Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Rehabilitation is under way!

I am pleased to announce that Hollis has been undergoing intense rehab for the next few weeks.
More details soon.
The last update I heard was that she ripped out her feeding tube and they were standing by to see how she fed herself before trying to re-install.
I will talk to Diane and give a proper update soon.

Also, as per a commenter's question, the van giveaway was too late to enter the contest, but Diane secured a van with a chair lift to make transportation easier on the both of them. As always, donations are graciously accepted to help with these costs incurred for Hollis' rehabilitation.

Friday, May 11, 2012

A Standing Record

Diane told me today that Hollis stood for the longest time ever today, 13 minutes.
She went to the doctor today to get her new pump calibrated. She had the Baclofen pump installed last week and they brought her in to give her a better dosage. The pump is to improver her muscle tone in order for her to be admitted into an intensive care facility. Hollis needs to be able to withstand all day of rehabilitation. Getting better tone in her right side will help her with the process.
Diane will be trying to win a van that enables her to day trip with Hollis, so when that info is available, we will need YOUR support by spreading the word and voting.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Update on Hollis about Shepherd's Center admission needs.

Speaking with Diane recently, she detailed the medical needs for Hollis pre-admission to the world renowned center for brain injuries, Shepherd's Center.
If you are looking for a way to help Hollis on her goal of "getting better", send a little donation through the paypal link to the left.

Here is what she had to say, in medicalese:

"Shepherd wanted Holli to be seen and have some procedures done that will help her get the best benefit from the intensive therapy that she would be receiving if we are accepted. We saw a dr. today that is getting the ball rolling. Holli will see an orthopedist Thursday about her hand and then next Wednesday a neurologist that does the baclofen trial which is they inject baclofen into her spine and see if she is a cadidate for the baclofen pump. Baclofen is medication that would help decrease her tone and spasms that she has and her muscles would be much more relaxed. It will delivery continuous medication. After that we will see if she needs a tendon release of her right elbow to help straighten her arm. I am so happy that we are getting these procedures in place. What we want to see happen is a special pump inserted for Holli to receive continuous medication that will relax her muscles and tone in her body so we can get them functioning again. Possibly will have to have surgery to have a tendon release from her right arm so we can get her right arm completely straight and possibly a series of cast put on her right foot to correct her foot drop if the medication pump does not do this for her.
It is more that Holli needs these procedures in place so she can get the most out of intense physical therapy. I believe that once we have that, they will accept her. She only has one shot with medicare for in-patient therapy and we want her to get the most out of it." -Diane Parkes Allison

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Hollis Dream

I had a Hollis dream where she was like an eager little child. It was time to learn walking and she couldn't wait to get her shoes on, she just went for it. She also remembered how to do the bicycle dance. She would soak up whatever lesson I had planned for her, clumsily pull it off, and want more. It made her so happy to be moving again.

This dream has renewed the need for a committee to head up the advocacy for her entrance into Shephard's Center in Atlanta.

If you would like to spearhead a role in this campaign, contact me at:
eliza (at) friendsofhollis .com

Monday, April 11, 2011

Update from Derailleurs friend, Franny:

Hello friends,
On my way back from the GonKiRin roadtrip to Detroit I stopped in Nashville on my way to Austin to visit with Holli and Diane. I arrived late and Hollis was asleep so Diane and I had the chance to catch up. The last time I saw them was when Hollis was at St. Lukes Hospital in San Francisco before I moved to Mexico in July 2009. Wow times flies and Hollis has progressed tremendously!!! She suddenly woke up and was eager to see who was there. I walked down the stairs and she was smiling. She thanked me for coming to visit her all the way from California. She was amused by my 100-pound rottweiler and wanted to see her up close. Osa Perez jumped on her bed and licked her face multiple times as Hollis giggled. She laughed and said "You've got a big pooch but she's a big baby!" She asked me if I was going to spend the night. I said "Yes, we are going to have a slumber party!" She told me to get on her bed thus I did. I told her that everyone misses her and loves her and she said "It's not the same without me is it?" I agreed. Later that night I was sleeping in her room that she grew up in and I noticed the glow in the dark message that she wrote on the ceiling as a child. It said "The stars don't shine when your eyes are closed!" It really touched me because I could hear her saying it as I read it. The next morning we watched TV together and I played with her beautiful dark brown long hair. I gave her my silver Guatemalan jade ring that I made in Chiapas and she thanked me. She was amused by looking at the bling on her finger. Holli was talking a lot and listened intently absorbing every word I said sometimes repeating my sentences taking it all in. She even had a conversation with my pops on the phone. She made his day and he told her she's a tough cookie. Harry called and sung her Blackbird by the Beatles. She recognized the song and said it was beautiful. She became real giddy speaking with him like a school girl in love. Hollis enjoys watching Disney movies and listening to her mom read to her. She still has her sass and doesn't always like it when the nurses put her in the shower. I encourage all of you to stop by and visit her whenever you are near Nashville. She loves the company of her friends!!! Diane has renovated the entire downstairs for Hollis including the shower room. She receives Botox every few months to help with the flexibility of her muscles. Holli told me that she loves her mom and that she's her main inspiration. Diane is very happy to have Hollis around. It's been really rough since Doug passed. Heather and her two girls will be moving in soon. I am pleased to know that the Hawthornes are together once again.
Love and kisses,

