The hospital on Wednesday was a ghost town. A large sturdy tent stood out front, surrounded by serious looking cones and yellow tape blowing in the wind, and a massive generator connected to a spaghetti of thick white cables. Nobody around. Everything crisp, clean and freshly erected yet, tumbleweeds… a radiologist friend I ran into, in the ER, said the sick people were choosing en masse to stay away from where the sick people go.
I expected to struggle for parking when I arrived. To my surprise I swung a into “must-be-in-the-front-row” spot by the front door. I pushed the door open and rolled out, “dressed” in my fuzzy slippers and homemade green face mask (thank’s Sarah D).
Okay. No pandemic-monium. Weird.
I have been in this unenviable position more times than I care to remember, pre-face masks or not, over the last 8 years of my cancer fight.
The drive to the ER is always guaranteed to be a kind of emotional spin on Einstein’s theory of special relativity. During the fast driving, quick lane changing, frenetic moves to the hospital time slowwwwssss wayyyy wayyyyyy dowwwwn relative to my everyday, “normal life” going at regular speed.
It doesn’t matter whether I am in the back of screaming ambulance, or trying to keep the car on the road as I am doing “its not question of whether or not I can take it anymore –> I can’t take it anymore” dance with the steering wheel or performing the same kind of shutter-shake-shuffle-swear-moan from the passenger seat. Hell lives inside a four wheel drive vehicle with leather seats and a touch-scream display. Derp.
Getting out of the car I invariably have a mental image of crawling on my hands and knees to the automatic doors, having just crossed the Sahara, almost to the oasis now – finally – the land of milk and honey, a drooling hair sticking up Quasimodo impressionist with holes in his shoes and probably a long unkept beard, bouncing off door frames and ready shove past any “may I ask you a few questions” or “please have seat and take a number” swammy mofos who dare test the extreme boundaries of my worn civility or falling grains of gentlemanliness.
So, of-course as is the natural order of the shit at that moment, what do I find barring the door to paradise? Extra muscle. COVID-19 Security Detail style. Ready to block my entry into salvation or at least slow me down…I imagine the universe has designed this woman explicitly to “F” with me.
The guardian at the threshold is an overly friendly, all too bubbly at 6 am, probably attractive under her mask, 5″ troll in bright green scrubs and purple plastic clogs. I could either laugh or cry but really I feel like screaming, “NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, and NO” to the questions I know she’s about to hurl across the pitch.
But I better not act of order. The woman is armed and dangerous with a thermometer.
And of-course after she takes my temp, she has her shit, I mean (hello Freud) sheet of questions. The questions are standard medical questionnaire fare that I imagine accompany every initial encounter, in every medical setting at this time in history.
Sir, I have to ask you…
- Have you been out of the country in the last 30 days – No.
- Been to any of the following countries …- Nope (and please see the anger, um excuse me again Freud, the answer to question 1.
- In last 14 days… been in contact with anyone…No.
- …Fever – Negative
- …Cough – No.
- Last question…What mythical creature would most improve the world if it actually existed? Duh Napoleon Dynamite- a flying big foot, the BATSQUATCH beatch! He’s part squatch and part bat, man! How cool is that!
Next up are the 2 security guards who send me through the metal detector while gazing into the dark recesses of my soul, unquestionably making me for a perp.
Perhaps I should just preemptively confess to them bout the time I stole a candy bar when I was 5 from Seven-11 and get it over with. Guilty as charged!
Then again, I could get all groovy and spiritual, give them a hug and say, ‘at the end of the day aren’t we all just perps underneath it all man?’
Instead I hand over my keys and my wallet and my phones and my half eaten edible underwear.
–then I am through the door and into Shangri La, here at last…
How did I get here?
Not in the biological or metaphysical sense.
As of my last post, things were looking moderately up.
How did I get here? I mean really…
So…3 weeks ago I ordered my cancer meds, which seemed to be working well. Hitherto had been next day delivery on order. Not this time. 5 days to go on supply so, okay. No show for 3-4 days. Get call from Insurance. I call them back. Think we resolve. Few more days. Now I am out of pills. Call back. ‘Oh one of your meds is real expensive so we needed to get extra approval.’ New policy. Sorry for delay. ‘Oh.’
2 weeks, escalations, doctors calls, 1:30 hold times, call backs, and no deliveries later I am flat on the bathroom floor. The oxycodone is going fast. I am refilling a 30 day supply every 3 days. There is not enough to keep the blood, bone and organ crunching wolves at bay. Pharmacy people are looking dubious when I go refill my supply. Shit. I mean I am feeling dubious. And I feel like I am bugging the doctor too much. I don’t want to abuse that relationship. But the Crucious Curse is upon me. Cancer pain. Hot pokers stuck inside liver. I can feel more sticking through my chest and out my back. Two pitchforks in the kidneys. Flaming shit sandwiches all around. Do me a favor. End my misery. Two between the ears. Bam-bam. Please. If not for Sarah and the boys whisk me to hospice and the last day of church on time, then in the urn. Sorry, that’s how I felt. It doesn’t last.
