Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lucky (Danny Schmidt)

This is what's been happening in my life since late Monday/early Tuesday... reprinted from various e-mail updates I wrote to family and friends - cutting to the chase (before you have to read the loooooong recap below): I am now home and Eric is much better (another crisis averted!).


Sent: Tue, 24 Mar 2009 7:41 pm
Subject: Eric

I'm doing one big-*ss bcc: to keep everyone in the loop - I know you all understand...

I am in the hospital room with E, who is sleeping soundly, with an IV drip of antibiotics and pain medication - they're also giving him a potassium IV, as that's severely low...

I made it to Orlando in three hours (what is normally a 4-hour drive) - let's just say the Universe was running interference, in the form of a black car in front of me that was going a few miles faster (mumble mumble 80+ mumble mumble), making everyone move out of the way, which I followed it almost the entire trip. Coincidence? - I think not...

Long story short: Eric (my 20-year-old son, as most of you know) woke up yesterday (Monday morning) with a lesion on his left cheek, and the whole side of his face swollen and painful, including an almost-shut eye - he went to a walk-in clinic, where they gave him antibiotics and pain meds in pill form, and told him to come back the following day...

When things still were not better by 8 p.m., his roommate took him back there, whereupon the doctor on duty told him to go immediately to an emergency room - after a few hours there, they admitted him a bit before midnight. I knew at that point I would be driving up today, spending a few hours this morning clearing my calendar - thanks to all of you who I cancelled/ postponed...

A doctor specializing in infectious diseases came in this morning, but hasn't been back - Eric is now in what is considered to be isolation, recommending that people who visit wear gowns/ gloves. At this point, they are trying to rule out what it's not - he's had a CAT scan, blood work and various swabs. The lesion/swelling has happened twice before in the last six months, but not anywhere this severely - it just feels good to finally be dealing with it...

I so appreciate everyone's skyward prayers... purple candles... healing energy... good thoughts... best wishes - I will pass them on when he wakes. I have packed enough for a 5-day stay, and will be here longer if necessary - the cafeteria food (mmm, salad bar) is pretty good (weak smile... :-)

I'll attempt daily updates - in the meantime, thanks again for the continued blessing of your friendship...

Sent: Wed, 25 Mar 2009 8:44 pm
Subject: Eric - 3/25/09 update

It's been a good day, informationally and otherwise, after a very frustrating evening of fitful rest coupled with constant interruptions - I know it's for Eric's own good but, when there's someone in the room every hour, taking vitals, changing IV bags, giving pain medication, making sure he's hydrated, etc., it's exhausting... literally...

He did catch up a bit during the day, sleeping more deeply and for a longer period of time since I've been here - I'm glad I'm able to run interference/be the advocate to answer questions so they don't have to bother him unnecessarily...

So... we were finally able to talk to the doctor of infectious diseases today... and, although they can't confirm until the culture comes back (48 to 72 hours after swabbing his nasal cavity yesterday), he is 90-95% certain it is MRSA, a staph infection common in hospitals, athletic environments and student communities. What we thought was a spider bite this past fall seems to have been this (strange they didn't diagnose it as such at the time, especially in a college town) - I've done a bit of googling and it's more than a bit scary, although comforting now that we know what we're dealing with...

Some people are more susceptible than others - Eric could very well be affected the rest of his life, and we're becoming informed on ways he can attempt to minimize outbreaks. They will be keeping him another two days (at least) to make sure the antibiotics have made a major impact on the infection - he already looks and feels substantially better since my arrival, although the wound site is still painful and abscessed, albeit smaller...

Poor baby - we'll try to get him showered and changed into fresh clothing later tonight (we need their help, because the IV line goes through the sleeve of the gown), which will go a long way toward recovery...

When he's finally discharged, I'll stay up here another day to help with laundry, cleaning and cooking - what's a mom for if not to make big batches of soup, right?!?

Again... thanks - your collaborative and continued love is felt and passed on...

P.S. I'm finally getting around to reading Wally Lamb's The Hour I First Believed - highly recommended (waving to my BookWomen, sorry about missing tonight's Pride and Prejudice meeting... :-)

Sent: Fri, 27 Mar 2009 11:13 am
Subject: Eric - 3/27/09 update (He Shall Be Released - with apologies to Bob Dylan)

Wanted to let you all know Eric was released last night (Thursday) about 8 p.m. - it happened quickly, with the doctor coming in about 5 to check on the lesion, which had begun draining earlier in the day (apparently what they had been waiting for). He escalated prescription writing for oral antibiotics and pain medication and, once those finally came through (we had already started packing), we were good to go. And yes, if you're confusedly wondering... three hours *is* quick by hospital standards - it's certainly been an exercise in patience and perspective...

