Click images for desktop size: "Keyhole" by Unknown
Walking to the doctor's yesterday it was almost comforting to walk past the block of houses that are still full on with their Christmas decorations. Five months past Christmas; since the three homes are
in a row I figure they have some secret reason for doing this, something personal that we'll never be privy to. Maybe something even wonderful.
Or maybe they're all just lazy. Maybe waiting for the other guy to go first.
The walk took more out of me than usual. I was really stressing the final half mile. I encouraged myself by thinking that, even though I'm not a huge grunge fan and not an idolizer of Kurt Cobain, I do think he had some genius. It was genius to book Shonen Knife to open for Nirvana on their ultimate tour.
At the doc's it was a complicated affair.
I try and slow my brain down and listen. I get to talking in a monotonous way because I'm trying to stay calm and listen to what they're saying. Trying to absorb it while keeping emotions out of the internal conflict. Try and keep the thoughts out of my head; thoughts like, "You mean I'm not immortal?"
I'm pretty sure most of us have at least a phase where we think we're going to live forever and that life will not leave an imprint on us, we will only affect life, not the other way around. God has blessed us. The proof is that we are still alive.
We go to see movies like "The Last Man on Earth" and "The Plague" and all those zombie flic's because they are tip sheets. When the apocalypse comes there's no doubt that we will be the final survivors.
If that wasn't some sort of primeval instinctive knowledge no one would be silly enough to believe in the Rapture, that the world will end and because we tie our shoes a certain way and don't use zippers or buttons angels will descend and take us away while the rest of you perish in holy white flames.
Click images for desktop size: "Le Bistro" by Edward Hopper
Scientology (who I make no bones about believing are pure evil) makes billions of dollars from the fearful and the delusional by preaching that the world will end. Only they updated it to say that our mother planet will send silver space ships to save just us, just the we who payed for the courses and bought the books and the machines. The space ships will save just us while the rest of you perish in white holy flames. I guess the white flames here come from some enemy planet or something. They've never really explained that part or how the spaceships would be able to tell who were the right ones to save.
So I think its fair to say that we, as a race, think we're going to live forever even if we really don't think we deserve to and need to spend most of our lives preparing to be worth living forever.
I've never been conflicted in that. I just knew I was immortal and indestructible. I and all the people I loved were going to live forever and I has seen enough movies to be fully aware of the right way
to survive any doomsday scenario: Triffids would melt in sea water, mutants are not to be trusted except the odd one who lives alone and has friendly eyes, if there's only one woman left you let the other guy have her, always shoot zombies in the head, never let anyone within your aikido based "circle of influence" or you'll deserve what you get and, most importantly, always keep a good dog by your side. I have them all memorized. I am prepared.
No matter what happened to prove that I and my little circle were no different than anyone else I still have the rock base belief that I'm going to be the one who survives.
But you can't let those thoughts fill up your brain pan while you're listening to the doc's, otherwise you reduce your chances proportionately.
I tried to listen.
The good news is that the Avpro is doing a good job on my kidneys, no ketones, the other "k" word has lowered and potassium levels have dropped. Why this is good I don't know. I'll take good news
Click images for desktop size: "Around the Water Cooler" by Lavakillu
on face value.
Weird thing is that my blood pressure is up above my target. I was greatly worried about this. They use this machine that takes your blood pressure six times and then issues these weird electronic reports.
The test takes about 15 minutes and I get bored. At first I try and guess what the numbers will be by being aware of my pulse. After I nail it the first and second time the game loses interest so I start to poking around. Leaving me alone in a doc's office is rather silly actually, especially if all the cabinets aren't locked. I don't take anything, I just inspect it and read anything.
Since my blood pressure can shoot up ten points just from my sitting with my legs crossed the numbers aren't alarming.
The blood sugar numbers are a greater concern. Basically they don't make a lot of sense. The diabetic nurse insists that the Lantus (insulin) has to be working. Her studying of my "blood sugar diary" says that I have "dawn syndrome".
When she said this I wasn't sure if she said "don" syndrome, as in Don Corrleonni or "dom"
syndrome as in Dom Dimaggio (Joe Dimaggio's talented but overshadowed brother) or dom as in dominant. I thought either would be cool and justify me walking around with an attitude or at least do some weird impressions.
So I asked. I was disappointed that she was saying "dawn" as in "always darkest before the dawn". This is proof that I should not be allowed to go to the things by myself, that's the question I had to interrupt her to ask, the thing I thought was important. "Don syndrome" meant I could do authentic Marlon Brando Godfather impersonations. "Dom syndrome" meaning I could use it as proof of my baseball skills or enter a life of S&M practices . . .
"Dawn syndrome" or slightly cooler, "dawn phenomena" mens that my body produces more sugars at night than it can handle. I prefer thinking that my liver and lymph are merely working at peak efficiency and my slaggard pancreas doesn't know how to keep up!
The other issue is that in 95% of diabetics exercise and activity reduce blood sugars. They get burned up. I apparently produce so much adrenaline that the blood sugar benefits of exercise are offset. Being an adrenaline junky I sort of understood that.
The end result of all this is that my blood sugars are too high and I have to go to a specialist group. I've been through similar before: dietitians, lots of quick tests. Its a drag. At the last clinic I frustrated the nurse and doctors so much they ended up prescribing an overdose of metformin. It worked but . . .
If I have to pay for this clinic I'll probably have to pass on it and rely on myself and my own sensitivity to my body. That's not as dangerous or stupid as it might appear.
Click images for desktop size: "Attack" by Lavakillu
We ended up the diabetic end of the exam by reminding me that I'd be on the insulin needle and the metformin for the rest of my life. Not news I cherish.
