Tag Archives: fire 2006

The Memorial Anticipated

In the last three weeks, my therapist has said no less than three times, “You don’t look so good.”

In the moment, I took this to mean that I looked about the way I’ve been feeling, but it occurred to me this morning that maybe I just don’t look very good period. I’ve only been seeing her for a couple of months. Maybe I always look like this and she just hasn’t realized it yet.

It’s something to think about.

Memorial Service Confirmation

Just a quick update that the memorial service for Vivy will be held at 11AM, Saturday, June 2nd.

Post-Fire: Update VI

He is back in New York, working for the past several weeks and doing well. He wears very tight sleeves on his fingers nearly all the time – the pressure keeps scar tissue from developing and settling – but otherwise is unbandaged. It’s become clear that paths to full recovery vary widely and take considerable time. Carlo is tenacious about his physical therapy, so they’re definitely improving and he is not at all restricted during normal activity which is excellent news.

When I saw him recently, the burns on his face and head were entirely healed and the scars from the glass cuts were quite faded, although still visible. His eyes are healing, one cornea lagging behind the other, but a decision on how to proceed will wait until sometime this summer. As I understand it, they usually wait about six months minimum to see how the eyes heal before looking at other corrective options.


Finally it’s been decided: Vivy’s memorial service will be held in Mt. Jewett on Saturday, June 2nd. As far as I know – and I will post updates as soon as I have them – the service will be in the late morning at St. Matthews Church. Please come. I will be there. Carlo will be there. My two aunts, father and stepmother will be there. We would love to see you.

Post-Fire: Update V

Carlo is doing well. He is back in New York, back to being a lawyer and last week moved into a place on the Lower East Side, lucky dog. His hands are repairing themselves under their various coverings and his eyes aren’t so far behind, although his right eye is lagging a bit. My understanding is that corneas take forever to heal, so even establishing a firm prognosis is difficult. The winter’s events still seem very recent, making his recovery seem all that much more miraculous. I’ll see him in person at the end of next week and will report in more detail after that.

To all intents and purposes R and I have resumed normal function out here on the west coast. I’ve been back at work since the beginning of March, which gives me something to do with my time besides re-ordering everything in the apartment and trying to process everything that’s happened. I am having difficulty returning to writing (see: last date posted to this blog), have trouble sleeping and find that even minor bumps in the road are disconcerting. This comes as a surprise to no one but myself and I’m trying to adjust my expectations accordingly. It’s been a very long winter.

In other news, I lost my Oscar pool again this year and we bought and then returned a house. I don’t think “return” is the right word, but effectively that’s what happened. It was a lovely house but far too big for us, much like those trousers I bought that one time and never wore.

Post-Fire: The Eyes Have It

eye.jpgI’m back. Again. And hopefully for a while this time. I was home for all of nine days in December and nine in January. I’m hoping to push that number up in February. I knew I’d officially reached the end of my rope last week when I backed the car across my aunt’s lawn instead of down the driveway. Not a little way onto the lawn but pretty much across the entire lawn.

A brief family update. I took a red eye to Philadelphia two weeks ago to meet my aunt and cousin and drive seven hours north to Buffalo. The mission was to sort out Carlo’s immediate future and bring him back to Philadelphia to settle closer to New York where his stuff, his work, his friends and his health insurance network are.

After a couple of hectic days of schedule management, financial planning and packing, mission accomplished.

On the medical front, Carlo’s hands and vision have become the main foci. For three weeks, the ophthalmologist had delayed refracting his eyes only to pull up with some startling news two days before we re-located to Philly. It went something like this:

The assistant refracts Carlo’s eyes.
The doctor comes in.
The doctor looks at his eyes and says it’s still too soon to make a call on a prescription.
The doctor says, “There’s no rush though: your eyes are 20/40-ish, so good enough that you can drive.”

Let’s be clear here. Carlo has had glasses since he was about five years old. He’s been wildly nearsighted all his life. There is no way he could have driven without glasses before the fire.

What this boils down to is that all the corneal burns and swelling and fogging have essentially prompted his eyes to heal not only the damage from the fire but also the pre-existing astigmatism and near-sightedness. Amazing thing, the human body.

Thank You

Thanks to everyone for all the emails, voicemails and cards. I’ve been the lucky recipient of many offers of assistance and have not been organized enough to take advantage of them (or even respond to most of them yet), but know that I have received them all and am deeply appreciative.

Post-Fire: Update IV

Carlo is doing well since his update. He has gotten an additional pair of gloves to cover the gaps when the original pair is being washed and dried. That first pair is an un-chic tan and the new ones are black, so now he can attend formal parties without fear of appearing gauche.

Unfortunately, the follow-up appointment with the opthamologist did not include being tested for new glasses. His eyes are improving rapidly but they’re not ready to make a call on a prescription yet so he’ll have to wait another week.

R and I are back in San Francisco as of Sunday. Sorting here continues. I’m hoping to get back to regular blog posting next week.


I’ve been thinking about this for a few days and have decided to go ahead and set up an area of this site for people to post thoughts about Vivy. I’ve been writing a little offline about her and the farm – perhaps others have to or would like to put pen to paper (as it were) or take pleasure or comfort in reading what others might have to say. Please consider using this space to do that.

If you’d like to contribute something long or short, a memory, a memorium, or just a passing thought, please use the Comments link below this post. The site isn’t currently set up to post comments without first getting my approval (I get a lot of spam submissions), so hang tight and I’ll approve them and they’ll post to the site as soon as I get back to a connection. I know some of you have experienced some issues already when submitting comments – I’m sorry about that and I think we’ve fixed the issue now. It’s not pretty, but it works.

If the site won’t work for you or you’d rather send me a note via email and have me post it for you, feel free to do that as well.

Post-Fire: Update III

A quick update on issues medical:

Carl is now being treated on an outpatient basis in Buffalo and is doing well. On Wednesday, the burn clinic there removed the bandages on his hands and only rewrapped the palms and backs of the hands, leaving his fingers free. This obviously allows him much greater freedom but also exposes new skin to the air, so it’s going to take some adjustment. He’s played the piano a few times too and is getting to the point where he’s actual playing and not just banging. Excellent news for everyone.

They’ve fitted him for some tight-fitting gloves, an expected step in the burn healing process, and those are scheduled to arrive this evening. They should help protect the hands and be considerably less bulky than the remaining bandages.

The rest of Carl’s stitches – hands, feet, leg – came out in that same appointment on Wednesday. This was 3-7 days sooner than expected, so overall a good thing, but still somewhat nauseating. If any of you have had deep stitches taken out, you know what I’m talking about – it’s a bizarre feeling. Aside from that, there have been no bad effects and we still have full confidence in the doctors’ choices.

Carl’s eye appointment is early Friday, so we’ll see what that yields. His vision is still foggy enough that it’s hard to read, so he’s concerned, but by all accounts corneas are slow to heal, so even normal recovery may take a while. The ophthalmologists in Pittsburgh did not seem worried about long-term damage, so until we get this next opinion, I’m going with that.