Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday musings

Ahhh, to crash out at 2030 and be awake at 0300. I got my feeding done, my back pack filled with kilt and feed in anticipation of seeing friends throw at Kerrville today. Even brushed my hairs, folded some laundry and as soon as I'm finished here I'll do the morning med thing. I'm pretty fortunate, I'm only taking 2 meds on a routine. Well, I'm not counting the pain patch, it's a 3 day little devil, or the fun in a bottle. I only take that as I need it. Which is a good thing that I hope lasts quite a while. Being stoned isn't all that fun if it's a have to do thing. And I suspect I wouldn't like it much as a recreational thing either. I've been too used to having to have a clear head to keep from getting squashed or killed by poison gas that I just don't like feeling to cloudy. Oh, don't get me wrong, when that pain level hits an 8 or higher, that cloudy feeling is
 A couple of days from now my oldest will be back in town with my grandson. They'll have to live here until we can find something they can afford to live in, and right now that's going to take some time. What with the sustained oil boom going on and seeing as how the Permian Basin has almost 2/3 of the total number of rigs drilling for oil and gas, the law of supply and demand is in place. Rent is bat shit high right now. Then again we have the lowest unemployment in the state in Midland as well. Big economy, not enough housing to go around. It's expensive. Which, in itself isn't a bad thing, it just makes one have to be a bit creative in how they spend and live. I'll be thrilled to have her and Bo home with me though. We always have had a good time, even when I've crawled her ass about small things. I can't get out of dad mode and now I see more about my parents than I used to see. Interesting how things turn that damn corner. I never was my kids friend when they were small. I was a parent and I acted like a parent. Now that they are grown and growing up, I can be their friend as well. They are all independent kids, and I'm damn proud of all 4 of them. They live their own lives, the two oldest, and are out in the big world doing quite well, with more confidence and goal oriented than I was at their age. Either I helped aim them the right direction, or I made them into old folks ahead of their time.
I miss the older kids. I didn't get to see enough of them when I was working, because of changing areas and getting promoted took away more of my free time. I was just about to turn that corner when the cancer came back. I can't say I "shoulda" because that's in the past and that part is over and can't be changed. What I do is try and at least text them every day now. It's not perfect, but it is what it is and I can live with that. Well, for about another 10-11 months anyway LOL
 The hospice thing is going to be interesting. I don't know if they get a lot of clientele that aren't frightened or upset by what lies ahead for them. The people that have come to visit rave about my attitude. They don't realize that nothing has changed as far as that goes. In the last several years I've quit letting what may happen bother me. Not to say I don't try and set goals to obtain, I just don't sweat the shit I can't fix anymore. I'd been better off years ago if I'd taken that attitude and enjoyed what was handed to me instead of cursing the dark for lack of a candle. I don't feel like I wasted my time or energy, it was just a silly thing to do. Being upset by things you can't change, looking back I can't see why I let it bother me so. That's in the past, so I don't dwell on it, because that's worse than letting the shit you can't change bother you.  I skipped that part of the lesson in "IF" for a long time.  Silly boy
  Since I've got this God awful mess of a neck I can't use a tracheotomy collar to hold the tube in place, and there's no sense in adding a permanent trach to me, so we improvise. Using pieces of the collar and tape (it was stitched in, but my skin got to the point the stitches just pulled out. Yes it stung) to hold the tube in where it belongs. If I'm not careful when I shower, the tape gets wet and won't hold. A couple of times this week I'm boppin along and something just doesn't feel right, so I glance down and there's my trach on my chest. One side of the tape holding it from falling clear onto the floor. Crap.
The first time I had hell getting it back in and taped in place. For starters it's a bit disconcerting to see a gaping hole in your throat. Then, while I'm cleaning the tube and getting the tape ready, I begin to think. Oh shit, cool! That's almost ghost/zombie like! Or Star Trek from the 60's like. Yep, I'm warped. Putting it back isn't so cool. The longer it's out, even a matter of 10-15 minutes, the hole starts to close a bit. Let's just say it's a bit uncomfortable to put back in. Then I seem to need that third arm I always wanted when I bar hopped. You know, guys, the one to prop you up while you do your business in the can, without having to set your drink down. Now it would be handy to hold the tube with I tape it in where it belongs. Did I panic the first time I coughed it out? Fuck yes I did, for a couple of seconds anyway. This is how I breathe. Hard to not let that bug you a little! Then it's funny to me. Warped as I am I can visualize Jackie Gleason on the Honeymooners if he'd had the similar situation. All I lack is Art Carney LOL
 I write about not being able to speak well. It's true, I can't. My SLP has had students all summer. They are very nice, caring young women. We spoke about me intimidating them when they came to observe and help Michelle with my exercises and swallowing. And yes, I did. Not attitude or personality wise, but because I have so many issues going at once. I have nearly all the parts you need to speak clearly removed. Soft palate and my base of tongue, and I can't wear my dentures because of my surgery, and since the cancer is back, there's no point in having custom dentures with a prosthetic soft palate built. So, I'm missing the essential parts of clear speech. Anything that requires pressure in the mouth to say, "F", "S" "B" "P" "G" sounds, for example are difficult if not impossible for me to say. The trach adds to that problem, but I have a speaking valve I can wear that helps. I also can't swallow all that I need to be able to swallow to keep from building up fluids at the back of my throat. I can swallow a little, but not nearly enough. This will get better if we can get the swelling from my last surgery to come down a little, then it'll get worse again as the cancer progresses. Occasionally I bleed a bit and aspirate that. It's from the cancer and my throat getting raw. So, all this together and the young ladies were intimidated by the circumstances. We talked about that, and in the end I think they have seen, with just me, a lot of issues that they may never see in one patient at the same time for a while. We had a good time, and I enjoyed the students company. We both learned something. They learned they could work with a multi issue patient, I learned that enthusiasm is a good thing. And that different approaches to the same problem can't hurt, and often help. My SLP is wise, she let the students and I work away, and only gave nudges in the right direction if we got off base. Twas a good summer.

 Now, girls and boys, it's time for me to hit the bricks and head to Kerrville. Y'all come back now, hear?

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