We moved on to my shoulder and arms. I rather clinically described the pain, its location, pain, duration and intensity. I also described how it would wake me and prohibit sleep. I haven't slept for more than an hour at a stretch in over a month.
The nurse went on a bit about neuropathic pain and how the next way to address this would be with an anti spasm pill! A pill engineered for epileptics to moderate gran mal seizures!
The pain is so bad I didn't much care about what it was or its side effects I just needed the pain to stop. The pills name was something like Neuron or Neitron, which I thought sounded pretty cool as in I could overdose on it and wake up with the super powers of a Neutron Bomb!
She printed out the scripts for the doc to sign off on and then deposited me in another examination room to see the doc.
When he came in he bought the script for needles and test strips and a FREE blood glucose monitor! I love free stuff even if its stuff I don't like. I need the new monitor for the clinic. Its more sensitive or something and stores the test results for a full month instead of a week. I can get a data cord and download all the info and make cool colorful charts and stuff. I guess they can too.
The doc examined my shoulder. It irked me. He twisted it and made
Click images for desktop size: "Ali MacGraw"
me do things that hurt and left it fiery and electric. He then asked me if I experienced any weakness in my hands in the recent past. I told him about how both my thumbs felt like they'd been sprained. They were mostly better now.
Then he asked if this was followed by pain in my elbows. I told him about my left elbow still being fiery and weak. He then left the room so I occupied myself by playing with my new glucose meter. Its really tiny! I figure I'll lose it at least once a week.
He came back into the room with the diabetic nurse and he manipulated my shoulder in front of her. It really hurt this time but not to the point of me seeing black or being forced to my knees in involuntary tears.
He then explained that this was no neuropathic pain. He then dropped the bombshell that there is no treatment for it.
I have a frozen shoulder. I think that's the medical term . . . The phrase "Encapsulated SHoulder" was bandied about for a bit but I guess that's the layman's term.
A frozen shoulder is unique to diabetics. It usually appears in diabetics over 40 and most of the time in women. (See, I do to so have a feminine side.) He asked if one of my chemos was the G word that I always confuse with the video game "Galaxian" or the international drug cartel "Galxo". I told
Click images for desktop size: "Hulk vs Fin Fang Foom" by Marvel Comics
him it was my second chemo, one that just made me sick and offered not even a hint of remission.
It appears that virtually all people who'd been on one of the G-word trials experienced frozen shoulder.
Another reason to never remember the name of that chemical hell. It was also the trial chemo that blew out the veins in my left arm.
The bombshell is that there is no treatment for frozen shoulder. I can treat it with heat but that's mainly to sort out the atrophying muscles that surround it. I need to do the physical exercises that I already new to keep the shoulder alive and to keep it from taking over my body. Eventually in a year to 18 months it will cure itself . . . A year . . .
Not much for me there. Eighteen months. I have to figure out how to live with it somehow. Rah . . .
We left with the Clinic would contact me for an appointment, I'd see the diabetic nurse in a month and see the doc in 3 months. That's my schedule for the foreseeable future.
I walked home determined not to be depressed about this. So determined I was depressing myself
when I saw a little shelty dog out in the middle of the busy street, I ran out and scooped the old guy up and put him on the side of the street he was heading towards. I set him down after I saw he had on a collar and no tags.
My manhandling him offended his aged dignity and he moved away from me. It was at a pretty glacial pace so I could follow him easily while I thought, "I can't deal with SIX DOGS!" But then I thought, he is really small. There's probably a corner someplace we can fit him.
He noticed I was following him and sped up. His top speed was such that I had to take a step instead of shuffling along behind him. He got exhausted and sat down in a sunny patch on the sidewalk. I checked my mobile and saw my friend had called me. I called her back and blurted out about the found pup! He was en route to home so she'd pick us both up.
The little guy accepted pets from me, even licked my hand. He seemed like he wasn't going anywhere. A bright hair girl walked by and I accosted her, demanding to know if she new the old dog. She didn't. I decided to knock on doors. The second house answered and they knew the guy, he lived next door to them. They were willing to take him in until their neighbors got home.
I started walking back home thinking about the little guy and how old he was. It bugged me that he was left in a yard he could escape from when no one was home. I wondered if I'd done right leaving him.
My friend found me in the midst of my reverie. As we headed home we saw someone throwing away a futon bed. My friend, with her practiced eye knew immediately that the bottom of the frame would make a perfect dog bench!
Click images for desktop size: "Immodest" by Leon Frollo
We turned around to pick it up. While we were inspecting it the lady who'd thrown it out stuck her head out the door and told us that she'd put all the hardware in the bottom.
We loaded up the bottom half of the frame into the car. It jutted out about 3 feet so we decided I'd just walk home behind the door, not so much to keep it from falling out as to keep the rear door from swinging open and springing. Something that happened to a few cars of mine.
We got it home.
In the house all the dogs had behaved. The two fosters were crated with no stress. They were all overjoyed to see us and needed to tell us so. The new foster is a dolly puppy. He's getting better and better. I can see him being prone to separation anxiety. He wanted to be outside to play but he also wanted to be able to look at both me and my friend. A pretty serious conflict for a puppy mind.
Both dogs have two applications to make them part of their forever homes. I hope at least one apiece would be acceptable parents. I like both dogs quite a bit. Not as much as I love my dogs. I have to say that or else my life could be in serious jeopardy.
I slumped around in dead sleep deprived stupor while my friend tried to do her work and finish up her deadlines.
My friend woke up pretty ill. Not permanent illness, I think, just raggedy. She's sleeping now. Feeling better soon is my hope.
The fosters have to g to the vet this afternoon and then there's more trials for football this evening. A busy day.