Cut to the chase: we spent the night at Eric's apartment last night, which he shares with a roommate - how wonderful to finally stretch out, face down, on a real bed (as opposed to face up on a semi-reclining, hard-as-a-rock chair) - I'm having to use his computer, as there's no wireless in the complex to people who don't live there/subscribe...

The plan today is to do lots of laundry (hot water and bleach), clean the apartment and make sh*tpots (a Southern term for beaucoups) of soup - I could actually end up coming home tonight or may wait until tomorrow (Saturday), depending on his need to have me here/desire to be rid of me now that he's better...

More health/technical stuff involved, of course, which I won't regale you with - let's just say that it's a process, and we're prepared to handle it all, one day at a time...

Thanks again - your support and love are palpable and cherished...

Sent: Sat, 28 Mar 2009 8:54 pm
Subject: Re: Eric - 3/28/09 update (Home - Meg Hutchinson)

Just wanted to quickly let everyone know I'm home, leaving Orlando for Pembroke Pines about 3:30 this afternoon) - will spend the remainder of the evening catching up on voicemail and e-mail and snail mail, oh my!

I promise to follow up with personal replies tomorrow as I attempt to get back into the chaos I call my life - thanks in advance for everyone's patience... :-)

Eric is much better, after having consumed about 10 bowls of my soup so far - I think there are a few gallons left. Hey, I'm Italian - I don't know how to cook "small". I also made dinner last night... lots of pasta, sauteed veggies and turkey meatballs for him, his roommate, his roommate's girlfriend and a few other friends who wandered into their apartment - I stocked the fridge and pantry with other healthful options as well... and we cleaned/disinfected everything in sight...

The hospital sent him home with two prescriptions, one of which (the antibiotic) could only be half-filled until the pharmacy re-stocks on Monday... and the other (the painkiller) couldn't be filled at all because the doctor wrote the wrong date (2006 instead of 2009). Since Eric was discharged, I have to wait to call Medical Records, which doesn't re-open until Monday, to straighten everything out - so frustrating, because it was their error (and thankfully, he has enough from his previous prescription to get him through a few days)...

So... attempting business as usual... slooooowly - thanks again to all... for just *being* there...

P.S. Headed soon to the jacuzzi... with something alcoholic in hand - "got a little pinot grigio for a woman with the blues?" (I miss you, Rachel... :-)

SONG: Lucky by Danny Schmidt

BOOK: The Hour I First Believed by Wally Lamb

POEM: Meditation on Ruin by Jay Hopler

It's not the lost lover that brings us to ruin, or the barroom
or the con game gone bad, or the beating
Taken in the alleyway. But the lost car keys,
The broken shoelace,
The overcharge at the gas pump
Which we broach without comment — these are the things that
eat away at life, these constant vibrations
In the web of the unremarkable.

The death of a father — the death of the mother —
The sudden loss shocks the living flesh alive! But the broken
pair of glasses,
The tear in the trousers,
These begin an ache behind the eyes.
And it's this ache to which we will ourselves
Oblivious. We are oblivious. Then, one morning—there's a
crack in the water glass —we wake to find ourselves undone.

QUOTE: "In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order." ~ Carl Jung


  1. so that's why you'd been on my mind so much lately. started sending blessings to all your clan (thought it might be your mom who needed them more than usual)...will continue with emphasis on Eric. Miss you. Love, Kate

  2. Holy crap, Susan. That's scary! Many good thoughts and prayers headed your way, and I'm glad everyone's home. [hugs]

  3. Hey, Kate ~

    I can promise I felt your blessings and energy across the miles - thanks for your always-intuitive self. I miss you, too - let's try to get together soon (I won't say after my life slows down... because it never does... :-)

  4. Hey, Amy ~

    These last six days have been some of the most terrifying of my life - your thoughts and prayers are always welcome here...

    I drove my husband's car (because the oil light on mine had just started coming on and I didn't want to risk the 4-hour-each-way drive) - he has a 5-disc changer and I brought Richard Shindell's Not Far Now, Mary Chapin Carpenter's The Calling, Danny Schmidt's Instead the Forest Rose to Sing, Dar Williams' Promised Land... and your Dreaming in Full Color mix...

    Your compilation was the perfect soundtrack to my in-the-car emotional breakdown on the ride home, as I realized everything was going to be okay and gave in to the tired-of-being-strong (Catie Curtis) waves that overtook - thanks for being right there with me, my friend... <3

  5. Always (=

    & Thank you for the cards that have been appearing in my mailbox.


  6. Hey, Amy ~

    Oh, I'm so glad you've been receiving the cards - I hoped I was using the correct address (and not your old one!)...

    As you're aware, since you were too overwhelmed to coordinate Dar-list February cards this year, I agreed to take over (temporarily!) - I asked participants to send you one of their creations, in gratitude for your years of service... and it sounds as if they followed through (yay... :-)