Friday, September 19, 2014

by way of explanation...

i feel like my life is a bad short story -- no longer feeling that thurber vibe -- that is being passed around a truly sucky creative writing class for bad peer editing.

yes, it's a pity party.

i am also sunk in a weird origami configuration designed by my equally moody hospital bed.  why don't i "fix" it?  well, l'il mister know-it-all, no configuration seems to help.

you see, we had another perfect storm drop by for a day -- yesterday.  that would be wednesday. instead of recovering through blessèd unconsciousness, sleep just made my clothes stick to my dirty, sweaty body, and the setback to my leg does not encourage me to travel on foot to the bathroom to wash up.  too much information?  you gotta be kidding me.  o, what i have left out!

my right hand is really getting into its new and sudden reinvention as a lobster claw but as someone who enjoys having hands, i'm going to go with... dissociation.  denial.  maybe anything that starts with "d," though please exempt me from diarrhea.

what?  you want decorum?  well, it is a "d"-word. another "d"-word in play around marlinspike hall? d-d-d-d-aptomycin!

think good thoughts about these short infusions of dapto -- because after 5 straight days of improvement, one day as clusterf*ck has made my right leg bright red, red hot, and is causing me to see red, as the intense i-am-gonna-explode-strep-and-staph-through-this-shiny-thin-crimson-skin feeling mounts.

considering that i toned down the actual levels of clusterf*uckedness that was encountered at the time of the writing of the following email, and considering that it left out all that came after?  well, to tell the truth, i'm ashamed of having sent it to my sweet cancer-fighting, ignorance-smasher of a brother... but relieved that i could get it out of my system.  i assumed things were gonna get better overnight, of course.  i am, of course, a bona fide idiot.  my bona fides is writ large throughout this blog!

the dear brother unit?  lumpy, of grader boob fame?  he sweetens.  i know that we all waver in our glucose levels... and remind myself that he has every reason in the world to be an addlepated sour puss.  well, bless him if he's faking, and bless him if he's not.  just bless the boy.

my hopes of goading him into regaling me with his accumulation of medical snafu guffaws, and tales of his own narcissistic pity pit mud roll-abouts?  pure projection on my part, as they don't exist in lumpy's world.  his few medical stories are kind-hearted, or born of pure consternation.  as opposed to tainted consternation, like mine own, which incorporates blame, lots and lots of blame.

anyway, my first instinct on surviving half of wednesday was to check emails, hoping to hear from ANY AND ALL SIBLINGS.  oh?  did i have the CAP button locked.  oopsies.  dimpled oopsies! wouldn't want my siblings to think i was YELLING at them.

yes, damn it, i know, they are working, all of them, and working hard, and not at things they love. STILL!

okay, so i checked my inbox and found, in the middle of leftist, "progressive" donation-grubbers, this gem from the aforementioned lumpy:

Wanted to check in to see how your latest medical adventures are going.
Hope you're finding some relief--you deserve it.
Had an angry talk with Mom yesterday, which ended with her hanging up on me. Don't quite know what to say to her when I call back. I think I finally got some of the vitriol that she usually dumps on [ANOTHER SIBLING].
Well, quite the family!
Love to you and Fred and the clowder!

a word about our mom!  she's a very sweet lady, especially if you're sort of the black sheep stepchild who doesn't irritate her by helping her with wound care, appropriate living facilities, the general loss of independence, and advancing dementia.  in other words, i don't call, and i don't help out -- so i am golden.  she has developed a mean streak and has little inhibition.  given her advanced vocabulary and gift for drama (she's forever a ballerina to me...), i bet her tongue lashings are sharp, indeed.

hopefully, when brother lumpy calls back, she'll not remember their prior encounter.  

that sweet little email was all it took for me to spew forth the accumulated bile of my small bad day, even as i was cognizant of his suffering.  a soul had reached forth, a hand had come through the fog -- i was surely going to snatch that soul, and wring that hand!

and i did:

first, i love you!  i love you for even ASKING, since you know i'm gonna bleccckkkk it out anyway.  there's no definition, of which i'm aware, for "bleck," but trust me, it's the appropriate word...

second, i love you again!  i love you for asking when you now have tales of your own that make mine but childish diversions.

we just walked and rolled in the front door, not speaking to one another, not out of anger, just from being drained of our humanity. i don't know if fred still loves me, but i know we're great friends.  only true friends are able to flip the "i am not mad at you; i cannot speak to anyone right now; thank you for understanding; check back with me in, oh, an hour or so, when the nurse arrives!" switch, wordlessly.

but it does leave me lonely!

we drove 100 miles when -- done "right" -- 25 would have been slightly more than expected.  i don't do well in the car, pain-wise, and cannot imagine how you handle things like curves, bumps, swerves, seatbelts, and spasming legs crammed between canes and backpacks.  surely there's an effing APP for that?

whose rotten directions caused this extended trip?  kaiser permanente's own directions, verified, triple-checked, printed out.  we got to the pain management appointment at 8:40 instead of 8 AM and therefore they refused to see me.  

we produced the directions and begged.  a nurse deigned to pass our begging forward, and lo!  the CNP agreed to see me after all. she was nice, and only screwed up a few things!  then, i was sent to pee in a cup for a drug screen.  i told her that i'd recently been given i.v. dilaudid and morphine, various doses of fentanyl, percocet, and god knows what else. 

