Monday, July 2, 2012

$3 Million

What a morning.  Don't trust surgical paper tape to hold your PICC line thingies firmly attached to your forearm, and forget that ridiculous webbed fabric designed to hold everything in place.  I woke to find my two ports and their attached plastic tubules all a-wandering around the bed, one even under a Maine Coon.

For the record, I've decided that Buddy was misnamed, by me.  Instead of following Fred's advice of waiting for the cat to name itself, I rushed and forced "Buddy" upon him.  He is clearly a "Bubba." Whatever the case, he answers to bonito flakes.  We are actually concerned now that he is not putting on sufficient weight to compensate for the alarming length he has acquired.  He's a thin guy, not a swarthy molecule to my Bubba, no.

The great thing about finding blood in your PICC lines for the third or fourth times, is that it is the third or fourth time, and you didn't expire during those first few incidences, so likelihood is in your favor.

Also, I was all wrapped up in this warm dream about being offered $3 million by some lawyer that my infectious disease dood introduced to me, in a meeting with him, both of my PAs (Jacqueline and Susan), the wondrous on-site pharmacist (Lauren), and yes, this swell dude in a three-piece tweed suit and a bowler.  No shit!  Very clever and full of excitement, I had Fred drive us to the Best Credit Union West of the Lone Alp in Tête de Hergé.  He was pretty pissed (in real life as in my sleeping version) at me for bossing him around, didn't want to go to the Credit Union.  I don't know why, they love him there.  He shows them his sweet, shy side and is sweet on Ruth, the Head Credit Union Honchette.

They have lots of rocking chairs, braided rugs, beautiful quilts on the walls, chocolate cookies and milk in one corner, also a cage for toddlers disguised as a welcoming play pen.

Anyway, I zoomed into my banking institution, gave Ruth the eye, and she and I left Fred in a rocking chair with a spare Credit Union cat and an experimental latte (they're trying out a bikini barista -- bikinis à la Annette Funicello).

Framed art print for sale at eu.artcom
So Ruth opened a few dozen accounts, some for me, some for Fred, one for Bianca, one each for the Brother-Units, one for a few former best friends.  I gave Ruth a big freaking tip which she deftly tucked into her G-cup over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder.

Then I make Fred drive us to a car dealership.  Not just any car dealership, but the one that sells the car of his dreams.  You know, the old Pagani Zonda dealership.  You can find them, usually, near a KFC.  Anyway, yes, the order is in for one Zonda 760LH, (convertible).

The dream ended there, almost.  The last memory I have of it is receiving a phone call from Doctor ShoulderMan who told me two things:  that he had bought me a home of  my own, where I could live, comfortably, safely, and happily alone, and that in it he had put a very special bed that would ease much of my pain.

Then I woke up.

Back to the bloody PICC lines, the Former Buddy, a sweet-natured Dobby, and the echo of a slammed bathroom door that I assume came from the aforementioned Fred.  Marmy Fluffy Butt's tail drifted in and out of my sclerotic vision.  Sven, no doubt tightly spooned with La Bonne et Belle Bianca Castafiore, gave an angry yell at the door slam, then apparently lapsed back into the redemptive, cushy love of our Diva.

I am tempted to give Fred a new name, too.   And it ain't "Bubba."

So hauling my ass out of this bed without the use of one arm, and with both legs currently in awful shape -- the right refusing to bend at knee or hip for a good few minutes, mostly from swelling, partly from spite -- and with none of the expected orthopedic help apparatus in place.  You know, like a trapeze bar.  Mostly that.  I could do wonders, I could qualify for the Olympics were there a trapeze up there. Marta Károlyi, herself, has said, sighing, "Prof, dah-link, working with the over-bed trapeze would make you incomparable in uneven bars, and with just a little make-up and disguising do-dads, we could slip you into the men's still rings, maybe even the pommel horse.

Marta Károlyi is disappointed in me.  Hey, Marta, gimme $3 million and a decent gourmand for a coach, and I'm your girl/guy.  Kisses to Bela.

I use my wheelchair, parallel-parked by the bed, a cane, and sometimes a grabber, to achieve an upright status.  Lately, frustration has led me to also use a fair amount of force on the underside of the bedside table. This is likely a poor idea, as all things give, all things give way.

Careful to keep our small wing of The Manor steeped in good quiet, I squelched my way to the Medieval Kitchen, stoked the fire (in spite of forecasts of temps above 100 for the day), started the coffee, retrieved a 200 ml medicine ball of daptomycin, three saline flushes, two heparin flushes, two alcohol wipes, and washed the singularity out of my hands.  Wash, wash, wash, clean towel.  

