Inflamed in the Membrane

Tree lay heavily sedated in the ICU of Clincia San Felipe with a feeding tube, a breathing tube, a catheter and an IV filled with sodium chloride plugged into too many orifices. Outside in the waiting room with Soleil, I discussed his condition with the doctor. After having a Cat Scan, he was diagnosed with Hyponatremia, which is low blood sodium that led to Encephalitis, a swelling of the brain.

“His sodium is back to normal now, but he’s still highly agitated when he’s not sedated, which indicates that his brain is still swollen. We need to do a spinal tap and test him for infectious diseases. After that, if we still don’t know what’s causing it, we can do an MRI, then do a toxicology report,” said Doctor Humeres, the head neurologist.

“But, couldn’t the hyponatremia be caused by the liquid fast he was on, coupled with the sauna?” I asked.

“Yes, but in order for someone to have such a serious reaction to overhydration, a person would have to drink 10 liters of water.  What is more likely is that a disease or infection is causing the swelling.”

The doctor clearly didn’t know my husband.  Tree is EXTREME.  If eight glasses of water is recommended, then he’ll drink eighty.  If the limit in the sauna is fifteen minutes, he’ll stay an hour.  And that’s exactly what he did. Ten liters of water. One hour in the sauna. Oh baby.

He’s just that kind of guy, and I love him for it.  That’s why we live the life we do. There’s a certain madness in his eye, and it turns me on.  I finally found someone who understands my passion because he runs just as hot.  He matches my intensity in every way: We both go to eleven. He’s my best friend, a fierce and loyal companion, a dreamer, a joker, a dedicated father.  He makes me laugh even when I’m mad…at him. He’s that funny. And, he has “compassion” for Republicans almost as much as I do. He’s perfect for me.  After we were married, friends of mine joked that I finally found a man who tamed my wild ways, but the truth is more that I fell in love with someone who loves the wild.

And, yet, sometimes there’s a price to pay when you fly too close to the sun.

When we flew back to Lima from the States, Tree immediately began his “custom cleanse.”  He wanted to start the New Year off right and “get healthy!” He even had a blog post draft in the queue that outlined his plan so that you too could “feel like a million bucks!.”  He actually wrote that, along with “Raw food on Sunday.  Juice and half an hour of sauna on Monday and Tuesday. Wednesday, ten liters of water and an hour of sauna.”  That’s as far as he got before he almost died. (Thank god that blog post was never published. It would have been Sprinter Life’s own personal take on Jonestown.  Who needs Kool-Aid when you got water! Drink up folks! We’re going to Disneyland!).

Anyhoo, he came home from the gym complaining that he felt lightheaded.  I suspected it was his blood pressure (last year I passed out in the Inca Baths in Cajamarca for that very reason- remember here), nothing too serious, so I told him to go lie down with his feet up.  An hour later, he still wasn’t better, so I suggested that he at least drink some juice and a smoothie.  He felt a little better for about a half an hour, but then he started to decline again.  He had a headache, felt nauseous and his hand went completely numb.  The numbness worried me, so I said that maybe we should go to the hospital, just to get him checked out.  He asked which hospital, and I said the one that our friend Roxana suggested.  “Who’s Roxana?” he asked.  “Our doula, the one that helped us deliver our baby,”  I said, expecting that lightbulb to go off.  Nope, nothing there.  “You know, the owner of our apartment,” I added.

“What’s a doula? What apartment?” he asked.

“Oh my God. You’re having a stroke! Stick out your tongue!” I screamed.

“What? No, seriously, what’s a doula? Explain it to me.”

“Stick out your tongue! What’s our address? Smile. Put your hands in the air!!!” I couldn’t quite remember how to test someone for a stroke, but I figured if he got any of those things wrong, it was bad.

He stuck out his tongue. He didn’t seem to be exhibiting any of the lopsided tendencies in stroke patients, but he was growing increasingly confused and disoriented by the second. I ran to the intercom and called Alan, our door guy, to have him call us a cab or an ambulance.  I put Sol in her car seat, grabbed Wabanub (her binky) and every passport and wallet I could find, and then hurried us all into the elevator.