"but no street drugs, right?" quipped mary jo.
"you betcha, no way!" -- i chimed in, reverting to fargo linguistics.

the lab waiting room held all of 3 waiting people, and 2 of them were "care givers." so we did as instructed and took a number.

the lab tech was sweet as all get out.  he looked at me, a grinning fool, one foot the size of a purplish-red house, the other doing a private tap dance, one hand splinted and sporting a dangling PICC line, the other gripping the backpack that bianca castafiore swore was gonna make life easier than my old purse.  oh, yeah, and the wheelchair, revving its engine like some fancy back street race car.  then he said these beautiful words:

"let's see what we can do to make this easier on you, ms. profderien!" 

a wonderful man, that man.  and i didn't get his name so that i could fill out an online praise form. something positive is needed as ballast to my soon-to-be-submitted grievance about having to pay $369 for drug screening every month!

we were then sent to neurology, as everyone opines that my brain is a mess, but there was not a living soul on that third floor, my lumpy brother, not a one!  fred, still endeavoring to speak, and in kind tones, asked, "can we go home now?"

okay... getting lost on the way home was my fault.  i violated the "no talking" rule and fred took the east route of some highway when we needed the north-southwest-slightly eastward exit/merge.  i did not violate the "no talking about sickness, pain, discomfort, or death (actual or desired)" rule.  no, i was ranting about how lefist/progressive groups were clogging my email inbox with diatribes and manipulative guilt trips that were identical to tactics that leftist/progressive groups adore pegging as right wing, extremist evil ways.  i'm not a giver at the koch brothers level of "generosity," but every penny i give carries more inherent value than one of their fat earlobes. i will make phone calls on behalf of gun control, for or against legislation, and to promote decent legislators (3 in the last 2 years.... one of the three, the county CEO, is on trial now, another, a crusading county commissioner, just pleaded guilty to fraud, and the third hasn't even gotten a traffic ticket, much less doctored the county budget -- but he's not yet been elected! 

surely my political ramblings did not distract fred, causing us to go 20 some miles the wrong way?

however, the look on his face at that point nicely conveyed what words could not, and so i've not spoken since... while he is de-stressing by slamming doors, cabinets, and breaking dishes!  i haven't been able to get in the belovèd bed because of the need to wield a mop between breakages.  i don't want the nurse to think i am unable to "keep house," or she might toss me in the freaking LTAC (look it up... they keep saying that's where i'd be "most comfortable," the asswipes).

the nurse was to be here a half-hour ago.  no, 36 minutes ago.

oh.  what did you ask? ah. a ridiculously terse, two-liner:
Wanted to check in to see how your latest medical adventures are going.Hope you're finding some relief--you deserve it.

the i.v. antibiotics are working, but slowly.  this morning's adventures made the right leg double in size, but soon i'll have it elevated and all will begin to shrink.  the nurse will draw blood, change the dressing, fred will nap and rejuvenate, and i'll peck at this keyboard to all my virtual friends, a surprising number of whom live in wyoming and the dakotas.  yep, a bunch of cowgirls -- for real!

okay, blessings to you, because typing this full-of-woo email has given the 15 mg of generic percocet time to kick in.  you've allowed me to type my way back to moderate sanity.

the hand, unlike the foot, is not improving. one of the things my new pain management CNP "helped" with was my referral to occupational therapy -- changing it to "physical therapy." PT does not treat HANDS.  why, no one knows.  OT owns the hands.  so now i get to start over with an appt to the wrong specialty.  smile, smile, smile!

NOW... what in heck did mom go off about?  i am now SCARED of the woman! that teeny, sweet lady! does she know ANYTHING about your afflictions (southern gothic lingo now... it's a regional tour!)?  i won't mention mine -- hard to believe, but i usually don't go on and on about it.  i was hoping the namenda would help her dementia but there is no drug that cures having one's world turned upside down, just when a person ought to be able to expect some respectable stability.  and missing a loved pet is just like missing a family member.  where IS daisy living, anyway?  "rehoming" sucks as a verb, but that's the verb to use.  dear OTHER SIBLING must rehome roly-poly daisy.  

i've heard nurses say countless times that little old people fight an uphill battle against cognitive decline as soon as they lose their home environment, and it breaks my heart that mom is caught in that scary place.  THAT OTHER SIBLING is a brave, strong soul.

and you, mein dude, you must respond very well and very quickly to these bursts of precision radiation.  you're overdue decent pain relief. you deserve lump shrinkage, an appetite, a cooperative, pliant, compliant  gut.  


yay!  nurse and confused nurse trainee came, took blood, left gloves and used supplies strewn about.  but they taught me a new joke.


"what do you call a cow with no legs?"
also, the not-so-successful:  "what do you call a cow with 3 legs?"
LEAN BEEF.  (i did not get it.)

i kiss you gently on your lumpy skull.  anything, anything i can do, just ask or bark the order.  it's done, it's yours. thank you for reviving your joshing, gentle voice -- but you can still be any damn way you please.  we are resilient in Tête de Hergé.


okay, i'm done.  peace on ya, on mom, on us all!

smooches galore --

retired educator

© 2013 L. Ryan

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