Novel norms

So here I am at 3am for the second day in a row, taking a moment betwen hits of Dilaudid to do something that was for many years normal for me: writing something.

I have a new normal now, and it’s getting old. I’ve lost count of the wires and tubes running from my body to mechanical and electrical instruments. I haven’t eaten in close to a week, and my intake is entirely from bags of liquid dispensed by “smart pumps” that beep loudly and often for what seems most of the time to be no reason at all. I’m creepily cool now with being 90% helpless, even as I’m close to 100% hopeful that I’ll get past this thing, which remains pancreatis, with complications, the latest of which are fluids in my abdomen, with encroachment on my right lung: the same one that took a hit from a wayward embolus a couple months back, when I first made my acquaintence with this hospital.

It’s a Harvard teaching hospital, which means that a procession of young doctors come through, each with a fresh line of inquiry, few of which, when fulfilled, contributes to an institutional memory. Most of the doctors I’ve seen here have been only once or twice. Nice folks, all, however. And all less than half my age, it seems.

My new room is a solo one. I miss the company of other patients, but I do like some of the posh features, such as a toilet that has more than five square feet of flooor space. They moved me here so they could monitor me more closely. I do appreciate that. But the reason creeps me a bit: so I won’t get pneumonia or chronic pancreatitis of the sort Suzi reports here.

Well, that’s about all I have energy for. Look for another report in a few hours, I hope.

And thanks again for all your kind wishes. I’m really looking forward to returning to normal normalcy.


  1. Maarten Lens-FitzGerald’s avatar

    Today is send your love to Doc day:

    Keep the posts up. Kahplah!

  2. Robert Scoble’s avatar

    Been there with my wife and my mom. I love you Doc and we are thinking of you and sending good wishes!

  3. Tim’s avatar

    We at Supernova miss you. Get well soon. And take care of yourself.

  4. Doug Skoglund’s avatar

    Hang in there Doc — We need you!!!

  5. Iris Burgers’s avatar

    I’ve never met you, but as Maarten’s friend, I’d like to say get well soon Doc!

  6. Mark Krupinski’s avatar


    My family and I wish you a full recovery.

    Please get well.

    Best Regards,

    Krupinski Family

  7. JP’s avatar

    hey Doc, get well soon. And let me know what I can do to help. All the best, JP

  8. RB’s avatar

    Doc, good to hear your voice, even if it’s reporting from such a strange country. Cat woke me up too damn early, so sitting here wishing I were there to talk about the usual — and unusual — weird shit. Call me if you feel like hanging out, you fuckin junkie! Sending much love and…

  9. Jon Udell’s avatar

    > each with a fresh line of inquiry, few of which, when fulfilled,
    > contributes to an institutional memory.

    That’s an interesting comment. When you can, I’d be interested to hear you elaborate on it.

    Meanwhile, best wishes. I’m as confident as you are that the new normal will recede and the old normal will return.

  10. Mark Turner’s avatar

    Oh my goodness, Doc! I check in on you and look where you are!

    Hope you get patched up soon!

    Mark Turner

  11. carlie’s avatar

    Your Linux Journal peeps are all asking about you daily. Everyone sends their love and wishes.

  12. Halley Suitt’s avatar

    “You fuckin junkie” … great bedside manner Dr. Rageboy!

  13. Francine hardaway’s avatar

    Never go to the hospital without an advocate, even if your name is Doc. Is anyone there with you?

  14. mary hodder’s avatar

    Thanks for the update doc.. as long as you can keep us posted with a sense of humor, it gives us lots of hope for you. You’re the best and I hope the family is doing well through this.

  15. Kevin Werbach’s avatar

    Doc — we’re all thinking about you at Supernova. Hang in there.

  16. Silona’s avatar

    I think that it is wonderful that you are writing despite everything. no better way to keep yourself grounded in my opinion.

  17. Daniel Bartholomew’s avatar

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery. You’re in our thoughts.

  18. judith’s avatar

    i’m down for the ‘send your love to doc’ day! xo

  19. Josiah Ritchie’s avatar

    Though it my be politically and socially incorrect, I’ll pray that God would provide you strength and peace to lift you in this time through the marvel of modern medicine as well as in your spirit.

    It is a shame that I hesitate to mention God due to flame war potential. Let’s not go their folks.

  20. Emily Davidow’s avatar

    Hi Doc! Sending you love along with good thoughts for a full and speedy recovery.

  21. Don Marti’s avatar

    Doc, don’t forget to snag some rubber gloves to make water balloons, and plug that “smart pump” back in when your laptop is done charging.

  22. jose murilo’s avatar

    Here goes some strong and positive vibrations from a loyal reader in Brazil. Get well soon, Doc!!

