Friday, December 25, 2015

We now return you to a life-already in progress. 

Last night, I worked on someone who was dying. I did not want to do it. No really. I absolutely didn't. When it appeared that there was no way out of it and believe me I tried, I thought okay, maybe there's something~experience-wise~I can trade because I do know a couple more things about not feeling good, right? (It is remarkable what people ask their massage therapist. We all went to school the equivalent of two days a week for one year. It was not med school.) 

Interestingly, I'm running into more and more people who've spent unexpected time in a hospital. I think that's the gift of getting your arse out of bed. Getting out and talking to people. 

One cancer lady was almost excited to share the highlights. When she found out and was she sitting down when they told her. Who was with her. Where the cells were found initially and then, where more were unexpectedly found which changed the game entirely for the worse. What she thinks about the whole experience. How she got through it. Boom. 

'Nother guy going in for surgery soon. Because this is not his first time at the surgical rodeo, we cracked up laughing about how you even have to detox from Miralax. There's comedy everywhere, no?

We had actually reached some variation of euphoria earlier in the week and believe me when I say-it was not without a bit of underground worry-this euphoria thing, but we were sitting at Loyola waiting for yet another blood test(un-huh) when I realized we had reached the other side. Like, hey, wasn't it just a few months ago, that we were sitting here at the Einstein Bagel cafe silently freaking out but pretending that everything was perfectly okay? 

I remember P being Very Mad about the Everything bagel having too much of Everything on it(if you've ever met him, his emotionometer rarely goes to Very Mad except possibly when he's watching the Bears lose which happens way too often Cutler) and here we were, splitting an Everything again and he seemed to enjoy it. 

Whoa, huh?

So here's where we're at: SO much better. Probably maybe even an 83 on the 1-100 scale. Did my first entire day at my most strenuous gig which-even if you don't count the before and after ibuprofen-is pretty incredible. Really. A moment of silence for that. 

Got up to three massages in one night where I used to do five in a row. (What was I thinking? Oh yeah. ECS. Empty Checkbook Syndrome.) But my end of the dog walking needs hard core improvement. Gonna work on that. 

I found a favorite, favorite, favorite thing at the library. Monday mornings-thanks to the indulgence of my co-workers-I get to roll one of those library carts up to the second floor and collect Multiple Copies. There's this feeling you get within the stacks. I can't describe it without sounding like a complete maroon but I try and pull authors that I like. It gives me the feeling of  the publishing/PR power of a AAA battery. (I know that sentence is awkward but I'm only an 83.)


On the downside. I'm still negotiating the dots. All those blood tests pointed toward HSP and not JUST vasculitis which is a gigantic bummer because I'm back on the 'It's 4 in the AM and my eyes won't close' Prednisone AND have to be tested regularly for the next buncha months and yesterday, when I saw our personal Jewel Osco pharmacist-okay she's not really just ours-but we completely appreciate her-Kristy-I TOLD her I planned to only roll by with my grocery cart in 2016 and wave. 


I've also been commanded to start taking calcium AND Vitamin D and my secret plot to get rid of that Omeprazole stuff completely backfired and I had to start that process all over again which is why you might have seen me eating 27 cough drops. It's like having stalagmites growing down your throat. Not cool. 

It's a funny thing. 

I hate taking pills and all of the topics I really enjoy discussing the least AND the one area I feel most kinda-like protective of is what got opened up in 2015. 

I guess that qualifies as personal growth, huh? 

Anyway, anyway, anyway, the dying person retained a sense of yu-mah.  And one thing I know fer sher from my lung cancer fighter/high school friend Susan was that she was still laughing a day or two before she exited the planet. I mean like laughing. So, I did a little comedy. 

Not right away and not even a little bit mean, but I thought what this person needs is not me making him feel anxious, right? (Or 'mirroring his anxiety' as they say on the couch). We spoke of New York City and yams. I was like..ooh yeah your people are so uppity you call them 'yams'. And he laughed. 

He had trouble 'keeping things down'. (I don't think I've ever officially had that problem. Where can I get it?) The only thing he could tolerate was a bite of a banana. And I was all like, oh no. Bananas are bad. They plug you up. (See my med school happening here?) Where it's at is: sweet potatoes. 

I used to grocery shop for a 90-something year old lady in Manhattan. It was my assignment from the minister at the Lutheran Church. I could hardly turn him down, right? He called me. Plus the grocery store was exactly across the street from her place and around the corner from me. 

On her list was always Entemanns Pound Cake and Sweet Potatoes. I don't remember the rest.  

So I told the dying person how to bake sweet potatoes. Tell me the microwave version-the person asked, as I worked on their feet. Oh god you can't be microwaving these things, I said-cuz I am Betty F'ing Crocker all of a sudden, right? And the smell! You'll miss the nice smell! And the warm oven!

And when I got home, I realized the instructions I had given him were completely wrong. (I told you I didn't go to Medical School) I said an hour at 375. There are far superior instructions and methodology.  Duh. 

So, Christmas Eve I ran over to The Jewel and scored three small yams. I re-appropriated Mary Next Door's Santa Christmas bag and I wrote out the exact instructions for baking sweet potatoes AND included a piece of foil for the drips and I chased the whole business down to my massage place so the front desk girls could pass it to the dying person the next time they met.  

Made me feel really good. Like maybe an 890 on the 1-10 scale. 


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