Scary news and post-hospital insights

Well, this is terrifying. The MAGA rubes want Trump as dictator for life, and Trump’s team is preparing the way with detailed steps on how they’ll tear down all semblance of checks and balances in government. Goodbye democracy, hello autocracy. I truly don’t understand why some 30-40% of voters are OK with this. They want a strong, patriarchal leader to “take care of things”. And take care of them. It’s mental illness on a national scale.

The 2024 election will be the most consequential of my lifetime. We *know* that Trump is an existential threat to democracy, and yet he’s still the front runner, 18 months out. Insanity.


Now that I’m on the mend, I’ve been educating myself about sepsis, and…holy shit. All the latest literature warns that for every hour sepsis is untreated with antibiotic therapy, risk of death increases by 7-8%. Per hour. My case from Thursday to Monday (June 23rd-26th) was almost a tragedy. On Thursday night I had my second round of kidney stone pain and a fever. So on Friday I was admitted to the hospital, where the focused on the kidney stone, inserting a stent through the urethra, bladder and ureter to provide clear drainage of one kidney. They *did* infuse antibiotics for what they believed was a kidney infection, and that may have saved the day. By Saturday evening I went home to recover and wait for word on when they might remove the kidney stones.

By Monday I felt pretty good, good enough to attend an all-day Board meeting downtown. I wasn’t 100%, but I pushed through the day. I had my phone off most of the day. I was sadly unaware that starting at 9am that day, Kaiser had received blood culture results indicating stage 1 sepsis, and they were calling me, leaving voicemails and texts to get my ass to the ER ASAP. In a comedy of errors, I didn’t see any of those messages until I was already home at 5pm. Exhausted, the last thing I wanted to do was turn right around and drive another hour+ to the ER. But by 530pm, sanity prevailed and K took me to the ER, where I was admitted (after 8 hours in the ER queue !) and began aggressive antibiotic treatments and hourly blood tests. At the time I was shocked by how “all hands on deck” the medical team was those first couple of days. Now, in retrospect, it was a close call. If I had been lazier and waited until the next day to go back to the ER, the outcome might have been much worse. I feel like the guy who went swimming in shark-infested water and came out with a scrape, as opposed to being shark lunch.