Monday, December 17, 2012

Celtic Chief-god Dagda

A quick sketch of the Celtic Chief-god Dagda, his little pet pig and his cranton potato chip bag, which stores endless kinds of food. Why does he love Irish tayto crisps? Can he face the Greek Chief-god Zeus and survive? Find out in PANTHEONS!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

PANTHEONS: THE CRONE'S JEWELS

Here is the cover for the third book in the PANTHEONS series. PANTHEONS: THE CRONE'S JEWELS coming soon!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

AGNI!

A quick sketch of the Hindu god Agni from PANTHEONS! For those of you who often go bowling you can tell from Agni's expression that he's going for a Hambone! Point of fact, he's the best bowler of all the gods. Who won the fight between him and the Celtic god Lugh? Find out in PANTHEONS!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

PERSEPHONE!

A quick sketch of the Greek goddess Persephone from PANTHEONS! Why does Hades say dating her feels like Russian roulette? Could it be that our Greek god of death is in way over his head with Persephone? Is it more fun to party with Dionysus or with the Greek goddess of death? Find out the answers in PANTHEONS!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

POSEIDON!

A quick sketch of the Greek god Poseidon from PANTHEONS! Enjoy and please share with your friends :)

Thursday, November 15, 2012

PANTHEONS NEW COVER!

PANTHEONS will be on the Amazon Print-on-Demand soon! In the meantime enjoy the new cover for the upcoming printed version! Enjoy, and share with your friends!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

HADES!

A quick sketch of the Greek god Hades from PANTHEONS as he is in the process of torturing a demon with his powers. Will this horned fiend come out of this in one piece? What personal agenda does Hades have against demons in the first place? And why are things so tense between him and his girlfriend Persephone? Read PANTHEONS and find out!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

ILMARINEN!

A quick sketch of the Finnish god Ilmarinen. What's his story? Why does he hate Isaiah Marshall, the son of Zeus so much? What's his connection with the girl with the silver hair? Read PANTHEONS and find out!

Saturday, October 27, 2012

HERA!

A quick sketch of the Greek goddess Hera from PANTHEONS, enjoy and share with your friends!

Monday, October 22, 2012

LUGH!!!

A quick sketch of the Celtic god Lugh from PANTHEONS! Even Zeus looked nervous around him!

Friday, October 19, 2012

PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS

(Chapter update) PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS Isaiah is learning just how tough the Greek goddesses Hera, Athena, and Tyche really are!

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Norns!

The Norns are from Norse mythology and they weave the threads of fate for mankind. The three of them are Urd, Verdandi, and Skuld. Here's a quick sketch of the Norns from PANTHEONS, enjoy!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Isaiah Marshall and company!

A quick sketch of Isaiah, Sam, Principal Webb and the members of the Redrovers, enjoy!

Friday, September 21, 2012

CHOOSE A CHARACTER FOR PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS!!!

There's a chapter I'll be writing in a few days in PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS where I'm going to introduce a divine character. One lucky person is going to decide who this individual will be. So choose any god or goddess from any Pantheons that you like the most. Hera, Athena, Demeter, Tyche and Artemis are not included. If more than one person posts a deity, then everyone will have to get their friends to post in support of that character. The person with the most support wins. The winner will get credit in the 'acknowledgments section' of the third book of Pantheons for having chosen this particular god or goddess! Good luck everyone!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

PANTHEONS: THE CRONE'S JEWELS

PANTHEONS: THE CRONE'S JEWELS The fourth book in the series is being written simultaneously with the third book, PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS. It will be ready for all of you by the winter!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS

PANTHEONS: OCEAN OF BLACK SOULS I'm deep into writing the third book of Pantheons. I should have it ready for you all by the winter!!!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PANTHEONS CONTEST!!!

Win a free, signed Apollo Poster! https://www.facebook.com/EjDabel?sk=app_197602066931325

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Luke Bernard!

For this week, we have a quick sketch of Luke Bernard dressed up in his Tasselball uniform :) Standing at six feet and ten inches, he's a big boy!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

BRIAREUS vs LOKI

For this week, we have a quick sketch of the hundred-armed Hecatonchire, Briareus as he faces off against Loki in PANTHEONS! Lucky thing for Loki is that Briareus is only using ten percent of his full growth potential.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Melissa Patel and Freddie Pepe Gonzalez!

