Such wonderful comments and support.  Makes everything easier.

Status: 9.0./10.  Back where I ought to be.

Events: A busy night with frequent hematocrit checks and vital signs (to look out for any continued bleeding).  Woke up this AM with a very dry mouth (from continiued mouth breathing with the nasal packing), but the packing came out, and I’m breathing fine.  My hematocrit is back up to 32, and I’m feeling well.

  They do have me on a clear liquid diet (just different flavors of water), but plan to move me back to solid food tomorrow.  If I’m still good they’ll likely send me home Sunday and come back the middle of next week to start the process all over again (the date all depends on scheduling of the donor, the hospital, etc.)

  Better to be home getting commensal with the good bugs instead of the multi-drug resistant ones here.  Reminds me of an old Peanuts cartoon with Lucy saying to Charlie Brown, “Never let them put one of those popsicle sticks in your mouth.  You never know who licked off it last.”

  Also reminds me of my days and nights of residency training.  You were always tired and hungry.  Frequently you’d grab something uneaten from a patient’s tray.  One day I was walking down the ward past the room of a patient with severe hepatitis, so severe he was not just yellow but almost orange.  As I walked past the door, I saw him pick up a lunch plate with one of those jiggly green cubes of jello.  He licked the jello, gave a grimace, and  put it back on his tray.  I never ate any patient food again.  As they say, “Stay out of hospitals, that’s where the sick people are.”

  And bad things do happen to people in hospitals.  When I had my endoscopy yesterday, while I was asleep, the anesthesiologist ripped the tape and gauze that was holding my nasal packing.  “Ripped” was the operative word.  I awoke to find large pieces of skin torn from both cheeks.  They look better today slattered in Bacitracin ointment.

  Previously I was put on contact precautions because they had found vancomycin resistant enterococci (VRE – one of those damnable antibiotic resistant bugs) in a stool culture.  That required everyone coming into the room to wear gowns and gloves (making morning doctor rounds look like an operatic costume change).  After summitting weekly stool cultures to Hopkins over the last month (all of which were negative), I’ve been taken off those precautions, which makes life for Lisa and everyone else a lot easier.

  And speaking of rounds, I got to meet one of the “Dr. Platelets” this morning.  I had been in several nurse-assisted negotiating sessions with her about platelet transfusions,  but nice to see her face and hear her voice.  My long-term attending (who first saw me on my initial admission and the doctor who follows me in clinic) came by to check up.  He does a wonderful job of staying on top of my care.  And my rounding attending (who heads up the team taking care of me this admission) came by for an afternoon visit to catch up on the transplant schedule.  He’s done his training here at Hopkins, Harvard, and the NIH.  As we say in the business, “He’s punched his ticket well.”

  So hopefully some food tomorrow and then the OK to go home briefly.

 Thanks for sticking with me.


 – Bruce


8 Responses to “”

  1. Jill O'Mahony Stewart Says:

    We are stuck like glue to you, even from this distance. Happy weekend at home where sleep, food and family give a much-needed semblance of “normal.” Love, Jill

  2. Mitzi Krockover Says:

    We “listen” to every word. Consider yourself “airhugged” from all of us. One good news is that you don’t have to deal with the silly election stuff that’s going on…it’s enough to make everyone run for cover from the insanity that’s parading as politics.

    Enough said. Just focus on your own self–Eat, Pray and Love–may sound trite, but it seems like a good path to take for all of us. We’ll be following right along with you and your family.
    Mitzi and family

  3. joel steinberg Says:

    We know you are hanging in there through all this travail. Have a good home stay and come back for your transplant soon. Joel and Margaret S.

  4. Blaine Says:

    As always, thanks for your detailed blog entries. Bewteen you and Lisa, I find myself with little to comment on or inquire.
    Just thinking of you all often (or is that “all y’all?), and throwing in a prayer for good measure! Glad you’re coming home for the weekend.

  5. Beth Says:


    Never a dull moment! I’m sure dull would be nice about now!

    Glad you can rank yourself a 9, despite the bumps in the road.

    Continued prayers…
    Cousin Beth

  6. Judie Davidson Says:

    I was relieved to see the 9.0. Your humor amazes me.
    Hugs. Judie

  7. Bill Israel and Eileen Breslin Says:

    Consider yourself hugged, Bruce. If this travelogue is getting old for you, at least the route is now familiar, as well as the hazards. Glad you’ll be commuting home for a couple days, God willin’. We’re cheering for you, every day. Love, Bill and Eileen

  8. Gail Lehmann Says:

    Mark was in the”gastro” business for 16 years when the scopes were being designed and developed. Amazing how so much of our surgeries are now done via “scopes”. Keep your positive attitude and know we are all cheering for you.

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