The Unexpected Present


It’s All Connected

Operation Game

Going by the last update everything should have moved full speed ahead towards recovery from this rare disease. There are different accounts online describing then going into detail explaining what it is, what it does, and what it can do – wreak havoc with just about anything connected to the bloodstream and immune system.

We hit a major setback the day after I posted Yuri’s update. He’s back on the ventilator, not knowing exactly why and for how long. Coming up against Murphy’s Law – “Anything that can go wrong will go wrong.” One darn thing after another starts with scheduling processes, procedures, Friday afternoon escape, and the approaching weekend. There’s a saying – don’t get sick on a Friday that makes you go into a hospital over the weekend.

It’s difficult enough, but if there’s a bump in the road like the one we hit mid-week, well, fuggedaboutit! Unlike gig economy professionals as Yuri and I have been for most of our lives, staff at the hospital are similar to the 9 to 5 state of mind. Friday afternoon comes around and most of them skedaddle out the door. It was a difficult time to get through. The Swallow Team left by 2 p.m. without assessing him because of Yuri’s dialysis session taking up most of the morning. A second probe into his esophagus making sure the pathogen did not enter his heart valves, made it a second day without nutrition. As I had to leave after visiting hours are over, his body starts to tremble. He could become hypoglycemic. I ask the Intern to get a Swallow assessment back for him. She shrugs. It’s the weekend.

Saturday afternoon, I’m there for the four hours allocated for visiting. Yuri is still without a feeding tube while the staff is at lunch in their back office. Infuriated, I demand to speak with the Resident in charge, obviously not one that’s been there all week, but someone covering on the weekend. They will be right with Yuri, they say. They lie. Two hours go by and another excuse. Another patient comes first. The last straw with the excuse that the ICU is understaffed as it’s the weekend. Unacceptable. The Attending Physician hears about it.

Weekend Residents, Fellows, and Interns come by to assess and speculate on Yuri’s complicated health challenges. It’s turning into a Sherlock episode. Brilliantly written, Mark Gatiss co-created the BBC drama Sherlock with Steven Moffat and appeared as Mycroft Holmes. I especially loved the scene between him and his brother, Sherlock, (Benedict Cumberbatch) playing Operation, the electric game where on the surface, there are a number of openings, filled with fun plastic ailments. Players must remove them with a pair of tweezers without touching the edge or they get a “shock.”

Obviously, we are not playing a game. It sometimes feels there are players competing while formulating possibilities for the reason Yuri was intubated again. Despite the setback and other incidences including Pneumothorax a collapsed lung. No reason why this happened other than from the second intubation and back on a ventilator. A chest tube had to be put in. What is this? I am outraged. Who’s in charge on weekends?

Yuri’s sputum– a mixture of saliva and mucus coughed up from the respiratory tract, is examined microscopically. Here, they find what they believe may be the pathogen’s (which one?) beginnings. Small clues and never-ending blood drawing (Yuri thinks of himself as a pincushion) follows the trail, locating its hiding place where it incubates (very quickly in his lungs!) before growing big enough to be expelled into the bloodstream. It’s like opening the proverbial floodgates where all hell breaks loose.

Antibiotics. On Monday, the ICU team returned from their Weekend Warrior adventures is hopeful Yuri will get off the ventilator soon. Very soon. Not soon enough. I’m not saying when, but I am keeping my fingers crossed, still praying, staying positive, and keeping the faith. Monday starts a new week. One day at a time. It’s all connected.

Related Articles

Yuri in Nature

Requiem and Repast for a Renaissance Man

Memorial Day is Opening Day of the summer season, yet for the past two years, Yuri and I spent the weekend and weeks following in the ICU. This year, on Saturday, family and friends gathered at a morning memorial service, requiem, and repast commemorating the 40th day since Yuri’s spirit and essence left his physical self, ultimately melding into the universe of our collective consciousness.
Sviato Yuri icon

On Name Day, It’s All In The Name

Today is Yuri’s name day. May 6 is St. George’s Day. Name days, these traditional feast days, hold a unique significance as they commemorate a particular holy person, often a saint or martyr, and celebrate an individual's given name. They are not just collective holidays marked by national calendars but personal celebrations
Yuri@Kinderhook NY

A Kinderhook Revival Reunion for Campers

It was Saturday night, April 25, 2009, when the band Kinderhook's rocking revival reunion with the campers from the 1970s took place. Like the rest of the crowd that filled the Ukrainian Cultural Center in Whippany, New Jersey, I anticipated a night of returning to my youth during the Plast Scout Camp years in East Chatham, New York, a stone's throw from their namesake Kinderhook Creek. That night, Yuri and I met. Eye contact.
Yuri Turchyn Violinist 2024

Yuri Notes: Wake Me Up From This Dream

I am sleepwalking and still reeling from having to write the words that Yuri Turchyn departed this world peacefully in my arms on Sunday, April 14, 2024. Time of departure: 15:05. Sail away.
CK+YT @Woodstock

Telling Our Story

We find a purpose in life, not just a lifestyle to live by, taking on life’s challenges with words, music, time stamps and postcards.

Air Guitar Wedding

Who, What, Why Is This Happening?


Grammarly Stands with Ukraine

Together with the UNITED24 fundraising platform, Grammarly is raising money for ambulances in Ukraine. We invite you to join the fundraiser by donating

 To all of Ukraine, we stand with you and are sending aid. To everyone else, we ask you to declare your support for the people of Ukraine, who continue to resist the unprovoked Russian invasion.

UA flag