  23. Maarten Lens-FitzGerald’s avatar

    also if you put a glove on your head you look like a rooster, really, you do 😎

  24. Chip’s avatar


    Tried to comment earlier today, but got error Typepad (or whatever)
    Was afraid that there were worse problems

    Glad you are back

    1) our thoughts are with you
    2) bet you are done watching “Grey’s Anatomy”, or ER not to mention re-runs of St. Elsewhere
    Now, if “Dr House” could come up with 24hr cure …

    Take care
    Get well

  25. karen’s avatar

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery! So sorry you’re having to go through this.

  26. Zo’s avatar

    So, Doc, I picture you lying in lonely splendor rather like Tony Soprano, or even Syl … you know, the goddamn wires and tubes. Hope your room is as luxe … and that the staff is as, er, respectful to you. If not, well, you know what to do. Just call in some favors …


  27. Trevor F. Smith’s avatar

    Ask them to put a little Crystal Light in the old IV fluid. You won’t be able to taste it, but it might give the place a bit of color.

    Get well soon!

  28. Jim Thompson’s avatar

    be sure to ask the head nurse why they call her the ‘head nurse’…

  29. Jim Thompson’s avatar

    A man goes to visit his 85-year-old grandpa in hospital.
    ” How are you grandpa? he asks.
    “Feeling fine,” says the old man.

    “What’s the food like?”

    “Terrific, wonderful menus.”

    “And the nursing?”

    “Just couldn’t be better. These young nurses really take care of you.”

    “What about sleeping? Do you sleep OK?”

    “No problem, nine hours solid every night. At 10 o’clock they bring me a cup of hot chocolate and a Viagra tablet … and that’s it. I go out like a light.”

    The grandson is puzzled and a little alarmed by this, so rushes off to question the nurse in charge. “What are you people doing,” he says, ” I’m told you’re giving an 85-year-old Viagra on a daily basis. Surely that can’t be true?”

    “Oh, yes,” replies the nurse. “Every night at 10 o’clock we give him a cup of hot chocolate and a Viagra tablet. It works wonderfully well. The chocolate makes him sleep, and the Viagra stops him from rolling out of bed.

  30. Send Doc Your Wishes | Firmo Technologies, L.L.C., Kansas City Unix and Open Source Software Support. |AIX|Solaris|Linux|’s avatar

    […] Doc Searls has been in the hospital suffering from pancreatitis with complications this last week. He’ll be the first to tell you he’ll be fine, but some well wishes never hurt […]

  31. Jason Rubenstein’s avatar

    Hang in there, and get well soon!

  32. Grace Piper’s avatar

    Hi Doc,

    I went through pancreitis with complications just a few months ago. Painful, even when hooked up to morphine. I also went through the no eating bit. Really aweful. You may not want to look at my website since it is food centric. 😉

    I second having an advocate.
    Thinking about you.


  33. David Trevino’s avatar

    Get Well, Best wishes.

    David Trevino. Monterrey Mexico.

  34. Bill Claxton’s avatar

    I follow your contributions to the Gillmor Gang, all the way from Singapore. You are always insightful.

    I have my own health issues – which I am winning – but I know that it can get you down. Stay positive. Being well mentally is half the battle.

    Wishing you a swift recovery Doc.

  35. Jack Carlson’s avatar

    The entire Lockergnome crew sends its best wishes for a speedy recovery and relocation to /home.
    Meanwhile, relax, listen to some jazz and try to enjoy your unintended vacation.

  36. Nitin Borwankar’s avatar

    Best wishes, and healing thoughts.

  37. Paul Greenberg’s avatar

    Hi Doc,
    I know this is frustrating but I know you’ll get through it. Just hang in there. A dear friend of mine went through something eerily similar about 4 years ago and he’s doing just fine so I know you’ll be fine soon too. I’m thinking about you as are many others.

    Paul Greenberg

  38. Mark Doerschlag’s avatar

    Get well soon Doc, my thoughts are with you.

  39. shel israel’s avatar

    You are among the best of our community. Please get well. We all need your wisdom, attitude & humor. I wish there was more I could do or say.


  40. Mukund Mohan’s avatar

    I wish you a lot of luck Doc and patience through the process.

  41. Kevin OKeefe’s avatar

    Your added to my prayers tonight Doc – for quick return to normal normalcy.

    And as always thanks for all you have done for so many to make blogging, social media, and marketing as a conversation something very real. You have made this kid’s dreams come alive.

  42. Dave Martin’s avatar

    Doc, Keep thinking, keep writing. You are in our thoughts and prayers. All the best,

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