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17 August 2015 @ 12:17 pm
Update on Kate - no Worldcon for us (ETA: I can come!)  

Extremely generous friend Marc Wells has just stepped forward to take care of Kate while I take his wife Patty to the convention, saying "you and Patty need to be there, I don't." Marc has the experience to help Kate with her insulin and I trust him completely.

This is so overwhelming I am in tears. But I will be at the convention.

Original post follows:

The short version: Kate spent four days in the hospital last week, coming home Sunday, and we won't be able to attend the Worldcon.

The long version: This started over a week ago, with tummy troubles that came and went. Thursday at 1am it was back, even worse, to the extent that I called 911 at 5am; paramedics came, gave her an intravenous drug for nausea, and took her to the ER.

At the ER she got more intravenous drugs and a CT scan, which showed some bowel irritation but nothing major. With the drugs she perked up pretty quickly, but the doctors decided to keep her overnight for tests and observation. They also gave her injections of insulin to bring her steroid-induced high blood sugar down. (We had just started metformin, an oral blood sugar medication. As long as she was in the hospital they decided to use the stronger stuff.)

She stayed in the hospital from Thursday to Sunday. Each day she felt better than the day before, but every night she had trouble in the early AM. Tests for C. Diff, norovirus, Shiga toxin, bacteria, and the most common virus for stomach bugs all came back negative. Finally the enterologist suggested that the symptoms were consistent with "autonomic diabetic neuropathy" -- basically, high blood sugar weakens your sympathetic nervous system so that your GI tract doesn't work right, especially when you've been sleeping for hours.

Getting her blood sugar down (from 408 Wednesday to 149 Sunday; normal is 140 or less) and giving her Imodium brought the trouble mostly under control, and she went home Sunday. But her sugar has been so high that metformin isn't going to cut it, so we will have to inject long-acting insulin every morning, and test her blood sugar and inject the appropriate amount of regular insulin before every meal. Also we need to change our eating habits -- reduce carbohydrates, increase fiber, eat more smaller meals, you probably already know this drill. We were already doing pretty well on this score but will need to do even better.

Kate is absolutely not up for travel this week. We considered whether I could go to the Worldcon without her, but with this new and complex drug regimen to manage, plus follow-up visits with the doctor, it doesn't look as though I can go for even one day. Kate can't manage this by herself right now, it isn't something I could ask a friend to do, and I don't want to leave her with strangers (we would have to find, interview, and hire someone in just a day or two). It might be different if we were more experienced with the routine of blood, drugs, and pointy things, but not in the first week.

So... no Worldcon for us.

To say that I am disappointed would be a severe understatement. Shattered, more like. Also angry, sad, and resentful. Not at Kate, but at the terrible situation we both find ourselves in.
Matthew S. Rotundo: Typewritermatthewsrotundo on August 17th, 2015 08:13 pm (UTC)
Sorry to hear it. I do know how it feels to abandon a planned trip at the last minute due to a family emergency. It sucks, but you're doing the right thing.

Hope Kate feels better soon. Best to you both.
Omahaomahas on August 17th, 2015 09:37 pm (UTC)
Oh, I'm so sorry. I do know how you feel. I too have been in the situation to have to abandon an event I SOOOOOOO wanted to do because of a family medical issue (Kouryou-chan started feeling sick on the way, and was starting to throw-up as we got to the doors of the event).

BTW, elfs, Kouryou-chan, and I will be in Portland on a short vacation this weekend (8/21-8/23). If you and Kate can't go out, maybe we can visit for a short and merry visit? Just email me (same email as always) if that works and anything to bring. :)
David D. Levinedavidlevine on August 19th, 2015 05:48 am (UTC)
As you may have seen, thanks to a generous friend I am attending the con this weekend. You might find Kate up for a visit, though. I will text her and ask her to email you.
beamjockey: That's It boaterbeamjockey on August 17th, 2015 11:30 pm (UTC)
You'll both be missed!

Glad you're there to take good care of her. God bless.
Kate Schaeferkate_schaefer on August 17th, 2015 11:51 pm (UTC)
We will miss you. Take great care of both of yourselves.
Kate Schaeferkate_schaefer on August 18th, 2015 03:34 am (UTC)
Marc is utterly wonderful. I hope we can see you and have a few quiet moments, or some loud and cheerful moments if Sam is along as well.
et in Arcadia egoboo: Barnabyapostle_of_eris on August 19th, 2015 07:19 pm (UTC)
Yay for you!
Yay Kate!
Yay Kate again, just for good measure!
Yay Patty!
and Yay Marc, even though I'm not sure I've ever met him!
Terry HickmanTerry Hickman on August 21st, 2015 06:03 pm (UTC)
There is nothing more golden than a friend in need. Congratulations to all of you. I hope Kate continues to recover and you have the best WorldCon experience ever!