Tuesday, March 29, 2016

The Next Day

Today is a continuation of the current condition of my brother-in-law, Larry Clark.

After Kathi read my blog post yesterday, she told me I did not give an accurate description of Larry’s condition. I guess her words were playing on my mind, because I found myself re-writing the story in my head as I was watching “The Day the Earth Stood Still” with Michael Rennie and Patricia Neal at 4 am. When that was over I switched to “Stagecoach” with John Wayne and Claire Trevor, thinking a western might put me back to sleep. It did not work. My mind was still writing. So here I am at 6:10 am sitting in front of my computer re-telling the story.

Night before last Larry’s temperature got up to 103.7 degrees. He has a staph infection in his blood and the doctors are giving him broad spectrum antibiotics and morphine to hold down the pain. He shivers constantly. The hospital room temperature was about 75 degrees and Larry still kept the bed cover over his head to keep himself warm. He was covered with a sheet, a blanket and had his coat on top of that. He thinks he is facing death. No one else thinks so.

The doctors keep assuring him that is not true and we try to keep his spirits up, but he has been sick for over a year, often very severe sickness. During that period of time he had three rounds of chemotherapy and the bone marrow transplant. Additionally, he has had a lower bowel infection and two urinary tract infections that kept him hospitalized for weeks at a time. Last week he had a blood clot in his right leg. Yesterday they tried putting a pic line in his right arm so they would not have to stick him with a needle every four hours to draw blood. They could not get it to work and suspect a blood clot in his arm. The doctors do not understand how he can be forming clots at the same time he does not produce enough platelets. We all knew going in that depression was not unusual for transplant patients, but we try to help him fight it constantly.

His wife Andrea has been great assuring he had the medications and care he needed, provided by herself, the nurses on the 8th floor of Methodist Hospital and the transplant team. All have willing supplied the care requested. None of us will stop until Larry is well and back to normal again. Andrea has to be exhausted.

Dr. Kamble says if the current infection responds to the antibiotics he could be home by Thursday of this week and start working on his strength again and trying to build his weight back up. The harder part is keeping his mind healthy. His daily dose of Donald Trump does not seem to be doing the trick. I may have to force him to watch some of my old movies with me. They make me feel better.

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