Happy Hanukkah to those who celebrate it. The observance begins today, Sunday, November 28, 2021, and goes to December 6. Our friend makes terrific latkes, and she shared them with us as part of her Festival of Lights. She moved a few hundred miles away so we won’t have them this year. Sad face.
The sun showed its light at 7:16 AM, which revealed a foggy valley. Temperature is 53 F now, and will climb to 65 today. I’m treating an apparent head cold so I probably won’t be out there enjoying the day. Felt it arriving yesterday after my walk. Coughing woke me at five thirtyish. A sore throat announced its presence, and the energy level was a no-show. Stoppered nose. Teary eyes. Planned some yard work before the sun sets at 4:41 PM, so I’m bummed.
Anastacia with “Sick and Tired” (2004) is bubbling through the morning mental music stream. Her song was about a relationship gone wrong and broken hearts, but I like her vocal style and the song’s grittiness.
Hope you’re doing better. Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask as needed, and get the vax and booster when you can. Gonna medicate with a cuppa coffee. See it that can summon some energy for writing. Cheers
We were outside, on a wooden deck. Like a restaurant deck under blue sky. Three tables. Eighteen people. Men, women. No one I knew.
Women came among us dressed in purples, raspberries, golds and yellows, greens. Loose clothing. Skirts, blouses, and vests. We knew they were healers. Everyone was there because they wanted to be healed.
The women walked around us, checking everyone out. One, short and swarthy, with brown hair, came up to me and said with a friendly laugh, “Don’t worry. You’re okay.”
I was at work. Tired. Becoming more tired. Then, sleepy. Eyes were falling shut. Body slumping over. Nothing I could do.
A friendly co-worker, male, was trying to take care of me. Help me. But he was helpless. My work shift ended. He tried helping me leave. I couldn’t. Everything was a strain. He was telling me, “Come on, I’ll get you help.” I was replying, “I’m okay, I just want to sleep.”
Became separated from him. Found myself on a cement sidewalk by an asphalt road. An intersection. Naked. Crawling. Barely awake. Cars passing me. One, a black Chevy Suburban, stopped. The driver asked, “Are you alright? Do you need help?”
I kept going. Found clothes. Blue jeans. Pale tee shirt. Boots. Managed to dress. Get on my feet. Walked, swaying and stumbling. Eyes barely open. Brain coddled in thick pudding. Thoughts almost non-existent. Had garbage in a small white bag. Began looking to dispose of it. Saw a booth. Constructed of plywood. Took it there.
Food booth. The man behind the booth counter asked, “What do you want to order?”
I handed him the bag of garbage. He took it. Tossed it away behind him. “What do you want?”
Mute, I shook my head. Moved on. Thinking, sick. Still sick. But getting better. I was walking. On my feet. Swaying less. People began speaking to me. I began comprehending them. Interacting with them. Answering questions. Two young women joined me. They asked me if I need help. No, I was okay. Then, could I help them? They needed information.
Initially, I balked. Wasn’t my area. Didn’t know anything about it. Then I told them I would help. I would find the answers to their questions and get back to them. Trotted from one place to another, seeking answers. Inadvertently stumbled through someone’s garden while attempting a short cut. They’d just set it up. Planted it. Nothing was growing. Backing out, I fixed the damages. Then ran down to the other end of town. Thinking, anyone seeing me would think he runs everywhere.
I was running everywhere through a busy, hilly city. Felt good. The sickness was gone. I stopped running. Looked around to see where I was. Thought, where do I want to go?
As inexorable as the sun arriving in the east each AM, we’ve cycled into another Tuesday, labeled May 11, 2021, for official record keeping. The star known as Sol punched in at 5:54 AM and will punch out as regular as Fred Flintstone at 8:21 PM. Spring sunshine is as plentiful as green leaves and temperatures are expected to tiptoe into the upper seventies today. Lovely.
Feeling well today. During my Saturday evening hospital visit for a damn kidney stone, I was given batteries of tests to verify all is well. They keep saying things like, ‘you’re remarkably healthy.’ I always think, you should see the other guy. CT scan showed liver, gall bladder, appendix, intestines, colon, stomach, lungs, kidneys all in great shape. Blood work support those claims. So, yea, me, or more rightly, yea Mom and Dad for giving me genes that set me on the road of having good health.
Mom and Dad are still about. Dad and his siblings are all alive. Now residing in San Antonio, Texas, Dad is the oldest of that lot of five. Mom is less fortunate. Living in Pittsburgh, PA, second to youngest, she’s the sole survivor of her gang of five. Mom is 85 this year and Dad is 89. Mom had health problems over the last five years, dealing with various heart, lung, foot, and cancer issues. Now she consumes twenty meds a day but still moving. Dad had been doing well but suddenly has issues the last three years. Now he’s losing blood, uses a walker or a cane, oxygen at home for his COPD, and several care-givers coming in a few times a week. Despite several hospital stays, cameras inserted into various orifices, and lots of blood and urine work, they don’t know where the blood is going. His spirits are up, though. Dad is pretty indefatigable.