En route in the taxi, no more than fifteen minutes later, Tree started vomiting violently.  By the time we made it to Clinica Good Hope, the closest one to our house, he was seriously losing it.   After a cursory examination, I asked the doctor if he thought it was a stroke, and he said, yes, it appears so, but he’d need to do some tests before he could properly diagnose him.  And then sloooow as frickin’ molasses he wrote up the medical order in the picture below, which included a Cat Scan and a blood test, but by that time, I had had it with that clinic. I called Roxana to ask her advice.  She said her sister almost died there due to malpractice and highly suggested that we move to the Clinica Anglo-Americana.  She came immediately to give us a ride.  I was so grateful when she showed up.  I was on the precipice of a full-blown panic attack and needed someone to assure me that it was going to be okay.

I made such a mad dash to get us out the door of our apartment that I didn’t even put pants or socks on Soleil. I even forgot the diaper bag.  As always, though, she was a trooper.  Best baby ever.

This was the last time that Tree was somewhat coherent.  But even then, when the doctor asked him what my name was, he couldn’t remember it.

Roxana got us checked in at the Clinica Anglo-Americana but then had to go teach a prenatal class.  She said she’d be back in a few hours. While she was gone, Tree had a Cat Scan and a blood test, during which time he went bat-shit crazy, and I dropped the camera. (I can’t believe I don’t have pictures to post all over the internet now).  Afterwards, the head neurologist came to our curtained off room to explain the results (the hyponatremia and the encephalitis), but said that the clinic was completely full, and we’d have to go elsewhere for treatment.  Meanwhile, Tree was laying in the gurney next to us talking to himself. “What!!,” I complained to the doctor, “We can’t go somewhere else. Look at him. He needs help NOW.” And, as if to illustrate my point, Tree sat up, stripped off ALL of his clothes and said, “Doh Doh Doh 5 2 9 7 7 6 8 9. C’mon. C’mon. C’mon. Trust me. Doh Doh DOHHHHH.”

Reconsidering the gravity of the situation, the neurologist ordered for Tree to be sedated–heavily–and called an ambulance to transport us to San Felipe, the best and most expensive clinic in Peru.

Roxana followed Tree and Sol and I in the ambulance and helped us get checked in to yet another clinic. Tree woke up from sedation in the ambulance (that was fun) and was again a real challenge through triage. Finally, we got him upstairs in the ICU and sedated him again. At midnight, Roxana gave me a ride back to our apartment so that I could take Kiki out, feed her, and give her her nightly meds, and then grab enough stuff to camp out in the waiting room with Sol for a few days. I also did some online research about Tree’s condition and spoke with Adam, Tree’s brother, in the States about our next steps. About an hour later, at 2:30am, Miguel, our taxi driver who had been waiting nearby, came to take me back to the clinic. In the waiting room of ICU, Sol slept by me in her car seat, while I curled up on a couch and listened to her breathe.

The neurologist returned at eight in the morning.  He said that Tree’s sodium was back to normal but that when the nurses lifted his sedation, he was still very “agitated,” which was his nice way of saying that Tree was still  crazy, loco, coo-coo for Coco Puffs.  It was time to start “ruling out” possible viruses and bacteria, he said. I okayed the spinal tap and pressed him to do it right away. If it was infectious, I wanted Tree to start treatment as soon as possible.

In the waiting room, the nurses came to get the only other person in the room with me.  She too had spent the night curled up on a couch. The nurses said it was time–her mother was actively dying.

This is about when I really started to breakdown mentally too–not just because I hadn’t slept or because Tree was nuts and had to be drugged senseless with tubes coming out of him or because I had to watch as they punctured my sweet lover’s lumbar and sucked out his spinal fluid or because I was afraid he would slip into a coma and die and then Soleil wouldn’t have a father and I would be left to wander the earth like a crazy lady looking for peace that I’d never find.  Sure, each and every one of those horrors sieged my heart and usurped my sense of being okay in the world, but what made me sob unconsolably in the bathroom on more than one occasion was the thought that if it was something infectious like meningitis, it would only be a matter of time before the virus or bacteria started to present in Soleil.  And her little body would be no match for it.  What if I lost them both? I couldn’t bear the thought of it.

