Sunday is a day of visitations: Aunts Janet & Gloria, Grandmas Boydston & Burke, Friends Dirk, Nathan, and Lisa. Together with the regular the regular crew, it’s quite a crowd even though not everyone comes simultaneously. Aaron’s room gets so crowded that Michelle (Aaron’s nurse who’s concerned reactions inspires us to tease her without mercy) feels compelled to scold us for being so many and thus possibly compromising Aaron’s path to recovery.
The visitations do not explicitly focus on Aaron: he is, of course, the reason everyone comes to room 1041, but after each visitor ogles at Aaron’s changes since last he was seen through the eyes of the visitor, the conversation becomes like that at any gathering of close family and friends where casual banter belies intertwining roots below the surface. Like the intertwining roots in a stand of old-growth redwoods, the roots of a community give its members identity and strength that a tree alone cannot attain. Like the trees in the stand, the growth of the individual is bound tightly to the growth of the community. The stand, its singular identity born of entwined plurality, reflects the Creator.
In spite of yesterday’s new stitches, the incision from surgery starts to ooze again as diluted blood soaks fresh dressings. White cells, whose responsibility it is to help heal wounds, grow and multiply fast; white cells usurped by the enemy even more so. Fast growth is the criteria used by the poison to select which cells it prefers to kill. White cells that are hijacked by the enemy do not attend to their responsibilities. Nor do white cells that are poisoned. So the white cells are compromised from both sides; by the enemy from within and by the poisons from without. Healing, then, is a slow process.
It was decided a couple days ago that, all things considered, a blood thinner to help dissolve and prevent clots would be beneficial. So Aaron pops pills of Coumadin (nice medical name for the common rat poison Warfarin. Take too much and you die.). As one might expect, rat-poison doesn’t help heal an oozing wound.
The doctors indicate that the next round of poisons against the enemy will begin within 2 weeks.