Let's see, today is the closest I've been without pain, well, acceptable pain, at the least. I've had some kind of pain since I broke both ankles for the third time, and once in a while my right knee hates me as well. If fact, I think those three fuckers gathered up and hired Baxter to do me in, preferably with a lot of pain along the way. If I was a mafia Don, I'd have myself down in just to piss off the shit heads just to show them who's boss. On the other hand, that's like decapitating myself and hoping the could put it back on properly. Bad idea.
Actually it's been a rough three weeks. I'm finding it's easier to do the blog in the afternoons now, since I've had a day to get the meds in where and when they needed to go. Up until a bit ago, I wasn't able to use all the drugs I could have, simply because I keep the day as drug free as possible in case I need to drive some place or two. Today it turned out I needed to drive a couple of times. My daughter had to take my grand son to the ER. He's running a high fever and is dehydrated. Now I see why my mom got gray hairs. I must have kept her jumping not only from crawling out of old basements that were falling in, or getting sick. Both of which she said I did a lot of, and not including all the stupid shit I pulled from the tops of trees around the neighbor hood. Or jumping off the top of my dad's diesel tank he kept in the side yard with the rig and the long term work dog house. It was actually an older model travel trailer. Painted, so I don't think it was an AirStream. I wish to hell we had some pictures of that. Kathy and some of her friends painted some Peanuts characters on it. Snoopy, Lucky, Linus and Charlie Brown himself. The exterior was blue, and they painted the characters long after the last layer of blue had been laid down on the darn thing. I remember it was kind of spooky going inside it, but I don't know why it made me nervous. It really was a travel trailer, that was covered in oil field stuff. Things like charts, lease maps, different types of tubing and casing volumes. All as well as parts for the power tongs (Pop had some of the first power tubing tongs in that part of Kansas) swab cups, parts for the rig. All the same things we carried on the dog house we pulled to each location, only this one had a regular bed in the back and two smaller beds up front. They dug a latrine kind of thing and ran the sewage hose into that. It also had a water tank to take showers…oh hell, you know, all the things a travel trailer would have had. It was pretty cool.
So, why have I been so quiet the past 3 or so weeks. Lets start with pain. It got bad, and Liz called the Nurse, who talked with the doc, who told the nurse, who told Liz, who told me, how to get the pain eased off a little bit. Basically we upped the patches. Today it's up to 175 mg over three days of Fentanyl. This is the first day on this high of a dosage. It's hammered me like I was a nail. I can't seem to get awake enough to finish anything without dozing off. I was having one of those great, GREAT XXX rated dreams, and fell asleep in the middle opening the throttle on the Whoopie Machine. How screwed up is that shit? The pain is still a problem, even more so than running your finger thru a pencil sharpener. Pain, it's what I Thrive upon. If that were true, I'd be wealthy. What kind of rules are those? Still, I tried to remain as close to pain free as I can. Even if it causes me to fall asleep six times while writing this post. Even with all this pain med going at me transdermal, or an opium based drug goin under my tongue (first time I spelled it correctly, just backward LOL).
I've had issues with snot clots jamming my trach tube and come very near killing me with my own panic/anxiety. I have some of mommies little helpers to aid in keeping that under control. I have found a couple of triggers that start the problem. If I catch it early enough I can talk my self out of it. Well not talk, actually, I can breath my way through it and not have to expend my Xanax unless it's really an emergency. I've also had some trouble with keeping my feeding from becoming an issue. A few times it's made me woozy, and yesterday it lovingly all came rushing out. I don't know if it's the coughing that causes that, or that my inability to swallow has something to do with the puking. I've contended that it's been the coughing, but after several thoughts about it, and replaying some other events, now I'm not so sure. There are a lot of things that aren't quite as right as I feel they should.
