Saturday, August 4, 2007


I haven't posted lately mostly because life has been rather uneventful. Well, except for that little incident where Bob broke his hand. Last Saturday we decided to walk to one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants, La Notte. On the return trip, Bob claims I pointed up and told him to look at something. When he did, he tripped on an uneven sidewalk and fell in what I think was slow motion, though he claims it seemed like it happened fast. He cut his hand and because he is a bleeder (like Louie), we finished our walk home with him dripping blood all along the way. He seemed to fall on every part of his body, but it was his left hand that took the brunt of the fall.

We got home, cleaned the wound, and he sat on the couch and fell asleep, though I tried to encourage him to come up to bed. The next morning (a Sunday, in which he had to perform a baptism and celebrate the Eucharist), his left hand was swollen to the size of a balloon, a purple balloon. Something was wrong.

But he had to go to church and do his job; there was no one to call on such short notice and he wouldn't have called them anyway. So after church, I dropped him by MacNeal Hospital (a neighborhood facility that we know is quite good), and I went to have my chemo pump removed (something all chemo patients with a fanny pack are eager to get rid of as soon as possible).

When I returned to the hospital, they had X-rayed the hand but knew nothing. We met (through the curtains of the adjoining suites) a sweet, young man who asked us about our accents. Turns out, like Bob, he had grown up in West Tennessee, but had moved here long ago and sounded like a native. We talked for several minutes before I asked him why he was in the emergency room. Because, he said, his leg which had been amputated below the knee a month before, was hurting. Why was it amputated? Because he hurt his ankle on his job with no insurance, ignored the pain, which turned out to be a broken ankle; it got infected and had to be amputated. Don't even get me started on why we need universal health care.

Three hours later after I had taken Bob to the emergency room (it took so long because a wreck with nine people came in), he was released with a cast of sorts and instructions to call an orthopedic doctor because they couldn't tell if the hand was broken. He got an appointment for Wednesday, and the doctor, in three seconds, found he had fractured his hand, and put it in a purple cast.

Lordy. A husband with no left hand is, well, a man with no left hand. You get the picture. The first few days in the cast (and even in the pre-cast), he spent negotiating his disability. At first it was rough (for both of us), but he's beginning to figure things out and is learning to do the little things that you really do, I must admit, need a left hand for. Obviously, mowing the yard and trimming the hedges are out for a while, but even opening a pill bottle is difficult. And, woe upon woe, typing is dang near impossible. And for a man addicted to the a) Internet and b) e-mail, that is quite the tragedy. Though he is hunting and pecking and getting through it. I mean, really, with our special form filler (Roboform) it is not that difficult to purchase over the Internet (both of our weaknesses).

So we will see how life with a cast pans out.

For my own edification, I would like to list my most recent chemo symptoms so I can refer to them later. You can stop reading here. I could put them in my Palm, but I've been having trouble with it lately.

OK, so chemo was Friday, and Friday and Saturday and even Sunday I feel pretty good. Though I get the hair on my tongue and food doesn't really appeal. It sometimes tastes good, but I could go without eating and it wouldn't really bother me. Also, the cold sensitive thing happens. The nurses said I wouldn't even be able to reach into a refrigerator, but I haven't found that to be the case. Though holding a cold can of pop (as they say up here) or a beer (which doesn't appeal), hurts a bit. And I can't drink water with ice in it. Even last night when I drank water with ice in it, I got the dry-ice mouth. A feeling like my mouth is kind of sizzling like dry ice does. Oh, and my fingers (especially the first few days after chemo) feel like numb bananas. Huge and swollen and numbish. Less so today.

But by Monday, I was dead-tired. I felt like I was walking in water. I went to work, of course, but by 2 p.m., my head was hitting my desk. So I went to the car and took a nap, which helps, but leaves me feeling a bit like a zombie for the rest of the day. By the time I got home from work, (around 6 p.m.), I needed another nap. This occurred on Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday with slight variations.

On Tuesday, I took my nap at work and at home, but then went to the gym. Possibly a mistake. It was very, very hard. Because in addition to feeling tired, I also feel nauseated and take the nausea pill during this period (sometimes more than one a day) just to feel well enough to actually stand on my feet.

On Wednesday, I didn't go to my car to nap, but to a bench outside my work area where the people who smoke go to smoke. It was kind of an off-smoking time so I was basically alone. I didn't mean to lie down on the bench. I just mean to sit and try to wake up, but I found myself prone within minutes and actually fell asleep. (Kate says she is amazed at how quickly I can fall asleep and how I can do it anywhere; it's true, Bob and I both can. That's why we're married.) The problem with sleeping outside is that there are small varmints (well, ants) out there and they took advantage of me. I have been finding little whelks (this is the correct spelling; we looked it up. I always thought it was whelp.) all over my body. So that was probably not a good idea.

Thursday, I was beginning to feel normal again. Not quite so tired. So that's good. But I didn't go to the gym, nor did I do my physical therapy exercises for my shoulder (for the seventh day in a row: bad, bad, bad).

Friday, better. I worked from home and got a lot done. And we went to see the Color Purple downtown (8 p.m. show) which was absolutely spectacular. Very lively. I actually got hungry before we had dinner. Which was lovely since we paid more than a hundred bucks for our dinner and that was with an NPR member card discount.

Saturday. Today. Feel pretty good. MUST go the gym. Must do my physical therapy. Must do some chores. Must. Must. Must.

Five treatments down; seven to go.

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