Convalescent Note:
In Hospital and Out
23 January 2019

The saga of my foot infection — which got out of hand because, thanks to peripheral neuropathy, I was completely unaware of it until it got rather serious; I thought that a blister had gotten out of control, and was no more than a skin wound — will not appear on this Web log, at least not in any comprehensive way. I was in New York Hospital for five nights, the weekend before last, in order to receive big doses of heavy-hitting Vancomycin. (Remind me to tell you the latest thinking about penicillin allergies in people of my age.) Then they sent me home. 

The things to note going forward are that I have given up drink, as of a month ago now, and without regrets or cravings, and that Kathleen is administering daily infusions of another antibiotic, which sounds more daunting than it is, except that it is rather daunting the first couple of times. But we are old pros now. I include myself because I keep time. Four syringes are involved in the procedure, and the one containing the antibiotic is emptied by small calibrated degrees separated by forty-second intervals. I man the stopwatch on my iPhone. The two of us exchange minimal relays of “okay.” Once a week, a lovely lady who looks like Anjelica Huston and sounds like the late Glenne Headly pays a visit to take blood and to clean the dressing on the PIC line. I try to keep my feet up, but I’m often up and about the apartment, re-establishing tidiness and order in a necessarily neglected household. A bit at a time.

Thanks to the neuropathy (which is caused by drink and is irreversible), I have felt nothing in my foot. A healthier person would be taking something for pain, but not me. 

Reading has been a problem. Nothing quite clicked, at least until the other night, when I pulled down Shirley Hazzard’s Greene on Capri (2000), a book that I enjoyed reading when it was new and liked even more the second time around. I think I’m going to re-read The End of the Affair, but I’ve ordered three titles that I haven’t read, including The Honorary Consul

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