Sunday, August 2, 2009


I went to the doctor Thursday afternoon to check on my pneumonia. When she walked into the room after seeing the chest X-ray, she was very grave. My left lung had collapsed; the supports holding it up had shattered. Whatever intricacies of pressure and flesh that had kept it suspended as a belted whole were gone.

She argued for the operation then, in the afternoon. I pushed for the next morning. We "compromised." I somehow ended up spending the night in the hospital waiting for a morning procedure. Placing the tube went well -- I was mostly asleep -- and the lung rose as high as it could, almost to the top of my chest. Instead of putting my on the big suction machine for days, they tried that for an evening, then attached a small valve that would allow the tube to drain air and fluid.

Recently, I began to staring having these little, halting gasps for air as I lay in my bed. The new tube has stopped that and I am grateful. Later this week we will go to New York, have a CT, and face -- yet again -- whether or not we can continue this trial.

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