Monday, December 21, 2009

Another bloody mess

The collar that holds my tracheotomy began the day gray, but during the course of the day it caught a whiff of some holiday spirit and turned as red as Rudolph's nose.

I first realized what was happening as I was caught up in episodes from the fourth season of Seinfeld. I thought I would just watch one or two while I fed myself lunch but I couldn't stop watching, and before I knew most of the afternoon had gone by and I had spent all of it in Seinfeld's universe.

Around the time that Kramer and Jerry accidentally dropped a Junior Mint into the surgical cavity of Elaine's boyfriend during an operation, I felt dampness on and below my face. I ran my hand along my neck and when I looked at my fingers they were red and wet.

When I got to the bathroom mirror I realized that my trach collar and half of my face was drenched in blood flowing from the wounds resulting from my biopsies on Nov. 3.

After weeks of persistent bleeding and a few visits to my doctor for help, it finally looked like these wounds were beginning to heal. Then my head suddenly began to swell in new directions last week, stretching out the skin in my face and interfering with any healing that was under way.

Today's episode of bleeding was the scariest yet.

I changed all of the bandages —about 10 bandages of varying sizes are needed to cover the affected area— and mopped up the blood that had trickled down my neck to my chest and stomach.

And then I hopped on to the computer and e-mailed my doctor to beg for help. It's crazy to still be dealing with wounds that are stubborn to heal six weeks after the surgery took place.

Maybe I should follow Kramer's lead and plug up the holes with a few Junior Mints.


  1. ...maybe you could use that eye glue to seal those wounds shut. in all seriousness though - I just found your blog and your strength and humor is inspiring. One day if I were to suffer even part of what you have, I pray that I still have my sense of humor. hang in there!

  2. On my desk is a card that says: ""Marv, you are the best teacher that I will ever have. Best, Paul."

    When you wrote at The News Chronicle, you never got the facts wrong. The card has it wrong, Paul. You are the best teacher I will ever have.


  3. Hey Paul,
    Thanks for the Christmas touched me so. I have been reading your blog...and I don't always post, but I want you to know I support you. Listen, you got a ticket to Disneyland right? If you need a scooter to ride around in the Magic Kingdom (mainly so that you can get to the front of the line on the really cool rides) let me know. I have one that really rocks (not like the slow-oldster mobiles that they rent you); I have taken the scooter myself, and I had people begging me as to where they could rent one! It is VERY COOL and pretty fast....anyway, it is there for you.
    I am senile these days, so forgive me if I had already said this, but when I first started at APLA, I knew very little about what it was like to live with AIDS; I used to hang on your wicked humor as you viewed living with the "chronic"disease; and yet I learned also from Positive Living...from all the staff contributors.
    Now the posts are humerous wicked posts on a different vein. Honest. Insightful.
    Thanks for being you...all the way through. Please let us know if I can help you in any way.
    The Nurse