Meanwhile, back in the States, our family was hard at work.  Noni was packing her bags to come back to Peru; Indra was on the phone with LAN airlines buying the tickets; John Senior was prepping for emergency evacuation should we need to move Tree to Chile or the States; Aunty Debby spoke with her friend Maria who is from Lima and arranged for friends to come visit me in ICU and help with the baby; and Adam called me every two hours to get an update to pass on to the troops and to help calm my terrorized mind.

As I waited for the results, Irma, the first of Aunty Debby’s foot soldiers, showed up.  She was an elderly lady–kind, resilient.  Many years ago, she had twin boys but lost them both as infants to Rh disease. Now she cared for other people’s babies, most often her grandnieces and grandnephews.  She bought me lunch, made sure I ate it, and walked Soleil up and down the halls while I went in to check on Tree or chased down doctors to try and get results.  After a few hours of helping me, she grabbed a bus from the clinic to a poor neighborhood outside of Lima to feed the street dogs.

After Irma left, I made friends with an incredibly kind Peruvian family–a mom, two daughters and one of mom’s friends– in the waiting room. The dad had almost died from a stomach ulcer that led to a broken artery, but he was recuperating nicely. The ladies picked up with Soleil where Irma left off.  Since Soleil wasn’t allowed in the ICU (or, technically even in the waiting room), it was crucial that I had someone to watch her while I went in to handle things with Tree.

In the late afternoon, I finally got the results from the spinal tap: No evidence of an infectious disease!  A huge weight was lifted off of my chest, but we were still in the dark about what was causing Tree’s brain to stay swollen, so we moved forward with the MRI.  As I waited again for what seemed like forever, Carlos, another one of Aunt Debby’s foot soldiers, came to visit.  He and his friend Manolo kept me distracted with good conversation until finally, at around 6pm, Dr. Humeres came to tell me that the MRI results were normal. Even the swelling had gone down.  He was going to start reducing the sedation to see how Tree reacted.  I asked to be in the room this time so that Tree would be more likely to feel safe when he woke up.  The doctor told me to be there by 8pm.

With a couple of hours to kill,  I had Carlos and Manolo watch my belongings while Sol and I went for a walk.  When I came back, the nurses told me that Tree had asked for me…by name!!! I was ecstatic.  I handed the baby off to Carlos and ran into the ICU ward. He was asleep.  So, I shook him until he was awake, and goddamn he really did know who I was! He even asked about Soleil. Ding ding ding!  I asked him what our dog’s name was, and he said “Kiki”, as if I was the one with a brain problem. Sprinter Life was back in action!!!

Unfortunately, Noni had already begun her gnarly fourteen hour travel to Peru; luckily, however, she had a connecting flight in Los Angeles, which meant that I was able to contact her to let her know that her son was awake, and mostly coherent, before she caught the flight to Lima.  She returned back home to Seattle by midnight–tired but not ruined.

The next day, Carlos brought a doctor friend and we all went to get some breakfast, and then Irma came by to drop off booties that she had crocheted for Soleil (see pic below) and to make sure that I ate lunch. I was overwhelmed by the generosity and kindness that both of them showed me–and that many others did as well.  They spent money, energy, and multiple hours each day with someone they did not know to help in a time of crisis.  I kept asking myself if I would have done the same for a friend of a friend of a friend on a moments notice.  I’d like to think that I would, but would I?  In the future, when an opportunity arises to go out of my way to show compassion and care for a stranger, I will remember my new friends and the way they eased my struggle.

The nurses moved Tree to a recovery room where both Sol and I were able to be with him.  We hung out until nine at night, when finally we were released to go home.  For the next three days, Tree was still a bit foggy, but he has since recuperated fully.  He has no recollection whatsoever of what happened though. The whole experience is lost on him.

What’s not lost on him is the expense. Hospital bills to the tune of $7000. Hard for us to swallow, but it would have been 50 times that in the United States.

