Eleven days ago Heather’s father called, presumably to talk about taking Kenny to Sandy Pond the next day as had been tentatively arranged, but we were out. Heather called him the next morning, but he didn’t answer his phone and didn’t call back. I tried calling him a couple times with no success.

Over the next couple days as we continued not to hear from him the situation seemed odder and odder. Finally last Monday Heather called 911 for an “alive and well check” at his house. His car wasn’t there, so it seemed unlikely he’d be either, but they went in and indeed he wasn’t. At that point they started calling hospitals and that’s where they found him. The morning after we’d heard from him he’d checked himself in to the emergency room with abdominal pains. By Monday he was in the ICU, under sedation and on a vent, diagnosed with pancreatitis. Apparently the only family contact information the hospital had was out of date, which is why no one had heard.

He’s still there, still in much the same condition. They diagnosed pneumonia the other day, but that wasn’t much of a surprise. The doctor says this sort of thing happens not infrequently to people with Bill’s history (which I won’t get into) and nine out of ten of them survive it. They’ve been keeping him sedated, on IV feeding to let the pancreas rest. There are signs of slight improvement. Doctor says positive progress will be slow; negative progress will be quick. In the optimistic scenario he’ll be in the ICU a few weeks, then on another floor for a while longer. About all we can do is wait patiently.


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