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Thursday April 24, 2014
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Fungus Among Us

 

continued

the pain progression, his evaluation proceeded languorously over the course of several weeks. (There seems to be an opportunity here to tsk, tsk about the high cost of health care and this incident's contribution to it.)

As the meningitis epidemic mounted, the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stepped in and developed a protocol for potential infection cases. It was conservative, meant to quash infection whether the offending organism could be detected or not. Even as the staff at St. Joe's soldiered on trying to diagnose the source of my father's pain, they followed the protocol, hooking him up to intravenous anti-fungal medication.

The drug was known to be toxic to kidneys, which was bad enough, but in his case it appeared to produce hallucinations. Once, when I was sitting with him, Dad's eyes fixed on a pair of his slippers resting on a shelf across the room. "Are those moving towards me?" he asked repeatedly. I thought it was some sort of optical illusion resulting from his frame of reference. "No, I don't think so," I answered every time, bobbing up and down to see for myself, "maybe it just looks that way." After many repetitions, I moved the slippers far back on the shelf, to where I hoped they would less resemble a disembodied spook inching towards him. My stepmother, Pat, said he reported that the crucifix on his wall was changing colors.

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