Freaky Friday (and Thursday, and Saturday, and…)

Nate’s lying down on the couch, tucked under a blanket, resting, his “betterness is growing.” The last few days have been troubling ones, with Nate waking up every day with stomach issues, which set him off on, as he calls them, “rough mornings.” It’s not only his stomach, but his brain that seems to be upset,

I’ve written before how Nate, when sick or feverish, seems to get hallucinogenic, nightmares become real, fears become part of his day. It really shakes us up. Now that he’s more vocal, we get to hear what it’s like in his head. And this week he’s been consumed with thoughts of death.

On the first day of this recent bout, he died, on the couch, still, his tongue hanging from his mouth. Luckily, it was one of those short term deaths, and, after an hour, he came back from the dead. (That’s his analysis). It was a Christmas miracle!

He’s been very clingy, not wanting to be alone, yet reaching for extra independence. He was so anxious to see Karen that he walked, on his own, to her shop. It was the longest he’d gone out on his own, but with his phone on and in hand, and a new sense of determination, he made it. When he called me, he proudly announced, “I arrived safely!”

The other part of this story is that, in recent months, we’d been easing him off one of his medications. Ideally, he’d need nothing, and we thought, since his dosage was so low, that it would be safe (with doctor’s advice and involvement, obviously). But, more than not feeling well, it may be the absence of even this tiny amount of drug that is making his brain malfunction in a way that he makes him very unhappy.


A new prescription was called in yesterday and he’s back on his daily regimen. He seems relieved, he said, that his fears have been defeated. On Facebook he posted: “Two things have returned to my area today…my brother Robbie and those small pills that help me know better!”

We hope so.


About Jeff Katz

Jeff Katz is the former Mayor of Cooperstown, the “Birthplace of Baseball” and home to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. His latest book, Split Season:1981 - Fernandomania, the Bronx Zoo, and the Strike that Saved Baseball, (Thomas Dunne Books, 2015), received national attention, with coverage appearing in The New York Times, Chicago Tribune, Sporting News and NPR’s Only a Game, among others. Katz appeared on ESPN’s Olbermann and The Sporting Life with Jeremy Schaap and MLB Network’s MLB Now, with Brian Kenny. Split Season: 1981 was a finalist for the 2016 Casey Award for Best Baseball Book of the Year.
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