For this week, we have Melissa Patel and Freddie Pepe Gonzalez from the Pantheon Club!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

7 books for the winter!

Fantasy Book Critic covers Pantheons and the 7 books I'm currently writing for the winter! http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2012/08/guest-post-author-update-by-ernst-j.html?m=0

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

WIN A PRIZE! APOLLO CONTEST ENDS 8/11/12 at MIDNIGHT!

For this week, we have Apollo and his hot wheels. Win a prize by answering what kind of car does the teen god drives? If there are more than one person who answers it correctly, I'll have a random drawing to decide the winner. This contest ends Saturday August 11 at midnight!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

ANSWER THESE BY MIDNIGHT ON 8/4/12 AND WIN A PRIZE!!!

For this week, we have a quick sketch of the teen Norse god Odin, a character from PANTHEONS! There's also a contest attached to this sketch, which ends on Saturday, August 4th at midnight. The winner wins a prize! These are the questions: What are the names of Odin's two ravens and his two wolves? In the book Pantheons, who or what does Odin use the "Crystal Rune" on? Good luck!!!

Friday, July 27, 2012

THE WINNER OF THIS WEEK'S CONTEST!

Amy Bess Halbern is the winner and her prize is Jim Butcher's Dresden Files "Fool Moon" graphic novel volume one! CONGRATULATIONS AMY!!!!!! Please stay tuned for the next contest...

Saturday, July 21, 2012

ANSWER THIS BY 7/27/12 AND WIN A PRIZE!!!!!!

I couldn't wait until tomorrow to share this one. We have Principal Webb aka Prometheus sitting in his chair. His brother Vice Principal Hayes aka Epimetheus leaning on his desk. Mister Minx aka Briareus with his long mustache. In the background we have Pandora, no aka for her lol :) Those who read Pantheons will remember each item on Principal Webb's desk. The first person who is able to post on this thread http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=223205647802049&set=a.223205587802055.47432.100003378451632&type=3&theater what role each item played in the book and the reason they think Pandora has the lightning ringed around her neck will win a prize :) I will announce the winner and the prize on Friday the 27th of this month! Good luck to you all!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monty

For those of you who haven't seen the sketch of Monty yet, enjoy!

PANTHEONS: SURPRISE Mr. Minx

For this week, we have a quick sketch of Mr. Minx. For those who already read Pantheons, I'm sure you remember him as Briareus. I can't wait until I can reveal his Hecatonchire form. Enjoy!

Monday, July 9, 2012

PANTHEONS: SURPRISE Amanda Golden!

For this week, we have Amanda Golden. The godling from the Pantheon Club not only has a mean streak, but is disciplined in 'sun'. Enjoy :)

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time Graphic Novel on NY Times Bestseller List!!!

One of the projects I’ve licensed to publish through my publishing company, Robert Jordan’s The Eye of the World volume #2 made it on the NY Times Bestseller list. Please check it out and if you haven’t had a chance to read the graphic novels yet, give them a try! http://www.nytimes.com/best-sellers-books/hardcover-graphic-books/list.html

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

PANTHEONS: THE GAME OF THE GODS Cover!

Available soon on Amazon.com!! Bloggers wishing to review drop Gladys a line at Gladys@sealionbooks.com

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

PANTHEONS: SURPRISE: Pandora!

For this week, we have a quick sketch of Pandora, the wife of Epimetheus. Next week I'll have another sketch ready for your enjoyment :)

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Pipsqueak!

For those of you who didn't get a chance to see Pip, one of Isaiah's friends. Enjoy!

PANTHEONS: SURPRISE: Principal Webb aka Prometheus

For this week, we have a quick sketch of none other than Vice Principal Webb aka Prometheus. I really like him as a character, especially the way he treats Isaiah and his friends. Next week I'll have another sketch ready for your enjoyment :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Isaiah Marshall!

For those of you who haven't yet seen the sketch of Isaiah Marshall, the main character of Pantheons, enjoy!

PANTHEONS: SURPRISE: Vice Principal Hayes aka Epimetheus!