For me, however, this experience was replete with lesson– the big lesson, the same lesson, the most important lesson of them all. It reminded me how incredible it is to be alive, and how quickly and easily that can change.  And, it reminded me how incredible it is to be in love, to live in love, to share life with my lover–and how quickly and easily that too can change. There is no time to waste. We’ve got to burn bright in this life. We’ve got to love big and heavy. We’ve got to get sweaty. Skip. Hold hands. Skinny dip. Break into a run. Play hopscotch with neighborhood kids. Paint. Get dirty. Learn something new. Kiss  the one we love one hundred times in a row.  Hold our babies close. Make them squeal and giggle and goo in delight. Fight for justice. Sing loud in the car. Roll around on the ground with dogs, lots of dogs, and let them lick our face stinky. We need to get really dirty. Take a nap in the sun. Splash around in the rain. Eat slow and messy. Drink amazing wine. Laugh hard and easy. Cry hard and easy. Be kind. Give thanks. Hang out in the ICU with someone we don’t know. Say I love you and mean it every night before bed.

It also reminded me of the importance of community. I’ve written about it numerous times, but really I can’t say it enough: We need community to thrive in this life, and I am amazed by the one I have, from the incredible kindness of the strangers I meet to the fierce dedication of our friends and family.  And in today’s interconnected world, we’ve made friends everywhere from big cities to small pueblos, even online.  That’s one of the most incredible gifts I’ve received from living the way we live.  All I’ve had to do is be open to the experience. Creating community wherever I am has made me feel like I belong wherever I am.

They say home is where the heart is, and that’s fine by me because I’ve learned to bring my heart wherever I go.

Lastly, I realized how fragile our lifestyle is. With our captain out of commission, Sprinter Life was on the brink of being no more.  I sure am glad to have him back. We are so blessed to be able to live our dream, to see the world together, to raise our daughter as a global citizen, to be healthy, happy and in love–and to share it all with you.  -STEVIE

 

Comments

  1. ARGH!!!!!! I was more than a bit on edge reading this, ready to tell my guests they had to look after the dogs while I drove to Santiago. Phew…. taking heart out of stomach now. Glad you are BOTH, no, all FOUR of you are ok! If a bit poorer financially…
    xxx

  2. Good God! I am happy that Tree is okay and out of the woods, and you were able to hang in there Stevie with a little help from your friends. I hope this will be the end of that “extreme” self created cleanse. Praying for a good recovery and a healthy Tree. xxoo

  3. Amazing writing Stevie! SOOOOOO stoked to hear everyone is okay. What an ordeal! Be well guys and keep living large.

    • Thanks Bryon, we’re back to normal here, sorta, and getting ready to hit the road again tomorrow. Super stoked. First stop is the ww kayaking town on canente.

  4. Thank goodness everything is alright, I love your post about living life to the fullest. I whole heartedly agree and hope you don’t mind that I am posting some of what you wrote on my FB wall, so that I can remind my family and friends that life is a precious gift. Take care!

  5. My beloved Tree. Only He. Only He!!! I receved your call while sitting in ICU with Mikey. I knew from your first word that you were hurting. The helplessnes I felt froze me. The thought of you and Sol losing Tree froze me. I was helpless. I couldn’t be with you. The geographical distance between us angered me in that moment. Yes – but he is back, he is strong and remains the rock we all know him as. Your story is written beautifully, just as it happened. I will always have the image of the little girl jumping in the back of my car and saying “I want to be a writer.” Sugar Plum – you are a writer!

