Friday, February 10, 2006

Steve Lives

I'm trying to hold back a sarcastic remark about the lack of response to my announcement that my only sibling is in the hospital with heart problems. Only Carly left me a comment about it. In fact, hers is the only comment I've had in several days. This really shouldn't surprise me, given Blogger's recent problems and the very light online activity that resulted. You can't comment if you can't get to the blog. You can't even blog if you can't get to a blog.

Really, I shouldn't complain, anyway. When I see a posting about someone's illness, or family member's illness, or a death in the family, I often don't comment myself. I seldom know what to say, especially to someone I don't know all that well. And other people have more severe problems. Just yesterday, some J-Lander I've never heard of lost a husband. I'm sure she needs and deserves your support far more than I do. See, it looks like Steve is going to live. As far as I can tell, anyway.

Information about my brother has been tough to come by. Although my dad flew out to Cleveland last night, he didn't actually get to see him until today. I didn't know that, so I was worried. Unable to reach my dad's cell phone, I called the hospital phone humber he'd given me. The first number connected me to the nutrition department. The second one got me to the switchboard. An automated router got me to patient information. They didn't have any. The woman disavowed all knowledge of a patient named Funk, or the existence of a bed 24A. Okay, I thought. Maybe he's gone home already. So I waited for my dad's call.

Meanwhile, my dad found his way to the same hospital, a regional one with a weird name, part of a chain of hospital facilities. He initially got the same answer I did: no such patient, no such room. It turned out that Steve was moved to another affiliated hospital at 1AM last night. So my 82-year-old dad got back in his rented car, and navigated to a second hard-to-find hospital.

Karen and Steve in 1979The news is fair to middlin'. No blockage, but the heart muscle is weak. He's got high blood pressure, apnea, and arrhythmia. The doctors say it's all obesity-related. He may get a pacemaker, or an ICD (Implantable Cardioverter Defibrillator). We don't really know yet. We don't know much of anything, really. But Dad's extending his stay, because chances are good that Steve will be sent home while his housemate is out of town at a conference. "He deserves to have a family member take him home," Dad said.

I don't talk about Steve much in this blog, and I'm not really comfortable writing even as much about him as I've done here tonight. We live thousands of miles apart, see each other rarely, and don't communicate all that much. But he saw me through some rough times when I was a kid. He's my brother and I love him.

And I can't help but wonder: is this where I'm headed in seven years, if I don't lose weight myself?


P.S. You probably won't see me around much this weekend. I have a lot of work to do at the office, and this time I can't afford to put it off until Monday. But I'll catch up as best I can, when I can. Good night!


DesLily said...

i've been there so i will keep good thoughts and hope all goes well for your brother.
I've watched my brother go thru a stroke (leaving his right side paralyzed) a quadrople heart bypass, high blood pressure, diabetes and more.. i think it's all harder on US then it is on the person it's happening to! we just need to believe it will turn out ok..

julie said...

Glad to hear the encouraging news about your brother. I'm just catching up on things because I've had a sick kid.

He'll be in my prayers, okay?

Anonymous said...

You and your brother are in my prayers. I am glad you got some news, not knowing is so hard.

Chris said...

Karen, I hope your brother will be okay. It's rough, I know. You should tell your brother how much you appreciate him being there for you when you were a kid. I bet he'd love to know that. My brother passed away from brain cancer and it was so hard to tell him how I felt since we never really spoke that way to eachother, but we did and I'm so glad i got the opportunity. Goodspeed to your brother.

Shelly said...

I hope he's okay. I didn't see the post. I've been skimming the last two nights something like 500 posts that have backed up in my Bloglines subs since my PC died Wednesday night. Tech is coming with a new mother board as I type this, but since hubby got the PC to boot again, tho it's running slow, we don't know if the problem is just the mother board or something else.

Just an explanation. Not an excuse. If I'd seen the post, I would have commented.

bea said...

Karen, I've been trying to get an alert from your site to mine so that I will be alerted to your posts. When I click on create a link, it asks for my blog password, and I don't have one at I'm thinking I have to have an account to get the alert. I'm sorry, but I haven't visited you, nor many others during the course of the week. Teaching takes up my time all week, and by evening, I can't respond to the all the emails. It's choice: spend time with hubby and dogs and relax, or spend time answering email and responding to journals. Wish I could do it all. I don't go journal hopping during the week... but now that I'm here, I am sorry. I think like you.... is this where I'm headed if I don't start a daily walking regime like my doctor has suggested? I'm certain we are (those fifty or older, like myself, need to make some lifestyle changes. But I'm so tired by the end of the day, I don't feel like walking!! I hope your brother gets better, with our without the pacemaker. I understand your feeling uncomfortable talking about him, or anyone else. You want to respect their sense of privacy. I hope your weekend is good, and please don't feel that we don't care. Steve is on my prayer list. Love to you!

Sarah said...


Any time you ask for a prayer for anything, know that one is coming from me. Always. Even if it's left unsaid.

Carly said...

Hi Karen

I am so happy to know that your brother is on the mend. I will keep think good, strong healing thoughts for both you.

Always, Carly

JessN said...


My thoughts and prayers are with your brother. I apologize for not commenting sooner. I've been battling a huge cold and trying to get caught up on all my grading before going to a conference. No excuse really...I managed to post twice at my home blog, so I surely could have taken the time to read one of my favorite blogs and offered support. It sucks to be human...sigh...

Anyway, it's good that he's doing ok. I know it must be scary to see your brother have a life-threatening episode. I have a younger brother (I don't write a lot about him either) and in spite of the fact that we aren't close, something like what you've been through would be awful.

Take care, we do love you much.


Becky said...

Reading your posts, older to newer, as I catch up. Was away for a week and a half with hardly any PC access. So sorry to hear about Steve! I hope he'll be ok. Maybe this is just the crisis he needs to get serious about improving his health. I often think it will take a heart attack on MY part to get me to change my ways.