Saturday, April 9, 2011

An Idea

I would really love to manifest an internet tablet type product for Hollis. One she could mount on her bed and her chair.
She could watch videos, read, write, draw, and maybe even set up email or phone calling action.
Hollis is at a place in her recovery that more friends and more creativity would be great for her.

Dear Universe, if there is any way we can make this happen, that would be winning!
I wrote to Google about this, but I can see how it would be hard to get a foot in the door with the size of their company. Anyone have a good contact for one of these tablet producing companies?
We could make a special heartwarming community outreach story and team up with an awesome techie to create interface that is special to Hollis and her brainstem injury.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Hollis' Birthday Conversation

I just got off the phone calling Hollis on her birthday.
A few other Derailleurs were in the room on speaker phone her in SF.
She was at home with her mother getting ready for a party of family at her house later.
"It would be lovely if you came over for my birthday!"
She was her usual hostess self and offered the prospects of cake and ice cream for everyone.
She thanked me for calling and thinking of her on her birthday.
We talked about the Derailleurs show and she was ever so eager to get back to dancing.
She wants us to come over so she can learn the new moves and catch up.
She mentioned a couple times how we could dance all night.
Then as our conversation came to an end, I asked her for a story.
This is what I got from it:
"Once there was this little girl and all she wanted to do was dance.
And there was a fairy with wings who wanted to dance but couldn't use her legs.
They all came to my party and we danced all night."
Her annunciation has improved remarkably and being at home seems to be a great experience.
This home is where she grew up, and she is connecting with those moments.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Hollis is coming Home

Hollis has been cleared for take-off.

Many of you have been hoping for this moment:
Hollis was cleared for setting up shop at her childhood home as soon as January 15th.

She will me moving back in with her mother, Diane, just in time to keep her company through this hard time. Heather, Hollis' sister, is also making plans to join their mother in the old haunts.

The house has been under construction to accommodate Holli and her chair and mobility needs. If you have the means to donate, please send a little help through the paypal to cover some of these untimely costs.

Keep the Hawthorne/Allison family in your heart and here's to another year of discovery and triumph.

Doug will be remembered.

It is with a sad heart that I announce Hollis' Stepfather and Diane's true love, Doug Allison, has passed away. He was a kind soul who will be missed, especially by all his kitties.
If you would like to send your condolences to Diane, her address is:

