Sunday, June 2, 2013

Dear Friends of Chuck,

Our friend was hospitalized for several hours on the evening of Saturday, May 25th, due to severe weakness and dehydration.  His sister Lois, who had arrived that very day to visit Chuck, was advised by doctors to take Chuck to the emergency department.  Chuck was released at 3:30 a.m. on Sunday. On Monday, Memorial Day, he was not doing much better, and by Tuesday, doctors urged Lois to return with Chuck to the emergency department due to continued dehydration and for further evaluation.  Chuck was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday evening, late, and as of today, Sunday June 2, remains in the hospital where he is being observed and evaluated.

It was discovered more than a week ago that Chuck had failed to take his medications for several days, including an all-important daily dose of steroids.  The latter keeps brain swelling and inflammation under control, and also as a beneficial side effect, stimulates appetite.  Chuck has been extremely "compliant," as the medicos say, about taking his medication from the beginning, and his lapse can be interpreted as the result of confusion or disorientation.  It is likely that he was sleeping nearly round the clock throughout that week, and unwittingly missed a number of dates he had made to meet friends for lunch or dinner.  At any rate, tomorrow or Tuesday at the latest, Chuck will undergo another MRI of the brain in order that doctors may get a better handle on what led to this sudden decline. 

As of Friday, Chuck was eating his rather delicious-looking hospital meals and as a result, he was taken off a saline drip to insure hydration.  He was also occasionally taking slow walks around the ward with an occupational therapist to maintain muscle tone.

On Saturday, his long-time friend Ellen Weiss visited him and regaled him with poetry (William Blake).  Ellen reported that his spirits seemed lifted by the readings and he did not appear to be sleeping as much has he had been in the days previous to Saturday.

Hospital staff are working to cobble together social services such as a visiting nurse and hot delivered meals and any other services that might allow Chuck to go back to his apartment.  Currently, his solitary living arrangement on the Upper West Side is no longer considered a "safe environment" by his docs.  All these arrangements/plans are in flux, or not yet in place, and the results of the MRI early this week may also affect his release date. 

In short, much is uncertain as I write this today (Sunday, June 2).  I counsel patience while a number of medical and social service professionals work to coordinate the best solution to these problems.

As I expressed in my earlier post, it's safe to say that friends of Chuck will need to understand that Chuck cannot be expected to travel to see them, at the least.  Phone messages may go unanswered for a while, as might emails.  Rest assured that Chuck is getting extremely good medical care; his doctors are watching out for his welfare.  It is probably unnecessary to say, but I'll just suggest that friends of Chuck work hard, when they talk to or see him, to revise any expectations of him entertaining or uplifting them, per usual, but instead find ways to uplift and entertain Chuck.

All best,

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