For this week, we have a quick sketch of none other than Vice Principal Hayes aka the Titan Epimetheus. I really enjoyed when he confronts Jeremy inside the class room for the first time. Next week I'll have another sketch ready for your enjoyment :)

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Character from Pantheons: The Game of the Gods

For this week, I wanted to share a character from Pantheons: The Game of the Gods. I know I'm jumping way ahead, but hey every once in a while I have to remind my loyal fans of the things to come ;) I won't say who this is, but after you finish reading the second book of Pantheons, I'd like to hear your thoughts! Next week, we'll rewind and go back to our regularly scheduled sketches, but never forget that you can expect great things in the future for Pantheons!!! Please don't hesitate to share this with your family and friends!

Friday, May 4, 2012

ALBINO is up on Amazon!

Albino is up on Amazon! http://www.amazon.com/Albino-ebook/dp/B007ZFRGG4/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1336174922&sr=1-1

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Pantheons SURPRISE: teen norse-god OD!

E.J. Dabel here :) Since I recently finished writing my second eBook PANTHEONS: The Game of the Gods and gave it to my Editor. I'm in a very happy mood, so instead of posting my weekly sketches, I want to go ahead and give you a glimpse of things to come in the future ;) For those of you who had a chance to read my first eBook Pantheons you'll have no problems remembering the teen norse-god Od who made an appearance in the tournament. He fought against the teen finnish-god Ilmarinen. Od was quite insane, wild and uncontrollable, so much so that he had to be tied up in a magical straight jacket made of chainmail created by dwarf smiths. Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

Monday, April 23, 2012

Pantheons SURPRISE: Isaiah and his friends!!!

For this week, we pause to think about Isaiah, the leader of the Redrovers. He looks on as his friends clown around, but he is the distant observer, and never a part of their fun. Yet, despite all that, Jeremy, Monty, and Pipsqueak are his friends, the only family he really has. http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=176173215838626&set=a.176172179172063.36074.100003378451632&type=3&theater Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Pantheons SURPRISE: Isaiah Marshall Sketch!

For this week, we have Isaiah Marshall, the son of the Greek god Zeus and the goddess Metis. Isaiah grew up on the streets and became the leader of the Redrovers. His opponents called him the Indestructable Diamond! His best friends are Jeremy, Monty, and Pipsqueak, the members of his gang. Isaiah is prophecied to overthrow his father Zeus and become the new king of the Greek gods. But the road to the throne will be long and very difficult.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=171377756318172&set=a.171377612984853.34663.100003378451632&type=3&theater

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

Pantheons SURPRISE: Jeremy Sketch!

For this week, we have a sketch of Jeremy. Those of you who've already read Pantheons Book #1 I'm sure you remember Jeremy, a member of the Redrovers. Jeremy’s a hot-head, and is the only one in the group with a job so he is always the one to foot the bill. Jeremy is a great wrestler, and one of the toughest kids on the streets. Jeremy is only a mortal like Pip, but he is best friends with Isaiah Marshall who is a god.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=166094600179821&set=a.166092110180070.33263.100003378451632&type=1&theater

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

Friday, April 6, 2012

Pantheons SURPRISE: Monty sketch!!!!!!!

For this week, we have a sketch of Monty. Those of you who've already read Pantheons Book #1 I'm sure you remember Monty, a member of the Redrovers. Monty was always leading the group to some new places, whether it's a pizza place, or an arcade, he'll find it. Monty also has a very good grasp of numbers. Although, he's street tough, Monty is only a mortal like Pip, but he is best friends with Isaiah Marshall who is a god.

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=161501317305816&set=a.161501020639179.31910.100003378451632&type=1&theater

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pantheons SURPRISE: Pipsqueak sketch!!!!!!!!

For this week, we have a sketch of Pipsqueak. Those of you who've already read Pantheons Book #1 I'm sure you remember Pip, a member of the Redrovers. Pip has red hair and freckles and he also has a very interesting vocabulary. I mean how many kids on the streets do you know who uses the word 'purloin'. Although, Pip is only a mortal, but he is best friends with Isaiah Marshall who is a god.

