As my dear friend Johnny Optimism says, "things could always be worse." After which, for Johnny, they always get worse. And there's a little of that going on at stately (well, sickly) Jarlsberg manor just now.
Going back a few days, Daughter J's surgery was successful and the surgeon removed a 30-pound cyst from her abdomen. That's three 10-pound bags of potatoes for anyone math-impaired (I'm looking at YOU Elizabeth Warren, AOC and, what the hell, every Democrat except Joe Manchin). "Bob" was removed intact and posed for a precious (and impressive) baby picture which you can see right here if you're the medically curious type.
Daughter J now has a long abdominal incision held together by dozens of metal staples. Daughter J herself is being held together with hydrocodone.
At the time of the surgery, Daughter J's mom was still stuck in a different hospital. Kathy's 3-day chemo visit turned into a 10-day visit with additional chemo because her leukemia, like a bad party guest, apparently doesn't know when to leave. Then as a bonus, Kathy got diarrhea which kept adding days to her hospital stay (it's hard to get well when your immune system has been decimated by chemo).
On Saturday, I left Daughter J with her aluminum walker and opioids to visit Kathy. She still had the trots and everyone who came into the room wore a plastic apron with sleeves, a face shield, gloves, and a mask. But surprisingly, we were told that Kathy could come home that very day! Yay! And so we packed up and got Kathy (quite weak from treatment) back home.
I couldn't believe the change in our fortunes as Daughter J began heading (slowly, with the walker) towards the den for a reunion with her mother. And then the phone rang.
It was the hospital. "We just put the pieces together and realized that we might not have mentioned that your daughter must not get anywhere near your wife!" Because Kathy didn't just have diarrhea - she had (and has) C.Diff, which is a magical hospital-acquired bacteria that is wildly contagious, hard to get rid of, and can cause people to have whole sections of their colon removed or just kill 'em outright. Which would have been nice for me to know when I was in close quarters with her at the hospital and packing all of her stuff (C.Diff is easily passed by touching something that an infected person has touched).
At special risk of infection (and having a funeral where everyone is snickering about death by poop) are people over 65 (me) and people who have just had surgery (Daughter J). So my two women needed to stay well-removed from each other as they toddled around with their walkers.
But fortunately and somewhat heroically, I could still take care of both of them...right up until about two hours ago, when I suddenly began vomiting violently without even having used Clan MacGregor as an emetic. Our home resonated with the sound of "ARRRRRRK!" but it was not the herald angels singing. And yes, I've been taking care of myself, but when the Devil has you in his crosshairs, there's only so much you can do.
This is not an opportune time for me to be sick, nor for our house to be quarantined and thus keep additional caregivers out. So I'm hoping I just have food poisoning and not something which will infect anyone else in my household (and which will hopefully pass quickly).
Because "hoping I just have food poisoning" is pretty typical of what passes for holiday optimism in the new normal around here.
|"The barf bags were hung by the chimney with care..."|
MONDAY MORNING UPDATE
Huzzah! I made it through the night with no recurrence of vomiting nor any other symptoms of illness. So apparently all I had was my latest lesson in humility and gratitude - a reminder that things really COULD be worse. All the chores that have recently felt like hard labor will today feel like a gift because I can do them.
As I previously pay (and only now reading this) thinking of you - sending you many prayers and my concern for strength and full recuperation and recovery for your ladies, and mental and physical strength to you in your vital role in enabling their success.
Goodness!!! So sorry to hear of your horrid holiday troubles. They make mine seem miniscule, I wish you all a speedy and hearty recovery. Thoughts and prayers are with you, your daughter, and your wife, and I hope you will be able to at least be able to enjoy the holidays somewhat.
Bob is most impressive. Please send congrats to all involved.
Oh and by all means keep the updates coming.
You didn’t by any chance have leftover Olive Garden, did you? Anyway, be well..all of you!
Keep up y'all's spirits. Merry Christmas,
@Stilt, I think Daughter J did quite well in surviving as long as she obviously did with that object in her innards. However, I'm guessing you're not going to dandle Bob on your knee.
I hope Daughter J and Mrs. J will recover soon. I also hope you have as Merry a Christmas as possible, and that your New Year is much better than this current old one.