Diane Alison
600 Sue Dr
Antioch, TN

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Chili and Cornbread

I wish I could have spent more time in Nashville. Though my visit was short, it was very sweet. I am going to lay this out somewhat like a report. I took some scattered notes in my journal that I will attempt to put together in a flowing manner. First, a brief history of me and Hollis.
We are very dear friends. Pre India, we were hanging out on a near to daily basis for quite some time. We are both members of the Bay Area Derailleurs bikedance team, as well as the PSOP-( Permanent Sleep Over Posse.) I know her well. I was there the night we were informed by Harrison about the accident which was immediately after it happened. He called Eliza to find out Hollis's blood type. It was a terrifying night. I was also there at the airport when she arrived back in the US from India. Went to visit her in the hospital in San Francisco while she was there. I mention this because I have seen many stages of her recovery and that is part of why this visit was so special to me. The last time I saw Hollis before this week was over a year ago in September when she was taken back home to Nashville to be near her family. Before I go any further, I would like you to know that her mother, Diane, is one of the most solid, loving mothers I have ever met. Diane has literally been at Hollis's side since the very beginning of this unfortunate accident. From India, to Stanford, to San Francisco, to the care center in Nashville. Thank you, Diane. You are unspeakably loyal and amazing. Okay, that's enough history, lets get on with the update.
I arrived in Nashville on the 13th of December with a mutual friend, Layna. It was evening. We showed up at Madison Health Care and Rehabilitation feeling very nervous. Will she remember us we thought to ourselves. Of course your mind goes wild in stressful situations with "what if" scenarios. We go inside and head for Hollis's room. Lucky for us, she remembers us! ( I actually knew this already because I had called Diane a couple nights before to let her know we were coming and she put Hollis on the phone for a second. Hollis said to me, "Jamie Bond, you are a very remarkable person." It brought a tear to my eye.) It was nice to have the visual reassurance. We got settled in and did some talking. Yes! Talking to my friend who wasn't talking for a long time. She is very articulate and using complete sentences. We would say something like, "Do you like ice cream, Hollis?" She would respond with, " Yes, I like ice cream very much!" I was so happy to see the dinner tray come in. I didn't realize that she was eating solids on a regular basis. She still has feeding tubes- one for the stomach and one for the small intestine. This is to make sure that she gets proper nutrition while her body adapts to taking in solids again. As it turns out, she was not very interested in dinner, which I will discuss later. She goes to bed early so we were only there for a couple hours. Took off for the night to go meet up with a new friend and get settled in for the night. Layna started crocheting a hat for Hollis. It was a lovely deep red color. The next morning we got up early and were back to hang out for the whole day! Hollis's sister Heather was supposed to be hanging with her today, but when she got there and found Layna and I, she left us to have some friend time alone. Hollis was in a wonderful mood. We did a lot of joking and laughing. She is hilarious! It almost seems as if she is her old self and a little kid at the same time. She was constantly saying, " I love you very much!," " Do you love me?","You are so funny", "I love my Mom." Despite being articulate, there was a serious range of vocal pitch influction. She would start out speaking in a normal tone, but as she got excited her pitch would get significantly higher while speaking faster and a bit more mumbly. She is still working on getting full control of her mouth. Eating was a bit of a mess but she is eating and that is what matters. We would have to remind her to chew and sometimes food would come plopping back out of the mouth, which made her giggle. And she would continue to say, " Thank you for feeding me." It was spoon feeding which also reminded us of a childlike essence. Chili and cornbread was very appetizing to her for lunch that day. Ice cream for dessert. At one point in the meal Hollis burst out with an exclamation to Layna, "Thank you for stuffing my face!!" We all giggled and Layna continued to stuff chili, cornbread, and carrots into her face until it was almost gone. Now it was time for an adventure. Layna finished the warm hat just in time because we were going outside! Warm was necessary because some sort of "Arctic Blast" moved in from the North, all down the Midwest and into the South. It was a mere 18degrees the night before. A light blanket of snow everywhere. We got Hollis moved into her chair and bundled her up in sweaters and blankets. She said she hadn't been outside in a long time. First we checked out the courtyard, which ended up being not very exciting, (plus it had no smoking signs and Layna and I wanted some tobacco!) We decided to go straight out the front door, down the driveway, and across the street to look at the park. It was a bumpy walk and I did my best to keep it smooth. We were out for about ten minutes and Hollis decided that it was too cold so we went back on inside. I was sort of surprised that none of the staff stopped us from taking Hollis out, but then again, we weren't doing anything wrong. We got back in and turned on some music. I tell you what, Hollis has way better memory than I do when it comes to remembering song lyrics. She knew almost every word to every song that we played. We had a lot of fun listening to an entire Bob Marley album. The song "I shot the sheriff" was cracking her up to no end. Eventually, we decided to check out those limbs and do a little body work. We noticed that Hollis's right leg was significantly colder than her left leg. The only thing we could figure was poor circulation due to inactivity. Layna did some power blast Reiki action on Hollis's head while I worked on the right foot, ankle, and leg. This went on for about an hour during which Hollis fell asleep. When we finished the pampering treatment, Hollis woke up and said, " I feel like a human being again." We got serious with her for a minute and did some mobility work. She is still not using her right side and needs to work on making it work. At one point she said something like, "I can't move my leg." This was not what we wanted to hear. The "can't" attitude will get you nowhere. We got her to focus really hard and squeeze Layna's hand with her right hand. Then we said told her to move her right leg. It was very difficult, but that leg started moving when she focused on it. She has virtually no muscle left in there after being in a bed for the past two years so she needs to rebuild it and then it will be easier to move. Physical therapy is necessary. Diane and Heather have been doing their own versions of exercise with Hollis but I personally believe that she needs some serious grueling professional assistance in this department on an intensive daily basis. She needs to be reminded to focus and think about reconnecting the neuropathways that enable mobility and everything else. It may not be fun but it is what will make a dramatic improvement with her recovery. Diane said that they are waiting for Medicare/Medicaid to kick in within a few months when they will re-attempt to get Hollis re-accepted into Shepards Center, a specialty brain injury recovery center in Atlanta, GA. It was really nice to know that Hollis is at least somewhat aware of her condition and the work that needs to be done. She repeatedly told us that she wants to go home. Lucky for her, Diane's house is almost remodeled to accommodate and Hollis will be going home by the 15th of January at the latest. Hopefully sooner. I believe that this move will create a drastic improvement in her recovery. For the past 15 months she has been in a nursing home. Literally. Madison Healthcare and Rehabilitation is full of some really weird energy that she is no doubt soaking up. She is by far the youngest person there. I will post some thoughts on the US medical system in an additional blog post that I would like everyone to read and think about. In summary, it will be about how much it sucks that our current medical system keeps people away from the specialized treatment that they need in crucial time periods of recovery. Overall, I think Hollis is has made significant progress and she wouldn't be where she is today without the love and care she has received from her family and friends. As we were saying goodbye, she said to us, " Forgive me if I am absent minded." We told her that it's all good and keep on being the strong, beautiful woman that she is. My suggestion to you is to go visit her, call her, send stories and pictures, send music, send love. She really liked being told how much we love her and how beautiful she is. The beauty in that is that it is nothing but true. True friends are with you through the good times and the bad and that is something you can always count on. We are blessed to have such an amazing community. We are even more blessed to have Hollis here with us and getting closer to a full recovery every day. It takes a village so don't be afraid to get re-involved. She will thank you for it.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Pure KT's visit to Tennesee

