Stephen Kahn

Will this be the day I’ll die?

In Bad news on May 5, 2012 at 5:19 pm

Human beings are social animals, We gather in flocks, herds, packs, and gaggles. Wolves gather in packs to hunt deer; deer gather in herds in the hope that a wolf will eat a different deer.

The Lutheran pack/flock gathers to cut, chop, and haul wood, which they donate to the poor and the elderly so they can burn it in wood stoves and fireplaces for warmth. Last Wednesday, I gathered with the plack, as I usually do, but about half way into the session I suddenly felt very weary. I could have prayed, but I went home early, and the next day when my left calf was very red, swollen, and painful, my HMO’s Advise Nurse said to get myself into the clinic, and my wife drove/ferried me to the mainland where the clinic sits. My doctor examined my calf, said, “It looks like you have a respectable infection,” and sent me to have some blood tests and prescribed some antibiotics for me. He just chose some general antibiotics; I am supposed to take some pills by the prescribed schedule; I am supposed to call his office on Monday, when the results are back, and he can decide whether to modify the prescription. He also prescribed some strong pain killers which pleasantly knocked me out last night.

As we drove back from the clinic I remembered Don McClean’s iconic song “This American Pie” and wondered if “This’ll be the day that I die.”

So you will have to tune in next week to see if I am still alive.

  1. The suspense is killing me! 😉

    At least you have a “respectable infection”. You wouldn’t want one of the unrespectable ones.

    Seriously, though, I hope it heals quickly for you, & that the pain subsides quickly, too.

  2. Thank you for checking in, and for your concern. I guess the unrespectable infections are the ones that come from inappropriate mixing of sex organs or careless use of needles.(Neither of these activities I engage in, probably not so much from virtue as being chicken. Anyway, my doctor seems like a very proper person — though I am sure he has seen everything — literally, but I would not like to shock him.) I have a ten-day course of four pills a day scheduled, with strict orders to take every single pill without fail. On Monday morning, I will learn if my doctor calls a play change at the line of scrimmage. Getting old is tiresome at times, but I don’t know of any (serious) alternatives.

  3. I should add that the swelling and pain is still there, but I was able to take a short walk, so I suspect that I will live to Monday. If I start throwing up in the meantime, I am supposed to call 911 and go to the island hospital. At the moment, food is staying down. Boy this is exciting blogging!

  4. That sounds like a very strange place to have a sudden infection, respectable or otherwise. I am sincerely hoping that neither this nor any day in the immediate future will be the one that you die.

  5. Did he make any suppositions about the source of infection? (I’m guessing not, given the broad-spectrum scrip.)
    Praying for a swift and complete recovery for you.

  6. David, I agree. As usual, there was a red herring. I had just gone off Whidbey Island to a meeting of atheists, agnostics, free thinkers (and similar), in part because I have become slightly irritated with some complacencies of the Lutherans and felt a need to be around some people whose world view is closer to mine. I had a great time (though I had trouble getting home because I can’t drive in the dark safely in less than familiar circumstances any more). However, my first guess was that being around some unfamiliar people and eating some food they had prepared had exposed me to an atypical agent … but (see next comment).

  7. Cameryn, I have had some strange problems with my feet, which a couple of doctors thought were athlete’s foot (and I thought a result of my regular trips to the gym), but a dermatologist said was eczema (which is medicalese for “something we don’t know what is irritating your foot”). The dermatologist prescribed steroids, but my feet were still cracking. My doctor thinks a bacterial infection entered through a crack in the skin. My doctor gets back updated test results on Monday, so I call him on Monday. This entire tale is so tiresome I can hardly bear to type it any more. My leg is very sore, but does not seem to be demanding to be amputated at the moment.

  8. I hear that keeping something warm is a good way to help it fight infection. At least, that was what I was told when I got an infection in my finger, and when I wrapped it in a warm, wet wash cloth the swelling went down beautifully. Of course, that may not be true for your leg. I hope it is feeling much, much better.

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