  6. Oh Stevie…that was an incredibly beautiful post. We’re so sorry you guys had to go through that but thank God Tree is ok!!! Your last couple of paragraphs have me in tears, here in my cubicle at work. We’ve had so many personal losses over the last several years amongst family and friends and you hit the nail on the head in explaining what is REALLY important in this world. Bless you and glad to hear you’re all well! XO

  7. Oh my goodness, wow.
    WOW. In so many ways. Glad to hear Tree is ok.
    “And, it reminded me how incredible it is to be in love, to live in love, to share life with my lover–and how quickly and easily that too can change. There is no time to waste. We’ve got to burn bright in this life. We’ve go to love big and heavy. We’ve got to get sweaty. Skip. Hold hands. Skinny dip. Break into a run. Play hopscotch with neighborhood kids. Paint. Get dirty. Learn something new. Kiss the one we love one hundred times in a row. Hold our babies close. Make them squeal and giggle and goo in delight. Fight for justice. Sing loud in the car. Roll around on the ground with dogs, lots of dogs, and let them lick our face. We need to get really dirty. Take a nap in the sun. Splash around in the rain. Eat slow and messy. Drink amazing wine. Laugh hard and easy. Cry hard and easy. Be kind. Give thanks.”
    This part did me in! Cry, I did.
    xoxoxoxoxo
    Val

  8. jene fielder says:

    Stevie, Tree, Sol..
    OMG, how quickly life lets us know how fragile we are, I am so relieved that Tree is okay, and your headed home with your family..My heart and love reach out to you, surrounding your family with light and love, ..
    Give Tree , my deepest and sincerest prayers for his full recovery,,and you my dear, the strength and love and determination to heal your loved ones.. Your story was brilliantly written , and captured our hearts and every nerve in our bodies..Blessing to you, sol, and tree, and KIKi,, Keep that man, on solid food, no saunas , and if it says 8oz, that’s all he gets..Dear Tree..Please be mindful that Stevie, Sol, and KIKi rely on you, love you and trust you will keep them safe, Be mindful that you are a fragile human being, and must be diligent in taking better care of yourself , so many depend on you..How wonderful of the people that gave you assistance and support , there compassion reaffirms We are one family, no matter what part of the globe we are living on.. Healing light and love sent to you all.. Jene Be grateful that the cost of saving your lives was minimal ..

  9. liz Tompkins says:

    Wow- great story, great writing and great outcome! If all your followers take heed the world will be a better place.
    Stay well.

    Liz ( in Canada)

  10. Glad to hear you two are surviving!
    What an ordeal!
    Hope everything settles down and that there are no more surprises.
    Glad to hear Tree survived and is back up to snuff.
    Travel safely, play nice.
    Cheers,
    John

  11. Auntie Alex says:

    Dear Tree, thank you for providing years of teasing and entertainment for Phil & I. We <3 you. :)

  12. Oh my, that a hard mouthful of humble die to swallow! Man o man Tree—-don’t do that!!! And Stevie, we have yet to meet, but your writing is inspirational. The depth of the moment is captured perfectly. How lucky he is to have you there, and so aware that his life was in danger, and how lucky you are that Tree gives you something to write about!

  13. Tim Wilson says:

    Stevie, Sol, Tree, SO glad all’s well. Scary event. Stevie your story here is heart wrenching then wonderful, your love, and your zest for life and adventure you share with Tree shines bright. Our time here is limited, how we spend that precious time is so affected by our love. You know this and share eloquently! Much love, be well! Tree, you take care!! Love U

  14. Wow- I have heard of people coming close to dying from all night raves with ecstasy coursing through their veins along with 10 liters of water.. but for a health fast. Another record. Tree- slow down a bit. We prefer cute pictures of sol more than harrowing death defying experiences. Although your wife does an excellent job of capturing what you three are going through. Well done, and stay healthy. Good luck on your upcoming travels.

  15. Jock Bradley says:

    Stevie and Tree – Like everyone else, I am stoked about the outcome, but wish that you guys had never experienced this in the first place. Tree – we all love you and don’t want to see you in harms way. Remember prudence is the better part of valor. Be well and take care of yourself, so that you don’t scare the shit out of your loving wife again.

