted to take Erwin on as he was so young. They wanted to give it their best shot. Good news as this is exactly what Erwin needs to get any healing done at all. The bad news is that there now will be even more expenses for them as they have no idea how long it will be before a bed becomes available. It could be days, weeks or a month. Erwin will be in the hospital in Curacao till such time. Ellen has no choice but to move Erwin into 3rd class now. She has to find an apartment in Curacao for herself that is afordable.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Good news bad news

Sorry for the delay. I have not been feeling well.

Ok...Thursday as not a very good day for Erwin. He would not sit up for the PT. They could not understand it. Normally he tries so hard for the guy.

Friday they had Erwin in a wheelchair. He was sitting up on his own which is huge. No pillows for support or anything. It took my mom a week before she got that far. Remember when I said that they thought Erwin might have a bladder infection. They did the test and said that was not the case. Well, he did. Ok it was not a bladder infection but a uniary track infection. That was why he was having such a bad day on Thursday. He was not feeling well.

They also said that his carotid artery is clean. No blockage. Now they are trying to figure out where the blood clot came from.

Now that Erwin can get into a wheelchair..........Ellen can take him places. The went looking for a garden on the grounds at the hospital they were told exhisted. They could not find it even after asking staff who worked there for years. Ellen said that she would try again today.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

In a chair

Today was a pretty exciting day. Erwin was out of the hospital gown and into his own cloths. That is always an exciting move. Then the PT came he put Erwin into a chair for two hours. He was propped up with pillows because of the bad balance but it is a start. He was in the chair when the hotel manager, dive manager and a co-worker/friend came from Bonaire to visit him. What a nice way to visit with someone. Way better than seeing them in a bed all the time. Baby steps.......right now it is all about baby steps.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Some test results

At last Ellen got a good nights sleep. She so needed it. The poor thing thought she was going to catch up on some sleep when she was back here on Bonaire but they are building a new house across the street from her. They were jack hammering at 6:45am Sunday. You would think there would be laws against that.

Yesturday (Monday) Erwin was finally sitting up with the help of a PT. Yes, a Physical Therapist finally arrived to work on him. He has Erwin put his hand on the PT's shoulder so that Erwin can assist in getting into a sitting position. He did not spend much time with Erwin (about 5 mins) but at least he is finally getting some Therapy. Erwin's balance is still really bad. Aparently Erwin told the PT....get me on a boat 30 miles out to sea and I will get my balance back.

The Cardiologist said that all of his test were negative so there is no problem with Erwin's heart. That is good news.

The Neurolgist basically told them that if Erwin does not get any movement back that he will not go into Rehab. It is still unclear as to how long they will keep Erwin in the Curacao hospital. I am guessing that they will wait at least a week to see if he gets any movement back. This is where we channel out thougths. Just keep picturing him walking Moka, diving, fishing or sunning on the beach in his speedo. What ever works for you. Maybe positive thinking will help him to move his left side.

Erwin still get's a ton of visitors from family and friends. Two of his co-workers will be there for him tomorrow. Maybe then we will get a new photo of Carnival man. HAHAHAH

Donations

Well thanks to Ellen's friend Dara who lives in the US we now have a paypay account that people can donate money to. Here is what Dara put on Bonaire Talk today.

Friends and family can make donations to help Erwin Muller on PayPal using the new email account: Erwin2CanDive@gmail.com

Donations are made using the "send money" option and the email address above. Expenses for out-of-pocket hospital room and travel are certain to run in the neighborhood of 15,000-20,000 Nfl and that's just the beginning. This email is linked to a new account set up for the Muller's at my credit union. I will be able to transfer money directly into their MCB account from this account. In addition, Ellen will get an ATM card that will allow direct withdrawal from the account. Ellen will also have visibility to all deposits thru the email account and online banking for the savings account. Thanks to everyone for all of the concern and support. Let's help to ease Ellen's worry over money and get Erwin back on his feet again!!!

I have set up an account here on Bonaire with MCB (Maduro and Curiels's bank). The account is in my name (Linda Baker) because Ellen was off island and could not sign it. That account number is 400 050 800 if any body local want to help out financially. Thank you so very much to every body who has donated already. I am sorry....but unlike the paypal account.....Ellen nor Erwin will know who donated as there will be no record on this account.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

One Week Later

Well, a week has now passed. Ellen left on Saturday afternoon from Curacao to come back to Bonaire to get some more things. She wanted this info. to be quiet as the poor thing is extreemly exhausted. She cannot think clearly. I personally think she is doing amazing considering.

The Dr's showed up just before she was to leave for the airport. Not good timeing. They hooked him up to a machine but she cannot remember what it was for right now.

Aparently the nursing staff asked Erwin if they could shave off his beard. Much to Ellen's surprise.....he said.....sure. I am going to try to post a photo that was given to me. This photo is of Erwin just before he got shaved. I am still waiting for one with the beard gone. Basically what Erwin said was......1st....it will grow back in a few days. 2nd....now that the beard is gone I need to go to carnival. It is like a mask.....nobody will reconize me.