I looked at Bob. Yikes! My husband remarked, “Well, that’s one way to lose weight.” As I was reading your column to my husband, we were both laughing and exclaiming in amazement at what you’re going through, and at your sense of humor in dealing with it. Prayers for healing coming your way from Washington State.
Continuing prayers for the entire Jarlsberg household.
(You're amazing, Stilt. With all that's on your plate right now you not only manage to keep us updated, but do so with your inimitable sense of humor. I salute you!)
OMG, you guys need to stop this right now, getting sick, I mean!!! Just joking and you are so tough to get through this mess, it's amazing when you think about how far you are now from when this all started. Your poor wife, death by poop is no joking matter so I hope it stops soon, or turns into less poop and more I can feel my legs finally and I only had to sit on the throne for a little while today! And seriously, how did your poor child manage to get around with that thing in her? She must have been feeling bad for quite awhile without realizing it. I'm praying you guys have better days soon.
Bob is impressive.
But not as impressive as the three of you.
As for the internal bug given to Daughter J as a special Christmas present, holey moley. Did the hospital charge extra?
(Any close friends or relatives you can press-gang into providing home care? Illegal aliens?)
Continuing prayers for each and all of you every night. Wish I was close enough to try to help. God be with you.
We're having that kind of Christmas.
I was just reading today about fenbenzadole vs cancer in two papers. One trials with mice
and one a clinical trial with people from Stanford Uni.
Wondered why that popped up. Will pray
Some advice...if Medicare will still not pay the high cost of the 3-in-one medicine small enough to take easily, health food stores sell plain capsules that easily accommodate the great big ( and nasty-tasting) pills necessary to eradicate C Dif.
Just in case...
My fond memories of Clostridioides difficile (obvious a French plot in retaliation for naming the French Big Mac the "Royale") combined with the almost forgotten Flu, and pneumonia, make for a great set of memories...
My fervent wishes for a kinder Holiday experience... BTW...are any of your doctors named Theodric? From York? Ask for the imported leeches...
I am so sorry for what you all have been going through. Yes, you are witty and clever in spite of it all and I hope you keep on truckin' until you see all of this in the rearview mirror.
The very least I can do is give y'all a very good laugh...
As somebody who re-started chemo last week, I can't tell you what Johnny Optimism and your blog mean to me. Thank You and God Bless
Words fail me. I'll just leave it at prayers for you and the family. God bless you all!
Wow, Bob is certainly impressive!
I would be very cautious saying, “What else can go wrong?” into the aether because sometimes the gods like to brag amongst themselves and show mortals exactly what they can do. So continued prayers for your family’s deliverance from the medical morass y’all find yourselves in and here’s hoping conditions improve sooner than later at Jarlsberg Manor.
Having lived with extreme pain for 12 years that brain surgery fixed, and now have been pain-free for 13 years, I can tell you, you are not alone. With so many problems we have in life, health issues are the most unpredictable and the solutions can be elusive. I pray you all will escape this horrible time and are able to heal and be well.
😢 Pray that all improve quickly.
You continue to awe with your fine sense of humor despite the barrage of problems thrown at you.
Things will get better, eventually.
Holy crap! (literally)
Bob is certainly depressive! I would have thought that 10# worth would have earned sufficient attention to have it removed.
There is a simple inoculation procedure for C diff...somewhat unappetizing, but effective.
Simple food poisoning? Hardly simple and thoroughly unpleasant. What other calamities can you come up with? The Plague? Gangrene? Whatever you do, don't offer the universe a challenge of ailments. Time for a break. Leave the rest to Johnny!
As a post script, since there is a possibility that you might not return before Saturday, I wish you all (as well as the extended online family) a wonderful, HEALTHY Christmas. May the Angels protect you and God smile upon you. As you mentioned, apparently someone else - and not Santa -has been watching you.
I highly recommend Imodium if you start imitating a water rocket. Much more effective at bringing things to halt than the pink stuff, although I will recommend that for the upper system.
Be well. All of you.
All four prayer wheels clutched in and All Ahead Flank III for you, your lovely wife, and daughter.
May there be healing.
The strength of the three of you is amazing. Our thoughts and prayers continue.
As Cousin Eddy said on National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation " Shitta's Full"... Merry Christmas to the Stiltons !!!
