Thursday, December 02, 2010

In Extremis
Ave atque vale. I've had a good time. A lot of posts, several years and more blog friends than I could count without having to take my shoes off twice. But the BlogDog component of Pugs of War is going dark. As I said before, leaving the keys on the dashboard but waking away from the car.
I leave both Paul and the Enigmatic Misanthrope with door keys, though both of those gentlemen seem to have found their niches in what Billy Beck both amusingly and accurately calls the "Hello Kitty of blogging," Facebook. I have deactivated my Facebook account and currently have doubts that I'll reactivate it. But that possibility remains.

In mid November I had a breakdown in health of epic proportions. What started as a pressure sore on my right shin turned into a raging, infected open wound that was growing and, in a word I heard a nurse use and immediately recognized as the mote juste, purulent. This was complicated by what I thought was a contact dermatitis as I was chair bound with a very difficult wound. I saw my doctor who gave me an antibiotic scrip (which turned out not to have any effect on what was raging through me) and I had an appointment with a wound treatment center nearby. But I promised myself that the night before I was to go in for that appointment I would assess myself and see if I could get myself thereto. If not, I would dial 911.

Sunday night I was taken to Inova Loudoun Hospital where I spent the next two days in the ICU and the rest of a full week in care of a collection of the most wonderful nurses and assistants it has ever been my experience to be tended by.
I can't say that I was particularly near death but in reality, it could well have happened. My stay has resulted in findings of several health problems that I was previously unaware of and was happier not knowing (the ER EKG showed an atrial flutter that has me now on Coumadin). Now, I'm less likely to die or stroke out than I was just a week ago. I'm home, still trying to shake off the vestiges of the over-all rash, on a thrice daily IV antibiotic drip and with a fistful of doctor's appointments upcoming. And soon to be having a double fistful of bills.
I still feel like a small version of hell but not too long ago I felt like the full on, Satan on my chest, demons scampering through my veins thing. Looks like I will live through this since I have been given a rather explicit demonstration of the caring of friends who have made both my hospital stay and my transition to home just hugely easier. David, Michael, Ed, may you have the blessings of God for now and ever for saving my life. And an outpouring of affection from friends more distant. It was, I can say without fear of contradiction, the worst Thanksgiving I can ever recall yet I am left with the crystal-clear assurance that I have so much to be thankful for that I can not adequately express my thanks. It's a life lesson as long as life is not lost.

So why is this my valedictory? Because I have to change. I have to be a different person than I've been for something on the order of the last two decades. As hard as it is to make incremental changes, I'm a fan of ripping the bandage off quickly. And my Pugs of War is one of the casualties of life. The title has long been superannuated and I have lost the momentum of interesting posting. I look at Joe Sherlock's excellent "View Through the Windshield" and see how it's done: interesting aggregation with intelligent comments done with regularity. I've dropped those irons in the fire for quite a while now and they're too hot to pick up again. It's possible I may undertake a new blogging adventure but it will be entirely personal and I may just keep it as a journal. But the healer of wounds, Time the Avenger, will have much to dictate in that regard.
I will miss the friends I've made. The (at symbol) Gmail dot thingie address will still be alive for those who want to get in touch. I wish nothing but good fortune and sunny skies with just enough rain to keep the crops going to all of you. But as of now, I am no longer here.

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