Friday, March 21, 2014

A Failure to Act

I have many fears, many sources of anxiety.  One of my biggest is not will I miss something; it is I will blow something off that’s important.  I don’t worry about missing clues, I worry about ignoring them.

When Marty and I started we settled into rather comfortable roles.  She tended to over inflate, I tended to under inflate, she would maximize the good and the bad, I was the yang, I tended to minimize the bad and the good.  There was certain symmetry of our opposites, but there was also tender for the angry fires of a budding relationship.

Too often Marty thought I was minimizing how she felt or what she worried over, she was right, I probably was.  But, the opposite was also true, too often she made the most out of what seemed inconsequential, I suspect to get me to pay attention to the issue.   Does that sound familiar to any married couples out there?

Things change, Marty’s strokes and the associated illness that come as a part of that have pushed me to abandon my minimalist approach to, well everything except cooking.  I have had to abandon the rather childish view of, “well, it will be okay.” I can no longer blow stuff off assuming it will just be okay, I can’t just ignore the small stuff because in our life the small stuff rapidly turns to big stuff. been several weeks 

We had been on a good healthy streak since Marty’s last hospitalization in February.  We had gone several weeks sans antibiotics and generally Marty felt okay.  She was eating well, sleeping well and engaging appropriately.

Then suddenly there was Sunday.  Sunday started good.  Marty woke, ate breakfast, got up, ate lunch and we settled into our Sunday afternoon routine sitting in the living room doing exercises.  Then, she did the weird body spasm contracting thing she does when she’s sick, just once.

I sat there and watched her waiting for it to happen again, nothing, we sat there.  I thought maybe it was nothing, maybe I just didn’t see it right, maybe it’s a fluke, maybe I could try really hard and rationalize my concerns away and fall back to the familiar, the comfortable blow it off mode.
Her body did it again a few minutes later, nothing big, subtle movements but enough for me to go on-line and register for a trip to the Providence Emergency Room.

I give kudos to Prove ER and their InQuicker process as we sailed through triage and were in an exam room within about 30 minutes of our arrival.  Marty’s vitals were good, she wasn’t in any distress, she didn’t hurt and she didn’t have a fever but I knew,  because of the funny body spasm thing,  she had an infection, or that was my assumption based on my doctorate of Marty.

Maybe it’s the earnest way I tell her story, maybe they just hear weird stuff all of the time but the nurse and the doctor listened to my tale intently and started doing all of the requisite tests.  Sure enough Marty had a pretty bad infection, origin unknown.  

They checked the obvious, the urine, the chest, the abdomen and everything was normal save the white count which they dealt with by using a big time antibiotic with instructions to see Great and Wise the following day.

I called his office Monday morning and walked in unannounced with Marty and a sample of her snot about 1 p.m. that afternoon.  She got another antibiotic shot a prescription for more and we went home.

Marty is feeling fine today, we are at the lake and the cause of the infection was in the snot.  The drugs she is taking will kill the bacteria and all is right with our world today, we passed another test.
My fear, my big fear is my natural inclination to ignore the bad will someday keep me from acting.  My fear is that I will see something and ignore it long enough for little to become big.  My fear is that my newly discovered hyper vigilance will become exhausted to the point I will one day ignore the evidence and opt for “things will be just fine”, when everyone knows things won’t be just fine.

You see, we have learned a lot over the last years about Marty and the ramifications of her disease.  Certainly we have not learned everything and we will continue to meet new things, but we do know a lot about Marty and what her sick signs are.  

My fear is not that I will not miss something out of ignorance or because I’m not paying attention.  My fear, as always will be that I will ignore what I know. 

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