Kirsten Is Sick – August 26, 2012

Kirsten stands and sits
Soon after I arrived this morning Joe and I helped Kirsten move from her bed to the recliner. She was happy and alert and smiling and engaging in conversation.

Kate visited and brought me a dirty chai. After laughing with Kirsten and having a thoroughly interesting conversation about ghosts and astrology, we went to lunch. During lunch Kate continued the conversation, but moved to the perennial topic of god and its complete and total absurdity.

After lunch Soni and the girls arrived, which was nice. They stayed for several hours, and were excited to see Kirsten sitting in a chair, which was a remarkable improvement from just a couple days ago.

Kirsten ate three full meals today, mostly without assistance. Woo hoo! Her blood sugar was high, but the rest of her blood work was great. She required a little respiration help and remains on the nasal cannula for oxygen, but everything else is great. We’re anxious about the next couple days, and what will be the results of the octreotide scan that will determine the type of the next surgery.

After the girls left I asked Joe if it was alright if I could go through Kirsten’s chart (medical records). I have to read them with a doctor, per hospital policy. A nice internal medicine resident sat with me for a while before he had to go. We had a nice conversation in which he answered the plethora of rapid-fire questions with which I peppered him. Mostly with, “We don’t know.” It was not encouraging, but expected.

I read the entire endocrinology chapter in Kirsten’s “Anatomy and Physiology” textbook. Twice. Then I read the complete section of on Cushing’s syndrome. Three times. Her on-call endocrinologist this week, Emily, pointed me to this valuable resource.

When I left the hospital Kirsten had just started reading my blog. I hope the posts don’t cause her to be overly anxious (sorry, Babe).

Kirsten reading my blog posts


Maggie gave Kirsten a spa session last night. She washed her hair and rebraided it, and got her a new “johnny” from the pediatric department. Kirsten slept a lot last night, moved the head of her bed up and down on her own, and requested the “fancy” menu from room service. She’s doing great!

Joan told Kirsten her “little vacation is over,” and is pushing hard to get her up out of bed. Joe, her nurse today, wants that, too, so hopefully we’ll get that accomplished today.

22 Replies to “Kirsten Is Sick – August 26, 2012”

  1. Kris Lethin says: Reply

    Boring stability is such a joy to hear after last week. Thanks for the continued updates.
    Love you man.

    1. I like boring, too. :)

  2. Everything Kris said!

  3. Marnie Voter says: Reply

    Brent, I have been off facebook for weeks and am just finding this out and am devastated but encouraged for you all. The last time I saw Kirsten she brought the girls out to hospice to visit my hubby Del. The girls had made him wonderful cards. She is such an amazing woman! I do not have text on my phone but would so love to to see her. I am returning to work tonight. Would it be okay if I stop by tomorrow morning after work? My phone is 221-6628. If you need child care help or anything please call me. Marnie Voter

    1. Kirsten is excited to learn you might visit. Just pop down to SCU 4 after work. No guarantees she’ll be up to guests. She’s having tests and surgery early this coming week.

      1. Marnie Voter says: Reply

        will do!

  4. We are so glad she is doing well. We pray fervently for her and all of your family each day. Luv Dad & Patsy

    1. Perhaps you aren’t praying fervently enough. Or god isn’t listening. Or god isn’t benevolent. Or god isn’t omnipotent.

      Your continued insistence on reminding me of prayer is rude.

      Studies show prayer is not effective. Telling a patient you are praying for them makes things worse!

      Long-Awaited Medical Study Questions the Power of Prayer
      NY Times, Benedict Carey, March 31, 2006

      In another of the study’s findings, a significantly higher number of the patients who knew that they were being prayed for — 59 percent — suffered complications, compared with 51 percent of those who were uncertain. The authors left open the possibility that this was a chance finding. But they said that being aware of the strangers’ prayers also may have caused some of the patients a kind of performance anxiety.

      Telling someone you are praying for them is pious. If you pray, pray. Why must you do it on the corner of the street?

      John 5:6: And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward.

  5. We’re making Kirsten’s “Pumpkin Griddle Cakes with Apple Cider Syrup” for brunch! Thank her for the recipe, it looks super yummy!
    Very happy she’s doing so well.

    1. Yay! We all love Kirsten’s Pumpkin Griddle Cakes and hope she makes them for us again really soon.

  6. Kris Lethin says: Reply


    You crack me up! Love you bro. Keep up the great work.


    1. As long as you’re entertained, I’m happy. ;)

  7. So glad to read that Kirsten had a good day! This is terrific news. Glad to her she got lots of sleep, too. I know this is going to be a big week for her. I will continue to keep her in my thoughts!

    … and I am totally borrowing her ^Pumpkin Griddle Cakes recipe and veganizing it ;)


    1. Thanks, Kerry. Those things are SO delicious. Can anything be veganized?

  8. Great post! Hi Kirsten, if you’re reading. Great to see you up and about :-)
    Brent, your careful study is super impressive.

  9. Ugh. Prayer. Really?

    Can you imagine how distorting it would be to everyone’s cognition if Brent and Kirsten decided to start praying when things got bad last week? Religious friends would all be like, “See? Prayer works! Tender mercies!” And yet they didn’t pray and she’s improved. There’s no connection between prayer and outcomes. Serious double-blind studies have proven this again and again.

    Seriously – watch this.

    “Answered” prayers are in your head. Man, care more about people than magic. Convincing yourself that wailings and incantations give us any control over the universe is flat-out delusional and the illusion of control is comforting only to the deluded.

    Love you guys so much. Following closely.

    1. People invented gods to explain phenomena for which they had no natural explanation. Of course, simply having a dude up in the sky doling out good and bad at its whim wasn’t very nice, either, because even with the rituals (superstition) god still seemed to punish the good and the wicked in equal measure. They needed a way to control their god. In comes prayer?

      Do they really think god has a multi-part will that depends on prayer. “If they don’t pray, I’ll let it continue to suck. If they pray, I’ll make things better.” That is not a deity worthy of worship. The god of theism is a megalomaniacal jerk with serious insecurities.

      1. Kris Lethin says: Reply

        I always though prayer was about focusing my mind and aligning my intentions. Similar to meditation. Didn’t the prayer Jesus taught his disciples say “Your will be done” rather than “do what I want”? To me that’s about letting go of the outcome rather than obsessing about control; but what do I know.

        1. If prayer was another word for meditation I would have no objection at all. In fact, I might participate myself (mostly likely not). However, when people say they are praying for someone, those are intercessory prayers. The meditative, introspective benefit of those prayers, if any, is secondary.

          1. Kris Lethin says:

            I’m not a theohooligan so I’m not going to argue.

          2. That’s a great word! :)

  10. […] Brent alluded to in his daily summary yesterday, he and I got going on a spiritual debate. If you’ve ever talked, tweeted, or […]

Leave a Reply