Friday, August 26, 2016

A Potpourri

It's been a while since I last posted something personal, so tonight's missive is a little longer than usual and contains a medley of several things that I've had on my mind that have no connection to each other whatsoever.

Many years back at the home we lived in before this one, I hung a hammock between two trees. Everyone in the family used the hammock, my daughter even taught one of her cats to sleep in it. Sometimes there were minor arguments over who got to lay in it. When we moved to our current home, my oldest son moved into our old one. His family loved the hammock too.

Now we all live in the same house and because there were no trees close enough to each other, there was no hammock. Taking the initiative, my son bought a sturdy wooden post and sank it into the ground close enough to a shady tree that a hammock could be hung. The family hammock was once again a part of our lives. My grandchildren discovered a it was a great place to play. Everyone loved the new hammock.

A few weeks after installing it, a crew from the electric company showed up and said they needed to “trim” that tree because it was about to touch their lines. It was the only shade tree out of several dozen in our yard that they said needed work even though several are near the same lines. Trim is not exactly what they did. “Butchered” would be a better description. What is left can barely be called a tree. One large branch with a few small scrawny ones on it is about all that is left. Think of a larger version of the tree in “A Charlie Brown Christmas” and you’ll have a pretty good image. A significant portion of what remains is just dead wood with no leaves at all. The entire top that provided most of the shade is completely gone
A new post has been purchased and we’re trying to decide which one of the other trees would be good to hang a hammock from. First item on the criteria list is that it can’t be near electric lines.

Tonight was “clean out the drawers in the bathroom” night at Grampy’s house. I’ve talked before about how many bottles of various shampoos and body washes my wife collects in the shower. That’s nothing compared to the drawers we went through tonight. My stuff fits in a tiny basket about 6” square; a couple sticks of deodorant, a bottle of aftershave, a handful of disposable razors and a couple of other miscellaneous items. The female paraphernalia on the other hand was a staggering mountain of perfume, lotion, makeup, lipstick, nail polish, hair ties, combs, brushes, and enough body cream to grease down a herd of elephants. Since the wife has low vision and all the bottles and tubes are labeled in 8 point font, I had to read just about every one of them for her. After two hours of weeding out empty containers and things that are no longer wanted, needed, or are unidentifiable, we ended up with two large garbage bags full of junk.

I finally resumed my chemo treatments on Monday, no noticeable side effects have manifested as yet. I’m still feeling better than I have in a long time. It’s been about a month since I last got out of the hospital and I’m certainly enjoying the newfound vigor. I realize it won’t last forever, but for the time being it’s wonderful to move around without dragging an oxygen tank or thirty feet of plastic tubing behind me.

My family doctor has had me on home care since April. I get a visit from a nurse once a week to check my vitals, take a blood sample and ask me the same twenty questions; name, birth date, no open wounds, no falls, nobody abusing me, I’m not depressed, no pain on a scale of one to ten, et cetera. About the only thing they don't ask is to have you recite the alphabet backwards.

One of the other things I’m set up with is called Telemed. It’s a little black box tied to the phone line with a blood pressure cuff, a pulse-ox clip and a scale attached to it. Every morning promptly at 9 a.m. it wakes me up and takes my vitals. It then immediately sends the data directly to the home care people. If I’m not at home it still calls them and tattles on me if I forget to unplug it before I leave. I’m away from home for good reason though. Some of my doctors in Gotham aren’t willing to adjust their schedules to accommodate an afternoon appointment so I have to leave home around 7 a.m. to get there on time.
The Telemed unit has a defect that causes it to add 10 any number that contains 30 to 39. So if my weight ends with 40 one day and the next day the number ends with 39, the unit reports 49 instead of 39. It sounds like I gained 9 pounds in a single day instead of losing 1 pound. I’ve told them several times about the glitch but I don’t think they believe me. It does the same thing on my blood pressure.

I had a “Power Port” surgically implanted the last time I was in the hospital so I wouldn’t have to go through being stuck in the hand multiple times whenever I had a blood sample taken. Apparently the surgeon didn’t position it the way the nurses expect because they always miss it the first time they try to take blood. They miss it even when I tell them where it is and they feel around for it. So I still end up getting stuck at least twice. At least it doesn’t hurt as much as getting stuck in the hand.

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