The mewling, meowing, and outright cat screaming interrupts the PICC process and kibble is presented, to each according to the proper bowl, each with its own protocol.  

The kettle whistles precisely in the middle of the PICC flushes, and I opt for quieting the overly excited Paul Revere, since Sven may de-spoon from The Castafiore and come kill me, and Fred might make a fast break to lower the drawbridge, as -- when rudely wakened -- he mistakes loud noises for requests to cross the moat.

So my huge scoop of Italian roast is sitting in its nice hot water in my café presse, and I start the 9-minute timer in my head.  That's right -- I steep the stuff for 9 minutes, despite the expert admonition to stop at four. I'm a freaking radical.

So there are two ports, one purple, one red.  Because daptomycin only needs to be given once a day, we cleverly use the purple port for all infusions and the red one for all blood draws.  Red::blood, get it?  Because, yes, unbelievably, when we had to do twice-a-day infusions, and alternate ports, we'd get confused.  But now, all I gotta remember is red is for blood.  

This morning, though, both ports are streaked with blood, and the coffee isn't ready.  So I flush them both, using the whole saline and heparin repertoire, twice.  I have no idea if this will impact anything -- I doubt it, when I stop to think about it, after having done it, after having a few sips of excellent 9-minute café presse Italian roast with a good splash of milk ("It does a body good!").  

Finally, I hook up the stupid medicine ball, which is the whole point.  I am wearing scrubs (great pajamas) because the pockets are perfect for holding medicine balls.  The technical term for these med balls is "elastomeric device," and they look like this, when fresh from the fridge:

See?  So you just tuck the sucker in a large pocket and before you know it, poof!  It's a shrunken bit o'plastic and all the medicine is running around your body, curing you of whatever.  And you've been ambulating, catapulting, scrubbing, and pruning tree branches that loom way too close to a Chagall stained glass that we just discovered this spring.  

This disposable plastic dodad is the kind of inventions that I really admire.  I am not at all sure, but the clever inventors seem to be:

Thompson, Thomas C. (Dallas, TX)
Center, John L. (Dallas, TX)
Stocton, Paul M. (Clarendon Hills, IL)


Ah, clearly, I have lost le fil de ma pensée.  What a shocker.

Because I haven't even told you about the invasion.  The ant invasion.

I keep a clean Manor, damn it.  There is no sugar being all sexy on my counters or floors.  The honeysuckle is strictly kept in line with the out-of-doors.

So it was that my eyes bugged out to see a four-lane highway of teeny, tiny ants marching, marching, marching, with clear intent and purpose, across the floor of our communal craft room (you know how I feel about scrapbooking!).  

All right, it is not an interesting story and hardly a catastrophe, but for a woman who has yet to take her pain meds, with bloody PICC lines, and who has just rolled her wheelchair through a fresh heavy-on-kibble and very wet hair ball, it wasn't packaged happiness.

Fred, who knows a lot about a lot, later explained to me that sometimes a heat wave will inspire these annoyingly cute little insects to up and move their home base somewhere cooler.  This "somewhere cooler" for our crowd was a certain spot under a large throw rug.  Careful inspection of their destination revealed nothing special -- no spills, no nothing.  Just a huge rally of a few thousand peewee ants.

It took me three hours to feel comfortable that they'd all been eradicated -- and greenly, safely, so as to pose no danger to man, woman, or beast.  I followed their highways and byways, swept, mopped, wept, swept, and mopped some more.  I washed the offensive section of the rug.  I vacuumed the whole damn rug -- each side.

And when I was done, sometime around 2 PM?  Everyone got up, stretching, meandering for the bathrooms, searching for good coffee, murmuring vague "good mornings" to the bloody, red-faced, mop-wielding me.  Only Sven paused to listen to my exciting tale and wonderings about formic acid, scratching his crotch as if a few of the invaders had somehow invaded him.

In my next dream, when I meet with Ruth at the Best Credit Union West of the Lone Alp in Tête de Hergé in order to deposit my $3 million, I get all the money, in cash, and Fred doesn't even have to drive me to the border.  I'll take a cab.

Ruth still gets the wad of bills to stuff in her bra, though.  Fair is fair.

No comments:

Post a Comment

The Haddock Corporation's newest dictate: Anonymous comments are no longer allowed. It is easy enough to register and just takes a moment. We look forward to hearing from you non-bots and non-spammers!