Enjoy, and stay tuned for more great stuff next week ;) Please don't hesitate to share this sketch with your family and friends!

http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=157252921063989&set=a.157251831064098.30548.100003378451632&type=1&theater

Monday, March 19, 2012

ALBINO: Mouse King Brannherr!

In this illustration we can see king Brannherr sitting on his wooden throne and dressed in his outfit of rose petals. All around him, we can see some of his children and grandchildren also dressed in various flower petals. King Brannherr has a very large family. In the forefront, holding the grass-handkerchief to his nose, and dressed in butterfly wings is prince Velhaco from another mouse kingdom, no relations to king Brannherr.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-qZ-aW4pc7vc/T1Ou_md7axI/AAAAAAAAJbs/WJ0kUZB_F1c/s1600/Albino%2B-%2BKing%2BBrannherr.jpg

There will be a glossary in the back of Albino that will break down the names of the characters and also teach children as well as adults various words in different languages. By the end of the book, the reader would have learned at least a few different words by heart :)

King Brannherr:
Brann=Fire(Norwegian); Herr=Lord(German)

Prince Velhaco:
Velhaco=Rogue(Portugese)

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

ALBINO: Unos and his Generals!

In this illustration, we see Unos and his generals. They are armed with their stingers. The fire ants are from the hellish desert of Arido.

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-punFyGoI1qU/T1OumWZQ6gI/AAAAAAAAJbg/RjBBWsK1DRo/s1600/Albino%2B-%2BUnos.jpg

Sunday, March 11, 2012

ALBINO Promo!!!!!

This promo piece is for the fans to enjoy and get a glimpse of some of the characters from Albino :)

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-hvYvEnySJQw/T1Oubu5Kd0I/AAAAAAAAJbU/OtCCK2MgegQ/s1600/Albino%2BPromo.jpg

Sunday, March 4, 2012

A little encouragement for all of us to reach our summit!

I was going to blog about a podcast interview that I recently did, but then I saw something that moved me so deeply that I had to put it aside for a little bit while I shared these two links with you all, because we all can achieve 'anything' we set our minds to do, enjoy :)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cFke91pbfUo

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WW8MpTCpO3A

Saturday, March 3, 2012

The Summit!

So far I've written half of Pantheons Book #2.  I've reached the summit, and now it's all downhill from here :)

Monday, February 20, 2012

You did what?????

I've been pretty busy writing Pantheons Book #2 and I've been making poor Isaiah's life miserable.  I've thrown practically everything I could think of at him, and yesterday I threw the kitchen sink at him.

'You did what????'

I threw the kitchen sink at Isaiah Marshall, lol :)

