Today Gary went on medical leave. This means he will keep his insurance benefits (a very important point) despite not being able to work. Transplants are very expensive. We hope he won't need the leave for long. We are hoping for a light at the end of a tunnel. He can't work anymore because he has end-stage liver disease from hepatitis C. He is puffed up, juandiced, and full of toxins. They make him feel and look ancient. I know those brown spots called "liver spots" are not really due to the liver problems but I seem to obsess on them. He turns 50 next month. I see our father in him. We hope he will get a liver transplant, recover and be back in the game. He liked the game. He loves his work, his family and the Ravens. He liked to build things and take care of his daughters' horses. He needs a wheelchair now. He can't sleep, not really, but he also can't stay awake. His life may be over because of a contaminated needle in a tattoo shop. His life may be saved because of someone else's sudden death. He didn't know any better. He just wants to go back to work.
addendum: I was obsessed with taking pictures of Gary yesterday but they feel morbid....last day at work... Gary looking like Homer Simpson...there are happier pictures though. I just don't know where they are today.
addendum: early May ... It's been about 3 weeks now since Gary got his transplant. He had a few rough moments but we have every reason to believe it will serve many good years now. We thank the donor and her family so much!
early July ... Gary is doing wonderfully. He suffered several infections but is over them all now and free of the home IV therapy. He recieved a letter from the husband of his donor. They suffered the loss of a child at 2 years of life and donated organs then as well. She was a fun loving person. She was loved. She has allowed fun and love to continue in my brother. We love her too.
Mid August, all's well.