Mom and Dad divorced almost sixty years ago. They’ve arrived at this point in their lives with good partners. Dad is on his third marriage (although he lived with another three women for years) while Mom is on her sixth fellow. Mom and her fellow are not married but they live together. I’m happy they have someone growing old with them, taking care of them. I’ve seen how hard it is when you’re elderly and living alone.
I’m listening to The Clash in my head this morning. They’re singing the 1978 song, “Guns On the Roof”. Reading about the U.S. troop withdrawal from Afghanistan brought me to this song. We’re still leaving one thousand troops in there, along with contractors. We’ll also continue pursue our latest military fad, drone warfare. That brought up The Clash line, “I like to be in U.S.A. Pretending that the wars are done.” The United States is never done with war. Peace would wreck too many stock portfolios.
Stay positive, test negative, wear a mask, and get the vax. Cheers
He was thinking, I should call Dad. See if he’s out of the hospital and how the colonoscopy went.
Pain stabbed his pelvis. Sucking in air, he bent down, then controlled his breathing and studied the pain. He’d never felt something from that region before. Seemed too low for gas…but what else could it be? He was a little concerned. He’d already had four bowel movements for the day, one more than normal. All of it looked good (yeah, he looked – always). Everything else felt fine. He checked the area for discoloration, bloating, and tenderness. Nothing but pain.
He remained puzzled. It’d been a good day. He and his wife, Brenda, had done some cleaning, then taken hazardous waste to the White City center. After that, a whimsical stop at Dairy Queen. Been a year since they’d been to one. Brenda ordered a fish sandwich and small Reese’s Blizzard. He ordered a small Thin Mint Blizzard and a cheeseburger. They’d slathered his cheeseburger in mustard and ketchup, ruining the flavor for him. They’d eaten in the car in the parking lot. He usually avoided food like this but it was a whim. An indulgence because he and his wife used to go to DQ on dates. It was the only place to go in their home town back then, two years short of a half century ago. After DQ, they’d gone to the park and read books, then went for a walk.
Now, home, and this pain. The pain was increasing, stabbing through his left side, up his back. Motrin was found and swallowed. He peed…a little. Another bowel movement, very loose, followed.
The pain kept growing. He had Flomax on hand for his BHIP. He was beginning to think kidney stones. Flomax worked on relaxing organs and muscles, allowing an easier urine flow. If he had a kidney stone, maybe Flomax would help pass it. Meanwhile, he’d chugged a liter of water. Increasing, the pain encompassed all of the left side of his lower back and his pelvis. Not his right side, and nothing above his rib cage or in his upper abdomen. It was hours before he was due to take his daily Flomax, but he downed one.
An hour had passed. A little liquid had dribbled out. Oh, no, could this be another blocked urethra? He’d gone through that with his BHP two years ago. But this didn’t feel the same. Maybe memories of it were wrong. But wouldn’t the Flomax give some relief?
8:15, with the pain intensifying and options dwindling, he informed his wife. “Sounds like a kidney stone,” she replied.
He agreed. He thought he could tough it out but the pain was growing. He hated to say it, but he thought he needed to go to the emergency room. She agreed, donned bra and lippy, got her mask, a book, and the car keys. They headed to the local hospital.
An efficient, friendly staff took him in. Each introduced themselves and explained their function. Each came across as intelligent, friendly, and professional.
Meanwhile, he listened in on the patient in the next room. Narco overdose brought in by ambulance. He’d just been in on the twentieth last month for the same thing. He’d gone into the Safeway bathroom, smoked heroin, and passed out. Could he call his wife and let her know he was okay? Were the police coming? No he was assured, they weren’t.
He reflected on the different windows into lives. He never saw the man next door. His voice sounded rough and tired.
He wrote a short short story in his head while he passed the time. Time was spent looking at this vitals. Pulse stayed around 71. O2 saturation was 98 to 100 percent. Blood pressure was 155 over 92, yeah, high, but not a surprise, as his BP always reacts. He takes Amlodipine for it.
Two hours later, after pain meds, urine and blood samples, and CT scans, confirmation came. A 2 mm kidney stone on his left side in the ureter. Another, larger one, in his right kidney.
2mm. He was appalled that a kidney stone had reduced him to this. Collection equipment was given for him take home so the kidney stone could be captured and identified. Oxycodone acetaminophen was issued for pain. Why, wasn’t that the stuff they’d given him for his broken arm last year? He still had twenty tabs of that at home because he’d never taken it. Hell, if he’d just taken on of those… But, really, he didn’t know what was causing the problem. The pain had largely dissipated at this point. Instructions required to drink lots of water. Sure, he understood that.
He got home at 11:30 and peed 250 ml into the bottle. No kidney stone, but no pain. But…pain killers, right? He sat down to catch up on reading the news on his ‘puter and researched kidney stones. The pain crept back in. At 1:30 AM, it struck as it had over eight hours before. He downed a pain killer and a half liter of water. After twenty five minutes, the pain subsided. He fell asleep.
This morning, he felt fine. No pain. He peed into his collection bottle and hunted the stone. Nothing. Maybe the little bugger got away. Maybe it remained in there.
Mild pain oozed out of his right flank.
Wondering if the other kidney was beginning his move, he drank a liter of water.
The kidney stone watch continues…