Tuesday, January 5, 2010


This afternoon, I made the trip back to South Pasadena for the first time in 17 days. A part of me was excited to return to my life, even for just a few hours. I was happy to see my cats and be in my apartment. I am going back to San Diego tomorrow morning and I am hoping to get there to see my brother before his surgery tomorrow afternoon.

We had a bit of a scare this evening, which served to remind me how vulnerable Matthew still is. My mom told me that the hospital staff had nearly missed a crucial detail in my brother's care. Apparently, he had been suffering from "bladder spasms" and they had given him medication. When I first heard "spasm" the other day, I immediately thought "infection;" however, I didn't think to say anything and just went with the doctors' and nurses' decision to give him medication. It turned out that his catheter was not draining properly and his bladder was extremely full. They caught it at the last minute when a doctor who was about to leave for the evening was called to evaluate him. Matthew went through excruciating pain having another catheter inserted, and besides that, his urine was beginning to crystalize. My cat nearly died a year ago from a similar issue. I know that everyone is trying their best to keep Matthew safe, alive, and well, but I was suddenly struck by fear at the thought that the slightest error could be fatal. My mom is going to talk to the staff tonight and we are going to make sure to continue to follow up to do everything we can to advocate for my brother's well being. Thank God we are able to advocate. I thought of those of us who do not speak English or who are not able to take time off work to be at the hospital as frequently as we are. I thought about what might happen to the lives of those less fortunate. I once again felt grateful for my family's abilities and abundance of love and support. None of our lives are worth more than any one else's, yet we are separated and segregated by external factors that determine our superficial worth, such as money, power, and education. I pray that Matthew is safe. I pray that he is not subjected to the pain he was subjected to tonight again and I pray for all those who need our love, support, and advocacy. I pray that we all have voice when we need it most.

Please continue to keep Matthew in your thoughts and prayers.


  1. Erin thank you so much for continuing to keep us updated. Matthew and your family will continue to be in our thoughts and prayers. That's six of us here praying and sending love, hugs, and many positive healing thoughts your way today and every day. Just wish we could do more to fast forward to the day that he is well again.
    Lisa and Family

  2. Erin, you are so right about the need for an advocate for every patient. Even with a brilliant medical team things can be overlooked. Let's pray the team looking after Matt will be more vigilant about seemingly small details. Every single thing is important to his comfort and welfare.
    John and I are putting together a care package to send to him. David will bring it to the hospital when it arrives...just some things to entertain in a light way. Give our love to your whole family. xo

  3. You are so strong.

    Matt is such a fighter and I feel honored to know him, and you, Erin, if only through the most candid and deep-hearted words. Thank you for continuing to share with all of us through this, I know it can't be so easy.

    In solidarity, healing strength, and prayer,

    ~Lia Wrightsmith