I’ve learned that if you won’t take a break from work then the universe tends to make you! I’ve spent the last five days in the hospital (more on that in a minute) due to a raging infection that started with what appeared to be a fire ant bite. No one knows for sure but that triggered it. The swelling, redness, and heat have gone down a lot, thanks to some high-powered IV antibiotics. I can actually see my knuckles again! Hopefully I will be discharged from the hospital and switch to oral antibiotics on Monday and then it’s back to the farm.
When they admitted me, they put me in the “Hospital at Home” program. I feel like I should have an ankle monitor since I’m required to stay home (it’s a good version of house arrest), but “facts are not feelings”. This is a wonderful care program developed by Texas Health Resources. They put in all the tech equipment necessary to keep me in touch with my care team. I receive several visits per day from paramedics to help with medications and IVs as well as from Nurse Practitioners. The iPad keeps virtual doctor and nurse contact, and my vital signs are monitored the same as in the hospital itself. They’ve also discovered that patients heal quicker in their own homes. I get it. I never thought I would say that I’ve enjoyed a hospital stay, but the care team is amazing. Texas Health Resources is not only a great sponsor of the farm but a great health partner personally.
Amber and Amanda have done an outstanding job of keeping things going at the farm. This is probably the worst possible time to be down, but they have kept the growing season going strong. They’ve also kept me updated several times a day. They had the best day so far at Cowtown Farmers Market this morning for Opal’s Farm. Amber has done such an incredible job with the biointensive beds that we have more produce than we have storage for. That’s a great problem to have, but it’s still a problem. Thanks to the Rainwater Foundation and Grow SE we will be getting a cargo trailer and a chill bot to handle cold storage issues.
I’ve tried to be a good patient and follow doctor’s orders. I stay in bed much of the day and prop my arm with a pillow. I’ve seen more Netflix in the last five days, than I’ve seen in a year. I’ve been able to catch up on the endless stream of paperwork that comes with the farm. I’ve also had time to reflect on this life I’ve been given. I recently reconnected with my best friend in high school and college, Tim Dwyer. Twenty years and quite a few miles have come and gone since we’ve talked. Facebook provided a wonderful opportunity to connect with each other.
I remember little of my childhood. The mental health folks assume I must have some kind of repressed trauma that restrains my memories. The only trauma I can think of was growing up in the Church of Christ but that didn’t become apparent until my adult years. What I do remember is having loving parents and growing up in a white middle class home, but never quite fitting the mold of all the other kids.
Music made life tolerable, but when I discovered alcohol, the world became alive – at least for a while. Music was always by my side. Alcohol and drugs betrayed me. Tim was my friend through both.
That’s why this reconnection was so important to me. True friends, like Tim, are rare.
Enough of waxing nostalgic for now anyway. I can hardly wait to get back to the farm and although I will have to stay “out of the dirt” for a few days I can still do the tractor work waiting for me there. I will try to be better at posting updates and writing. It’s been quite infrequent over a very long Spring. Amber and Amanda have posted some great stuff on Instagram though. See what’s coming to market there – @opalsfarm.