Sunday, March 6, 2011


I'm late today and this will be abbreviated, because of an emergency.

I got up early this morning. I'm Refectorian this week and needed to make coffee for the guests and had to do it early if I was going to have time for prayer before Matins. I got the coffee done and then got into the shower and I had just finished when Br Rafael appeared at my door to say that Br Ronald was having trouble breathing and he had called the ambulance.

This is serious business. Ron has had Emphysema for many years and has been on oxygen for a long time now, as many of you will know. A couple of years ago he had several episodes of breathing problems, which turned out to be due to side effects of a medication he was taking at the time, and I got to know that inside of the Emergency Room of Kingston Hospital very well.

By the time I got to his room, he was breathing fairly well, but was weak and shaky. The EMS crew arrived quite shortly after that and got him on some concentrated oxygen and whisked him away to Kingston. Br Bernard went with him, and I stayed home in order to get breakfast served and to have some myself. I have blood sugar problems and I can't miss a meal.

I got to the hospital soon after breakfast to find that there was a diagnosis of double (bi-lateral) pneumonia, but with no heart involvement, which is a blessing. They had started intravenous antibiotics and were sedating him, because anxiety is very much a part of breathing problems, and it can complicate any recovery.

As Ron's consciousness faded he got quieter and his breathing slowed. Bernard went in search of his own breakfast. Then we talked some to the medical personnel, and they told us that Ron would be transferred to ICU later in the day, and would be kept sedated for several days, while the healing process has a chance to get well established. All was quiet. The new Emergency Room at the hospital seems to be a fine facility, and he was treated with exactly the right combination of friendliness and professionalism. I was impressed.

So I got home in time to get lunch served and then have a short nap. I leave before long for an event that several of us are attending at the home of a friend who lives in the mountains west of here.

That has been my day. We are very concerned, of course. We'll certainly appreciate prayers from any of you who would like to join in. I'll let you know how things turn out.

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