Friday, August 27, 2004

A moment of magic

Like most men, I don't like being sick.  I'm finding, however, as I age, that it sneaks up on me.  Take the past few days, for example.  At some point in the last week I remember injuring my ankle.  I remember the sharp jab of pain, but I didn't think anything about it until Wednesday night, when I took off my sock and found a rather large red welt covering my ankle and streaks of red climbing up my calf.  I went to the doctor the next morning and was told to take a heavy dose of antibiotics and to rest and elevate the leg.  So, I've been off work for the two days since.  I don't say this to elicit sympathy, though any expressions of "poor Mike" will be accepted, of course.  I say it because it grows increasingly important to take care of myself.

One of my best friends, Mike B.'s partner Steve P., is a nurse at Harborview ICU.  He recently told me a story about how one of his patients died of septic shock after a knee infection grew beyond medicine's ability to intervene.  She was in her mid 50's.  One day she's playing golf, two weeks later she dies of septic shock in the region's best trauma center.  Infection is nothing to play around with or ignore--no matter how innocuous it seems in the moment.  Steve's cautionary tale weighed heavily on my mind when I made the decision on Thursday morning to go to the doctor, rather than ignore the symptoms and hope they went away. 

It was a little bit of synchronicity in my life.  A moment of magic for which I am extremely grateful.

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