I've felt closer to actually being on the death march these last three weeks than I have ever felt in my life. A couple of times it felt like if I had to go on one more day, I'd rather go stand in traffic. Which I wouldn't have done. I didn't come along this far to see myself standing in traffic in the Town That Good Drivers Forgot. I believe why I feel this way is that my mortality is leading the way, it got to a cross roads and just stopped in the middle. Just like a damn rabbit. It's not the lights, it's the movement. Freezes them up like no tomorrow and they don't move until it's too late. That's how I felt these past three weeks. Finally, though, my Vanity kicked Mortality in the ass and asked that he not do that anymore because getting hit by a car would really mess up my already compromised appearance. Yeah I know, kind of a silly analogy, but I think it's pretty close to the mark. I know that the cancer is slowly (in one hand, thank God for that, on the other hand, for God's sake would you speed up just a frickin bit?) and that inevitably my body is going to finally just say "Enough" and shut down. For myself, the last three weeks have felt like that it's sped up a lot. I also know I've said that before and probably will again. Wishful thinking? Damned if I can tell you, but I do know that when the pain returns, and it will, that it gets harder to control every time it's come back it takes longer to control. Control is such a contrived word. The pain never really gets controlled, it just gets put to the back burner. The jaw pain is coming back as I type this. Not coming in screaming like a banshee, but more subtle. I suspect, by the time I get my shower this morning, even after some morphine, the pain will have settled in and I may be able to hold that to a four or five on the pain scale. Not from lack of trying, mind you, but experience with this these past seven months have shown me this is how Baxter likes to rally his troops.
Some of the other odds and ends that make me believe that things are clipping along here at a slightly greater rate.
For starters, my tongue will swell up and back down. It's done that from the beginning of this latest round. From say…mid August on. I've tried to vary my diet, but it's not like a food thing, it's seems to me that it's a more timing dilemma. Not a precise schedule, like Union Pacific, but not completely gone either.
I'm having hell staying hydrated. I'm not exercising or over working myself one iota more. Probably shut down before I get in too much trouble again. I don't know why it's so difficult. I'll up it again to maybe 80% of my body weight in ounces of liquid. That's only a couple, but that should give you all a good idea to what I mean by the "odds and ends"
A lot of what the blog does for me, besides the therapeutic value, is giving me a chance to go over some memories, and relive some really fun times. Actually some times may not have been that fun at the time, but make me laugh and smile a little now. Kinda like this one.
Spring time with cattle means doctoring the fall and winter calves. That includes checking their growth, weight, deciding which calve is going to remain a bull and which ones become steers. The last time the rancher did that, he kept a HUGE calf as a challenge to the older and wiser bull. He was able to take control of the herd and made huge babies. Looking back now, he was going to kill that really good herd off. This year there were three brood cows that died during birthing the big calves. A shame, really, since the entire herd was registered. Anyway, back to the fun part. The horse I used didn't belong to the rancher. Red was owned by a guy in town, on one of his visits to check on Red and to see if I was doing exactly what he told me, he said there was no way I was to let the rancher or his hands near his horse. Of course I agreed to that. Secret to being the perfect middle child, shut the fuck up and listen when the adults are talking. Apparently those same guys the previous spring had saddled Red up, then tried to race him with the other horses. He dumped a couple of guys. That pissed them off and they whipped the shit out of him. I saw and knew. There were at least ten old scars on his back.
I got up before sun rise, dad had already left, and rounded him up. We went on a little walk, then I secured him in the barn paddock. My lock that I'd cleaned up and found. I had the only keys to it as well. Horse safe, I went down to watch them work the calves. Out of the herd of calves there were probably 35-40 young bulls. While they castrated them, they were throwing their nuts on the ground. Even before I knew "What The Fuck?" I was thinking, what the fuck are they doing that for? Those are good eatin. I gathered up the pain in the ass little brother, a couple of two gallon pails and commenced to picking up the nuts. One pail was to carry them in, the other was for the nuts after I got them rinsed off. I hear Clay screaming like someone cut off his arm. I thought "Oh shit! One of the calves pinned him and broke an arm or something and mom is gonna be pissed at me!". Not the problem. The hands were trying to take the pail of nuts away from him, while that cock munch rancher laughed at them. Not on my watch. I ran over, took the pail, and sent Clay to go get my mom. (The rancher didn't own the ranch, he leased the pasture from the owner Neva Mai, a very sweet older lady). I told one of the ranch hands if he tried to take that pail from me, I'd kick his nuts. I wore real live cock roach killin pointy toed boots at the time. The rancher thought that was funny as hell. His hand reached out to take the pail, I drilled a hole in his shin with my boot. Charmed life that I live, he was reaching back to hammer me, and my Mom rounded the corner of the working shed. She tore those guys a new asshole. The rancher said they were his nuts off HIS steers. Mom looked him straight in the eye and said "So that's why all these are covered in dirt and ten feet from where you're working them?". We kept the nuts. I lost my job watching over his cattle. That coming winter was the one I told about earlier. I didn't have to go move the cattle. I did it so they wouldn't die.
Hugs and all that other shit that goes along with them