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Resting up

Ellie is not normally allowed on the furniture. She knows this. Yet today, she senses that I lack the will to scold and shoo her off my reading chair. She knows that I'm not my normal stern self.

Ten days ago, I was on an outing with my daughter Nora, home for a visit from Guadalajara, and her mom, with whom I have a friendly relationship. Nora wanted to see and photograph some obscure old abandoned places in rural Lancaster county, and she and her mom wanted me to tag along. I was tired, but brushed it off to fatigue from some big and energy consuming changes that are catching up to me. During the field trip, though, a sudden painful urgency made me think, "Dammit, I probably need to go see my urologist and get a prescription."

Later at home, before I could arrange an office visit, things rapidly deteriorated. Coming on like a summer tempest, chills and fever, nausea and weakness hit me hard and within a couple hours I could barely function. I called my ex-wife and asked if I could drop Ellie off on my way to the emergency room. She immediately insisted that I was in no condition to drive myself, and she and Nora headed over.

Business was brisk in the ER that night, but they finally put me on a gurney and got me into a treatment room, putting me on IV antibiotics and saline. Nicolette patiently waited until after midnight when they released me with a prescription and follow up instructions. 

Next morning, as I was realizing I still felt pretty lousy, the hospital called and informed me that the infection had entered by blood stream, and I needed to get back there fast. This time without delay I was whisked to a private room on the 7th floor of Lancaster General, starting treatment as they rolled me down the halls. They eventually discovered that my pathogen was resistant to almost all antibiotics. I was told that sepsis kills. The stay stretched to five days. Ina showed up from Washington with books and magazines and tasty food. I passed the time reading and did a couple sketches, and slept a lot between being stuck with needles and fussed over by hospital staff.

They sent me home with a catheter from under my left arm to just above my heart through which for the next three weeks I give myself hour long infusions of medication. I was advised that I need to be serious about rest. I really don't have time for this, but I also have no choice but to comply.

So that brings me to the manipulative little rascal who snuck onto my upholstered reading chair this morning after returning from our sedate walk around the block. Better enjoy it while you can, Ellie. I'll recover soon, and when I'm back, I'm going to be worse than ever.


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Reader Comments (2)

Wow. Pretty sobering and scarey event. My younger brother had a similar experience a few years ago. The surgeon massaged his heart for 45 minutes during his lengthy stay at the hospital. Surviving this should enable you to tolerate anything. I'd let the dog stay in the furniture!

August 4, 2017 | Unregistered CommenterDave Young

Tolerate, yes. Approve of and encourage, well that's another matter ...

August 5, 2017 | Registered CommenterScott A. Stultz

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