Sunday, April 27, 2008

Where are we going, and why are we in this handbasket?

Yep, it was only a matter of time.

Today we are going to Hell. Hiking boots recommended, marshmallows optional.

Pictures to follow.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Unanticipated lane change!

Things have been a bit surprising lately. Or at least for the past month. This started when I sent an email to my sister, to which I received an auto-reply stating that she'd had to take a short leave due to a "family matter". So I thought, "Ahem, shouldn't I know about any such family matter?" So I sent her another message asking her what was happening.

To make a looooong story much, much shorter, my father had had a mysterious, rapidly spreading infection in his lower leg, and his local physician was treating it. And by "treating" I mean, prescribing some oral antibiotics and the application of some cream. Now I am not one to advocate the non-judicious use of antibiotics, but from what I have heard about the state of my father's leg at this point, I think the good doctor erred a few hundred miles too far from the side of caution. I speculate that perhaps if his lower leg had actually fallen off, he might have gone so far as to ask that my father bring the leg in so he could have another look at it and maybe offer a better ointment. Anyway, once my father described the state of his leg to my sister, she said that she would fly to his house right away, and they would go immediately to the hospital for better treatment. By the time he was admitted, his kidneys were already failing as a result of the infection.

Because I am giving you the edited version, it is now just over three weeks and two hospitals later, and he is being treated for post-infectious glomerulonephritis.
My sister has been here through all of it, not to mention the worst of it, and I came back to the US (Virginia) for two weeks to see what help I could offer. I have been here for just over a week now. We are hoping that he will go home on Friday. He still must have one more procedure, which he should have tomorrow. So his departure date will depend on his recovery from that. It is a relatively minor procedure, but with his kidneys not filtering properly, any sedation could have exponential effects. Although he will likely still be on dialysis at his release from the hospital, it is believed that his kidneys are slowly remembering what they are supposed to be doing, and will continue to improve after that time.

So, that is why things have been so quiet from over here. Poor Joe has been bearing the brunt of things at home, what with working all the time* and also running home to walk the dog. (*why do people say "working like a dog"? -- they really lead quite the charmed life, you know..)

A few observations from Virginia (in no particular order):
1. The climate is almost exactly the same as in Ljubljana.
2. I had forgotten that people have problems getting a signal on their mobile phones, but apparently they still haven't resolved that problem yet here in the US.
3. The Charlottesville area is as nice as I remembered it to be. Very Quaint (uppercase intentional)
4. I don't miss all of this driving.
5. My father, even in his 'condition' is astonishingly good at word jumbles.
6. If you are just some poor schmuck in a hospital, without any connections or anyone speaking for you, good luck with that.
7. Since I am in the 'bible belt' I have noticed a few clever Jesus-related signs, but this bumper sticker is the best so far:
"I hope you follow Jesus this closely"
8. Food (everything except meat and chicken) in the grocery stores is expensive here.
9. I cannot find any of the proper Spanish words when I want to use them. I had better get back into a class PDQ!
10. They sure do grow 'em big down here.

That's all for now. I'll keep y'all updated (see how I am picking up this lovely southern accent!)