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DAY 96

October 11, 2012

It feels like I’ve been in the hospital for weeks yet it has only been 3 days.  Each day makes my recent stay in the cottage more of a dream and the hospital more of the reality.  I know this will revert once I’m discharged and I go back to the cottage.  Two nights ago I talked to an infectious disease specialist for about an hour and he came to see me yesterday morning for another hour.  Very thorough doctor.  He ordered more lab work, additional testing, and changed the antibiotics.  The echocardiogram revealed some fluid around the heart but not a lot.  The thoracentesis is a procedure that removes fluid in the lung’s pleural space by inserting a needle and draining it.  They got about 250 cc.  It was enough to send for analysis and  hopefully make a diagnosis concerning the etiology.  The main contenders are virus and fungus and down the list is an atypical GVHD or serositis.  Also less likely, is a bacterial infection because I was continuing to develop new areas of lung and pleural inflammation while on good IV antibiotic coverage.  To be safe, they changed my antibiotics to cover even a wider spectrum of bacteria.  Most likely, they’ll never get an answer but I’ll be happy for it just to go away.  Before I forget, the Xray after the thoracentesis yesterday incidentally showed the PICC line had moved and was in my right neck, internal jugular vein.   They corrected that this morning.  One thing for sure, this will definitely delay my discharge.  Dr. ‘O thinks if all goes well and no more surprises, I’ll be in the hospital for another week and then in the cottage for another 2 or 3 weeks.  That will make it early November that I can leave and go home.  I’m feeling a little better but my endurance is still a little low.

What really caught me off guard was that in the middle of feeling so good and making progress in my energy and physical condition, this happened.  Out of know where without warning, bam!, I’m taken down.  Very rude indeed.  Just another reminder?  But of what?  I’m fragile and need to be more cautious, it’s a predatory world we live in, don’t take anything for granted, be vigilant for the evil eye, etc…. Now that seems a bit radical and paranoid.  So, I asked my doctor how she looks at it.  She said it keeps us humble so we don’t pat ourselves to much on the back for our “successes”.  I would take it one step further and say maybe it keeps us acutely aware that our successes are not solely of our own volition and designs but need the blessings and help from God.  My brother responded, does that mean we don’t have to take total responsibility for our failures?







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  1. Chandra, Satish permalink

    Hi Jim You will get thru all this. It’s just a bunp in the road. I constantly think of you and pray for quick recovery. Satish ________________________________

  2. susan garfield permalink

    Life does a 180 in the blink of an eye. And often times after a good round of laughing. Go and figure.

  3. permalink

    I like the way your brother thinks!  Was it Bobby?

    Jim.  We’re thinking about you and sending our best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  4. Lorna permalink

    I think setbacks are part of the rhythm of life, like the trough and crest of a wave. This reminds me of something I read once about someone caught in a small boat in a huge storm off the coast of Alaska. He knew he would panic if he thought about his chances of survival, so he just focused on getting over one wave at a time, gathering his resources in each trough for the next crest. It sounds to me like you are being present and meeting each experience as it comes, as well as asking for help and strength from your faith and your God: your own unique relationship to the amazing mystery of life and healing, fate and destiny, choice and will and surrender. I hope the storm passes soon. Lorna

  5. Jimmie Wood permalink

    Pray. It’s good to do!



  6. Holly Bengtson permalink

    I think that’s when I started on Lexapro! Ha (I’m always looking for the “easy” way out). Sure is quiet in VAD without u! The Transplant Rollercoaster” is like no other. Actually, it should be in the Guiness Book of World Records. You r my inspiration. Hang in there. See u soon! Love, Holly

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