Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Morphing With Morphine. A Bit of Fun Under The Tongue

 Well, that's not always the way it goes. It's sort of a love/hate thing. I love the morphine, hate the pain. Although, I really don't. I don't like not being able to overcome the pain like I could with so many other things. Including the surgery to get me to this point, and a bushel basket of broken bones. It's more I'm thankful for the morphine to help the Fentanyl control my pain. The bones in my upper and lower right mandible simply scream at me on occasion, which is almost often enough to become  a regular occurrence. Sometimes, on a full dose it's like trying to get a nickel off Ebenezer Scrooge, "How about a bit more, you cheap bastard?". Other times, on a full dose, it's very close to eating 64 boiled eggs "Way too many, ain't it Luke". But, most of the time it's like the baby bear in the Three Bears, "This one is juuuuust right".  When it's just right, I can function pretty well still. I'm cognizant enough to drive, I don't lose reflex time, and I know enough that I am not 100% and to be extra careful. I can even write the blog without having to redo the same stuff over and over. Although, one day, I'm going to leave it as it's written. I dozed off one morning while writing the blog, but not clear out. You know, that little bit between LaLa Land and I'm Awake. I was semi dreaming or at least my mind was wandering and I went from being on a topic directly to "I swear to God, either get that rig the hell off my location or I'll shove a ball bat up your ass and turn you into a Dickcicle". Trust me, I have not idea where that came from or where it was headed. Immediately after that was almost most half a page of "…………………………" Which kind of disappoints me. I'm curious if I had to shove a ball bat up the guys ass or if he got his rig off my location. That's the level of "Too Much" morphine in a full dose. Not enough, when I'm writing this, means it may take me six or so hours to do it. I have to stop fairly often from surges in the pain level that make me wee wee just a little. Those times are really nasty. I can't even think straight. I've been nailed by that sudden pain stuff when Liz and I have been out fiddling around. I'm telling ya, I've been hit hard, very hard. I've broken bones and set nearly all the fingers and toes I've busted on my own. I got stabbed in the chest by one of those long, very thick and heavy, swizzle sticks and had to pull it out. ( I danced with an ex wife of a guy, he took exception) I had to dig out a couple of pieces of shirt with that. All of that and a bunch of others, and I still haven't felt pain like that. Never. I'm beginning to believe folks when they say there is nothing worse on earth than cancer sliding off into your bones. If that's true, it's gonna take every ounce of my personal strength, and modern chemistry, so I can still function.
  I have morphed a bit as well, so the title isn't really completely a lie. I find that I don't have to sit and try to knock pain down on my own. I've even come to the point in my life that I'm finding that when I do that I'm more than just a bit foolish. It's more than I can do on my own, and frankly, as well as braggadocio, I could knock a lot of pain out without drugs at all. Not any where near as much as this. It's partially because I'd be fighting this day in and day out without a chance to rest and recharge my own batteries. Hard headed you say? Hell yes I'm hard headed. It's served and done me a disservice all my life. It helped me stay with things that I really needed to do (a lot of times to make a point). It's been a disservice in that I couldn't let something go that in the long run kept me from moving up in my profession. With the cancer, it's served me far more than it's been a disservice. It's allowed me to keep hitting the pavement instead of just rolling up in a ball and kicking the bucket. I had an episode late yesterday afternoon, the second in five days, where an extra large blood/mucus clot got caught in the outer cannula of my tube. I couldn't breath through the tube, my throat had accumulated so much mucus it formed a plug and I couldn't draw air through my nose or mouth. Damn close to panic, closer than I like to panic for sure. Panic kills. The hard headed part of me jumped up, scared the dog so bad he got between my oldest daughter and me teeth out and hair straight up in protection mode. I didn't know he had that, I was damned impressed. I hit the bathroom, yanked the trach, got a breath, but I didn't have the big clot thing stuck hard enough into the tube to pull it with the tube. Two options now. Both of them hurt like sin too. I forced myself to vomit, that cleared the plug in my throat, and I was able to get a short breath there. Next, I had to cough hard enough to blow the clot monster out of my tracheostomy hole. I have a couple of pieces of loose skin and cartilage around the hole, if I cough hard enough, I have to force the trach tube through. That causes a LOT of bleeding. To the point of it running down my chest. (Okay, the goofy ass in me is thinking "Shit dude! That looks like a neck wound in the movies with all the blood!". Dumb ass LOL) And it really hurts to force it back in. Blood is a mess, hurt is hard to overcome. There's nothing for it, my throat is trying to block off again. I coughed HARD twice, and the plug in my trachea shot out like a 30/30 round. Okay, not like that, but no foolin it was almost as big as a 25 cal round, and probably heavier.
  I did that all on my own because I'm hard headed. This time, though, I was thinking if I can't get this done on my own in the next 20 minutes I'm gonna have the kid drive me to the ER, right after I text at least three people with Hospice. They like to be kept in the loop. I do as well, but since I'm better at that than the Hospice people. It didn't take 20 minutes. Closer to thirty or forty-five. But it was all moving along, and part of that time was spent cleaning things up. I should be getting good are recognizing blood spatter, seeing as how much of it I've shot out of the trach hole in the last four months or so, I should be a college class. (There really isn't a class in CSI. I've heard high school kids talking about getting a degree in CSI. They need an associates of WTF Were You Thinking first)