  16. Cathy Alexander says:

    Hi Stevie, Tree, Soliel & Kiki What a horror show :-( Really sorry you had to go through this scary time! Your right you never know! The mystery of life! I’m glad someone there caring enough to console you and those booties are beautiful! At first when I saw the post I had know idea what happened? but I quicky clicked on the link to find out! My first thought was Spinal meningitis which a friend of mine died from! I’m glad they out ruled that and quick enough to test for it!! A friend of mine she is in her 80′s had the low sodium and they had to get her squared away quicky and put her in the hospital as well! They had to give my daughter Jeanine at one years old a spinal tap for meningitis! She suddenly had a temp of 105 and had a seizure! She let out a horrible gut wrenching scream in the middle of the night. I flew out of the bed and I swear my feet didn’t touch the floor. It was Iike poll valted from the bed! My knees collapsed coming down the stairs and I prayed to God I wouldn’t loose her. I resparated her through her little nose until the ambulance came! She came awake in the ambulance and meningtis was ruled out in the hospital! It was a bad infection in her ears and her temp shot up to fast and caused the seizure! It freaked me out and I kepted crying :-( Trying hard to be strong and keep my composure. Easy said than done!Jimmy was in work and I had to wake Theresa out of a sound sleep and she came with me to the hospital! I almost lost Jimmy from a adominal aorta aneurysm! He got helo medi vac to mass General in Boston! We had know idea he had it and it was the biggest the doctor saw. Theresa came home from her shift at night and made him go to the hopital! He wouldn’t listen to me because he said no one is there on the weekends and I don’t want to wait or have some shoemaker examine me in the ER! She saved his life! :-) Point I’m trying to say I can feel what you were feeling and it is a terrible feeling:-( Please tell Tree God Bless and get well soon!!!!! Also tell do like the Greeks say ,everything in moderation, next time!!!!! Kiss the baby and a kiss and big hugs to you both!!!!! Love Cathy

  17. Stevie, Tree,
    I’m glad you guys are both ok. Words can’t express what a relief it is to hear you’re back in a action. Thanks Stevie for sharing with us such a harrowing experience. Thanks for the “lesson.” It’s so true and can’t be repeated enough times. We need a global community in this world, learned in the lesson you just described. I’m glad there are still good people in this world. Take care buddies.

  18. Best wishes for a speedy recovery, Tree. Can’t wait to read your on the road reports. Just a side note, kind of know what your going through….. I had a eye exam just yesterday and well, it seems I need glasses…

  19. Alexander Roberts says:

    Get well Tree.

  20. Tree, you lucky fucker! Love the pic with you in the clinic, water bottle in your grasp.

  21. Joe Campos says:

    Take care of yourself, Bro. Godspeed to recovery.

  22. John Rich says:

    Just read Stevie’s blog post. I’m warning you Tree, if you make me cry on my keyboard again I’m going to have to fly down there and kick your ass! :)

  23. CRAZY! great story-telling Stevie! Tree, forget about “healthy”, you’re better off without it Glad you’re all okay

  24. Tanya Diaz says:

    Stevie, once again your words, reflection and appreciation of life and community moved me to tears. I can’t imagine what you were going through!!! Lots of love to you three, heal well Tree and those booties are freakin adorable.

  25. Pilar Ryan Crew says:

    Dang girl! I’m so glad he’s ok!

  26. Godamnit, TREE. How could you do that to us?! Oh and Stevie and Sol. Take it easy buddy. All the rush you need is right there in the two seats to your right.

  27. Rich Dressen says:

    “Tree sat up, stripped off ALL of his clothes and said, ”Doh Doh Doh 5 2 9 7 7 68 9. C’mon. C’mon. C’mon. Trust me. Doh Doh DOHHHHH.” …

    i saw Tree do this multiple times in ’92

  28. Julie Belknap says:

    WOW, I’m so glad Tree is OK. Sorry you had to go through such an ordeal too. Reading your blog made me very thankful for the things I take for granted so thank you for that. Hang in there Stevie, your tough and God (or whoever) wouldn’t give you so much if they knew you couldn’t handle it!

  29. HUGE hugs and tons of love for you three! Sending you all the positive energy we have! Mucho amor!!!

  30. Taylor Robertson says:

    Glad to hear that you are alright my friend!

  31. Tim Wilson says:

    Tree- Much love brother, glad your doing well! Stevie- Much love to you! Your heart and soul shine threw your words! Sol- Your an amazing soul, born of these two passionate people, great is your road ahead! Much love you guys! Not your best look Tree!

