Friday, June 22, 2007


Went to our quarterly dock captains meeting Tuesday night with Tom. Good meeting....the Port is really trying to be a customer driven organization. Quite remarkable for a government organization. One big item that they let out is that we will be issued key chain fobs for the new card readers that will be unlocking the dock gates, and better yet, the fobs will be universal. We will be able to get on all of the marina docks with the fobs. This is good for the live aboard community, as we now all possess perloined universal keys that give us the same access. Without the universal access the live aboard community would be severely challenged visiting each other.

That was not the scary thing though. When Tom and I got back to the car, I found a note from Judy on the seat. Kris, our youngest son, had just been taken to the Harborview Hospital burn center, and that Judy was on her way down. This was the extent of the note.

Two years ago I lost my older sister to burns. She was in a house fire, and had been severely burned. I rushed down to Portland to her, and was there as family started arriving from all over the country. The extent of her burns made recovery an impossibility, even though she could be maintained using a ventilator. They recommended that we stop all heroic efforts and let her go, which her childern decided to do. About an hour after support was removed, she passed away.

All this was flashing back on me as I rushed down to the hospital. When I got there I was met by a social worker who took me back to Kris's room. Much to my relief he was awake and talkative, but in great pain from some very severe localized burns on his arm, hand, leg and foot.

Now, several days later, it looks like the only really serious area is his foot. The arm, hand and leg look like they will not need skin grafts, but we don't know about his foot. That will depend on how it responds to treatment the next several days. We are all praying.

One complication, besides his diabetes, which reduces healing of foot injuries, is his drug history. He has grown a tolerance to opiates, so his pain management is very complicated. To little and he is suffering, a little bit more and he may fall into a coma and lose the ability to breath. The sweet spot between the two is pretty small.

I would say too bad, face your consequences, but too much pain also inhibits healing. Besides he is trying so hard, working every day and doing so much right in his recovery that this attitude is just not appropriate.

I feel so bad for him.

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