so I went down to Nashville Tennesse and had some visits with our dear Ms. Hollis. Let me tell you that girl is Taaaalking! ye-haw! I walked into her room and couldn't stop smiling. Diane asked Hollis, "Do you know who that is?" and quick a wink Hollis said, "That's KT, Hello KT!" and I kissed her face. Hollis is doing well, all things considered. She was laughing and making fibro mialga jokes. She was able to stay pretty focused during our visits, but also tired and had to rest from time to time. We sang some of the Little Mermaid "Look at this stuff, isn't it neat, wouldn't you think my collections complete!"

And so the girl is still in there, as we've known all along, fighting and working hard to reclaim what's her's. Hollis enuciates each syallable and has a full blown Nashville accent, the kind she gets after having a few ;) very cute.
Diane says her strongest memories are from her childhood, but she remembers her more recent past too, Dancing, the Derailleurs, DPW, San Francisco, etc. Her short term memory isn't great, recent visits were hazy for her it seemed. She asks Diane for help sometimes when she's having trouble saying something, she says "Can you feel me?" Yes, Hollis, we can feel you.

On my next visit, Diane said Hollis was grumpy. It was strangely a relief to hear, the grawly side, Grewahhh. We watched The Little Mermaid, and I braided her hair. When I came in the next day she asked me to braid her hair again, so she is remembering things day to day. I worked on her right arm for awhile. She said she couldn't feel it. Although Hollis has great control over her left arm, she can't feel her right hardly at all. We need to encourage those neural paths to connect again!

The last visit I re-read some letters that had been written to her, and we looked at the BRC street signs that were signed last summer. She remembered everyone, and kept saying, "oh, I didn't know! wow!" When I left Hollis made a point of telling me how important our visit was, so keep contacting Mz. H, she misses us.

Besides visiting Hollis I was in Nashville to look at colleges. I'm going to spend a semester of school in Tennessee in Jan. and plan on spending time with Hollis. So lets get a list of exercises, games, activities to do with Hollis to forwards the Haul-ass recovery.


Wednesday, March 24, 2010

My first Tennessee visit.

Here I am, day 1 of a four day adventure in Tennessee to visit Hollis.
In the car ride on the way over, Hollis called to tell us how excited she was for the visit. Five minutes later we pulled into the nursing home and she was there in the window. I made a childish face at her and raced inside. I jumped in her arms gave her a big hug. She gave me her best one armed hug and then told me to give her a kiss. We kissed and she said we had to do it again so we can get a picture of it. How refreshing to have my first words with her be bossing me around!!
She handed me a note she wrote to me that was penned by Karen, her stepmother, signed by Hollis with her left hand. It said, "Thank you for being my friend. I love you!"

We quickly left the bustling activity center for the privacy of her room. Hollis was speaking the whole time. She would say things and then asked if I could understand her. If I didn't then I would tell her to repeat it and she would without frustration. She told me to sit in her chair with her. She asked me to massage her shoulders and feet."oh that so nice." She told me she couldn't feel anything, then I pinched her and she looked at me so I told her I caught her in a fib. She talked about her speech therapy and various health problems, some imagined. She kept saying that she is blind in one eye. Then we would do some experiments when we would cover each eye and ask her how many fingers. When she repeated herself the fourth time, I interrupted and told her that she had said that four times already and that it wasn't true. She apologized and didn't bring it up again. Near the end of the visit, she did say that it is hard for her to focus, but that is more of a problem with needing glasses.

