Wednesday, May 9, 2012

I Know It's All Part of Life, But...

I'd love for this post to be a witty, cheery respite from the last two entries. I'll bet you would, too. We'll all have to wait for that; sorry.

For those unaware, my closest friend (Rob) collapsed on April 23, and has been unconscious since. He suffered from Congestive Heart Failure and Atrial Fibrillation. Other factors which I will not discuss also contributed to his illness. Rob went into cardiac arrest, too. He was taken to a local hospital, and then transported to the University of Pennsylvania Cardiac ICU after six days.

Two weeks and two days later, things are as bleak as they were then. His heart is a mess, and still in atrial fibrillation. His liver is shot, making him ineligible for a heart transplant. Since his heart is so damaged, he cannot have a liver transplant. Catch 22 of all Catch 22s. He has never regained consciousness. I think it's best he doesn't. 

Up until this morning, his kidneys were functioning ok. No longer. 

He now has a fever of 104FÂș. The ventilator is still in. Unfortunately, those last two items are almost certainly connected, but we have to wait for the cultures to come back from the lab. Regardless, it is the news I've been dreading and it was just a matter of time.

It gets worse, but those bits of information are too personal to share. I will hint that several family members are not the most supportive or functional. His wife has barely left his side though. She is so alone. 

I'm the only adult male they know who has a clue about what questions to ask, or who has been there on even a somewhat regular basis. Unfortunately the move to U. Penn. puts Rob out of my reach. I just can't keep taking days off of work to drive out there. His family needs to pick up the slack. 

***My writing was just now interrupted by a phone call from Rob's editor at U.S. Presswire (after "retiring" Rob began work as a pro sports photographer). I gave the editor my number when this happened and alerted him that Rob would not be going out to photograph any sports for the foreseeable future. Dan, the editor, is a very kind man. He apologized for bothering me, but my number was the only connection he had to Rob, and he was hoping I might have some positive news for him. By the time we hung up we were both nearly in tears.***

There is no outcome for this in which a happy ending abides. The anger and hopelessness I have been feeling for two weeks have taken their toll on me as well. Depression is a vicious and ruthless foe. I am seeing someone professionally who can help me with it. I recognize the danger of trying to handle this on my own.

I know that we are living beings and, as such, our only true and unalterable bond is that we all must cease living at some point. I get it. I understand it. 

But, you know...


  1. I know how you feel, dealt with the exact same thing last year. I have no words of comfort for you, just know I am here and {virtual hugs} will have to do.

  2. Take comfort when you can. That's all you can do. That and try not to drown in it. Wish there was more I could do to bring a little peace.

  3. It difficult to be the one people lean on, but you won't have regrets for being the "dependable"one. I am sending warm thoughts for his family and to you.