July 8th, 2005

housecleaning, bombs, softball and heart attacks: a day in the life...

One day they're dancing for joy in Trafalgar Square, the next...

9/11, M-11, 7/7 -- I'm sick of dates like these. I had to turn off NPR (essentially how I get all of my news, and I don't trust much world coverage that doesn't come from the BBC, anyway...) b/c
it was all getting far too depressing. Thank God we're escaping to Canada (again) tomorrow morning. A week in a cabin by Lake Couchichong and the Mariposa folk festival is this weekend. I'm looking forward to a wek of my biggest decisions being which bands to listen to and do we go swimming or hiking today. We've yet to pack, but at least we'll be coming home to a fairly clean house ("el que diran" strikes again, as my cousins from Puerto Rico came for a visit tonight so I had a lot of motivation to do it right. Funny how good that feels. But DAMN double hung sash windows are a bitca to clean! I tried to be methodical about it, but I still kept losing track.)

Yesterday I found out just before my softball game that Jim P. (good friend of mine from school) had had a heart attack, a bad one, and we were in "wait and see" mode. So I digested that, had a little breakdown on the sidelines, but got it together enough to play a decent -- if somewhat distracted and aggressive -- game. We lost again, and I got hurt again, once diving for a ball and once sliding (bad plays both times, so the injuries, which have my left knee all swollen and bruised, were only marginally worth it). It pales in comparison, obviously. As soon as it was over I drove straight to St. Joe's, where I had no trouble following the signs to the cardiac critical care ward. Charlie and Gary had finally gone home, which after nearly two days of 24/7 Jim-watch was a very good thing. When I asked Michael, the very earnest ICU nurse, if Jim had regained consciousness since the incident he told me that the few times Jim had he'd been extremely irrational and violent and agressive, so he was being kept heavily sedated (what he neglected to mention were the restraints, one for each limb...that was really weird to see). He'd developed a sinus infection in part b/c the EMTs had a lot of trouble intubating him (they eventually just went for the trach)and his fever was still pretty high, so he was sweating a lot. They'd had to defib him six times in the ambulance...Gary says now they're worried about possible brain damage from that. Incomprehensible to me, that. Jim? No way. But of course, yes way, maybe. Wait and see, wait and see. So I sat with him for about an hour, talking and thinking in more or less equal measures, wrote him a note, then told him the next time he woke up he'd better not attack the cute nurse and that I'd see him when I got back from vacation. I kissed him goodbye (acutely aware of the very distinct "hospital patient" smell -- so very much not his cologne, which he would hate so I don't mention anything) and trudged out feeling very low indeed.

Today, no change, at least as of the last talk with Gary this afternoon, who has promised to call with any and all news (and to think I once dissed cel phones...).

Sigh. I'll probably have a happier post to make when I get back :)