She has this joke about fibro mialsia that kept cracking us up the whole time.
The joke was along the lines of, "One time at band camp, I got sick. It was from Fibro Mialsia."
Heather, her sister was like,"Did you smoke this fibro mialsia?"
"I think that was Marijuana, maryjane, reefer...."
"hahahah yeah!"
And then from then on, sometimes when she couldn't think of a word, she would say she has fibro mialsia and laugh and crack up. Then it started to turn into spinalbi-fasia, etc.

We spent the day cuddling and reading a few letters from folks. I am introducing a new letter or present every few hours so she doesn't get overwhelmed. Which she wasn't. The last few weeks she has been stressed and depressed, so Diane warned me to not expect anything, but Hollis was back to her joyful, joking self. Her original southern accent, the one that comes out when she's drunk, was more apparent. Her southern hospitality was amazing. She kept asking me if I understood her, that she was just trying to explain where she's coming from. She was so polite and very thankful for all the gifts I would pull out. She has this phrase, "Oh, I had no idea" and "Oh thank you, that's so nice," which is very southern sounding. And very pleasant.

I brought a piece of bacon from breakfast for her to lick or something. I saw this glimmer in her eye when I first pulled out the bacon. It was like heaven had answered her prayers. She totally ate a very small fatty bit. Her slightly studdering thought patterns showed a transformation in her thought. At first she was saying she has an eating disability. That she can't eat food; that it will give her pain. Then I reminded her that her body wants real food instead of the vitamin tube and that it would be hard to reintroduce food but it will eventually happen. I notified her of the real pain it will be to get over a year of feeding tubes. Then she said that she can eat, but just not too much. Then she asked for more bacon. We gave her some yogurt instead and told her that the more she eats and the more she swallows, the more food she can have like that. Later on in the evening, I was telling her about Homemade Hustle and how Babs and Nikole's descriptions of their food are super poetic. She kept asking me to tell her what kind of food they were making. She was very interested in it all and would exclaim "Oh that's nice."

I showed her the picture of pregnant Linda and she was so excited. "Oh I had no idea she was pregnant! I wish she would have told me." She was very delighted to get updates from people. We are setting up an email account for her so she can reach out and send messages to people. She proclaimed that no one writes anymore. She would really love little updates on people. She doesn't want to hear how people are sorry for her position. She wants the dirt. The trials and tribulations. She conveyed that she knows that her big skill in life is communicating with folks and its lonely when she doesn't know what's going on. She also informed me that she has a Skype account as of this month and can Skype with anyone whenever. So if you are Skype-able, drop her a line. More info on how to later.

We decided to call Shannon because we were reminiscing about singing a song in the livingroom and tapdancing and we couldn't remember the words. Hollis remembered the melody and sang it to me. When we got her on the line, Shannon sang it to us and we all sang along and laughed. When Hollis talks on the phone, it's hard to hear her, but if you tell her to speak up or repeat things, she will no problem. It's more important for her that we understand what she is saying than the ego hit of us not being able to make out some of the mumbling. Hollis asked Shannon where she was and how she was doing. Hollis wanted to hold the phone and she was, but since she talks too quiet, sometimes her hand would go over the speaker and it would become hard to hear her. She doesn't talk that long, but she gets this amused look on her face when people are talking about what they are doing. After we got off the phone with Shannon, we called DA. She was asking him how he was doing and very interested in the goings-on at the Burningman office. She got this far away look in her eye, conjuring up this half fantasy-half reality land of fire and dust and hard work and people with weird names, like Fibro Mialsia.

She didn't want DA to stop talking about his life. She wanted a thousand word picture. When they did have to part ways, she thanked him for not being a prick. And we laughed and laughed....

I showed her my new Booty Dance skills. She got the biggest grin. She was the one who had been teaching me about the amazing booty shaking skills so many years ago, and now I could finally do it, as well as Jamie Bond. She was very surprised. And proud. I told her about the "Mogli" technique (sticking butt in air on hands and feet) and she said she hadn't heard of that and then asked if we had The Jungle Book dvd to watch so she could know what I was referencing. She is a sponge. She is a thirsty sponge.

