Yes, I'm skipping days, so there. Phhhtttttbbbb! I can if I wanna. There is more than one reason, but I'm gonna go with "THE" reason, or at least the biggest reason. I'm having pain in my right jaw. Bad enough it turns muscular and even makes my ear ache. I had Hospice check my ear, nothing wrong with it, and when I could make my jaw relax, the ear pain went away as well. The big deal is, I didn't used to notice it unless my pectoral muscle that's in the left side of my mouth was cramping and made the right side pop like it was being dislocated, then screaming MiMi pain for a split second in my right jaw. After that, everything was pretty cool. Not so much the last couple of weeks. I noticed that the jaw was aching more often, and in different places than before. It's also swollen along the bottom jawline from just behind my chin to where it turns up to make the joint connection. Then it didn't need my pec to cramp to cause that blinding, extra ouch, sudden burst of pain. I yawned on Monday morning, sent that sudden pain up so fast I didn't have time to relax, and it was strong enough it nearly dropped me to my knees. That kind of pain that makes you see colors, close your eyes, and nearly drop you where you're standing pain. Okay, now it's time to have it checked out. I don't blog or tell people about stuff that's going on with me unless I've tried several different directions of controlling or at least working around the pain, or what ever else might be mixed up in there. So, this time I couldn't fix or change anything.
My Hospice nurse shows up and we go over what meds I need, how I'm feeling, and all the things we normally go over on Tuesdays. This time, though, I have him check my jaw and ear. Ear is clear, and the jaw isn't trying to dislocate when I yawn. I didn't, however, have him check the jawline on the right side this time, but I did tell him about the dreams, and pain when I yawn and the left side tightens up. Just my luck I have to yawn, and "Man oh Man oh Manischewitz!" did that hurt! And he could see what it was doing. My left side got hard as a rock, pulled my head down and to the left, the right side of my jaw stayed relatively straight and only pulled down and left just a shade. Not enough to make it look like it was trying to dislocate. But man, the pain lingered a long time that time. Minutes instead of seconds. As I've said, I generally don't sweat neck and face pain, but I had to deal with this stuff like right now. It was getting bad enough that I was sweating, and about ready to boo hoo over the pain. Very unusual for me to let pain drive me to tears, at least since first grade. That included a broken arm, which I did boo hoo over (because I thought I was gonna get in troooouuuble!), I didn't shed a tear one when the set my arm in the Dr's. office without knocking me out. I did, however, throw up on the doctor.
So now for the jaw pain I get Morphine, really small doses, but up to a dose every hour. I don't do it every hour, and no it's not because I'm afraid of getting addicted. I hope that it's not cancer in my right jaw. They took out four lymph glands on that side, though, and my left jaw had cancer in it. If it is in my bones, that's gonna really fucking hurt. I am not sure I can handle that, but I'm not going to sweat that little area until it's absolutely needed. What really sucks is, I have enough sense not to drive once the Morphine is kicked in, because it makes me goofier than I already am. Not driving will suck assholes, but I won't put myself and others at risk because I just couldn't stand having to be driven to therapy or anywhere else I'd like to go. So I wait and take my Morphine around 1000 to 1200hrs. I'll suffer that constant throb for a while (turns out it's about 7-8 hrs) so I can have some Joe with my buds, go to therapy, or just dick around for a couple of hours. Sometimes it's a bitch doing shit my way, instead of what I'm asked to do regarding a pain med. The damn morphine makes me extra sleepy. I didn't take any yesterday until 2300, the went and picked Liz up at her department Christmas Party. Told her when we got home how lucky she was she called, since I'd just taken a dab of Morphine. It's taken sublingually, so it hits pretty quickly. Where some drugs take 30 minutes or so to begin to do their dirty work, the sublingual Morphine goes at it in around 10 minutes. Hit the recliner, said "Night honey" and this child was OUT.
I'm beginning to wonder if the being tired all the time doesn't have something to do with the cancer. I'd like to blame the morphine, but that's a stretch, since this is an all day restlessness and equally tired. So I'm voting cancer, that was one of the side effects my Surgeon and MD Anderson told me would happen. The nice thing about "compartmentalizing" my thoughts and memories, I can call the memory up any time I want. And I'm pretty accurate with that as well. So, yeah, it's cancer, I believe. The only thing I'm not certain about is if it's in the bone, or just in the jawline. I may have some lymph glands on that side of my jaw, I'm not certain. I'd have to look at my surgery summary to say positively. I do know they took some out farther back and one tumor that had attached and wrapped itself around my left carotid artery. It's a wonder I didn't have a stroke kill me, since I was hitting the gym regularly and heavily right up until January 11, two days before I went to Houston to start a weeks worth of tests and evaluations to get ready for surgery on January 22. And that, boys and girls, is gonna be another tale to tell later on. Since I've already got my mind set on doing jack shit for the weekend, since I've got no big plans and can get away with being stoned and not having to drive. See? Silver lining in every little cloud.
