Marla is in San Diego!

Hello everyone! Hope you had a happy thanksgiving. On Tuesday, Mathew checked Marla out of her facility in Las Vegas and drove her to Los Angeles. She and my sister stayed with us over night in our little one-bedroom apartment, and then drove to San Diego on Thanksgiving early morning and afternoon so that Marla could see her mom before heading to Texas.


Marla is doing well. She’s mostly wheelchair-bound and is practicing with her walker every day. She is able to use the feeding tube on her own. Her vision is poor, but she’s strong-willed and independent, so that will take her far. (She DOES need a bit more patience with certain tasks, but . . .)


Today we’re taking her to see her mom again for the day while Mathew and I pack up her things and get her set up for her flight to Texas tomorrow. My cousin will pick her up at the airport and make sure everything is set up for her, and she’ll most likely spend about 6 months or longer in Texas as she gets everything situated for her future.


As soon as we know more, we’ll post it, but she’d love cards and letters at her new address. Please email marlagregg (at) eatthepaper (dot) com if you’d like it.

As always, thanks so much for your support and prayers!



Update on Marla’s Progress

Hey friends–so they’re performing another surgery on mom this wednesday to sew up the bottom of her eye since the stroke has made it droop quite a bit to the point that she will lose the eye if she doesn’t get this done. The vision is very poor in that eye, still. Her swallowing has come far, but she’s still not fully able to swallow (even pureed) foods. She’s been authorized by the doctor as “functional, wheelchair bound” meaning that she gets around fine on her wheel chair and can mostly take care of herself (with someone check in in on her) and the walking with a walker will come with practice. She is still learning how to change and deal with the feeding tube, which they’ve JUST started teaching her (most likely because her insurance is only paying for the facility through Friday).

We’ve spoken with family and are very grateful that my Uncle Mac wants my mom to move to Texas and live with him. He lives alone, and they both have similar health issues and could assist and take care of one another. Now it’s just all about the logistics of getting her out there.

If you’re in Vegas, please go visit mom this week or this weekend. She may not be there much longer. We may try to take her to San Diego to see her mother first before she heads off to Texas.

Thank you for all of your support and continued prayers, and for your donations toward her Cobra Co-pay. We’re still waiting on the decision for her Disability–and need to keep her insurance going as long as possible.


Update on Marla

Hello Everyone!

Mathew and I have been a bit overwhelmed. Now that summer is over, my free time away from classes to complete administrative tasks for mom has evaporated. It’s been difficult to coordinate, file, and adjust. We’ve been receiving numerous bills in the mail from all of the individual specialists and medical consultants. (PLEASE, OBAMA, SINGLE-PAYER SYSTEM!) It takes about 20-40 minutes per phone call per billing department. Mom’s seen about 100 different people. It’s a bit stressful.

She’s been moved to another rehabilatation facility back in the Vegas area. Her insurance will only cover so many weeks of this “assisted” facility. She’s been working hard, but is still having a great deal of trouble with balance while standing, which makes it near to impossible for her to utilize the walker by herself. She’s getting better on her wheel chair, however. Her vision in her right eye is pretty much gone–mostly blurry shapes, although they’re going to perform another surgery to try and help it. She’s still on the feeding tube; while she is able to kind of swallow, the valve doesn’t close all the way, so they’re not sure she’ll be able to get back on regular food. She may, sadly, be stuck with the PICU food forever. 😦

A note to many of her friends and coworkers–Please DO NOT TEXT MESSAGE MARLA. She can’t read these messages, and it’s very difficult for her to check them; they’re also quite expensive. Please call her instead. She doesn’t pick up regularly, but she can see that a number has called and will call you back. She is a bit lonely. Mathew and I have not been able to get up there to visit for almost 2 months; car troubles and my work schedule have made it impossible. We are eternally grateful to everyone who calls, visits, sends her cards, and sends her flowers. These things mean so much to her.

We’ve gotten all of the entries for the poetry contest and are in the process of going through these. Thanks to everyone who donated and entered the contest!

We’ll keep you posted on Marla’s progress.

Don’t forget, she’s on Facebook, Twitter, and this website. If you’d like to get in touch with her personally, you can email marlagregg (at) eatthepaper (dot) com and I’ll pass on your information.

Much love to you all for your good thoughts, prayers, and continued donations toward her cobra payments and other incidental costs.

Poetry Contest Deadline to Help Marla: Spet. 30

Don’t forget to enter our poetry contest to help Marla!

