Saturday, March 10, 2012

No Title is Better Than a Morbid One

I wrote what follows the other day and couldn't finish. Lack of energy, depression, pick one of a hundred reasons.  Thanks to okjimm and his last post, "If you you can't write, dance," I am inspired enough to throw this one on the table and maybe have a go on finishing it.   Geez, jimm but you're my lifeasver.

Seeing that I have no one to talk to during the day, save for endless phone calls to medical people, my conversation is limited to the two pictured above.

"How 'bout a kiss?" I ask Mandy who just trotted into the living room.  Her mother raised no fool, but I still fall for the routine where she'll put her paws on the recliner and lean forward toward my face to give me a great big slurp across my whiskery face.  Not knowing if she's been recently dining in the litter box, I'll pull back and avoid the slurp.  Must be the drugs I'm taking because, I'll stick my face back down close to hers as if I really want a kiss.

Like I said, Mandy's no fool and hip to the routine.  In dog-speak "Gimmeakiss" means ,"Hey, he's going to let me smell his breath."  Having been foiled at the dog trick of licking something in order to intensify the smell and include her saliva in the olfactory mix, she'll be smug satisfied in knowing that I just ate that fortune cookie lying atop the microwave.  I don't read the fortune to her because they're really lame comments on life. I wanna know how long this suffering is going to continue, whether Dawn will win the lottery and I can buy the hospital or in the very least, buy my own doctor with advanced degrees and plenty o' smarts. The last part is my fondest wish.

Remember the last post? The hour long visit with the nurse and a bout on my part of terminal complaining?

After two days, I ask Dawn to call the oncology doctor about some of the questions I raised in the aforesaid meeting.  The doctor ignores any immediate concerns like when will the torture by nausea end and responds by having an underling make an appointment for a PETSCAN on Monday of this week.  I thought it odd that I wasn't given the usual instruction about no food after midnite, etc. etc.  I did ask if they were going to do do the radioactive flouride injection.  "Oh no," the nurse says.

You see, if I have one more poison floating around my head I'll flip out.

We go through all the hoops, blow all the whistles and Dawn says she must have a friendly looking face when people in the hospital parking lot start gabbing at her about the weather and a lady in the waiting room from Decorah won't stop with the chin music about yada, yad, yada.  The PETSCAN machine is located in a trailer off to the side of the hospital.  To get in, the burly guy who escorts me hits an auto open switch on the hospital wall forcing two large doors to open.  Then he has to lift a garage type overhead door on the trailer.  This forces a blast of cold air into the trailer.  The lab tech is wearing a T-shirt and was trained in Nome, so it doesn't affect him.  I'm escorted to a two seat theater at the rear where, you guessed it, they inject the radioactive fluoride and tell me I'll have to wait about an hour for the "sugar water" to course through my veins.

That's it. End of story?  No sirree Bob.

The doctor calls the next day to say the PETSCAN reveals something unusual about my liver. Boy o boy. Just what I needed to hear.  "It could be a false/positive. We need to have a CT scan. Can you make it here by noon?"  (It's 10:30 am).

This is Tuesday.  By Friday of the same week and speaking to five different people, Dawn is able to get a reasonable appointment for the CT scan.  Labs at 9:30 am ff. by the CT scan.  Previously, because the CT dept. is short staffed, they wanted me to show up at 8:00 am.  That means getting up at 6 am, skip feeding the dog, drive for an hour on a two lane highway over ridgetops, coulees and three major 20% grades with slow traffic lanes.

I spend hours on the phone with my angel of a primary care doctor who weaves me in and out of the up hill battle of figuring out, what, why and how. 

The hospital and oncology department I am currently tied to was once called Franciscan/Skemp. It is now part of the Mayo clinic system.

When the tree trimmers return we discuss specific plans for my 40 foot Norway pines. I apologize to the the aborist guy who walked off in a huff the last time for  being as asshole.  Cancer will make one cranky, I explain.  "Yeah, so how's that going? "he asks.

"I think their reputation precedes them."  I say.

'"Funny, but I had a buddy who was treated there.  Seems that they're going down hill." 

Other than saying I wouldn't recommend anyone to the Mayo Clinic, I avoid specifics.  The breezy 30 degree weather is too cold for me to spend any amount of time outside with details.


okjimm said...

Ah, you flatter me too much. Ain't no deal, see.

The real deal is a joke a day... seriously....hey, if I am gonna die some day... I wanna die laughing.

try this one....

A group of seniors were sitting around talking about all their ailments.

"My arms have gotten so weak I can hardly lift this cup of coffee," said one.

"Yes, I know," said another. "My cataracts are so bad; I can't even see my coffee."

"I couldn't even mark an "X" at election time, my hands are so crippled," volunteered a third.

"What? Speak up! What? I can't hear you!"

"I can't turn my head because of the arthritis in my neck," said a fourth, to which several nodded
weakly in agreement.

"My blood pressure pills make me so dizzy!" exclaimed another.

"I forget where I am, and where I'm going," said another.

"I guess that's the price we pay for getting old," winced an old man as he slowly shook his head.

The others nodded in agreement.

"Well, count your Blessings," said a woman cheerfully - - "thank God we can all still drive"

Snoring Dog Studio said...

Everyone needs a Jim in their lives. I feel so fortunate knowing him just a little. And that's the thing of it ... people are out there sending thoughts of hope and keeping the bridge clear of debris so that the connection stays open.

I feel honored that you've been sharing these difficult, scary struggles, Gavrillo. Your humanity remains. Your strength in the face of this is inspiring.

okjimm said...

weather is too nice for jokes....

try this.... it is for all of us

....and this is pretty spiffy neato keen, too.

hope you are hanging in there