"Only dull people are brilliant at breakfast"
-Oscar Wilde
Brilliant at Breakfast title banner "The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth, shall be watered also himself."
-- Proverbs 11:25
"...you have a choice: be a fighting liberal or sit quietly. I know what I am, what are you?" -- Steve Gilliard, 1964 - 2007

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"I came here to chew bubblegum and kick ass. And I'm all out of bubblegum." -- "Rowdy" Roddy Piper (1954-2015), They Live
Sunday, May 13, 2007

A member of the progressive blog family suffers a setback
Posted by Jill | 7:04 AM
One thing I've noticed lately is a heightened sense of awareness when people my age or even younger wrestle with illness. I've at least so far been blessed with preposterously good health, despite all the medical "evidence" which says that because I am overweight I should be at death's door. So when I see others who are not so fortunate, it makes me appreciate these ridiculously long-lived genes I have even more.

Steve Gilliard is one of the rare big-name bloggers who is worth reading every day. He even linked to one of my posts once, though I never made the blogroll [/obligatory Big Name Blogger Bitch]. The News Blog and its archive could always be relied upon for knowledgeable perspective on the Middle East, race relations, the Mets, and food. And he has awesome taste in music. He has now been in the hospital since February 23, when he went in "for observation and treatment of an unspecified infection which is causing a cough, fever, and other symptoms."

This seemingly innocuous entry into the medical system was followed by scheduled open-heart surgery to replace a heart valve massive doses of antibiotics and a delay in said surgery, heart valve replacement and a bypass, days of an open chest cavity, more surgery, paralysis on one side; he's thrown a clot into his brain, been poked full of tubes, and now this:

Gilly is NOT doing well. He backslid last week, just as an overzealous (and cost-conscious) hospital was trying to push him out of the ICU and in to rehab well before he was ready.
He could barely move his "good" arm and coudln't close his left hand, which would both be mandatory for him to feed himself. In addition, he just wasn't ready to sit upright for hours at a time yet.
On top of that, his hospital was trying to farm him out to other centers if he wasn't going to go into rehab immediatley. Again, I offered all assistance to his Mom, but I can't force anything on her.
Then...one night about 4 nights ago, he had complications with an infection--very serious stuff; that's all I'll say for now. When I got to finally see him-now back in the full bunnysuit ICU, he looked and WAS worse than ever before. He's not going anywhere for a while. He's suffering from a system-wide infection, heavily sedated, and hooked up to more tubes than a plumbing supply store carries.
In short, a full recovery is pretty much out of the question. Getting out of the hospital PERIOD is an unknown percentage also, one that can't be ignored.
I don't know any other way to say this.:
He may not make it.
I hope that one day he laughs at me for even positing this. But the day when he'll be anywhere near communicative, nevermind near a computer, is very far off.

Steve Gilliard is around 40 years old.

While Steve's friend Jen and a series of guest posters (of which I am not one, though it isn't for lack of trying) have done yeoman work to keep the site going, Steve's unique voice has been sorely missed over these last months as we've navigated the waters of The Imus Fracas, Rush Limbaugh seeing if he can get fired for playing a song called "Barack the Magic Negro", more FUBAR in Iraq, the Alberto Gonzales folloes, Rudy Giuliani's ever-changing level of support for women's reproductive autonomy, and Mike Pelfrey's inability to get out of the first inning. But while the news from Jen has never been great, today's news is particularly disheartening, because of its subtext of a medical system that may have botched his care and seems to be trying to offload him so he's someone else's problem.

Steve Gilliard and his family and close friends are enduring every American family's nightmare -- of going into the hospital for tests and remaining there for months being ravaged by infections. We all know what the anecdotal end to this nightmare is, but we can hope (and pray, if that's what you do), that Jen's thinking of the unthinkable doesn't come to pass.

There's something wrong with a country where Dick Cheney, whose heart ought to have done him in long ago, is able to get top-notch care any time he sneezes, and Steve Gilliard goes in for tests for an infection and ends up critically ill with an even worse one after the hospital tries to push him out to rehab while he still has tubes in his throat.

If you pray to a deity, now's the time to say some. Burn a stick of Satya Super Hit. Chant. Organize a drum circle. Post your good wishes and support here.

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