When in the course of human diseases it becomes necessary for one person to set forth before the world the recent history his own disease …

Yesterday morning—Wednesday morning—beset by innumerable physical problems, I went to the same emergency room at the same excellent suburban Pennsylvania hospital near my friend’s house to which I had gone February 11th, and, in the same manner as last month, was admitted to the hospital on the same day. It was not until today that I had with me my laptop computer (though not entirely: I can get on the Web, but for some reason I cannot receive e-mail; hence my being out of touch).

There is so much to tell about the many developments in my case over the last several days, or over the last three days, or over the last two days, that I would hardly know where to start.

The only way to simplify the story to an account which would not be too complicated to tell clearly and non-confusingly given my present circumstances and present capacity—and without a larger effort than I am willing or able to make given my present desire and capacity—would be to write:

“My condition has improved amazingly over the last two days. Since I was checked into the hospital yesterday morning, the simultaneous, multileveled, and overwhelming pains and discomforts that I had yesterday are all gone.”

At the same time other problems, caused by the treatment itself, have appeared: I am feeling somewhat disoriented and I have occasionally experienced excess sleepiness. My medical team told me in advance of these possibilities. We are working together on fine-tuning the level of intravenous treatment so that it will adequately keep down the pain without in any way incapacitating me.

* * *
What you’ve read so far is what I originally posted just before midnight Friday. But here’s one exception to the abstract generality of this post. Friday afternoon I was brought down from my third floor room to the lowest floor of the hospital, where a non-surgical team in the interventional radiation department punctured and drained with needles the ascites, which is fluid in the abdominal cavity. The doctors believe that my difficulties in swallowing and keeping down food and liquids have not been caused solely by the esophagitus, which is a delayed side effect of the radiation treatment to the brain and the neck, but has been caused by the following chain of cause and effect:

Metastatic growths in the abdominal cavity, which, by the way, have probably caused the recent return of the distension or stretching of the abdomen, has put external pressure on the gastrointestinal organs including the small intestine and the stomach, which in turn has caused upward pressure on the acidic digestive fluids and forced those fluids upward. Thus it is the famous condition of acid reflux, and not the fairly obscure condition of esophagitus, brought on by radiation treatment, that has caused the recent pain and dysfunction in the esophagus, or it’s a combination of both.

So, in order to reduce the dysfunction in the esophagus, as well as for other reasons, my doctors ordered the draining of the ascites in the abdomen, a procedure called paracitesus.The team was chatting amiably with me as they were preparing me for the procedure. In fact what I thought was their preparation, which involved some cold and painful contact with my midsection, was actually the draining process itself. I realized this myself when one of the team dramatically brought out four huge bottles each filled with clearish brown or amber fluid, and the team told me that the fluid was the ascites that had just been drained from my abdominal cavity while I was having an animated conversation with them.

The sight of that mind-blowing amount of amber fluid which had all just been brought out of my abdomen (I had been told long ago by my doctors that there was very little free space in the abdominal cavity) astonished me as much as any astonishing sight I had ever seen. Also, in addition to the four full bottles, there was a half-full bottle. The total was 4.5 liters, which surprised and impressed even the medicos. (However, in the cheerfulness of my awe, I initially missed the bad signs which I only picked up on Saturday: if the ascites was so huge, that probably meant that the tumors that had generated all that fluid where also very big.

In conclusion, folks, this was a one-hour or two-hour episode from the last two days. Do you still wonder why I said at the outset of this post that the full story of the last two days, let alone of the last five days, was beyond my desire or capacity to tell it fully and clearly? The original version of this post, telling the story without any specifics, was a little over 271 words in length. The tale of the draining of the abdominal fluid which I then added to the post was more than 530 words long. The total time it took to write and post and correct the entire thing was around four hours. Blogging takes me a very long time now because my personal functioning is still slow, and, much worse, because my laptop gives me sometime insane, HAL-like, seemingly malicious problems (movingthe insertion point without notice to a different part of the entry’s editing window, failing to save a saved change, saving some changes in a save, and not saving other changes, moving without notice a block of text from one part of the entry to another part. This blog entry is now—as I am executing what I think and hope will be the final save in the entry— is [I had given a number of words which is now gone] and the time is now 4:00 a.m.

Yes I know I, must immediately get a new laptop. But this laptop is not always as insanely bad as I have describe. The unbearable badness has only occurred recently and intermittantly, and it happens only in blogging, not in Word where I do most of my present work, and in Outllook Express.
Posted by Lawrence Auster at March 22, 2013 11:54 PM | Send

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