While we were reading some comic books donated by Last Gasp, she interrupted me to tell me that some of her dreams had been in French. She reminded us that she had taken a semester in school of French but only knew a few things. I said the few things I know, including the "Voulez vous couche avec moi, c'est soi" (uh keep in mind I have no idea how to spell that) and she sang along and laughed. Then we counted in Fench and she kept going after my 1-10 knowledge. She couldn't pull out anything until I reminded her of how it is pronounced, then she sounded quite elegant. "Oh I had no idea you speak French," she said to me. I told her I speak Spanish and that my knowledge of that helps me understand. Then we went into some Spanish and she asked me how to say to the left and to the right and kept asking until she got the right pronunciation.

I am super excited about how this is all going down and I will continue to share it with you all. More tommorrow. Hopefully I can make more sense of my words. Please understand that I am trying to get this out so that i don't forget anything. I understand it is not the best prose.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Less Than 24 Hour Warning

You have less than 24 hours to get your note or cd to Hollis through me.
I am leaving in the morning.
Call me or email me.
We have a messenger coming to pick up sf area notes.
Burn that CD now.
That is all.
eliza AT friendsofhollis dot com

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Happy Cries

Thanks to the overwhelming support to Hollis and Diane.
I have been happy crying for days now.

Thinking about a year ago is a trip. Five cities were already having fundraisers and the word was spreading across the globe. This has been, and will coninue to be, an epic journey. The greater human network of compassion has been exposed for all to see. So many wellwishers who are also strangers! We all showed the world that right at the onset of "recession" we raised $100,000 in three weeks through compassion and hard work. Together. With Hollis in mind.
Now we raise our glasses to her, and jump in the air, with unfiltered enthusiasm.

She has made it out of the dark and begins the new growth period. Spring is in the air.
New buds. New bees. New hours of sunlight to shine its golden magic upon us.

Hollis is rocking it. And that makes us stronger because we put our hopes and intentions in the soil for her to use the nutrients to blossom. She probably would have anyway, the bull-headed woman she is. It makes us feel good to lend a helping hand (or a hundred dollars).

Let us keep fixing the soil, so she can plunge her roots deep into the ground from where they were cut. Let's provide her with muses, guidance, and patience.
She needs music.
She needs videos.
She wants to read your letters.
Send her your smile you have now.
I am still not sure if she is aware of how much she has affected us all.
Let her know so she can weild that power for future battles.

I am going to Tennessee for a visit at the end of the month, so if you would like to send something with me, email ELIZA(at)FRIENDSOFHOLLIS(dot)COM

Sunday, February 28, 2010

The best news of my entire life.

I am sitting here in a chair in Nashville in complete shock and amazement. Today is the one year anniversary of Diane's arrival in India. Wednesday was the one year anniversary of the accident. I just returned from Hollis' rehabilitation center where upon leaving I shed tears of joy.


Yes! You read that correctly! Scream, shout, jump up and down! Have a shot! Dance! Kiss somebody! It's the real deal, seen it with mine own two eyes! She is awake and talking and present and brilliant and amazing!

I just had a four hour long conversation with her. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I started off by saying how good it was to see her... to which she replied how glad she was that I came. Blown to pieces, my mind is blown. I hugged Diane and said "It's like a miracle." and as I said it, I realized that it wasn't like one... it is one. I can't explain the feeling and honestly I'm still processing it but to be able to talk to our beloved Hollis again is a gift. She is free from what she describes as a scary, sad dream. She said there was a big red monster and flames chasing her. She is out of there now and I can't help but think it's got to have a lot to do with how many people were rooting for her. Don't get me wrong, Hollis is one of the strongest most powerful women I have ever met and did it fully bullheadedly on her own, but the magic that we muster as a group, getting her the best treatment she could get and all her visitors in SF and healers who worked on her... well it all just hit paydirt.
We started out just sort of mutually stammering for the words, me having not seen her in over 5 months and seeing her in her new consciousness; and her whole life having been completely turned upside down since we last spoke. It was a little overwhelming. Then we got around to covering it all... the accident, India, all of our friends, pre-india, the derailleurs, travels, her rehab, the benefit shows and so much more.
Now she's not perfect. She's been in bed for a friggin year and she suffered severe head trauma and is just getting back into the swing of things. She has a lot of amnesia about lots of things, which she describes as fuzzy. She is also crystal clear about other things and generally really positive, speaking mostly about about beauty and fun. Also describing most things she's unpleased with (like rehab) as boring as opposed to harsher adjectives. Her speech is a little hurried and mumbly so I have to ask her to repeat herself a lot. She has a long way to go still and is just beginning a long journey on her path to recovery. She is, however, just as cute and sassy as ever. We were crackin each other up and it is so good to hear her laugh and see her smile. Contrarily it got really intense at times like when I told her that I saw the accident and when she then thanked me for saving her life. We were both welling up a little bit but it's all such a happy occasion it couldn't last and instead she asked me for a hug. I bent down and she wrapped her arm around me and squeezed me.
Diane is beaming, she was there when I got there along with Hollis' sister Heather and her girls (who she's had trouble remembering... but hopefully it will all slowly start coming back). People change a lot when they go through these kinds of injuries and you never know what changes will last when all is healed. She can move her left arm and leg just fine (it was the leg she was kicking with through her coma!) but it's gonna take a lot of work to unlock her right arm and regain movement in her right leg. The day after tomorrow Diane is having an important meeting about getting her into the best intensive rehab program in the area in Atlanta.
So what now? Well all I can say is, if you love Hollis like I do, come runnin. Plan a trip out here to Nashville, stay with my friend Brodie or ask me for all the other options that are around of which there are many and come see her! Send her photos, videos, books, songs, movies, art whatever you think she'd like. If you have any money, of course rehabilitation is going to be so intensely expensive and take a long time and Hollis and Diane have a long way to go. Tuck a few dollars as a celebratory donation here or on the helpholligethealed.blogspot.com Also, call me, kiss me through the phone, lets smile together and I'll answer all your questions.
415-987-6576 THANK YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!!!!!! This is what I got right now, more to come. Best day ever.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Singing in the new year...