   All that trouble yesterday was certainly a proper ending for the one year anniversary of my first surgery. I often feel guilty for taking so much of Liz's life, helping me fight this. I know that's probably not warranted. I would do the same thing if it were her in my place. That still doesn't keep me from feeling guilty. I'm hard headed about that, don't ya know.

   Back in the day when I thought I needed an "eye for an eye" to keep up, the derrick man and I were cleaning tools and putting the tool boxes in order. A couple of wasps were floatin around not bother me or anyone, and this damn fool starts waving a rag at them trying to shoo them off. Well he managed to hit one and slapped it onto my neck, where the wasp promptly stung me. It wasn't so much that it hurt like hell, or that it was swelling up that pissed me off. I didn't get an "Oh shit! I'm sorry!", but what I got was laughing and don't be a pussy. That just didn't set well with me. But I figured we had to work the rest of the day, and one sure way to get run off my old man's rig was to start a fight. Since I generally got the shitty end of the discipline stick from Pop, I also figured I'd be the one run off. So I waited. Come 1800 hrs, we were wrapping up for the day. I got a pair of needle nosed pliers, walked up behind the derrick man and latched onto a piece of skin on the back of his arm, near his armpit. I squeezed down as had as I could. He squealed like a stuck pig, but he was smart enough not to run while I still had a hold of him with the pliers. He was plenty upset, and looked like he might want to fight. Okay, fine. What he got from me was not laughter, but it was  "don't be such a pussy". He didn't bat at any more wasps, bees, or hornets. I never got stung again.

 I like Tequila, but only in mixed drinks any more. No more shots, no "sipping" tequila. A good Margarita with a Gran Marnier sidecar and I'm in hog heaven. There's a reason I won't do tequila shots. It doesn't agree with my temperament. I'm somewhat aggressive any way, and I generally don't like to throw anything on that fire unless it's absolutely necessary.
  One night, hmmmmmm, Spring of 1980, I had 3 shots of some nasty assed tequila. I think it was 2 Fingers, but that's not important. I was no where near drunk. I still had all my faculties about me and was able to walk a straight line, shoot pool, all that fun stuff. What I wasn't able to do was keep my fucking cool. Mr Temper had jumped up and taken up residence on my shoulder. I had a biker buddy named Tiny, who was anything but. He was 6' 6" tall at least, 4 bills easy on weight, and I don't believe  I've ever seen a leather jacket with that much leather. Three of my friends and I could have put it on and still had room left over. Anyway, Tiny and I had taken some short hop day rides, shot pool, grilled out, drank some beer. Him and his friend Gabby Hayes and I were pretty decent buds at the time. I walked into Sam's, Tiny says "Hey Rock, what's up?" I hit him in the mouth as hard as I could swing. That's like shooting a bear in the nuts with a sling shot. With about the same results. He grabbed me by the belt, bitch slapped the livin fuck out of me and took me outside. He threw me into the parking lot. I had sand marks on my hands, face and knees. He told me to stay down. I did not, I started to stand up, he stomped my back. I don't believe I've ever had a shoe or boot near my flesh that would reach from my belt line all the way up to my shoulder blades. He was really being kind, he could have stomped hard enough to break bones. All I got was some really wicked bruises, and gravel I had to dig out of my knees and hands. The next day, I went back. I knew full well that Tiny might just knock me so hard I'd have to blink to button my pants. That's not what happened though. He saw me, asked how I was doing and if I was hurt bad. No, just my pride and good sense. What brought that shit on? Oh, I drank tequila shots before I came out. I also said I'd never do that again. We all agreed that would be wise, the next guy might beat me to death.

So endeth the lesson

 Be good, boys and girls. Watch where you step

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