If Imodium doesn't put a plug in your daughter's problem, try Kaopectate. If the American version doesn't work, try and get the Canadian version. If you can find an OLD bottle (that has kaolin clay as an ingredient), try that! And good luck! C-diff is NO FUN!!!
That's horrible, but as the great philosopher Calvin (Calvin and Hobbes) said...
Tears and prayers from here. If I donated blood in Kathy's name would that help at all?
Wow Stilton, some great news (Bob's removal from the scene) followed by truly scary news. Hang in there, the three of you, and keep the faith that next Christmas will be infinitely better than this one.
With tears in my eyes and prayers in my heart, but with a smile reading this, I wish you hope for the holidays and strength for the future.
Wow, just...wow. Merry Freakin' Christmas!
Home for the Holidays has special meaning to y'all, doesn't it?!?
May the Jarlsberg family Get Well Soon - we're praying for you. ALL of you
OH! MERCY! May God provide the protection you ALL need and the healing as well. Please take good care of yourself while caring for your family! Our prayers are with you!
Thanks for one good report and two rather barfy reports. We still want to hear about your family and will keep you in our prayers. Looking forwards to a better 2022 as 20 & 21 sure were bummers. Blessings to you and the family!
Prayers going forth for you and your family!!!
I'm happy to see that J's surgery was successful, Kathy is back home and that you have somehow retained your sense of humor through all of this. I wish you all a Merry Christmas and will pray that in the New Year the blessings of the Lord will be with you all. You have my love and admiration.
@Readers- MONDAY MORNING UPDATE Huzzah! I made it through the night with no recurrence of vomiting nor any other symptoms of illness. So apparently all I had was my latest lesson in humility and gratitude - a reminder that things really COULD be worse. All the chores that have recently felt like hard labor will today feel like a gift because I can do them.
As always, your comments, support, and prayers mean a lot to me and the family. @Anonymous asked if it would help donating blood in Kathy's name; it wouldn't help Kathy directly, but it would be a great thing to do: the world is full of people who desperately need blood and it really is a life-saver. When circumstances allow, I'm going to become a donor if they'll let me.
An "unappetizing" therapy for C.Diff was mentioned above and I already knew about it: a fecal transplant, which is exactly what you'd think it is and a perfect metaphor for 2021. It's basically shoving someone else's poop up your butt to encourage the growth of healthier fauna in the gut. It's a funny old world, isn't it?
Continued prayers for you and your family during this extremely difficult Christmas season !
.......from an old Hoosier !!!
Give your wife a probiotic called Nexabiotic from DrFormulas. Several of the strains in it will control c-diff.
Stilt, I am praying for you and your family! Know that we love you wish you all the best. Besides all of the pain and suffering that you are going through, I also pray that you do find a brief moment to celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior.
Your middle name wouldn't happen to be Job, would it? Even more prayers headed your way.
I am not a doctor, so I cannot give medical advice. What I can do is suggest some of the questions to be asked of those professionals you deal with. I see from the above thread that you've been advised already of the possibility of fecal transplant. Ask a gastroenterologist, and once you get over the bizarre concept, you'll likely find it to be beneficial for the immuno-compromised.
As a medical technologist I have dealt with the subject two ways. I've done hundreds, if not thousands of C-Diff. tests, and we were "privileged" to store the transplant material in the lab as we had the only -80C freezer available. We would thaw the material out the night before use--fortunately never having to open the box.
As for the bug itself, don't panic. It's likely most of us have it already. It's held in check by our healthy normal gut flora. It's only when that normal flora is knocked out by antibiotics and chemo that it takes over and becomes a problem. It is only in fairly recent years that medicine has become generally aware of the importance of normal gut flora, and the appreciation of keeping it healthy is a fairly new thing, at least for mainstream medicine.
Prayers and hopes continue for improvement for all the J-clan. Thanks for the update sir.
Continued prayers for your family, WOW, what you have been through. Hope everything changes quickly for the better! Merry Christmas & many hopes for a Happy New Year!!
I love your attitude, Stilton. Praying for you and your family.
Continued prayers for your family, WOW, what you have been through. Hope everything changes quickly for the better! Merry Christmas & many hopes for a Happy New Year!!
