Thursday, November 19, 2015

In Again.....

The home health nurse called me Friday afternoon and said Marty had a lot of bacteria in her urine so we started her on our tried and true antibiotic.  They called Monday afternoon and said, nope, that particular antibiotic won’t kill the bug, I said the nicest thing I could say, “Well crap.”  I have better words, more powerful words at my disposal but I showed restraint. 

On Tuesday we checked into Providence Hospital where we have a room with a view.  Hey, don’t hate, a room with a view in the hospital is primo stuff.

The plan is to attack this Pseudomonas aeruginosa bacterium with Nebcin, a powerful antibiotic,  because Nebcin is the best IV antibiotic to smoke this bug.  We did this same thing in June of this year but used a different antibiotic.

Marty, as one would imagine, is not completely on board with this event.  She says, “I don’t feel bad, why am I here?”  I say, “Because we love you and hate pseudomonas aeruginosa.”

The truth is I was surprised at both of these diagnoses.  Marty seemed to feel fine and was not showing her usual symptoms of an infection.  She was showing some signs of a fatigue but all other signs pointed to….well nothing, that’s why we like having the home health nurse come by regularly to retrieve some urine.

By all accounts there were a lot of the evil bacteria in the pee and the lack of sensitivity of it to oral antibiotics Marty can take is a hugely complicating factor.  Thank God for a variety of bacteria killers.

Marty is hanging in there occasionally pouting, sleeping, watching TV and dealing with the comings and goings of various medical providers at all hours of the day and night.  She has been on a “I’m not getting out of bed” mode until I finally said yes you are and guess what, she kind of liked getting up and letting her back and bed get a little air.

We wheeled around the floor two or three times, looked out the window and found one spot where she could sit in the sun for just a few minutes.  We went back in the room and Marty stayed in her chair, talked with daughter Erin on the phone and watched Ellen, she loves Ellen.

With luck the urine sample they took today will be clean and clear and Great and Wise will spring us from hospital captivity on Saturday.  Can you imagine how good a real shower will feel after five days in the hospital?

We still plan on Thanksgiving at the lake with our whole family.  Pure pee should have arrived by then and we won’t have to worry about that particular ailment for awhile, I like not worrying about someone else’s pee.

Marty continues to do what she does which is live, accept, make new friends and have an impact on an ever expanding universe of people.  I know I’m not particularly objective but I believe the people she contacts, the lives she touches are always enriched.  We just get to do that with different people when she’s in the hospital.

Here’s to getting the hell out of here soon.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Legend

In the middle of a long day in Washington DC I watched as my father walked up the sidewalk, walking past the carefully formed life-sized statues of men in combat gear, I watched him march at the memorial to men of war, men who fought years ago for people they did not know.

I watched as he marched flanked by flags carried by old men in light blue jackets and followed by a group of South Korean college students, solemnly walking behind paying homage to strangers who had given lives for their very own freedom.

Veteran’s Day in D.C. is amazing.  The President of our country standing at the tomb of an unknown, old and young men and women walking with old medals on new jackets carrying old flags and wreaths marching proudly and solemnly grounds you, it helps you focus on how perilous our journey can be.

My parents and I spent the day at Arlington Cemetery, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, at the Women in Military Service Memorial and finally at the Korean War Memorial.  I saw countless men and women in uniform, I saw countless veterans from all branches of service of all ages, I saw them remembered and thanked as they remembered the great service they had given a free nation.

I watched as young South Koreans came up to my father and ask if they could shake his hand, if they could give him a hug.  These young men and women came to the USA to learn and they spent part of their day listening, intently listening, as old men described a war where so many died yet so few remember.

I listened as Tim one of the flag bearers talked of Busan and a cemetery where 10,000 American soldiers were buried and only recently have had their remains returned to their homes.  I listened to the moaning sounds of Taps played to mark too many deaths,  I listened to my own father talk of this largely forgotten war, I listened as a South Korean general talk of his grateful country, I watched as strangers from England and South Korea and the US listened to these men commemorate their personal histories.

Mostly I sat in a certain amount of awe and tremendous gratitude as people, perfect strangers, came up to my father, a man I never knew as a soldier but was my hero anyway, looked him in the eyes and said thank you.

At the airport as we sat and waited for our airplane home a large muscular young man sat across from us.  I watched him as he stared at my father, he was a big dude with tattoos covering his right arm and with tattoos of large bullets tattoos on his calves, he kept staring and I kept thinking, what is up with this guy.  

When his plane was called the guy got up, walked up to my father, extended his hand and said he just wanted to say thanks.  He said he was a marine and his guys, his compatriots all thought that those old guys who served, who fought, who risked their lives, they all looked on those old guys as legends.

It’s amazing….I’m 61 and I finally know, I'm the son of a legend, Marty would be proud.