Sunday, March 18, 2012


I've been in dire need of pain medication for six hours now.  Yes, I have the medication.  No, no one has told me not to take it.  Some of it is scheduled, meaning that I take it at certain times, whether my pain is stable or out of control.

I have been doing very well with it, truth be told, and even plan one of my unauthorized periods of abstention in early April.

It's something of a game, what I am doing.  How long can I go?  How bad is the pain, really, hmm*?

[*Question:  Why is "hmmm" a misspelling?]

Okay, well, this is ridiculous.  I pried open the stiff lid of this irritating laptop in order to create a pithy, amusing verbal snapshot of my Sunday morning.  Complete with cats, Fred, Bianca (and Sven).  Rounded out by The Story of Our Unwieldy Trash.  I also wanted to bemoan more medical bills, particularly the $26,000+ being paid to Doctor Ewwy-Gooey Infectious Disease Guy's office.

With such lofty intention, why am I writing about that amber bottle, one-third full of salmon-pink tablets, one of which fits precisely within the dimensions of an eye's vacant pupil?

Because I HATE this PAIN.  And yet, I don't often face it, not really.  I don't stare at it, I don't assess it purely on the basis of what it is, how it is.  I don't do the ontology of pain.  I don't have much respect for it, in spite of the accumulated evidence of its power and importance.

If I am suddenly so keen to interrogate pain, and to probe it with my dull and rusty knife, why not keep to my plan and wait for the organizational advantage of my scheduled withdrawal next month? It wouldn't feel so much like sport, like a pickup basketball game on a blacktop court without a backboard, a hoop without a net.

Okay, so basketball is in the air here at Marlinspike Hall, permeating everything.  I hate to say it, but I am still disappointed in Duke -- and I'm sure Coach K and the players wish I would lift the heavy burden of my dead and dashed hope from their shoulders.

This is an absolute marvel: A site dedicated to connecting players to pick-up basketball games.  I am finally convinced of the usefulness of the world wide web!

About InfiniteHoops

Founded in 2003, InfiniteHoops is a Seattle-based service for finding basketball games and players worldwide. Our mission is to make it easy for basketball players to connect and organize pick-up games with players of similar ability and skill.
InfiniteHoops was the first site in our pick-up sports network. It was followed by sites dedicated to soccer, softball, football and hockey - InfiniteSoftballInfiniteFootball and InfiniteHockey.
In 2010, we incorporated our sites into InfiniteSports LLC. Soon after, we partnered with CALLE to buildUnderground, a site for pick-up soccer.
The service was founded and developed by Tosh Meston. Contact him on LinkedIn.

The trick I just demonstrated was so subtle and sophisticated that maybe you missed it.  See, I can use writing, and even looking up seemingly silly things, as a means of distraction, and as anyone experienced in pain will tell you, distraction is the best painkiller of all.

It doesn't make for a cohesive blog, unfortunately, but I make no apologies.  I have a manor to run, detoxing carnies to supervise, a festival to organize, an odd, craggy, rich old sailor to appease, and a moat full of algae.

Besides, I took the breakthrough pain medication about five minutes ago.  The placebo effect is very real, even if its reference is to ephemera.  I get almost instant psychological relief from knowing that in 20-30 minutes, some actual help may arrive.  Will arrive.  Usually arrives.  Please, arrive!
Good God, Zimmerman, that deluded, self-important fool, clearly executed young Trayvon Martin. Sorry -- various 911 calls have been released to the media -- and you can hear, on some of the recordings, and you can hear it clearly, Martin calling for help.  I read somewhere [a detestable phrase!] that Zimmerman, a 28-year-old Hispanic man, has claimed to be the one calling for help.  One of his neighbors offered a heartbreaking deconstruction of that lie.  She explained that, first, it clearly was the 17-year-old "crying," but if one wished to dispute that fact, one would have to wonder why the calls for help came to a sudden mid-word halt when Zimmerman pulled the trigger.
Oh, out with it.  I fear that the infection is already back!  How?  After two "washouts" of the joint, removal of the tainted prosthesis, replacement with an antibiotic-laced spacer, a few weeks of intravenous vancomycin, six weeks of intravenous Cubicin (the "new" antibiotic of last resort), and now eleven days [out of a planned thirty] of a large dose of Bactrim DS?  Really?  How the heck can this be?

And yet, I am ridiculously informed as to what my body, mind, and soul experiences when the infection takes hold.  I say "the" infection because my mind refuses to wrap around considerations of "new" or "different" problems.

Acting out of habit, I emailed my MDVIP Go-To-Guy late last week, as I had several favors to beg, and included in my list a lamentation of the fever, nausea, and malaise that was once again plaguing me.  A new order was needed to the outpatient oncology clinic that kindly flushes my implanted port every four-to-six weeks.  Blood work was requested by Doctor Ewwy-Gooey Infectious Disease Guy's PA.  And, oh, by the way, I am again running hot, again feel invaded, again, again, still, still.

Go-To-Guy replied with what most of you are probably saying to your monitor right now: "What is your major malfunction, numbnuts? Don't tell me, tell the Ewwy-Gooey Infectious Disease Guy!"  Who knew he was a Full Metal Jacket junkie, and channeling Gunnery Sergeant Hartman?

Of course, I got that message at 4 pm on Friday, not the time to bother the ID people with a problem of several days' duration.  "If it continues through the weekend," I said to myself, "I'll call them first thing Monday."

Here it is, Sunday, and I am already waffling.  Mostly because I don't want to hear what I am going to hear.  Also because I forgot that tomorrow is largely dedicated to an appointment chez Pain Management Dude, who currently heads my Shit List.

I imagine that the ID crowd will huddle up, confer, and then change antibiotics.  They may want testing first, which means a trip we dread, mostly due to the parking difficulties (and cost!) as well as the physical layout of the place, which recently moved into one of the hospital doctors' buildings, reachable only by a bridge and three elevator rides.  Or maybe that's just a smokescreen of an excuse.

I never ever feel "sicker" than when I am in that office.  Everyone is clearly ill, and seriously.  The doctors and PAs are candid and compassionate, and to see such able folk nonplussed can be upsetting.  Still, in the spirit of the place, I adopt the same abstracted, bland, blah expression as my infected mates.  We're a desperate group, pretending that nothing matters anymore.  We are, sadly, cool.

You must be really regretting the pithy and amusing account of my Sunday morning that this post was meant to be!

I did visit briefly with the three felines, as they are strangely separated today.  Marmy has coopted a comfy chair, and looks like she will never budge again.  Dobby is sulking, but sticking close to me, as is his wont, lately. And young Buddy is prowling about, vocalizing, and begging for food.  He sleeps as much as the other two but hasn't yet learned to anticipate his naps.  He just sort of collapses wherever he happens to be when fatigue hits him.

Believing that homey cat videos can salvage even the most disparate of blog posts, I present to you Buddy the Freakishly Large Kitten (enjoying some bonito tuna flakes and growing in front of my eyes) , Marmy Fluffy Butt (the embodiment of aloof), and Dobby the Runt (trying to remember why he's pissed at me).

Unfortunately, I didn't spot "triumverate" until the movie was made, and, well, I'm hoping you'll forgive me.

I'm freezing and gonna crawl back under the covers.  Me and Dobby, Dobby and me, forever....

Thanks for the distraction!

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