Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Mid-day Pills

Some pills -- the white capsule with the black stripe -- make you want to puke. Sort that one out, take it by itself, sipping my way through half a pint of water. Wait, as my mouth floods with saliva and cramps ripple through my abdomen. It will fade away in about fifteen minutes. I use the time to take my vitals.

I'm doing pretty good today:
95% @ 58
96.8 degrees F.
158 lb (nude)

After sipping the glass of water I pour another, toss the remaining five pills down the hatch, followed by more water. Lotsa water... at least 7 glasses per day. One of those 'unimportant' details that turns out to be of critical importance as to how your body takes-up the chemicals.

Dressing for the Vampire Shop. Cell phone on my left hip. Pocket knife in right pocket. (Don't ask... call it a Guy Thing. Or a life-long habit.) Bucks-worth of change. My 'doctor' wallet is a little bill-fold that fits in my left shirt pocket. For company it gets one of those slip-on dark glasses things, the kind they give you after an eye examine. I've got prescription sunglasses but they're too bulky. Ball point pin also goes into Left-front.

Right shirt pocket gets an Albuterol inhaler and a bottle of 'emergency' pain pills. The drive is only about twenty minutes but some streets are rougher than a cob.

The paper-work is in 7x9 'record' book that gets filled up rather quickly. Data of any importance will be transcribed into the computer, on one of two files; a basic spread-sheet that also triggers reminders of appointments in my incoming mail, and a program specific to multiple myeloma. This is another spreadsheet but one that has been standardized and distributed by the International Myeloma Foundation -- the IMF. Periodic compilations will be transferred to the IMF's files.

First page of the 'record' book is a check-off sheet, to make sure I have what is needed for whatever type of visit I'm down for. Today is the basic Blood Work. Since it is a Standing Order there is nothing I have to bring with me other than an accessible vein or two. In the back of the book is a computer-generated list of my medications. New people at the various offices usually want to know what I'm taking, when I'm taking it, and how much. So we keep things up to date.

Pills all taken, vitals recorded, we're ready to fly.

-Bob Hoover

Addendum: Someone wrote to ask, "Why 'nude'?" Because I had just bathed, an event worthy of an entire posting of its own because it was a shower-bath, meaning I had to remain standing whilst bending and scrubbing an doing all manner of things that generate whole symphonies of pain. Risky, too. An earlier effort brought on a series of spasms that caused me to fall. I had to crawl out of he shower -- it's the little one in the bathroom off the kitchen that I have homesteaded since the Cancer arrived -- to crawl out of the shower backwards then use the toilet to help me get back to a sitting position, in which the spasm slowly released its grip and I was able to dry myself. I tried it again, after the epidural procedure, with my wife standing guard. At the first shivering ripple of pain I poked my head past the curtain and she fed me a pain killer like an African bird sealed up in it's nest.

This time was different. I took my morning pills, which includes a pain killer, later than usual, then took another just before taking my shower, which I was able to complete, as well as the tooth-scrubbing and neck-shaving which followed, either one of which calls for a posture that forces me to complete the task while seated; pesky little details I would normally not share with you.