Friday, March 2, 2012

A Calm Acceptance Is Within My Grasp

we did okay yesterday.  at the end of the day, there we were:  accounted for, joking around, a little breathless.

the end of the day jars my memory -- i've never read kazuo ishiguro's the remains of the day. i enjoyed the film adaptation, despite not having much fondness for anthony hopkins. i chuckled nervously just now upon learning that there was a well-received musical version... surely someone is punking moi?

let's steal it as a theme, what do you think? the decline of aristocracy. i see it all about me, i see it in marlinspike hall, in spite of (or because of?) a strict tradition of genetically indentured servitude within the domestic staff's nucleic code.  i see it in the algae colorfully clinging to the edges of the moat, sliming the captain's miniature pink submarine.  all of tête de hergé (très décédé, d'ailleurs) is witness to the fading luster, what with budget cuts to roadside bonsai forests, as well as the recent spate of re-appropriations of museum donations -- primarily of period clothing -- by some of the oldest, most respected, and storied families of the realm.

first on the list yesterday morning was the infectious disease doctor and his fancy-schmancy new infusion center.  we left early, we got there late.  lots of tête de hergé traffic (balloons and the usual signage game play), lots of fender-benders -- but tiny fenders, at least, on the mostly clown cars.  red bulbous noses, yarn hair, voluminous striped britches.  it was hard to be upset in the middle of primary colors and popping jewel tones.  ruby, the honda cr-v, waded through the mess like the champion that she is.

the office had relocated since my last visit, and while the staff was perfectly calm, there were glazed eyes, lost supplies, misplaced charts (doctors' notes were being recorded on pink post-it notes) and rooms piled high with the disparate art work of gone-out-of-business motels.  the few finished walls boasted cooler fare, mostly activist expressions about HIV/AIDS, human rights, amnesty international, as well as small touches in each exam room, like autographed pictures of the docs with magic johnson or anthony fauci.

what they are gonna do with the motel art?  well, dear readers, i respectfully introduce the motel art show series, such as "The One Night Stand At The Ole Miss Motel on September 3, 2009":

Under the direction of photographer Erin Austen Abbott... [of Oxford, Mississippi] the show kicked off in 2007, followed by one in Los Angeles the next year. “I was taking pictures at an old Travelodge-style motel, the type that you drive up and park outside your room, set in a u-shape,” says Abbott. “All the doors had these wooden red hearts on them. I had heard rumors that the walls inside the rooms were brown wood paneling, and I suddenly had visions of T. Model Ford sitting on the edge of the bed, playing his hill country blues while fine art leaned against the furniture or replaced the current art hanging in the rooms.”

Abbott immediately went out and found 10 artist friends who were having a hard time showing their work locally. They made up the first show, and, in 2008, she took her motel art show on the road to Los Angeles. Over a thousand people showed up for “The One Night Stand at The Beverly Laurel Motel,” and the show was featured on Yelp and in the Los Angeles Times...

For art lovers who don’t live near Oxford, Abbott has good news. Next year, the show will be presented by The Yoknapatawpha Arts Council (named after Faulkner’s fictional county) and, in addition to being held in Oxford each October, travel to other locations in the spring and fall. For 2012, the Motel Art Show is scheduled to hit Brooklyn, New York, in May and Nashville in September.
so i am thinking, why not a variation on the motel art show model?  why not "decoration's remains," about medical office leftovers?

i'm jittery this morning, can you tell?

anyway... what i most appreciate chez the infectious disease dude's place are the boxes of tissues placed at intervals of every 2-3 feet.  i am always springing a leak of some sort when i visit.

it was determined that yesterday was day 36 of my 42-day intravenous antibiotic sentence, and that i would, all things being equal, have my PICC line pulled next wednesday after the final dosing of antibiotic tuesday evening.  there were arguments made over then beginning an unending course of oral antibiotic.  i didn't listen very closely -- spasms in the left leg and in the left shoulder (that's a distressing place to have muscles seize, smack dab in the middle of an open wound).  i have nothing to contribute to the conversation.  just tell me what to do.

ever since the head infectious disease doctor dude saved me from an ignominious end a few years back, i've trusted him implicitly.  i was an inpatient, crammed into a shoebox of a room ["it's a private room!"].  trapped by thick beige plastic bedrails, i could just make out the outline of my wheelchair, stashed in the corner by the leaking sink and plywood wardrobe.  a familiar urge overpowered my good sense and i crawled between the burglar bars, landing atop, although also landing askew, one of three bedside commodes. shoving aside four types of aluminum walkers [a rollator, a hemi-walker, a platform walker, and the drive knee thingy] before reaching my power chair.  satisfied sighs as she powered up, no worries in that regard, no need to find a charger midst all that junk.

