Friday, August 17, 2012


I'm exhausted. Not sure whether physically or spiritually, but still lacking a lot of energy I associate with living day-to-day. I so wish I could back this week up and start it over, with changes.

On Wednesday afternoon, around 5:10pm, my partner John slipped and fell, head-first, down a half-flight of stairs. I don't know the circumstances--was he headed toward his office, had he a glass of wine, what was he thinking--but the consequences were catastrophic. I was close by, arriving in the kitchen to prepare supper, just around the corner of the stairs. I heard him fall. I saw him seconds later, he was unconscious. Not good.

I called 911, unlocked the front door, then mopped up some water or some colorless liquid on the stairs. First responder was a Munster patrolman. I called to him to come through the kitchen. A minute or two later, paramedics arrived. The patrolman called out to them this time. Two or three minutes after that, a second team of paramedics arrived. The paramedics with the muscle lifted him out of the family room and onto the gurney in the kitchen.

John was no better than semi-conscious throughout. As they strapped him to the board, I collected his meds into a plastic bag. I believe I alerted them to the Coumadin he was taking. John was placed on a gurney and transported to the EMT vehicle, thence to the ER. I followed a few minutes later.

Community Hospital Munster was reasonably prompt in assessing John, considering the institutional structures through which such assessments must travel. He went quickly for a CAT scan and a neuro-surgeon was summoned. He assembled a surgical team and ordered a craniotomy, which began around 9:50pm, roughly forty minutes after he was wheeled out of the ER by the anesthesia team. The neurosurgeon, a 37-year veteran of his profession, did not soften his opinion of John's condition nor his prognosis.

During the interstitial times, I worked to arrange alternate transport for the two baritones I had agreed to carpool to the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, Wisconsin, on Thursday. One of them made it, the other didn't. We prepared Beethoven's Symphony #9, fourth movement, this summer. Easy come, easy go, I guess

Thus, Wednesday evening and Thursday morning were times of frantic rearrangement. By today, this period became one of derangement, limited of course by the circumstances.  By today, the panic had subsided and a mix of depression and anger--covert and overt anger--had covered some of the personal scene. One must note, the intervention of significant social contacts is a significant element in the breakup of these emotional "binges". I have had the opportunity to express my grief, frustration and general angst, thanks to the generosity of close friends. There's no subsitute for close friends, to help one through tough times.

John will recover in God's Good Time. I'll post more, later. I'm exhausted.

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