Monday, April 10, 2017

Medical issues

One consequence of being a member of a large family is that there is always something medical "happening".  Part of it is our age.  Clearly, the extended warranty just expired.

Sometimes it is minor, things like siblings getting joint replacement or figuring out that there are certain foods they should not eat.

Other times it is major.  Things like cancer and emergency surgeries.

It is the human condition.  Only people suffering from Empathy Deficit Disorder do not have people close to them going through medical issues.  Mostly, we don't talk about it.  We compartmentalize and simply continue to function.

For example, my brother who was on the verge of being discharged six days after his cancer surgery was retained due to secondary infections and was discharged after fourteen days.  They stuck knitting needles into his guts three separate times to drain pockets of nasty stuff.  For reasons that are opaque to me they did it while he was conscious and he found the proceedure painful.  They had to play antibiotic roulette to find something that could beat down the infections.

Then, before that brother was released, one of my other brothers went into the hospital for abdominal pain. 

The timing was fortunate.  He and his wife were within a few days of boarding a plane to fly to Reno, Nevada.  The abdominal pain escalated into some kind of inflammation syndrome.  It would have been hell to be in a strange town and have that kind of health crisis.

Last night they wheeled him into emergency surgery for a perforated intestine.   My sister-in-law is a nurse and, of course, she knows everything bad that can happen.  Sometimes ignorance is bliss.

Just a side-story:  Both of my sisters are nurses.  One of them had a burst appendix about ten years ago.  She went to the closest emergency room which happened to be in the facility where she worked.  She was beyond dismayed when the diagnoses was announced because the surgeon on duty was a doctor she considered to be a bungling butcher, a man with ten thumbs.  The doctor did a fine job and my sister had to revise her opinion.

We are always most critical of those we are closest to.  We have too much information and not enough perspective.

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