Information on the poetry contest

Marla moved to Life Care

Hello everyone!

Marla could use a visit from you (or your friends)!

She’s now at LifeCare Center–2325 East Harmon in Las Vegas

The goals are to get her off the feeding tube and to get her walking with a cane.

If you’d like to call her, she can talk, although her speech isn’t REALLY good yet.

So, good news–the surgery on Marla’s esophagus went well, and she has been able to swallow pudding, cream of wheat, and a chocolate milkshake. They’re still not sure about the feeding tube and if/when she’ll be off of that, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed. Marla is still walking on the walker with assistance, but she can move around in the wheelchair pretty good. She’s at an “assisted nursing facility” which is LOADS better than the one she was at before we were able to get her back to therapy.

The medical bills are rolling in now; we’ve learned that unbeknownst to Marla, she was assigned out-of-network doctors during her emergency care stay and hospitalization, so she’s being billed now for thousands and thousands of dollars. The next step is to appeal the insurance company–we’ll see how that goes.

Marla says that her brother, Mac, has been thinking of renting out his home in Texas in order to move to Vegas to stay with mom for a while; that would be wonderful if she’s able to transfer and live on her own again. It’s all just a matter of time. She says she’s FINALLY quit smoking, but I’ll wait to confirm that until I see it. My visits have been less frequent now that I am working again, but I hope to get out to see her at the end of September.

In the meantime, please spread the word that any and all visitors are welcomed, even if only for a few minutes of conversation or to play a game of cards.

Thank you, as always, for all of your support. Turns out that despite the great insurance and the money to pay her Cobra, she still may be without medical coverage for about 6 months (while waiting on Federal/Medicaid; apparently you have to receive disability payments for 2 years before they’ll put you on Medical insurance). That makes sense. . .

We’ve gotten all of the poetry contest submissions and will be going through those this week to see if we’ve made our minimum donation request. I will still take your entry through the end of September–but if you’re not a poet, maybe a t-shirt or bag? Mathew will put up some new designs at his Cafe Press account soon!

Thank you for your ongoing prayers and monetary donations–

Marla getting surgery

Tomorrow, on her Birthday!!!, Marla will have a procedure done on her left eye to try and correct the drooping eyelid and improve her vision. On Friday, she’s been approved for the esophagus procedure that may allow her to swallow soft food (such as yogurt, pureed foods etc.)

We’re hoping that Marla gets approved for 1 more week (at least) at Health South Rehab center–and then after that, we’re hoping she gets a few weeks at a (good–decent) “Skilled Nursing Facility” for just a bit more therapy and rehabilitation. She’s spoken with her brother, MAC, who lives in Texas, about moving there for a few weeks or months while she waits for her stable income to kick in; it’s good that she has this back-up plan.

She appreciates all of your visits, flowers, and gifts. Just today, she received beautiful flowers from Gene and Toni, Mathew’s mom, and Marla went on and on about how lovely they were. (She sure does love flowers!)

As soon as we speak with her tomorrow after her procedure, we’ll post here to let you know how it all went.

Thank you for your continued donations, support, and prayers.

P.S. We’re still looking for help finding “Care Homes” in the San Diego area–we desperately need some researchers out there who may be able to find out some information for us.

marlagregg (at) eatthepaper (dot) com


Marla typed a message to you all!!!

hi evobem  its reqlly me.  thqnks to  vrhyonr ggot yout fnstio0nd snf

Hi everyone. That was Marla up there trying to type but this keyboard is really touchy! She wanted to say, and I quote:

Thanks to everyone that sent cash and flowers and cards and to all of those in my district who have visited me when I’ve been ill. When I can see better I’ll actually type a note myself. And Kirsten won’t get to laugh at me so much. Love you all. Thanks and kisses! Marla.

Marla just finished her physical therapy and walked about 60 feet, and then turned around and walked back using her walker and with very little support (which is a good thing!) from her physical therapist! Her therapist says she’s doing amazing! In fact, all of her therapists are amazed by her strength and progress! Mathew heard mom’s new roommate, Bessie, say that Marla had GRIT!!!

Ain’t that the truth!

More next time! Don’t forget–MARLA’S BIRTHDAY IS COMING UP!!!! SEPTEMBER 1, 2009! She’d love you to visit or email a birthday greeting to marlagregg (at) eatthepaper (dot) com or send a card.

Thanks, as always, to all of you for your love, support and prayers.