Hollis has been singing more and more songs from her ipod.
Singing is a good way to develope the vocal chords for speaking because the notes are already pre-determined and it helps familiarize her with making sounds.
It's just a matter of time...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

I just spoke to Hollis!

Breaking News: Hollis said my name for the first time since the accident.
After hearing the good news from Diane, I decided to call Hollis with The Derailleurs at practice.
Diane put Hollis on the phone and she said, "Hi Eliza."
I told her about how the Derailleurs were going on tour and how we missed her dearly.
Then we passed around the phone and each expressed our love. She wasn't very talkative, but she did say "yes" to Janel's question on whether she wanted us to send our movie trailer to her.
We ended the conversation singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" together. Diane told us tht she was mouthing the words near the end.
Oh boy is this ever a happy day.


Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Rachael Fisher Visited Hollis over the Break

but that part turned out to be quite easy. hollis is bustin' full of love. spent most of the afternoon and evening pawing at my face and tugging on my dreads like a newborn kitten, and smiling, smiling. it was super easy to make her laugh and light up. moving her left leg a whole lot (she kept hooking it around my neck and slamming me into the bed with like this judo move, it was very funny) and the other one a tiny bit. when she got real agitated she folded the right one up which i hadn't thought she could do.

that was the scary part-- we were alone most of the time and for a little while she obviously became very emotional and upset. she was clutching hard at my face and hands and hair with a terrible twisted expression like she was absolutely terrified or totally enraged-- probably both-- and kicking like crazy, and trying to speak to me a few times, but it was only one syllable and i couldn't make anything out. i just let her hang onto me. wasn't sure what else to do. i guess it's a good sign that she tries to communicate... it's just frightening, the intensity of emotion that seems to drive her to it.

that seemed to tire her out, and she chilled out and cheered up again, and we goofed off with grover some more, and i hung out until she went to sleep for the night. i gave her your message and everyone else's and gave her a kiss for every person who misses her in the bay area (well, that would be almost impossible, but a good effort was made). it was very sad to leave her. she seems so lonesome for her friends.
her eyes got really big and quiet and kind of searched my face whenever i said eliza's name.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Hun visited Hollis and here's what she says:

Okay, so Hollis isn't quite up to saying "hello" out loud: her talking phase only lasted a few days. But damn if she didn't laugh her ass off today! She looks great, and is progressing by leaps and bounds here in Tennessee. Kevin and Not-It made bad jokes at that girl until she laughed out loud--the first time she'd laughed aloud since her injury. We kept her laughing for hours with the help of kazoos, stories and DPW news.

Plus, today marked the first time she got completely vertical, with lots of help from the badass physical therapists here. Her right side is starting to move a little, and she's working hard to hold her head up. She can now answer yes/no questions by lifting her left arm for a yes answer. There is absolutely no doubt about it: Hollis is in there, and she's fighting hard to get her muscles back under control. The therapists say her background as a dancer is making a big difference.

Lots of work still to do, but the improvement since I saw her 5 months ago is absolutely astounding. We'll be dancing in the desert again in no time. We all left with a lot of joy and hope about her progress.

