Just about a year ago began what we did not yet know was the beginning of the end for my husband. A year ago probably yesterday, Jack noticed a blister on that leg that he thought was more swollen than it had been. A year ago today the blister was larger and had an odd red line at its base. We thought perhaps some particle had gotten inside his compression stockings and scratched him.
A year ago today, more blisters appeared and began to ooze clear liquid. A year ago tomorrow, we went to a City MD office, since his doctor was on vacation, and Jack didn’t like the backup doctor. The City MD doctor thought these oozing blisters might be a bullus impetigo and suggested a dermatologist. She also covered the blisters with gauze and wrapped the leg with an Ace bandage; I had improvised with gauze pads we happened to have and tape.
A year ago the next day we were at Roosevelt Hospital’s medical offices; first a long wait in the waiting room, then one after the other a nurse, resident, and finally the dermatologist, all asking the same questions. No bullus impetigo, the dermatologist assured, but he wanted Jack to see his primary doctor. He advised an antibiotic to prevent possible infection and that Jack keep his legs elevated, even putting a pillow under the mattress to keep them up at night.
We took a taxi home. Our driver was both a Mets fan (remember, the Mets were in the playoffs a year ago) and a reader of the Drudge Report, which somehow seemed a strange combination to me. He was very talkative, first telling us about a farm on the rooftop of the original Ansonia, a Beaux-Arts apartment building (see pictures), soon closed down by the City Health Department. He also wanted us know about a Russian scientist’s article on the Drudge Report reporting how the U.S. would implode at the next crisis because (1) supermarkets had only about a week’s worth of food in stock and (2) drug addicts would become like zombies when they couldn’t get their doses.We were taking a lot of taxis in those days, and New York taxi drivers can still be as entertaining as their stereotypes.