When we visited Mesa Verde yesterday, Joe was glaringly absent. This was strange as he had been talking with Vernon for weeks about watching the Super Bowl together. Just before we tucked Vernon back into his room to watch the show alone, we got the news that Joe was in the hospital and had been since Thursday afternoon.
He had been diagnosed with kidney stones and on top of that, a UTI. I know from our experience last year how nasty those infections can be if they get out of hand. They are nasty enough already. I was very concerned, so I drove up this morning to see him at Hoag, expecting much worse than I encountered.
He was plugged up to IVs and he had lost some weight, but he told me this was the best he’d felt in days. He had been terribly ill but the doctors would hopefully be sending him back today with a course of antibiotics for the next couple of weeks. I hung out with him for about an hour and he was charming as ever. He told me was bored with no one to chat with most of the time, and that he missed Mesa Verde and Vernon, “his best friend.”
I was so relieved to see him talking about going back. Sometimes I forget how physically vulnerable Joe is, even though he seems larger than life. He means so much to us…to my family and especially to Vernon. He needs to stay strong. We need him. But more than that, we love him.
Please get well soon.