The doctor and I have talked – a lot. We agree that the key is getting those meds back on board this sinking ship. This disease is an extreme aggressor. A bully and a real shit with sharp teeth. Studies show when on this treatment and it stops working or you stop working it, the roar comes roaring back. Well – f – it sure did.
Anyways, yesterday, Saturday was better. I was starting to wonder. I know you have heard me say that before. I know I have said that before. It’s part of the story. Bloody ground hogs.
Doc and I talked two days ago. If it did not get better this weekend after having been back on meds 4-5 days I was going into the hospital to try to get a handle on this escalating pain.
But yesterday was better. I woke up late (a good sign) without any wolves latched onto organs. I actually walked with Sarah and Derek (Connor is not there yet) around da’ hood (3 miles) and then did my old crucible of 100 pull-ups, 100 dips, 200 pushups, 50 burpees and 50 surrenders while listening to music (though in about 2x the time it normally takes). I then promptly offset any potential gains with some extra pizza. More of the same today.
Don’t know if I am back but it is good to be closer to feeling that way today.
Will provide more updates as we go…
COVID-19 and Plant Ears
I exchanged some texts with one of my other doctor friends over the last week. He is the one with the theory about a novel defense against COVID-19. I discussed in my last post..
Update in the last week: he had a patient with confirmed with COVID-19 who tried the water treatment and was symptom free in a few hours.
That makes 4 cases now that appear to have good results against viral conditions.
As my blog disclaimer says and as I have said before in other places, I am no doctor, I don’t play one on TV and I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night. I have no medical cred.
But my un-paid, not for profit, opinion is it makes sense to consider this low cost, low-to-no health risk “solution” (it is literally a solution LOL).
If I waited for complete data, the right set of statistics, or clinical trial results, for every move I have made over the last 8 years against cancer, I might be dead.
I read an article this week which suggested that a topic considered quackery and career seppuku from the 1970s – namely that plants can hear – may not have been off base.
Scientists once driven off for fear of reputation, grants, collegial dinners snubs, or fear of losing out on special tickets to the annual pipe tobacco and corduroy jacket convention are returning to plant ears.
Studies have been published, using repeatable scientific method, of plants:
- Producing more nectar to the sound of bees wings flapping
- Growing towards recordings of gurgling streams.
Okay Rick Moranis / Little Shop of Horrors.
THE POINT IS what we think we know right now may be wrong, no matter how certain we are of its truth.
Probably a good thing to remember with regard to any subject.
This is older but I just discovered this interview in last few days. He’s been around for a long time apparently but I am just kind of getting up to speed…talking about the cantankerous George Gilder. I read a blink of his book, “Life After Google Book” which was very interesting.
Of course not everyone is going to agree with Gilder. That’s alright. Curious I was interested in what some folks might have to say about how we got here or what we might do. I think this essay published by Stanford in 2018 hits some good points.
BTW, I like what he says about the “echo chambers” a lot of us inhabit. If you have not read about how companies like Google or Facebook construct narrow worlds around us, it can be illuminating. Start by googling “filter bubble” or try wikipedia on the subject.
Finally, this last article is long but fascinating about the largest privately owned farm in California… I consider myself a capitalist but dang skippy!
Finally, I wonder what our plant friends would think of this video. This video was produced entirely with Zoom. I imagine some wilting…
Here, this will make you feel better my “Fern” Friends.
I recently got into this song. I believe this may have been Jerry’s last show before he died. He is certainly looking well-traveled. Also to my knowledge one of his last collaborations with long time friend Robert Hunter.
Had not planned this, but a cool version of “He’s Gone” came next on YouTube so I also linked to that below.
Going off on a bit of sidecar here, forgive me…
But here of-course is a real-time example of what I was talking about, above. That video selection did not appear by accident, nor will the next one, which will also happen to probably be an even more appealing choice. If this was Facebook the same thing would have happened as their algs examined my latest click, applied it against 29,000 bits of data they keep on each one of us, and selected the thing that was likely to keep me blissfully inside the application.
There, YouTube just sold one more ad. Multiply that a few trillion times and we see why these companies are so successful.
And ain’t ironic that one of the most famous lines from “He’s Gone” just happens to be “Steal your face right off your head.” 0-;
“Help, I fallen inside a YouTube filter bubble and I can’t get out.”
But wait a minute, what if I like being unwittingly trapped inside this brave new worlds these companies have personalized and constructed for each and everyone of us, with 90% of the population having no idea that is what is happening? Guess there is nothing left to do but smile, smile, smile…