I am also going to try to put a photo out there of Erwin and Moka that Ellen gave to me. Wish me luck.

For now...there has been no change in Erwin's condition. I will post results of tests when Ellen gives them to me. She is hoping to know more tomorrow when she returns to Curacao.

Oh, I almost forgot. Aparently when the dive shop called him the other day, he asked the guys to drive Golden Eye (one of the dive boats from the Plaza) to Curacao to get him out of the hospital and take him back home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Friday Jan 16/2009

GRRRRRRR Sometimes I hate computers. I lost all my work so here goes again.

Erwin is still getting a ton of phone calls. I spoke with him twice today. Both times all he could talk about is food and how hungry he is. He pretty much gets oatmeal or Cream of Wheat for two meals. Ellen said that they had a nice lunch (the main meal here) mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and mashed fish. The bummer is that Erwin catches fish, watches fish but does not eat fish. At this point in time Erwin is not allowed to have solid foods. I am shocked that they even give him fluids to drink. When I went through this same thing with my mom in Canada 4 years ago she was not even allowed to have liquids unless there were made into this nasty gel. The reason they do not give stroke people solids and liquids is cause it can go down the wrong way and end up in the lungs. If that happens they will get phenomena. Not a good thing.

Poor Erwin as also in pain today. His decathator is clogging up and now Ellen is afraid that he may have an infection. The nurses have tried to fix it a few times with no success. They finally changed it but it may be to late. They are checking him for the infection. Ellen hopes that the test comes back today as it is Friday. If he is not given antibiotics to clean up this infection today then he will not get anything till Monday. Yup, things pretty much shut down on weekends unless you are dying and even then.....who knows.

At least Erwin will be staying in the private or first class room. That is huge. This is why we need to help them out with cash. The first class rooms are not cheap. The government will pay for his care but not for a first class room. This will have to be taken care of by the family.

Now, for those of you who have spent any time at the little white house on the ocean by Something Special will have meet Ellen and Erwin's baby (dog) Moka. Moka is a beautiful Belgium Shepard. I have been picking her up on my way home from work and taking her back in the mornings to spend time with Erwin's sister. She loves being here cause she gets to spend time with her girlfriends. I have two females. Tudy and Spunky. I take them all for a walk after work and then Moka gets to spend time in the house till bedtime. She has to go out then cause I also have two cats and Moka is not use to them. She still wants to chase them.

Today was my day off so Moka got to go for car rides as I did somethings around town. I then took her and Spunky up to the top of Seru Largo for a walk. Tonight I was feeling bad from Moka as I know she is missing her mom and dad so I took her back to her old house and we walked her old walk along the sea. She was one happy puppy.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Thrusday Jan 15 2009

I just got off the phone with Ellen. She tells me that today was a really good day for the most part. All his co-workers called him to chat. This made him really happy. He was awake more today than all the other days so far. That is a really good thing.

I talked to him myself and all he can talk about is the lack of food in there. Now that's my boy. They only gave him liquids for most of the day cause they took him to do some tests. This is why Erwin was so hungry. They are finally trying to see what it is that caused the stroke. If it blockage then they need to operate to open it up again. If it was a blood clot for some other reason.....then they need to know why it formed so that it can be prevented in the future.

He appears to be pissed at the Dr.'s there for not doing anything. One Dr. came by and said that he was by a couple of time and could not find Erwin. Erwin said that he was hanging outside the balcony. He is so bad.

Ellen is going to try to come back on Sat. so that she can do laundry and get more stuff. Mostly she wants a computer. That would be a good thing cause then she can write this blog herself when she is bored. AAAAAAAAAAHAHAHA ...She will go back again on Sunday or Monday morning. This will allow Jason go get back home and back to work as well. Jason will be flying back and forth every weekend for now.

Ellen also said that Erwin needs more visitors. Aparently everyone stopped by to see him when he was out of it. Now that he is more alert....nobody is coming to see him. Figures. I know that some of his family will be flying there on weekends so that is good.

The beginning

I am setting up the blog for all of you interested in how our buddy Erwin Muller is doing. As most of you know...Erwin suffered a major stroke on Saturday afternoon Jan 10 2009. He was helping out his niece doing some constructon work when the stroke came on. He was taken to the hospital here (B0naire) and was in there for 24 hours. He seemed to get worse as time passed.

On Sunday he was flown to Curacao where he was admited and a catscan was done. There were no Dr.s around to either check up on him, do tests on him or to talk to his wife Ellen and son Jason. Ellen and Jason were getting more and more worried as they had no answers and no improvement. Erwin basically slept the entire time only to wake up for a few minutes to see a visitor or two.

Finally on Wednesday Jan 14 the Dr.'s started to show up and do tests to determine the damage done by the blood clot that went through his brain. Ellen told me that he was staying awake longer and starting to make jokes. At one point Erwin was rubbing his belly. He kept on rubbing it and Jason ask his dad what was wrong with his belly. Erwin...still rubbing his belly said.....it's empty. That put a huge smile on everyones face for sure. He also asked for a hamburgar and a shake. Yup......that's our great friend Erwin.