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Friday, June 18, 2010

A Brief Incoherent Joyful Pause

JS, I have taken note of your question, and I owe you an explanation. The fault is clearly mine, not yours. When I recover my equilibrium, I will provide what I hope will be an understandable explanation.

I'm asking for prayers for Doug, who is suffering from a bad spider bite in CA. He was in the hospital for days, and was sent home without that much improvement. The bad part is that his regular doctor doesn't seem too satisfactory - so, if you would, pray for healing for Doug and that he can get a better primary doctor, and guidance for that doctor. Also support and guidance for his advocate, who is trying to do everything she can to get him better medical care. I have been praying for them for a while, but I don't get hugely encouraging feedback on this, and you guys have a good record.

I got called in to SuperDoc's this morning on an emergency, which is now dealt with.

After I got his system up, SuperDoc gave me the Chief's latest blood panel. And that's why I am too happy (joyful? exuberant? overjoyed? overcome?) to write about economics today. I alternate between crying a bit and running in circles. Everything's okay. For the first time ever. The Chief had multiple fliers on his kidneys, liver, and thyroid, and now everything is in perfect range.

The thing is, the Chief was in deep this winter. We still do not know the etiology, but I am guessing he had a systemic novel H1N1 infection that reached his kidneys and other organs. I am also guessing that the seeming TIA was actually an immune system rebound that rebuffed a mild viral encephalitis, because although they did see the low blood flow in his brain, they could not find any blockages at all at the time. It was as if he had narrowing of the blood vessels throughout his brain.

At the time the likely diagnoses all centered on various forms of cancer which can cause the wild swings he was experiencing. And we had ruled out just about everything treatable, so the remaining known cause was carcinoid tumor syndrome, which was a dead match but probably untreatable, because SuperDoc couldn't find a primary tumor, and by the time you see the effect the cancer has mostly spread anyway. But this is now very unlikely due to the fact that the Chief's condition is normalizing.

The Chief did not know, so I could not give an update about his condition before, because I do not lie on this blog. I make mistakes, but I don't deliberately lie.

Thank you all for your prayers. It was a hideous ordeal, and I am overwhelmed with gratitude to see my Chief recovering so well. And please, your prayers for Doug who has been very ill indeed and is not receiving the type of medical care I got for the Chief ONLY because I knew SuperDoc.

The thing that stalks me in the midst of my joy is that without SuperDoc's care and expertise, the Chief would not have made it. How many other people are needlessly dying because they really don't have access to good primary care? In the midst of all of our reform efforts, I am afraid we have focused on the wrong things. SuperDoc was not reimbursed for all the care he gave the Chief, because the Chief is now on Medicare and you can't escape that. I wanted to pay SuperDoc but he won't let me. I know SuperDoc is treating a lot of his patients at a loss, and I am haunted by this reality. If we won't pay for it the doctors won't be able to deliver it.

Also, to add to my lunatic happiness, one of my brothers is having male identical twins. So far so good in the pregnancy, and she is early in the second trimester. They wanted three children, and this will be three. She was told in 2007 that she could never have children, and that if she ever got pregnant she would never carry to term.... There is lunatic happiness and uncontrollable joy just bonking around in my family's hearts and minds.

Update on Doug: They don't know what the infection is, which is hardly encouraging. He has a referral to an infectious disease unit at UCSF, and is waiting for their call. Pray they call quickly!

MOM--Prayers sent for Doug and his caregiver. Super wonderful news about the Chief! Really nice to hear about such a positive outcome. Hope you are able to get some relaxation in for a little while.
I'm so happy for your --and your family's-- good news! (And my prayer for Doug has been Uploaded to the Universe.)
I'm so glad to hear that so many things have come right for you and yours. May you have a good long stretch of good fortune.

As for SuperDoc, just consider yourself blessed. There's not many folks in the world who have that truly scientific mindset. I have known a few, which is more than my share, and all I can do is try to emulate them as best I can.

We can't all have SuperDoc; at best we can get out of the way of folks like him so they can do a much work as is possible.
"There is lunatic happiness and uncontrollable joy just bonking around in my family's hearts and minds."
All well deserved! Prayers for Doug and a prayer of thanksgiving that things are splendid there in MOM-land.
Delighted about The Chief MoM. Props to SuperDoc too.

Best luck to your brother's family.

Long may the happiness continue.

Prayers for Doug done.
I can't imagine what you have been going through, good and bad. My thoughts and prayers are with you.
MoM,I am delighted to hear about the chief,and the twin boys.Good grief,twin boys,Their mom need to grow another set of arms,quickly.AND you have a way to keep your brother in line for the next few years "Do the boys have musical talent? I was thinking of a drum set and some practice bagpipes? Doug is in my prayers,tom.
What Tom said ... glad you have so many things to be joyful for. Prayers are done for Doug.
Perhaps Doug has Lymes disease.
Hmm. Thanks, CF. I did not think of that. The odds are that it is combo infection, for sure.
Re: Tom Stone's suggestion: if you are going to give the kid something that will be ... fun ... for the parents, go all the way.
MOM, I will keep them in my prayers. And thank you for continuing to share personal stories with your readers. I remember how much I enjoyed reading Tanta at CR because she combined keen insight with personal stories. It gave an impersonal communication medium heart. I enjoy the same thing here. Thank you!

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