Saturday, February 11, 2012

When the underdog gets an opportunity

So as I was hard at work writing another chapter for Pantheons book #2 at 4 AM on Friday morning, I was doing a quick research into a particular character online when the name Jeremy Lin came up within my peripheral vision.  I saved the page and by 5:20 AM when I finally finished the chapter I went to check out Jeremy Lin, and I was startled to discover that he had led the NY Knicks in three victories.  I haven't watched NBA basketball with much interest for quite sometime actually.  But I was curious, I'd never heard of a Tawainese professional basketball before, so I went to Youtube and watched the clips for the three games, and I was like wow, this kid's pretty good, but more than that, there was something about the way, he relentlessly kept going ahead and pushing forward, and carrying his teammates with him the entire way.  Whether it was a starter, or a bench player, a player that was amazing or a low-level player, Lin seemed to believe in them enough to pass them the ball, and like magic they were knocking down shots just as he was knocking down shots and taking it to the basket.
     I decided I wanted to see something else about him and I found this Youtube clip of what a day in the life of Lin is like and I actually found myself smiling.  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLzrLXQIbwM&feature=fvsr   I realized that Lin was an underdog who really wanted it bad and who was willing to work very hard.  So I checked to see when the Knicks were playing next and I realized they were going to play the Lakers and I was like "Oh boy, Lin's going to have a battle on his hand going against Kobe and his gang".  With a bit of excitement, I told my wife about Lin and she joined me as we prepared for the game.  The Sport Analysts all said the same thing, whenever Kobe Bryant comes to play at NY, he puts on a 50+ point show, and that Lin was going to get crushed.  Well, the game started and Lin goes out and helps the Knicks to get a strong lead.  For some reason, I felt really excited.  Then there was a scary moment when Lin twisted his ankle and he hobbled a little bit and I was a bit disappointed thinking that he was done, but throughout the first half, Lin fought with everything he had.  The Lakers sent a seven footer to double team him and he made a mistake or two going into the halftime break.  They stopped Lin to ask him a few questions about what he thought about his great performance and the first half and he humbly says that the game of basketball is about five players not one, and he says right now he's going to watch the game tape to see why he isn't effectively passing the ball to his big man and his shooters.  The lady looked shocked and asked him 'are you going to do that right now?' Lin answers yes and runs off.  Later on the same lady reported that one of Lin's players says that Lin did watch the game tape and he realized that the problem was that he'd never been double teamed by a seven footer before and so for the second half he adjusted his game and with his resilience, he was able to get the ball to his teammates without discrimination and they stood with him and fought with more energy for every loose rebound.  Near the end of the game, Kobe himself came to defend Lin, but he made short works out of Kobe, and soon the Laker hero kept a safe distance away from the young Knick.  Lin did an excellent job on defense and helped demolish the very potent Laker offense.  At the end of the game Lin finished with 38 points.  The lady asked him what he thought about his 38 point game, but Lin wasn't really interested in that, but instead he mentioned the effective rebounding of one of his teammates, and the skill of another, and another, then he made his point 'it's not about the team feeding off of my energy, but it's all of us feeding off of each other's energy.  When the game finally finished, I was content.  I had not jumped out of my chair to cheer for someone since Michael Jordan, and here I was cheering my heart out for Jeremy Lin, this young Knick hero so humble yet full of confidence in himself and his teammates.  I've bought into the Linsanity and I want to see this kid go to the playoffs and win, this underdog who got an opportunity, not because the team had wanted him, but because there were so many injuries, he was the last option left, the fourth string point guard who was about to get the boot in New York.  Way to go Lin!
     Why am I so excited about Lin? This Taiwanese Christian basketball player from Harvard.  It's because Lin had a dream, to one day achieve a goal of becoming an NBA basketball player, but when the dream wasn't happening or moving forward like he planned, he still continued to work hard and made preparations through perseverance despite the fact that nothing good was coming his way.  Jeremy Lin put his faith in God and he worked extremely hard and in turn he got an impossible miracle and that was to put a stop to Kobe Bryant the only place the Laker could never be stopped...in New York!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

When it counts

Please check out my latest guest post and giveaway, enjoy!

http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/rainydayramblings/2012/02/ej-dabel-guest-post-and-giveaway.html

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Another Review for Pantheons!

I wanted to share this review with you all, enjoy :)

http://rainydayramblings.typepad.com/rainydayramblings/2012/02/-bargain-book-bin-pantheons-by-ej-dabel.html

Thursday, February 2, 2012

An Interview by Cambria!

I hope you all enjoy this interview :)

http://cambriahebert.com/2012/01/interview-with-e-j-dabel/#comments

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pantheons Book #2 (The rules of Tasselball, the game of the gods)

Check out the rules of Tasselball as it is played in Pantheons Book #2 and also how you can play it along with your friends in real life :)
http://journaljabber.webs.com/apps/blog/entries/show/11880414-it-s-all-about-the-mythology-

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Pantheons Book #2 takes shape!

Yes, it's another night of no sleep for me tonight as I forge ahead with Pantheons book #2.  Well, I should have a few breaks tonight though when my son wakes up for his bottle and the usual diaper change, lol, at least that will allow me to stretch my stiff muscles.  Okay, back to work for me :)

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Poor Isaiah

In this chapter I just finished tonight, Isaiah is conflicted.  What's a hero to do when he's facing such a difficult choice? I guess tomorrow as I write more chapters, we'll see what he does.  You know what that means, I probably won't get any sleep tonight, because my brain will be up working all night, trying to work it out lol :) There's no rest for the weary!

Monday, January 16, 2012

Pantheons Fan Page!