You all are amazing. I truly hope you have a meaningful, holy Christmas. The three of you remain in our prayers. And like many others, I can't believe Bob. Daughter J must feel like a liberated woman.
Glad you are feeling better Stilton! Could have been stress induced. So stay as calm as you can and have a peaceful Christmas. Next year has to be better! For you, me and it seems a lot of your fans.
Lots a prayers and positive vibes headed your way!
Now y'all can start getting better. Still praying.
Well, at least you're getting a lot of source material for future Johnny Optimism panels.
And thanks for the pic of Daughter J's baby. That's amazing. I really was curious, but wasn't about to ask. I am thankful that this is over and she's now on the road to recovery.
Grateful that Kathy is home.
And yes, you are a hero. Not all heroes wear capes. Some just have to projectile vomit while taking care of their loved ones.
Retake the pic. Bob blinked.
Horrid Days? That sounds raysist…
Congrats on having Bob removed from the family. Wishing you and your women speedy and full recoveries$
Stilt and family,
WOW......... Extra prayers in the works. Hang in there!
Well, I can see Bob takes after his grandfather. :^)
"Cheer up", they said, "It could be worse!"
So, I cheered up and sure enough, things got worse!
The only easy day was yesterday, Stilt. After you've weathered this small crisis, I want you to take the rest of the year off!
Seriously, hang in there!
Prayers upon prayers going up for you and all the family....hang in there! God doesn't promise to keep us from the storm....He promises to be with us in the storm....Continue to use His strength and courage...
Blessings to all...
It's amazing what stress can do to you. And I think that's exactly what happened, you got waaaaaaaaaaaaay overstressed.
It happens to me when the hospitals try to kill my wife, which happens about every 3 years or so.
And a hospital-acquired infection. Gee, how could that happen? Sounds like they have some 'splaining to do.
Have as merry a Christmas as possible and know that we are still praying for you and yours.
Continued prayers for all.
Have a Blessed Christmas.
At least you are all together for now, more or less.
Leaving you a virtual sign of the cross accompanied by a prayer for you and your family.
Tonight I shall toast Bob's demise with some eggnog. We shall also be continuing prayers for the whole Jarlsberg clan.
With some many others, my very best wishes to all, and my genuine respect for your courage and awesome ability to retain your sense of humor. I know you'd go nuts--and be of no help to anyone--if you were to lose it.
However, at least I think there's good news about Bob.
His photo has gone viral, and The Squad has taken up his cause! All have issued a statement in support of his recent liberation from his internal exile, and that he is being welcomed with open arms into Biden's America.
AOC personally wants Bob to know he is guaranteed free health care and free college as another innocent unloved immigrant. Orphaned and homeless as Bob is now, San Francisco has already found him three square feet of space on an Asbury sidewalk and a new Hefty Bag to rest on. Nancy Pelosi has already asked CNN to show her giving Bob a big sloppy kiss while smothering him with some of her top-tier ice cream at her hairdresser's shop.
Bette Midler wants to cut a new side of her hit, "You're The Cyst Beneath My Wings."
CBS wants to blow the dust off a classic TV show to tell his story, "This Is Your Growth."
With all these benefits being lavished upon him, the Democrat Party is confident Bob will become not merely one of their staunchest members, but is already grooming him for the 2022 elections because, as his photo clearly suggests, he may be the most intelligent, articulate--and ATTRACTIVE!--of all their current leaders.
So, take comfort, Daughter J! Your loss is the Progs gain!
Well, it sounds like this will be, as the song says "A Christmas to Remember", though I'm thinking none of you will want to. Praying for all of you to recover ASAP, and that 2022 will be a healthy and good new year for you.
I'm so glad you and your family are on the mend! I've been praying for you.
Bob should be eligible for some kind of an award, maybe even a birth certificate. Ask for it so you will have it on hand when you count your dependents for your annual communication with our "give until it hurts government".
The merriest Christmas and a far better new year than this one. Still praying.
Love, Glen and Sioux.
Merry Christmas to all, and a Happy New Year!
And to all a good night!
God bless us, every one.
Darkest prior to that glorious dawn. Been blessed to read you,
Make it happen,fight on, we are all with you in spirit,
Gods Speed, Sir...
I have been remiss to have forgotten the Pogo greeting: MERRY CRISPNESS!!
My prayers go out to you, my friend
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