I did a bit of experimenting yesterday and this morning, I put a little dab of coffee down my feeding tube, which you know, goes straight to my stomach. Personal Note: Eat something before you coffee up. It didn't used to bother me, now it gives me a kinda of upset stomach. Must be because I've not had any in me since January 21, 2013. The next day I had my first surgery, and the rest is history! So yeah, I like the Joe still. I've got some fucked up stuff going on in my mouth and throat. The surgeries, coupled with the large dose of radiation on my throat in 2008 and 2009, has messed up my esophageal sphincter. I know, I said "sphincter", and yes, the word makes me giggle too. It's nice to be twelve. So, my esophageal sphincter won't close tightly. That means I get a little taste of everything I put in the feeding tube. Believe me, my damn formula tastes like shit. I missed that taste of coffee, actually more than I thought I would. Must be a comfort food. Yesterday, I sat outside on the patio of a Starbuck's here in town, and poked a cup of Veranda down the tube. I got a couple of weird looks from people going inside. I thought it was funny. I have to admit, without knowing how my own body works, it's got to be funny looking. I mean, really, a feller sitting outside with a syringe full of coffee shoving it into a tube you can't see. I think my own reaction would be WTF??? I'm so brazen though, I'd more than likely at least ask what the hell you're doing. And probably just like this: "Hey bud, can I ask what in Heaven's name you're doing? It looks like you're shoving that coffee into a tube that looks like it runs to your pants. Coffee enema?" Yep, that's me, straight up, no diplomacy.
I'm not used to the caffeine buzz anymore, either. Back in the healthy days I'd drink eight to eighteen cans of Diet Coke (can't have the sugar, hypoglycemic), at least two cups of coffee, along with two or three bottles of Diet Mountain Dew, and mix in six to ten bottles of water. I spent more pissing than I did being awake, it seemed. On the other hand, I was so used to caffeine that I never had any problem falling asleep at night. I know that some folk who weren't as acclimated to the caffeine experience don't dare have any after 1800 hrs, or they'll never sleep. I just wasn't one of those guys. My lack of sleep was, and is, caused by something else entirely.
I didn't sleep well last week at all. And even a night or two this week. I lie down and can't shut the head down enough to sleep. And in the recliner, there's not much in the way of flopping around to get comfortable, so I stay awake. Sometimes 36 hours with only a couple of short naps scattered around in that amount of time. Other times I stay up thinking. I put on my thinking cap and the damn thing gets stuck. I think about all kinds of stuff. Worry about Liz and the kids. Hoping I got the father thing right for at least a couple of the four. Is Liz going to be okay financially, and not be so sad that she can't function. Those kinds of things. Also about things I need to write in letters to the kids. Oldest to youngest. I think I'm going to caveat those as needing to be read when they are all together. And then talk about what was in them among themselves. I kick back and think about that. The next thing you know, it's 0330, and only a half hour until I get up to start the morning drugs. Might as well stay up for that. Then, because I was awake 24 hours, I doze off a lot during the day. The naps run from fifteen minutes all the way up to forty five minutes. So that throws my day off. I can catch all that up, if I fall asleep the first night after being up all night. Sometimes yes, sometimes no I can't. Oh well, that's how the cookie crumbles I suppose. It is what it is, and I have to work around that.
I'm glad I got enough sleep last night. Well, almost enough, it wasn't straight through. I feel asleep about 2300 hrs, thought I'd slept all night when I woke up, but it was Zero hr. So, I had made myself believe it was the next morning, and I had hell falling back to sleep. I did about 0200, slept until 0415. Not bad, drugged up, went to have coffee. When I got home I hooked up the feed bag, then started the blog. Now I'm trying to doze off. I think I'll nap when I get this finished for today. So, this is not such an atypical day for me. I wake up at night to cough my trach clear, and sometimes I am so awake I have to stay up an hour or so before I can go right back out. Too many years on call, I think. I wake up, my body says it's time to "Go West, Old Man" to take care of a problem in the field. It thinks I'm lying when I say to it, "No, really, we don't have to go out anymore, let's sleep". My body is stubborn, but relents after an hour, give or take.
