May. 5th, 2017

aadler: (Muse)

Apparently my son-in-law is diabetic.

I didn’t know this. He didn’t know it. (He may not know it yet, because he’s in ICU in Dublin, responding to insulin therapy but set up for dialysis if that proves necessary, and his state of consciousness is … iffy.) The onset was so severe and unexpected, there were no symptoms before very late Wednesday night and they didn’t become truly worrisome till yesterday afternoon (Ireland time, which I think is about eight hours ahead of US Central Standard).

I found out about it … well, barely two hours ago, I got home and there was a text from Susan on my phone that our daughter ([livejournal.com profile] sroni) had sent her a message by Facebook, so I started questing for details because Susan is still at work.

We’ve wound up using a range of electronic communications. I contacted [livejournal.com profile] sroni through Facebook text, got information, relayed it to Susan through phone texts, sent a summary message to my son Kevin (still in China, yes) by WeChat; then [livejournal.com profile] sroni went to a different part of the hospital when her husband was moved to ICU, and switched over to Skype on her tablet.

So many avenues, and we used them all because they were there for us to use.

People got by before these various conduits of information were available. Their lives were full and complex, so it’s not a matter of how unfortunate they were. All the same, I feel that we ARE fortunate, to be able to keep one another informed — and become informed ourselves — at such speed, over such distances.

The world is not what it once was. People used to say the globe was shrinking, meaning that the speed of travel and communication had made distance less of a barrier to people in different parts of the world. In that sense it was true, but ‘shrinking’ implies constriction, and my world is larger now that it was even when my children were born. The conquest of these barriers has changed not only what we can do, but how we think.

I am not unhappy about that.