May 20th


Seize the Moment Department...

Notes to a few friends:

Vamp - even while sorting out an entire life, quite a challenge, your writing is more clear and stably forward looking than it has been in a long time. Good on ya kiddo.

Debra Hyde - check your email, girl!

Anna Rain - keep on keeping on. Love ya dear. Abby - take care of Anna, eh? And by the way, Abby - your entry of 5/20/03? Magnificently written and I'll be linking to it on occasion. Sound that anthem!

Shawn - it helps a lot to know. Thanks.

Juliekins - that was real sweet.

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Sick Slut Department...

Dad returned my car yesterday noonish and I got myself over to Doc Cody's office. I had a small bag with me packed with my cell phone charger, changes in underwear and sox, and three novels. If they were going to admit me I was going to lean into the effort. I was at that point.

I had another of those damn cough til I'm lightheaded instances a moment or two before the nurse took me back. I had one as well sitting there while the doc was writing in my chart. He took a careful look at me and told me flat out that he would do whatever I wanted him to do. He saw the bruises all over from where I have held myself while violently coughing. He felt the part of the belly that I feared was a herniation. He saw my feet - they look like floatation devices. And he knows what I look and sound like when I'm healthy, and how far this is from that. They drew three tubes in the lab and I gave them a sputum sample. I'll be getting scheduled for an EEG in a few weeks [thank you, HMO...] to see if there are any disturbances in my brain [I'll leave that there as a lob shot set-up to any of y'all who wants to take it]. He listened to my lungs quite carefully and said that despite two normal chest x-rays he does hear the crackles of pneumonia in the lower left lobe. We figured it out and I've only been taking about 4 of the hycodan tablets a day - prescribed 20 tablets at a time for 1-2 at a time, four times a day - so despite the fact that it seems like I've been taking a lot, I'm way under limits. He wrote me for 80 of them. He says I probably ripped one of the abdominal wall muscles where I have the stabbing pain, and gave me a fresh bottle of methocarbamol. Also he wrote me for a stool softener because all the opiate cough suppressant use is constipating me.

I lost it in the middle of the appointment. I lost it. I was a crying shuddering mass of fear and anxiety. I must have spent five minutes sobbing out of control. I'm not proud, but I'm glad I did. It's the fourth week of this pneumonia and all the tension and terrors and guilt and failings; the nights of tortured and interrupted sleep, the fears of and for my family, the unfulfilled professional commitments, the nights not spent with loving partners making happy - everything welled up and the damn just burst. I apologized effusively to Doc Cody and he gently granted me the right and the space to have such a cathartic breakdown.

I stopped at the office on the way home from the HMO to talk with my boss. He was walking out into the parking lot as I swung in so we chatted there. He told me that he'd cover, and stretch our patients for the week out into Friday, normally his day off. He is being so darn supportive it's incredible.

I will be taking it quite easy all week long, using the medications judiciously, and trying to get a hand up. I'm using my meds as much as I need to and no more. I'm not bashful about using them. I'm going to continue to use my back brace - the one I bought when I was moving? It supports my abdomen where I ripped the muscle and has done more for my ability to get any sleep at all; I'm wearing it 24/7. Somehow I just feel that with the emotional breakdown in front of the doctor yesterday that the back is broken on this damn disease. I'm still going to have miserable days - you can't see the coughing fit I had 3 paragraphs up in this thing - but I'm gonna whip it. I'm not going to be as "fix it by tomorrow" and just take the whole week to gradually get stronger. I sure as hell hope I don't have to eat those words in a few days.

I continue to get notes of help and support from friends and strangers - you are all very appreciated.

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Siskel and Ebert and Throckmorton Department... One little statistic that builds up when you're home alone. DVD's watched recently include: "Cool Runnings", "Running Scared", "Knight's Tale", "Secretary", "Maverick", "A Few Good Men", "Coyote Ugly", "Finding Forrester", "Grosse Pointe Blank", "Dogma", "Hudson Hawk", "Waterworld", and a few more. Normally I'm really link-crazy, but today y'all can look them up yourselves.

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