Alisa. 37. New Hampshire. Married for almost three years to this wonderful, funny, smart guy. Previously married. Went through in-vitro fertilization to have my five year old magical son Keegan. Stepmother to the charming Isabelle (6). Gushingly in love with our baby boy Harper(1). Policy Wonk and dreaded bureaucrat. Lover of fine cuisine, honeybees, truly romantic moments and the underdog.
Curried Beef Short Ribs

Note: I found this was more realistically four servings.

Finishing this dish with lime zest and juice brightens its rich flavors.

Yield 6 servings (serving size: about 3 ounces ribs, 2/3 cup rice, and about 2 1/2 tablespoons sauce)

2 teaspoons canola oil
2 pounds ...continue reading

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What Happened

Today is Tom's birthday. He would have been 36.
Three weeks ago Tom left me a voice mail on Sat morning while we were at gymnastics. He said he was sick and didn't think he could take Keegan as he usually did Sat afternoons into Sunday. He asked me to call him back. I did but he didn't answer so I left him message and told him I was all set and to let me know when he felt better and wanted to see Keegan. I told Keegan that daddy was sick and were going to let him rest and get better. I didn't hear from Tom the rest of the day and Sunday. I was worried but thought he was resting. Monday morning I was surprised to not hear from him. I called and left messages at work and on his cell. I told him just to call and tell me he was okay. I spent the rest of the day up north in a meeting. When I left the office that evening I tried to reach him again. Then I called his sister Barb. I told her I was probably being silly but could she check with her parents to see if they talked to Tom on Sun as was their habit. She called me back to say that they had tried him three times but couldn't reach him. Everything in my body reacted and I was filled with fear. I asked Barb to call his work and find out if he had shown up or called in. She called me back crying saying they had not heard from him. She had the number for the local police and I told her she should call and get them to check his house. I ran through calling ERs in my mind but I knew that if he was in a hospital we would have heard. I went and picked up Keegan from school and was almost home when Barb called back.
5pm September 11, near the Hess Station on Main Street when she told me Tom was dead. I will never forget the sound of her voice.

The local police had already known. Tom's girlfriend had been worried so she called the police but let herself in before they arrived and she found him. He was already gone. Laying on the floor between the kitchen and living room where he had fallen over. My local police were waiting for me when I got home. They could see I had already been informed. The dogs had been taken by the police to the local shelter. At that time they thought Tom had been dead at least twenty-four hours. After the autopsy we found out that he died on September 9 that Sat, hours after he left me the message. That message is still saved on my voicemail but it will auto delete in a few days. I have played it over and over trying to find a clue. To see if I missed an obvious sign that he needed help.
Tom had Addison's Disease (Primary Adrenal Insufficiency) caused by his immune system attacking his adrenal glands. We had found this out when we were trying to conceive and it is the reason we went through IVF for Keegan. Tom had to take two drugs every day morning and night in order to replace whan his adrenal glands would have made. It is not a fatal condition as long as you maintain the appropriate levels. He had to be particularly careful if sick or injured. We used to carry a syringe and vial of cortisol whenever we went on adventures in case we couldn't get medical attention in time. He wore a medic alert necklace in case he was ever in an accident or unconscious. The medical examiner ruled that he had died from an Addisonian crisis probably brought on by being sick and not being able to keep his medicine levels up or take extra to combat the illness. We think he got up, was dizzy and fell on the floor where he probably lost consciousness. He then would have slipped into a coma and his body would have shut down.
I am comforted knowing he wouldn't have been aware and scared or known he was dying.
Just writing this out has reduced me to tears again. It is so tragic and painful.

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