I wanted to let you all know that my fan page is up! If you had the pleasure of reading Pantheons already, please take a visit over there and post about your favorite characters and anything else you'd like to discuss.  Thanks!

http://www.facebook.com/PantheonFanPage?notif_t=page_new_likes

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Albino Piece!

There's another art piece I'm supposed to receive tomorrow.  It has Albino in it and nine other different unique characters as well.  We'll have a frog, a toad, a mountain beaver, two raccoons, a flying squirrel, Albino, another mouse, a skunk, and another creature, which I'll keep secret for now :) I'll keep you all posted!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Albino Cover!!!

I finally got the ALBINO cover and it is gorgeous!!!
You can check out the cover for yourself ;) http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13412277-albino

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Challenging Pantheons Chapter & Artworks for Albino Book #1

Working on a tough, challenging chapter today for Pantheons Book #2, it's one of those that has me banging my head on the table, lol, but I'm confident something will click by tonight.  

I also received my final art piece on my ant generals for Albino Book #1.  They look amazing!!! 

I'm expecting a layout on Monday for another piece, which features Albino and nine other character :) I'm so excited!!!  

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Sea Lion Books Signs Bestselling Author Patrick Rothfuss!

My brothers David and Pascal released the news today at Sea Lion Books!

http://www.icontact-archive.com/Bw5umGrR7wP1sQ06dy18yRS4dq-Sf5cl?w=2

Best Regards,

E.J. Dabel

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Albino Time!

Just received the layouts for my four ant generals from ALBINO book #1, which is due to be released in March, and they're looking really cool.  Tomorrow, I get the finished piece :) I'm so excited!!!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Pantheons on Fantasy Book Critic

PANTHEONS is on Fantasy Book Critic.  There's also some info about the upcoming ALBINO there as well and a free sneak peek of some cool artwork!

http://fantasybookcritic.blogspot.com/2012/01/blog-tour-pantheons-by-ej-dabel.html

Thursday, January 5, 2012

LIVING IN THE HOSPITAL PART III

Living in the Hospital Part III

     Many days and nights had passed since the time I had started living in the hospital.  I hadn’t been home since the day the hospital had called us to come in.  I knew with the blood pressure issue I had to stay here so I could be closer to our newborn son, Nathan, and that was the only thing that could keep my wife Aba calm enough for the blood pressure to decrease to a safe number.  
     I was sleeping on the same two small chairs but now my aching body was used to pain and stiffness.  The night had been frigid as usual, even the comforter (I had now upgraded from my small sheets) had not been enough to keep away the extreme cold.  Now, it was morning and the rising sun was pouring in some warmth through the hospital windows. 
     Two nurses passed by on their way to their morning shift.  One of them called to me kindly and pointed to a small out-of-the-way box on the far wall and explained to me that if I was cold I could put up the heat at night when I was sleeping in the waiting room.  She told me that she imagined that it would be very cold for me here.  I quickly thanked her for her kindness and then she left with the other nurse.  You don’t understand how happy I was after I had heard those words from the nurse’s mouth.  The past few nights, I had nearly frozen to death and the comforter had done very little to keep me warm. 
     I reached up and scratched my chin, and I felt my beard.  It had grown wild and unkempt these last few days, so I made a mental note to remind my wife to bring me something to shave with when she came later today to pump.  Every three hours, I was up to feed Nathan and changed his diapers.  A lot of the nurses told me I should go home so I wouldn't collapse from sheer exhaustion, but I explained to them the situation with my wife and the blood pressure.  In afternoons my wife came, and she brought all the breast milk she had been pumping from home and then she would pump even more in the hospital as well until she left to go back to the house in the evening with my parents.
     The door swung open and a nurse stepped out.  I said hello and she responded to me as well.  As she was walking towards the elevator, she stopped and slowly turned around to face me. 
     “I’m sorry,” she said to me in a very concerned voice.  “I don’t mean to get into your business but I see you here every day and the way you treat your baby, it’s obvious you love your baby.  So what I don’t understand is why would your wife kick you out of your house?”
     My sleep-addled brain tried to understand what she was saying, and then it clicked.  Since she always saw me sleeping here at nighttime, she must have assumed for some reason that my wife must have literally kicked me out of the house.
     “Oh no!” I quickly explained.  “My wife didn’t kick me out.  I’m here, because they took the blood pressure and it was very high and even with medication it wasn’t coming down fast enough for her.”
     “I’m so sorry,” she said, looking a bit uncomfortable after her mistake. 
     “That’s not a problem at all.”
     After that she went inside the elevator and she left.  I checked my cell phone and It was time for me to go to see Nathan.  I cleaned up the area where I had slept and then went to the bathroom.  I quickly got myself ready, and as I did that I chuckled, because I remembered that movie with Tom Hanks where he lives in the airport.  I felt like him, really, but I now lived in a hospital instead of the ocean (grins).
     When I was done with the bathroom, I went to the door that led to the NICU.  There was a sink nearby where all visitors were supposed to clean up.  I took the brush, and soap so I could thoroughly scrub my hands.  As soon as I was done, I wasted on time to go to Nathan.  I saw the doctor and she explained to me that there was a problem that they found this morning.
     My heart sunk and I wondered how low Nathan’s blood sugar had dropped.  The doctor took Nathan’s arm and showed me.  There were two huge, reddish bumps on his arm and one of them was leaking pus.  They were both as hard as rocks
     “We found this abscess this morning,” explained the doctor.  “I believe it was caused when the IV was being placed on his arm when he first came to the NICU.  I’ll have to drain it, and send some of the samples down to the lab for tests.  Our biggest worry is that the pus might get into the blood and that would not be good.”
     I asked a few more questions, and the doctor answered all of them for me.  Nathan would be staying in the hospital for much longer now, because of the abscess he had developed.  Then I stepped outside so pus could be properly drained.  I went back to the waiting area.  My poor Nathan, not only had low blood sugar, but now two huge abscesses on his arm.. 
     I took a deep breath and dialed my wife’s phone number.  This wasn’t going to be easy for me to explain to her, and so I prayed that her blood pressure would not skyrocket from the news…