Back in the day, I think I was maybe 20, the Old Man left me and the other hand on the rig by ourselves while he went to meet up with the tool man and pick up a tool to run in to start testing casing with (turns out the casing was like swiss cheese just above the top perfs on the well. The truck hauling in the work string was there, and the driver was a total douchenozzle, but his swamper was a decent fella. I needed a way to scam some cash off the Driver Douchenozzle, so I come up with this bet. Knowing this guy thinks he's King Shit of Turd Mountain, I said "Bet ya $20 you can't go up the tubing board guy wire, touch the tubing board, then come back down without falling. You fall, I win. If neither one of us can get there, you're swamper and the other hand can tell us who made it farthest." I can see him looking at the tubing board, to the ground, to the guy line, to the board and back to the ground. He took the bet.
Up he goes, facing the rig, which puts you in an awkward position since the guy line is almost 100' long, and runs out to the anchor from the board at about a 45degree angle. I'm thinking to myself "OOOOO, I got this", and I was right. Less than a quarter of the way up he has to come down. Ha Ha Douchenozzle, my turn.
I turned around with my back to the rig, got a good grip on the guy wire and start going up the line backwards (Important part I left out, my bad) with no feet. Backwards gives your shoulders, back and arms a more strength oriented movement. I didn't need to see the board at all, I'll touch it regardless how I'm doing the climb, the guy line is attached to it. I climb away, touch the board and head back down. Being young, dumb and full of (inert proper term here) I didn't think about falling. Fifty five feet would have been a devastating drop. If it didn't kill me, I'd fuck up my legs so badly I'd probably never survive. Now, here comes the fun part. Getting my cash. Yes, Driver Douchenozzle coughed up the $20, but not without cry babying about how I went up the line. I told him that only a dickhead would go up the damn thing facing forward, he took exception to that statement. And once again, tough shit.
We didn't work over a BOP, and seldom off of a trailer. Generally railroad ties we used to rack the pipe up on. There were three joints on the ground that I used to center up and get ready to transfer pipe from the trailer to the pipe racks so we could tally and run the pipe and packer into the well. I just finished chocking the three joints in and flipped another off the trailer and chocked it on the far side from the trailer so when we were rolling pipe it didn't just roll off the far side. Driver Douchenozzle hooks up his "break out" metal so we can just slide the pipe off the truck and onto the rack. I am between the trailer and our three chocked joints on the rack, when that asshole breaks the rack on the trailer and pipe starts pouring off the trailer and threatens to either break my legs, or I could fall and then
pipe break my neck. I took off running so I could get far enough down the rack to jump over and be clear. I jumped over four joints of pipe that was rolling and made it to the end and was clear. I'm also panting my ass off. Driver Douchenozzle is laughing his ass off, his swamper is looking at me like he was about to die of fright and embarrassment. I walked over to the Driver Douchenozzle and told him to give me the other $20 in his wallet for pulling a shit head stunt like that. He told me to kiss his ass. I grabbed a small pipe cheater for an equalizer and start walking toward him, he takes off, the swamper trips him. Now I'm laughing. I've got a knee between his shoulder blades and his wallet in my hand. I got my $20, gave him the wallet. He said he was going to rat me out to the area Superintendent. Fine by me, because his swamper was already telling him he'd vote on my side about how he'd tried to hurt me with a trailer full of tubing. Three or four years later, the same driver, different swamper are out to pick up a junk string of rods. They were covered in paraffin, iron sulfide and oil. Everyone's gloves were just dog shit nasty. Driver Douchenozzle smacks his swamper in the side of his head, not hard, just enough to splatter that nasty shit all over his face and neck. Then digs out running…right toward me, I tripped him. By the time the other rig hand and I pulled the swamper off, Driver Douchenozzle had a mouth full of that nasty stuff, a black eye that was closing, and a really nasty split lip.
Some guys never learn.
Have fun today. Go through your list of folks you like but haven't seen in a long while, call them up just to see how they are doing and to shoot the shit. They'll appreciate it