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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Thankful for my daughter and modern health care

All of my research and study about health and medicine has come full circle. The subject is now a member of my own family: my sweet daughter.

As I type this entry, I am sitting in the ICU, watching my daughter Gwen sleep and live through the benefit of a respirator and version of morphine. She has been here for three days, the victim of a particularly nasty bacterial infection in her mouth. She went to the dentist at the beginning of the week because of some pain and discomfort that she thought was just a cavity. He prescribed an antibiotic and a pain killer and said the pain should subside in about 48 hours. It didn't - it got worse.

Much more pain, accompanied by a swollen tongue. She couldn't swallow. She was quickly becoming miserable. I called the dentist the next morning for her (she could no longer talk) and he sent us down to an oral surgeon. The oral surgeon said she needed to go right to the emergency room for a cat scan. After the scan she was admitted to the hospital. The next morning a team of surgeons operated on her. Two teeth were removed but much more important was making incisions under her tongue and getting out the infection that had mushroomed out of control. She was intubated and put on a respirator.

The surgeon said that she was on the borderline of having Ludwig's Angina (for all the conditions and diseases I've studied, naturally my daughter would get something I never heard of!); that her infection was dangerous and life threatening. This all happened so quickly our heads (me and my wife) are spinning.

But what we're going through doesn't matter; only what my little cupcake is going through matters. Tubes down her throat, spitting up blood and mucus. Tears; eyes full of fear, hurt, and confusion. How did this happen? Why now? Why her? She had auditions set up to get accepted at various universities' music schools. She has a lead in her community college's first opera.

I am so grateful for such great knowledge, equipment, and medical professionals that we have in this country and in this part of history. The staff has been SUPER. My daughter is slowly getting better. We just hope that none of this will affect her incredible ability to sing. But its great that she's still with us - in the not too distant past she wouldn't have made it.


  1. So, then, what is Ludwig's Angina? I hope all the best for your sweet daughter. Your sentiment is heart melting!

  2. You have a wonderful daughter who loves you and wants only the best for you and your wife. The trails that she has gone through will only make her stronger. Great blessings will come her way. God bless you and your family.

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