Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 19: Best Laid Plans…

At the time of writing this (you will be reading it some time after it is written – and if there are important updates they will be appended at the end before the thing goes live – but in the meantime, bear with me…) life has *imploded*.

A little preamble. About 4 years ago my husband was sent toddling along to a cardiologist because his primary physician thought he heard something hinky with his heart. The cardiologist poked around and prescribed a medication. This my dutiful husband duly took.

Not long after he began taking it, we had a SITUATION – his entire right shin, from just below knee to just above ankle – erupted in one gigantic fluid filled blister – I didn’t know one that big could EXIST, it was stupendous, filled with sloshing stuff that wobbled alarmingly as soon as the leg was moved only a little. The blister imploded (gravity won – nothing that size could hang together once the leg was made perpendicular. We slapped dressings on it and all  but it festered and purulated and it landed him in the local would clinic, having the wound professionally cleaned and bound until it ran its course and closed up. it left behind a pink patch of skin roughly the same size and shape of the original blister, skin that looked weird, thin, stretched, sometimes shiny, sometimes scaly with dead skin. Turned out that the original blister was squarely within the realm of side effects of that drug hubs was presctribed, which he probably should never have taken, because it exacerbated leg oedema from which he had been suffering.

But there. It came.It was dealt with. It went.

Fast forward.

About 11 or 12 November 2020, hubs and I are disagreeably surprised… by the sight of another blister, only a little smaller than the first, in exactly the same spot.

It wibbled and it wobbled, it leaked, it refilled, rinse and repeat several times; I slapped gauze dressing on it and we soldiered on for a few days. But things got steadily and progressively worse. This time, differently from theprevious occasion, there was pain – genuine and sharp pain – the kind that kept both of us awake, him because he was twisted with it and me because I was up and down all night trying to make it better and helping him mainline tylenol all night, as many and as often as permitted. That was friday and saturday; my dressings were starting to do more harm than good, the wound was wet and pus-filled and every time I took the gauze dressing off to change it I effectively removed the top layer of the wound leaving behind wet gelatinous smears of blood and yellow goo. The pain wasn’t going away. Friday I made an appointment with the wound clinic again – they couldn’t take him until the following Wednesday. Satruday I took a photo of the wound, a horrifying one, and the entire leg around it was starting to look red and puffy and a little like cellulitis. Added to this was the presence of a cracked heel which was a separate little wound of its own and made mobility very difficult. It became clear on Sunday that the thing was getting beyond me. We made an emergency appointment with our primary care physician on Monday, about 1:40PM. By half past two, on his urgent orders, we were at the ER.

THis is covid time. My husband is exceedingly vulnerable and high risk. So much so that he almost literally hadn’t left the safety of our home since March of this year – he eschewed even the barber, with me (you might remember this from that time) attacking him myself with beard shears in desperation. I treasured, sheltered, protected him with everything I had; I did not did not DID NOT want him anywere near an ER, a hospital, not in the time of covid. But here we were.

They looked at the leg and went, oy. About time you turned up for us to deal with this stuff. We’re admitting him.

He was admitted Monday night. As I write this, on the evening of the Thursday following that, he is still there, and the are talking about moving him to another facility for a week or so in order to receive more wound care and some much needed physical therapy. They suggested a nursing home… and I screamed. Nursing homes were ground zero for covid. Was it for this that I sheltered and protected him? So I could throw him into that cauldron??

He’s on pain pills – the high octane kind. Me, I would dearly love Valium at this point. My life has just imploded – I miss him, I love him, I am terrified for him, this is a bad bad time to be hospital-sick, but nobody asked us. Here we all are. Him hospitalized and in pain. Me scared out of my coconut.


I *HATE* 2020.


About Alma Alexander

Alma Alexander's life so far has prepared her very well for her chosen career. She was born in a country which no longer exists on the maps, has lived and worked in seven countries on four continents (and in cyberspace!), has climbed mountains, dived in coral reefs, flown small planes, swum with dolphins, touched two-thousand-year-old tiles in a gate out of Babylon. She is a novelist, anthologist and short story writer who currently shares her life between the Pacific Northwest of the USA (where she lives with her husband and two cats) and the wonderful fantasy worlds of her own imagination. You can find out more about Alma on her website (, her Facebook page (, on Twitter ( or at her Patreon page (


Artist in Residence Quarantine Diaries Episode 19: Best Laid Plans… — 5 Comments

  1. We must all be able to understand the terrible state you are in now. I’m so sorry. May he recover safely, and you are able to bring him home again, safely.

    This would be terrible in the best of time for health care. But as in the best times, now in the worst times, he’s got you at his back.

  2. Alma, I am so sorry that this is happening. I know this panic, and it’s ghastly. Please, it might sound trivial, but please, try to take care of yourself. Eat! shower! It honestly helps.

  3. I am so sorry, Alma. 🙁

    After all you two have done to take care of yourselves, for this to happen. If thought and sending energy can help, we will do so, and I echo Kit’s plea–take care of yourself. It is the best thing you can do right now for both of you.

    Candles for his need and yours.

  4. God, I am so sorry. This is a terrifying time to have anything medical go wrong. Fingers crossed as hard as they will go for you having him home again soon.

  5. It’s December 20, and he is still – post a heart stoppage, two surgical interventions, and a pacemaker insertion. I’m beyond the veil. I am not even tired any more. I’m into numb.