Friday, September 11, 2009

What an asp.

There are two kinds of drama in life: manufactured drama and inevitable drama. I avoid both, but I just outright don’t do manufactured drama and limit my time with people who do.

I figure the inevitable drama is going to come anyway, so why am I going to make things even harder for myself (and the people around me) in the meantime?

Take this week, for example. It has been drama central around here. Poisonous vipers, both literal and figurative, have reared their heads to strike. Let’s look at the difference between the inevitable and the manufactured:

We got a call from my brother on Wednesday morning that his girlfriend’s brother had been hiking with his wife in Cambodia and got bit by a green pit viper. Its venom is hematoxic, which means it prevents your blood from clotting when it enters your system. It took Asher a full day to even realize he’d been bit by a snake (apparently between the giant bugs and his many leech wounds, he thought an insect had gotten him. Cambodia, anyone?). His wife (a nurse) figured it out when the wound wouldn’t clot. It took another full day for the local snake bite clinic to arrange medical transportation to a top notch hospital in Bangkok, Thailand where they would have to test him to determine which specific serpent had bruised his heel, so to speak, so that they could give him the right antivenin (no, I didn’t misspell that). In the meantime, Asher was getting sicker and everybody else was getting more worried. By last night, his platelet count was…11. It should have been…uh, 1000. He was taking over ten hours to clot. It should have been taking about 5-ish minutes.

To make the rest of this long story short, he is showing a slow improvement and will probably be able to keep his leg. If he’s still stable by Saturday, then he’ll be permitted to fly home to London to continue his treatment there.

THAT is drama of the inevitable kind. Not so much the snakebite specifically, but the fact that bad stuff happens without any invitation. It’s hard on his loved ones. I don’t know Asher (because he’s English and London isn’t around the corner) but his sister has been with my brother longer than Kenny and I have been together. She’s family, and her mom is, too.

And here’s the thing…my brother knows and cares about Asher, and my sister does, too. And I care about them, and so I worry. Kenny and I prayed a lot as a family for Asher's recovery and for Nadine and her mom’s peace of mind. I felt really helpless to just sit and wait for updates. I worried about what would happen if the worst came to pass. Nadine doesn’t believe in God, and my brother doesn’t either, really. They don’t pray or believe in life after death. Would they be okay if they lost him? How do you get through that without faith? Could Nadine comfort herself with the knowledge that they had an amazing relationship and he had lived a full and adventurous life in a short time? Would it be enough? Was there anything Kenny or I could to help? I worried and worried and worried.

And that’s all for someone I don’t even know. The impact obviously grows deeper and greater the closer you get to the center. It's harder on my brother and even harder on Nadine. A million times harder than it was on me, and that was hard enough.

Would you EVER go out of your way to inflict that kind of worry and heart sickness on someone you love?

But people do. Take the second drama that unfolded with a phone call this morning…

This is a long post so I’ll get into it later, but trust me, a green pit viper sounds downright cozy compared to the craziness coming…

Sigh.

21 comments:

Tamara Hart Heiner said...

wow, not fun...

I have a son named Asher...talk about weird to read about someone name Asher getting bit by a snake...

I was bit by a snake when I was 11. But it hurt like awful. It took me all of five minutes to realize something was very, very wrong (I didn't see the snake). The only thing I have ever been allergic to in my whole life was--can you guess?--the antivenin. Only a priesthood blessing saved my leg...so keep those prayers going. I'm sure you guys will help Asher.

MommyJ said...

It's definitely interesting to think about the differences between manufactured drama and inevitable drama, and true that they can both be equally as disturbing.

I hope everything calms down soon, and that Asher recovers quickly.

(and not to draw away from the significance of the words you've written, but your title is brilliant)

CountessLaurie said...

i dislike intensely drama for drama's sake. i want to smack people who invent drama and say "Look, here's a real problem you could have!!"

Hang in there! Carry on. Keep praying.

DeNae said...

OH, I am so with you on manufactured drama. And drama because someone decides their lives aren't exciting enough. Or because they're 40 year olds who never left junior high. I've been purging those people from my life a lot lately...

But this situation is just so hard on so many levels. When the people who are suffering don't share your faith, it's difficult to even offer any kind of support. I'll send up a prayer for all of them, and for you as you weather the storm on the horizon.

Luisa Perkins said...

Holy crap: that is so nasty. How scary.

Waiting for part 2....

Emily said...

That is seriously scary! How could you NOT know you were bitten by a snake? OUCH!

I hope he a full and speedy recovery.

What is the other drama? You know, The Hills only exists because if made-up drama. I know how much you like Speidi. :)

Kristina P. said...

I hope that he's OK! What a scary situation.

Becca said...

You and your cliff-hangers. Talk about drama!
:)

Kazzy said...

Yipes! I hope he ends up ok. That is a tough one.

And now I am anxious for the next installment!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

ah shucks about the manufactured viper coming!

And I'll send out a inevitable prayer for Asher.

Such a great post. You ROCK so hard!

And HEY!!!!!!! How are you???? I have missed you. I got out of my groove for a long time and I'm sorry I haven't done my visiting teaching lately. I'm not just saying that because I'm from Utah now, either.

So, how's your book coming? I am so going to tell Chris Crowe that you are publishing and that you are my friend. Unless you already beat me to it. He will be so impressed.

LY!

The Crash Test Dummy said...

btw, can I just add, what an aspive asphole!

Fiauna said...

Now that's drama. I hope everything turns out for the best.

Josi said...

Just crossed Cambodia off my list of places I want to travel--thanks for that tip.

AND I'm so with you. We've had a inevitable drama in our family this week, a really horrible and sad one. yet, I'm frustrated how some people use it to manufacture even more drama. Seriously, wouldn't be better to focus on the real stuff?

I'm intrigued to hear the rest of it, and good luck to Asher. Scary.

Kimberly said...

Some people have drama happen to them, some make drama happen to other people. I like the distinction you've illustrated (well, begun to illustrate) here. So sorry for all that you're going through, inevitable and otherwise. It sounds exhausting.

Terresa said...

I think drama is in the air. These last few weeks have been major drama for me, too. I feel like a drama magnet at times, not on purpose of course!!

Things can only get better...

April said...

I am intrigued that he did not know that some of the bites hurt so much that he could not tell he was bitten by a snake.....note to self, "don't visit Cambodia".

Eowyn said...

I'm just truly scared for what is coming next. I hate manufactured drama and I can, sadly, imagine it being far worse than a snake bite, because people manufacturing drama aren't required to deal with it very well, for some odd reason.

Hope Asher is alright. That would be very scary!

Lara said...

First of all...really hoping that all goes well with Asher. This is very scary stuff, for sure.

I love what you say about manufactured vs. inevitable. Hoo boy, do I know. My ex-sister-in-law was (is) the QUEEN of the manufactured type. It was a real roller-coaster ride for a while there, and still is sometimes with all of her insanity.

I hope that the craziness you have coming goes well. I feel for you.

Heather of the EO said...

Yes, there's definitely enough drama without creating it. I'm sorry about Asher's bite. So scary.

And I'm sorry you're in this position of helplessness.

Peace to you.

Stephanie Faris said...

Ugh. Asher is in my prayers. Someone once told me, never complain about being bored. Chances are, if you're bored, that means all is going well in your world.

L.T. Elliot said...

I think snake bites would be terrifying, especially on your loved ones. I hope things will be all right.