So anyway, Hollis is spending a lot of time listening to music these days. Her ipod is hooked up, and Diane puts it on random. You know what that means: SEND MUSIC! Anybody with good tunes that you think Hollis will like, make a little mix and send it down to Diane Allison, 600 Sue Dr., Antioch TN 37013. You can send presents, letters, donations, art and sock puppets there too... but music, comedy and audiobooks will really do the trick right now.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Hollis is in Nashville now:

If you would like to visit her:
431 Larkin Springs Rd.
Madison Healthcare & Rehabilitation Center
Room 30.

Many people on the playa sent their best wishes to Hollis as she flew over our heads and the man burned. I will miss her, but am happy that she is finally in a stable place to start stage 3 of her recovery.

I love you Hollis, my wifey, and inspiration.
Thank you for introducing me to so many people when I was a young duckling in the bay area.
You were hiding in my shadow the whole time I traced the dusty earth of the playa.
Your personality unfolded ten times in each direction of the stinging wind.
It is no surprise that the burner community was the glue that held you together.
Everyone is at their best, most giving, and able to receive out there.
You have always been such a provider and collaborator. No wonder.
The playa crews are some of the most inspired and motivated givers I have met.
And you knew those are the people I need to be around.
You have no idea how many souls you have connected me with post-accident.
It has jumpstarted my creativity, a dark sludgy muck this year.
I hope you read this soon.
Thank you, Darling, and get to work.
We would like to see you out and about like a buzzing bee ruffling the petals of newly formed flowers.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Potential Departure Date: Sept. 5th

Talked to Diane today.
Tomorrow Hollis will get her Tracheotomy removed.
They will monitor her for 5 days.
Plans to leave are being confirmed for the 5th.
So soon.

I am leaving for Burning Man.
Through what has been facilitated through this website, I have been thanked for my efforts with a free ticket. I will go into the alkaline desert and give my cares to the wind, polishing my soul in the sandy sun. She would want me to go and it is her fault I am going in the first place. She was the one who introduced me to all those wacky kids with orange and red targets on their backs. DPWers have been my welcoming comittee to the bay area and now I get to see their homeland. OH boy.

I had this guilty fantasy of filming this one long shot of Hollis in her chair going down the hall to the elevator. There is a constant shoulder to shoulder smile from each of her friends on the way out.
Out the elevator there is the same two blockades of smiling people until she and Diane gets into the Ariport Transport.
Oh well, I will just have to imagine it.
Homecoming is a comforting thing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The countdown is beginning..

The world turned a little and things are sorting themselves out.
This post is disjointed. Hopefully you get the idea of what I am saying.

Diane's Husband, Doug, will be here on saturday to celebrate his and her birthdays this weekend. **(Diane's birthday is Sept. 1st, so start shopping for that special something)** She is as wide eyed to see him as a done up teenager in front of the mirror for prom, waiting for the doorbell. It has been so long since their reality of "together." This should be a great weekend of comfort for Diane.
Then, as an earth shattering relief to Diane, a facility in Tennessee gave word yesterday that they have been accepted.

The timeline is not exact, but it will be approximately 2 weeks until their take-off.
The doctoral team will take out the traech tube and wait to see how happy she is for 5 days. Then she is off on phase three of this great journey.

So this weekend I get to fulfill my desire that has been postponed all year.
The desire to continue on our permanent sleepover posse formed by Hollis, Jamie Bond, and I in 2007. I already promised not to give Hollis any alcohol. Haha. I never would anyway , but it is a proper precaution. The other day I went and got a fresh coconut from the new stand on mission and 24th. Hollis was practically chugging this primordial liquid. She was able to tell us she wanted more by lifting her left hand. Communication progress!

For the first time this year, I will be able to take that place on the cot this weekend, letting Diane clock out for some well needed relaxation. For the next few weeks I can get closer to Hollis before she takes flight to the East. I am looking forward to it, but also am sad to see her leave, off into the great unknown. I know that we have all been putting in good work and
hopefully her next step is rapid and powerful.

When I walked into the room and was greeted with this information, Hollis was so happy. She was smiling big and bright. She is going home, moving from the St. Luke's view of ticky tacky houses on the hillside, to a new adventure. I told her to memorize this view, because it is about to change.

Thanks to our true and constant ally, change.

Friday, August 14, 2009

I snuck a peek..

Went in to see Hollis on Wednesday and she was pretty chill. Seemed to be thinking about something.
Then I saw a note on the bed in place of Diane. It was from Harrison with some good news.
Said he was talking silly stuff and got her to smile ear to ear.
While I did not see it myself, it was written in Harrison's writing, dated just a few moments before I arrived.

Thought you should know this visual.

Yin Yangin' it.