long story short, yes, of course, now i was trapped in my chair instead of in my bed.  i strove to push my way out of the corner, tried equally hard to plot the path of least resistance in the general direction of freedom.

within five minutes, i was red-faced, hair all sweaty tendrils, cursing and sobbing, à la fois.

enter infectious disease dude, the head dood, in fact.  he's a geeky looking fellow, very tall, bent, kind of a craggy face, but kind. a marvelous sense of humor, but you have to be patient with it -- it's shy. better not to laugh too loud or too much.  in fact, better to arch a simple eyebrow and allow just a hint of a smile in the eye.

the doctors of today don't engage. they see a patient trapped as if surrounded by an ice floe in a room that draws junk to itself like a magnet attracts iron filings.  this doctor, however, fairly leapt over the obstacles, deftly (well, not deftly, but with dreams of deft-itude) piling and reworking the layout.

"there!" he crowed.  "you're free!"  i've been downright fond of the man ever since that liberation.  he laughed with me as i confessed that i really had nowhere to go but back to bed...

i saw a new PA there, my doctor and his usual PAs apparently having been lost among the huge boxes and crates.  [wow, a leitmotif!]  having a new PA was distracting, as she was staring at my feet and hands, her own hands suddenly anxious, her fingers picking at her fingers, now and then twirling a thumb ring.  she had some sort of medical blackberry, some sort of know-it-all electronic resource, and was peeking, picking and pecking, making furious inquiries.

CRPS is oddly symmetrical, i've noted that before.  the latest evidence comes in the form of "matching" pus leaks from below the cuticles on my middle fingers and thumbs.  it is bizarre and has held the attention of many hospital types, usually in lieu of dealing with my screamed complaints about the spasms.

so we all oooohed and aaahhhed over the pus on my hands, how weird, hmmm, and huh, wouldya look at that?

fred and i drove across town, got lost, got found, checked in, finally, at one of the satellite offices of dr. shoulderman, my orthopedic surgeon.  we stared at CNN. i zoned out. fred kicked me, and i was called back into the labyrinth of exam rooms and x-ray cloisters.

the x-ray tech looked very familiar and she positively lit up upon seeing me.  she and her pals had been working the last time i had been there, mere hours before ending up in an ambulance, heading for hell in the icu.  "you were so sick," she said.

"you look a thousand times better," she ended, and i decided she was the most talented and deserving of x-ray techs that i'd ever met.  cute, smart, perspicacious, insightful.

the gist of the visit?  pseudomonas in the wound, which had an unattractive green cast to it, and a smell which the surgeon described as "fruity," but which made moi gag.  he was completely calm, and swore that a vinegar solution, in place of the saline soaked wet-to-dry packing, would quickly solve the problem.

we hope so.

i especially hope that it is easy to do, since the first message on the answering machine upon our return home was my MDVIP go-to-guy's nurse saying that insurance was not covering home health visits and that she'd cancelled their plans for this wound.

my reaction to having compiled yet another huge bit of medical debt was to try and sleep a little bit.

thus far this morning?  the home health agency has called three times, and -- convincingly -- told me that my MDVIP go-to-guy's nursenurse is misinformed.

i don't care. someone is right, someone is wrong, but i just don't care.  i can do this dressing change -- piece of cake! fred, bianca and i have the antibiotic infusion under control; and i am getting stronger, day by day, thanks to not being trapped in bed by wires and tubes, and ignorant assumptions.

i'll let you know if there is any attitudinal shifting once i am faced with the green stinky evidence.

psychologically, i am not in a good place, but i am trying.  if the spasm-meanies will give me a bit of peace, i think a calm acceptance is within my grasp.


  1. "the office had relocated since my last visit, and while the staff was perfectly calm, there were glazed eyes, lost supplies, misplaced charts (doctors' notes were being recorded on pink post-it notes) and rooms piled high with the disparate art work of gone-out-of-business motels."

    I read this sentence out loud to Marz. Then I sent it in to C-KAPE (Capt. Kirk Academy for the Pursuit of Excellence) for consideration of inclusion in their Official Files of Excellent Sentences category.

  2. what an honor! thanks for thinking of moi.

    i see you had a birthday, so happy belated! i felt all weird and proud of you when i dropped by to catch up on reading -- sometimes using the reader is unsatisfactory. so many good, pleasant, fun, and useful things in your life and lives.

    i sound like some failed derivative of pilgim's progress.

    be well.


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