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

LIVING IN THE HOSPITAL PART II

LIVING IN THE HOSPITAL PART II

     I had just finished speaking with the nurse at the NICU, and I found myself walking back to our hospital room.  I’m not afraid to admit that I was now dragging my feet.  Not too long ago, my wife, Aba had delivered our son Nathan Ernst Dabel, and everything was picture perfect, but now some few hours later, everything looked grim.  You know those moments you have in your life when you walk around and all the colors seemed to be sucked out of life and everything you look out is painted gray.  Well, that was one of those moments for me. 
     When I finally walked into the room, my wife and our family all looked pale.  Maybe they had seen the dismal look on my face.  I explained to them the situation Nathan was in, just as the NICU nurse had explained it.  His blood sugar was extremely low and they had to get him hooked up to the IV and monitor him very closely.  If the blood sugar dropped any lower, it would be devastating to Nathan.  The nurse had explained that he would be fed every three hours and his blood sugar would be tested before every feeding by pricking certain parts of his heel and placing the blood on a strip.  Being the bearer of bad news is the most terrible experience.  I did not like it one bit.
     Grandparents were allowed to the NICU and no one else.  So all three of them got to go and visit Nathan, even though Nathan was very weak, did not cry, and did not move very much.  My wife wasn’t healed yet from the C-section and so she couldn’t get out of bed yet to go to see Nathan. 
     My wife had been given a pumping machine and as soon as she was ready, she began to pump.  It was a painful, yet frustrating process for her, because the milk had not started to flow yet, just the very limited yellowish fluid, I forgot the name the nurses had called it.  So I quickly adjusted to my role of every three hours of going over to the NICU with the small amount my wife had managed to capture.  My wife began to call every drop, ‘gold nuggets’, and she was right, every single drop counted and would make a difference in helping Nathan.
    In the morning, I travelled back and forth to the NICU, the kind NICU nurses taught me how to change diapers and feed.  So began my regular routine.  I would arrive, scrub my hand thoroughly outside for 2 minutes, go inside and hand over the small amount of breast milk my wife had pumped to the nurse, and then watch as she poked Nathan’s heel and squeeze for blood for the test (he would cry every time, because it hurt him, but it hurt me much more just to see him having to go through all this and I was powerless to do anything) and tell me how there was no progress, and then I would be allowed to change his diapers and feed him his bottle.  Now the problem was that Nathan was throwing up the milk (not my wife’s breast milk, because there just wasn’t enough of it) the nurses were giving to him, but then it was discovered that he was lactose intolerant and couldn’t hold the milk.  He was fine with the very minute amount my wife was pumping, but it just wasn’t enough to help him get better.  So a soy milk substance was introduced into the picture and Nathan did not throw it up, but the soy only kept him steady.  So back and forth I traveled from the NICU and back to my wife with no signs of improvement in sight. 
    Then one day, miraculously, my wife’s milk started to flow, and my wife determined to see our son get better, literally became a factory overnight.  She took her pumping very seriously and was filling up five to six NICU bottles every three hours for Nathan.  Things were looking bright because Nathan was taking the breast milk without any problems and the soy was set aside.  The blood sugar numbers rose a little bit.  We were all very excited.