  32. My god man! No more water binging before the sauna! In all seriousness, I’m happy to hear Tree is doing okay now and the swelling is down. Hopefully things can go back to “normal” now! Let us know if you need anything.

  33. So glad you are all ok. What an experience. We realy do need each other and community especially in times of crisis. Live this life to the fullest each day we are blessed to be here now

  34. Oh my god. Get better Tree. (Beautifully written story Stevie. You inspire me constantly)

  35. Cate Brubaker says:

    Jeez louise… I’m glad everything worked out okay, and, again, Stevie, you’re such a goddamn good writer. Love to the three of you from the Middle East!

  36. Wow. So happy you have him back. Cherish each moment.

  37. Geez! Maybe start your unexpected illnesses with something simple like constipation, you really do go all out! Be well soon! Great writing Stevie, as always!

  38. WOWOWOWOWOWOWOW ALIVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU STEVIE!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU TREE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! LOVE YOU SOLEIL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! CARRY ON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    -Little Lava

  39. Gabriel Gunning says:

    dude Tree – there are way better ways to get drunk! jajajajaja – glad to hear you are okay – hyponatremia is often a killer

  40. Anonymous says:

    Scary! I just read a similar story that didn’t turn out so well. Glad you guys are okay!! You are great writer Stevie.

  41. Teri Hogan says:

    Good God, happy he made it through that. Wishing Tree a healthy recovery. Glad you had friends to help you and Sol Stevie, must have been so frightening. xxoo

  42. Kelly Breathe says:

    Prayers and Love to all of you! You are a Super-man, Tree and Stevie a Super-woman. Incredibly beautiful you guys – I LOVE YOU

  43. Wow. So glad all is well! Really wonderfully written Stevie!

  44. wow….

  45. Scott Shipley says:

    Atta-boy Tree

  46. Mick Evans says:

    Tree – glad you survived. This happens to people running marathons sometimes, they drink too much water, sweat a whole lot, the worse they feel the more water they drink, thinking they’re dehydrated. Sometimes they just fall down dead !! After all the weird stuff you’ve survived, don’t let a little “cleansing” finally finish you off *grins*

  47. Hether Dougherty-Acevedo says:

    1.MIck is right, this actually happened to me during a marathon (but I didn’t fall down dead.)
    2. I’m glad you are alive.
    3. Next time don’t be so dramatic
    4. When feeling bad, go outside and run around a tree (someone once made me do that and it helped.)
    5. You still aren’t “normal” so don’t get too excited

    Thank you

  48. So, so glad you’re all ok… Tree, we all love the wild, crazy you, but ease into that new health regimen a little slower, k?

  49. Phew….close one Tree!

  50. Judy Shuman says:

    I hope you are Back on the Road soon! ~ So sorry! ~

  51. Suzanne TenBroek says:

    Holy crap! I’m so glad to hear that Tree is okay Stevie. Tree, you can’t scare the crap out of your wife like that anymore man!

  52. Julie Williams says:

    Ok, it took me all day to finally finish reading this. Only because of how busy my life is. At one point I had to throw my phone down because I was on edge reading it and trying to drive at the same time. I cried somewhere half way through too. I am so glad Tree is ok and I hope it never happens again!! OMG I can’t handle it! I love you Stevie and I’m always here for you. Tree stay healthy and strong.

  53. Brian Thomen says:

    Thank God Tree came through and that was a horrific story!! OMG !! I’m so happy your all together happy joyous and a lot to be great foul for the 3 of you !! Oh I mean 4 sorry Kiki!! Love you guys!!

  54. Tree,
    For the sake of those of us who love you, please be careful. Your life is not all about you any longer. I realize you are aware of that but, being extreme your whole life is who you are and it’s an admirable quality but, just for the sake of all of us who love you, take it down just a notch…
    I really do not have any profound advise or words of wisdom.
    One thing I do know is you have an amazing life and the majority of people never find and get to live the love you have and the amazing family and friends who at a moments notice will unselfishly drop whatever they are doing to be there for you is a blessing in and of itself. You are a rich and extrordinary person and your wife is amazing. Please NEVER take that for granted!!
    I love you all,
    Willy

  55. Holy shit TREE! Glad to hear you made it thru that…good thing you’re livin’ extreme at 11, which means death would have to dish out 12 to take you out.

