I am still at my sister’s home recuperating. I have a virtual appointment with the infectious disease doctors tomorrow; they will decide when I can stop antibiotics. Except they want a CT of my mediastinem (the central compartment of the chest, where my abscess was located) and the CT requires insurance preapproval and the bottom line is I haven’t gotten the CT and almost certainly won’t by Monday morning. The sour remark by the world-class physician about how he never thought his course of treatment would be partially dictated by an insurance clerk is more than an urban legend.

Next Monday is my next followup with the surgical team. It’s the earliest they might decide I can be sent home. I’m not terribly optimistic; I’ll need not only the infectious disease team on board, so my PIC can be removed, but also the speech therapist confident I’m able to swallow soft foods. The latter seems less critical; Dr. Green back home is certainly up to managing a feeding tube. On the other hand, the liquid feed may be hard to come by in the wilds of northern New Mexico, and a speech therapist may be hard to come by as well.

I caught cold last week, which only compounded the challenges. It seems to have loosened its grip on me this morning, but Heaven forbid me being exposed to COVID or the flu. Sending me home only compounds the risks. I think Cindy and I are half-convinced I’ll actually be safer being driven to Los Alamos than flying commercial.

Meanwhile, I do seem to be making some progress on recovering. I think my swallowing is becoming more normal, and I tested my endurance last nigh; yes, I can remain standing for eight minutes. I’m getting up and moving more, and it’s getting easier. I can almost imagine walking around the block now. But I’m still tethered to an IV pole, so not yet.

I relieve the tedium by Web surfing, watching TV, and working crossword puzzles.

This article has 5 comments

  1. Kathleen Murphy Reply

    So distressed to hear all this. But so glad you are making good progress. Thanks for keeping your followers informed. I refer to your book quite often.

  2. Sharon Chong Reply

    Your good attitude about this healing process is very encouraging. Good job hanging in there.

  3. Rod D. Baker Reply


    God bless your special soul. Men like you are rare; intelligent, giving, and a lover of both the Lord and your fellow beings. I know you will speedily adjust to your new home in the world of spirits. It will be those who love you and remain behind for a little while, that will adjust more slowly to your having moved on. Do check in on your beloved sweetheart from time to time; she will need you to watch over her for a while.

  4. Kathleen Murphy Reply

    Gary S, so sorry for the loss of your good friend. I so enjoyed Kent’s vivid descriptions of your great adventures. But truly a testament of a life well lived. Let this be a lesson to us all. Don’t wait.

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