We are having the "Good Bye, Rock" cook out today. Just burgers and hot dogs, mostly to sit around and shoot the shit. We planned to have one right after I found out I was terminal. And we thought we should do it while I can still enjoy the company. Good plan. Two weeks ago I felt so bad, high pain that the meds only knocked down a little of it. It hurt to walk, breath, fart, or even pay attention. So I told Liz we better do this sooner rather than later. The last week wasn't much better, over all, but I was better than the week before. This week I feel damn good! Sleeping longer helps. Lymphedema Therapy pulled a lot of swelling out of my face and neck, so the pain level fell on it's ass. So much, in fact, that I didn't need the extra pain meds like I had. That's a plus, but I also thought, "Damn, we coulda waited now". But in reality, we really can't. In the last 3 weeks I've had two that I felt bad during that week. Not terribly bad, but not real good, either. My really good weeks and/or days are getting fewer and farther beyond. expected that. But not this soon, or is it this late? There are times I wish it would just speed the fuck up so it over takes me. Then there are times when I think, "You damn fool!!! You just got another week to spend with friends and family" Welcome to the only thing in life I'm wishy washy on. This is going to stop. Because I can't change how the cancer is going to make me feel on a day to day basis, I'm not saying "Hurry up" any more. That's defeatist. I will not be that, on any level. While I know that the cancer will kill me, I'm not going to make it enjoy itself because I can't decided what I want to do. I wanna stick around as long as I can. That's a no brainer, right? Well, duh, yeah.
I have a buddy in town I've know for forty years. That's a long time. In fact, via Facebook and e-mail, I'm reconnected with a couple of my good friends from Jr High when we moved to Liberal in 1974. Okay, they are almost 40 year friends. They will be come February of next year. This is close enough for that. John is the guy I did my trips to Daytona Beach with. We like to ride, and he does so more than I ever did. But that's okay, we like each others company. Even just sitting around doing nothing is okay. He's gonna help me get the back yard ready for the cook out. It's a mess since I haven't been watering. It wouldn't be a mess, but the city raised the rates on using over "X" amount of water. That meant usually using right up to that amount of water in one or two days of watering the yard. Ooops, that I can stop. Consequentially, the front and back yard look like shit. But it won't take us long, if we just go at it.
Like the friends, Daric and Kise, that came to visit a few weeks back. We seem to pick up right where we left off, even if it's been close to 25 years since we've seen each other. And being the slug that I am, this is a good reminder to catch up on my e-mail to them both. Somewhere along the line, I'm not going to be able to do that anymore. I'd like to, no I need to stay in touch. They were a big part of my youth, there's no reason I shouldn't be communicating more with them. Other than I'm a lazy bastard deep down. I also chat it up with folks from High School online. Not as nice as face to face time. But I feel better knowing they are safe, and not entering the Midland County Texas Kill Zone that are our highways here. 200,000 people county wide, maybe. Thirty-eight traffic deaths this year, to be even, Tarrant County Texas would have to have 380 traffic fatalities to match Midlands death per capita rate. It's nuts how shitty the drivers are here. And then blame it all on the influx of new people. They have driven for shit here, since I moved to Midland in 1993. The worst drivers I've encountered in an city of size I've driven in. DFW metroplex, Houston metroplex. OKC, Oceanside and San Diego Californian. All the way down to Daytona Beach in Florida. In fact, the only two times I was nearly clipped on the bike by some asshole in a car, the cars had Texas tags on them and were headed to Daytona Beach as well. And that was on fucking four lane highway. Assholes. And then Texans get bent out of shape when other states bitch about how they drive. It's true, though. So fix it, Texas, don't bitch about your feelings being hurt, or run down the other states because you can't drive well.
That was my bad driving rant. Pay attention, douche bags, and stop driving like you're the only car or pickup on the highway.
Book Of Rock: I wouldn't change a thing about my life, or the way I've done things. That's what's made me who I am today. Regrets are something I don't hold in any regard. Don't regret what you've done in the past, you can apologize for your actions, but don't regret anything. You're who you are because of the mistakes you've made, rather than the successes you've had.
Pet a dog, they like that. Hug someone, most people like a good hug.
Kisses and stuff like that. Laters Gators