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Epilogue 07/31/08:

I suppose what I’m really trying to get at, once I get past the birth of my first grandson, is the question of how ANY of our loved ones deal with our shenanigans, particular the younger members or our clans, and not always the very youngest. Sometimes it is those who are on that fine line between understanding death and thinking that it will never happen to them (teenagers, I mean) who are most affected, I think.

Still, the application is valid for all. I DO wonder what that little guy will think, growing up with a grandpa who is different than other kids’ grandpas. (I can hear some of you saying already, “With or without cancer, HIS grandpa was gonna be different!”)

I’ve mentioned some of my son’s surprising revelations, and you know that my daughter and her husband ACTED as a result of my illness, albeit in a positive way.

People are transformed by cancer, I am trying to say, and it is not just those of us who are touched inside by the nasty critters. I know that that goes without saying, but I find it necessary to say, nonetheless, from time to time, just to remind myself.

Today, for example, I passed on my chemotherapy. My left leg is in some painful shape, and really, I mean this, I am not one to whine about pain normally. My doctors over time have made mention of my tolerance and my threshold and my attitude. I don’t really complain. Maybe about the food. About the seeming preponderance of male nurses these days. But not about pain.

This leg has been an issue for a couple of days, and I did mention it to my wife, Nurse Cratchett (:)) who was three and a half hours AWAY when I mentioned it and she came up with an instant diagnosis of a blood clot, how I do not know.

I tend to disregard diagnoses from 200 miles away, and therefore, I did the same with this one. And still I was not surprised when this particular nurse showed up at my home this evening to take me to the Emergency Room. True story. Apparently THIS woman has not heard about the price of gasoline or the Greening of America. Yes, she drives a Beetle, but still!

And so off to ER we went. We picked one not so crowded, so I only slept for an hour, I guess, before they wakened me, listened to my wife’s story (nurse that she is and thus one of them) and then to my story (nurse that I am not and thus quickly dismissed) and decided that she did indeed have very valid reasons for hiking my rear up to the ER.

But no proof.

They gave me a shot of Lovenox in the stomach (don’t you love the sound of that?) to get me through the night (and the funny thing is, as they testified, it will not dissolve any existing clots (the reason I thought I went to the ER) but will keep any new ones from forming (the reason I did not see any need to go to the ER, once this was mentioned).

And, by the way, is there anything more embarrassing than being in an Emergency Room when you truly believe you should not be there? Little kids walking by with an eyeball falling out; young man with bullet wound accompanied by policeman; guy still carrying the chainsaw that was a bad boy to him but at least thought well enough to retain some parts of his leg in its teeth. And here I am with, um, my wife thinks I may have a blood clot.

They stare at me. I add, she is a nurse! That sometimes gets me through. Other times they seem to think, oh, another nurse who wants to be a doctor. That is NOT helpful when I see that particular look. So I limp. A lot.

It also doesn’t help that, being a relatively honest and ethical guy, once we are in the room my wife says, “Lay it on thick!”. What??? Her idea is that I always sell my problems short. Her idea, too, is that in the ER, you have to really lather the bread with butter or they will not chew on it. Seriously!

So I am supposed to, not lie, but sell my story, I guess you could say. I thought I sold it when I CAME to the damned ER! I thought I sold it when I LIMPED to the damned ER from the car! I got nothing to sell! And I do not lie well.

As she knows. Oh, she knows.

I can’t get away with that stuff. So I just tell them the truth, and try to explain that I really don’t complain about pain, and this hurts, and when they leave, she says, you know, they hear that all the time, all men think they are tough when it comes to pain, and I say, but I AM, and she says, I know, but they don’t know that, and so when they come back in she says he REALLY is pain-tolerant (a lot of good that does), and I ask, how long is this going to take, which she doesn’t like (and I don’t think they do either, since my eyeball is not falling out and I am not a four year old chain saw accident victim that was shot by a policeman) and they say it will not take long now, and NOW is the word from Hell, because you know that their sense of NOW is not like YOUR sense of now, as you are speaking of NOW as if it meant today, tonight, right now, and they are speaking of NOW as if it meant when the paper work is done, sometime this week, when we get around to it, if we don’t forget you because you’ve been in there for so long.

Trouble. Real trouble if you are antsy. I do not recommend the ER for the antsy. But I have strayed again.

Shot in belly at 11:30PM and wife has nerve (:)) to point out that last night son-in-law slept while she fretted, and tonight hubby (me) slept while she fretted, and it wasn’t fair, and I replied that she worries to much, more to the point, that she over-reacts, which DID NOT sit well with her, and I would have added that she clearly needs more sleep, but thought better of it :), and shut my mouth at that point, except to complain that I should not have to be at the hospital at 7:15AM for a PVL or whatever they call it, even though I HAVE had it before and LIKE the jelly being spread on my body parts prior to the ultra-sound as long as it is a woman doing it, I’m just saying, not being sexist, just telling the truth, don’t like guys spreading jelly on my body parts, I don’t care where, I don’t care why, I don’t care who, but women can spread jelly on my body parts and I am perfectly happy with that as long as they do not have negative and positive battery cables in their opposing hands immediately after doing so.

Just saying.

I intend to sleep through the entire thing anyway, like a desperado waiting for a train. Hat tipped down to block out the sun, one eye open for danger (such as my wife with some NEW idea), one ear listening for that lonesome whistle.

Soon, I will have to explain women to my grandson. I want to beat my son-in-law to that, because he is apt to be too kind :).