    Stevie, I imagine you were scared to hell but I’ve gotta hand it to you for your quick thinking and getting his butt to the clinic FAST.

    FYI: we were totally ready to drink the SprinterLife Kool-Aid, just give us the word…let us know when to meet-up, we’ll supply the sauna you bring the H20 ;)

  56. So glad Tree is recovering and you had such generous, caring new friends to help you out in what had to be an incredibly scary few days. Thank you, Stevie, for taking the time out of your surely-busy day to remind us all (with such beautiful, emotional and honest words) that life and love are truly precious.

  57. Andreas Juen says:

    Fuck Tree! That story scared the shit out of me. You got one strong woman there to keep it so cool though all that. Take care brother. Enjoy your family.
    Peace

  58. Jeremy Jones says:

    SO SCAREY!! Sorry Stevie! Glad your better Tree!

  59. Gabe Sladek Musolf says:

    Wow so glad all is well with Tree and he is on the mend.

  60. Madrigal Madri says:

    mi amigo!!! espero que mejores muy pronto y no sean necesarios los exámenes médicos… que Dios les cuide siempre. Pura Vida

  61. Jesus Christ. Dude you are so nuts. I love you to because you are a nut bag. Let me know how your doing when you can write. Stevie hold it together girl. You are strong and it looks like you have 2 baby’s to look out for. Just kidding. I love this post but be carful brother. See ya soon

  62. Anne Kaffeekanne says:

    Stevie & Tree, i had NO idea how serious the whole situation was!!!! I’m so sorry!!! You could have called me to help Stevie out with Soleil… or to help with spanish issues… I’m happy to see Tree is better!!! Take care, friends… hope to see you soon… XOXO

  63. oh my god girl !!! Hallelujah this story has a happy ending!! God bless You and your family!! Safe travels and eat lots of salt!!!!!

  64. Wow. Thank goodness he’s okay. Stevie, I hope everyone can see how strong YOU must be. Watching him struggle while you’ve got little Sol there. Ugh.

  65. stevie- another powerful, provocative, and hilarious piece. i think you are especially gifted (in general but also in your craft) at extracting comedy out of terror and pain. i cried, but the naked doh doh doh bit then had me laughing my face off. i’m sorry anybody had to live through this, but i do think all of you did so with an extraordinary grace, grit, and humility. the love you share is exceptional, and i hope you relish in that like one would a warm shower after a long day outside in the cold. you two, and now three, are bathed in love and oxytocin. I celebrate your closeness and truly respect your bond.

    tree, i offer my services as future healthcare provider/research fanatic/wholesale supplement provider to you next time you wanna do a cleanse. i have access to stuff through school that is just priceless, even natural/alternative databases that examine the efficacy of all things unconventional. i’d love to help your next cleanse effectively and safely. cuz we all know that cleanse wasn’t your last!!!!

    huge happy hugs to all.
    xo
    reags

    • Thank you Reagie. One of the things I love most about our friendship is our joint ability to laugh our asses off about some of the “terror and pain” of life. I actually kept thinking about laughter as a salve that awaited me on the other side as I was going through this whole ordeal. I even told Adam that I couldn’t wait until we were sitting around, drinking wine, saying Doh Doh Doh pass the cheese doh doh doh :) I’m so happy that it ended this way. I love you and miss you and will DEFINITELY consult you before we go on any crazy cleanses. xoxoxooxo.

  66. Kathy Lantz says:

    Frightening, gripping story Stevie. My heart ached for you reading this. Tree, very relieved and happy for your recovery!

  67. Hello. I’m glad you feel better Uncle Tree. I went to see Phineas and Ferb with Noni. In real life.
    Sol is very long for her age. I like her Peru bib! Goodbye!

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