     My wife got better enough to go and see Nathan, but when she saw all the wires he was attached to, and all the punctured holes in his heels, she broke down and cried.  The nurse on schedule on that day did a great job in helping my dad and I encourage her to cheer up and that even though things were far from alright, showed some signs of improvement. 
     Then just as quickly, Nathan’s blood sugar began to show signs of dropping again.  The doctor at the NICU decided to put a certain extra powdered substance in the breast milk to see if that would help the numbers to increase, but still things were not looking as if they were about to get any better. 
    It wasn’t long after when a nurse took the blood pressure for my wife and found that it had gone pretty high.  The doctor quickly spoke to my wife and I, mentioning to us that they’d have to monitor this very closely and that she had to rest.  My wife asked for some medication that would help her to relax and sleep, but that didn’t work.  Her mind, she explained couldn’t rest, because she was worried for Nathan.  The next time the blood pressure was taken, it had risen so high the doctor advised blood pressure medication immediately or she feared a possible stroke or even worse.  The blood pressure only showed signs of climbing up even higher.  The numbers were so high that my wife and I agreed with the doctor that we’d like to try what she was offering.  My wife took it, and the blood pressure went down but not enough.  The doctor gave a stronger dose and the blood pressure then reached the safety zone.  It was then that the doctor advised for us to go home, because she felt that my wife being here would not allow her mind to rest and that at home in her own bed she would get the rest she needs to lower the blood pressure beyond just the safety zone. 
     Certain things about my wife, I’m used to by now, and I knew that if we both went back home, her blood pressure would skyrocket just for the fact that we were both so far away from Nathan.  I could see it in her eyes and the way that she went silent and did not say much.  So I spoke to her and explained that she would go home and my parents would alternate with my mother-in-law to stay with her at the house, but I was going to stay behind.  My wife’s eyes brightened at the thought.  But she wanted to know where I would sleep if we were signing out of the hospital room.  The Head nurse advised me to call the person in charge of the NICU and I did.  That is how I was allowed to stay at the waiting area.
    That night as my wife left the hospital I looked her straight in the eye and promised her that I would not rest until our son was healthy and ready to go home.  I also assured her that I would be in our son’s NICU room every three hours on the dot, and that I would give her detailed updates to our son’s progress.  I told her in return, she had to promise me that she would relax her mind and sleep, so she could lower that blood pressure.  Since I was so close to our son and should they need anything for him, they would know exactly where I was and could come directly to me and not have to bother her.   I could feel her relief, because she knew I was that type of man, once I set my mind to do a thing, I would achieve it, no matter what the cost.
    Later that night, long after my wife and I had prayed on the phone for our boy Nathan, I pulled two short chairs together in the waiting area.  They were both small chairs but they would have to do.  I covered myself with the sheets I had and settled myself for a short nap.  My rear end sunk in the area between the two chairs and I had to tighten my stomach muscles so I wouldn’t fall to the ground.  But this was my only option for a bed.  I pulled the sheets closer to my body as I shivered uncontrollably, it was cold.  Hospitals were very cold at night, and my sheets were just not thick enough.  I knew this was going to be one of the greatest challenges of my life, but in order to help my wife relax her mind to lower that blood pressure I had to do this.  So began my first night of living in the hospital…