Sunday, January 11, 2009

An Unwanted Journey: Day 1145 - Establishing Stability


I'm OK physically, mentally, emotionally, socially, and spiritually these days - although I hasten to emphasize that being OK is a struggle. Struggling with the world of pain and symptom management and home palliative care (including fever control, rashes, symptoms from the edema and leg clots) has been and continues to be far more complex than I ever anticipated.

Bio-chemically, my world is complex, fragile, fast and furious - much like your own - although with me and my team members paying much more attention daily to both objective (e.g. blood work, urine and stool samples) and subjective measures (e.g. pain scales, quality of life estimates).

Finally, organizationally, it seems I'm part of even more networks and teams than ever before, some of them merely virtual, but ready to be activated quickly (e.g. institutional hospice care).

So a lot has changed.

What hasn't changed is that M remains my lifeline to a larger social reality (hmm - Santa hats with flashing lights? - I wonder just how mentally stable that reality is?), although the landscape upon which I construct my reality has shifts slightly larger than what she would normally accept - hence, negotiation!

I sometimes try to argue with her that as a I drift from one state of consciousness to another, she should observe me carefully, as those are likely candidates for occasions when I will become particularly brilliant. Most of the world's problems seem amenable to solution to me during those states; it's just that I can't remember what the solution was afterwards.

At a lower level, even the non-sequiturs and one-liners I generate when drifting towards other states of consciousness are at least candidates for Saturday Night Live or a improv show. She didn't buy it. Clearly, I was just coming out of a drug-induced stupor.

The stupor makes the stupid guy write and say stupid things. That's her story and she's sticking it to it.

The morphine dosages will increase. As they do so, writing becomes even more difficult for me. I recognize the loss of mental capacity as I take longer and longer to find something I once had at my fingertips or to edit something that required only a few minutes of coffee and a metaphorical slap across the face.

OK - not as easy to do as it was before the drugs. That recognition is particularly distressing for me, not knowing whether or even if, some of that mental capacity will return.


Anonymous said...

Sooooooo nice to see another entry.

All the best Don!!!!

Way West

Joyce Barrette said...

You guys are remarkable.
Great reading your stories-

brie said...

I think I remember a few times in my youth when I, too, felt enormously creative as I moved from one stage of consciousness to another :-)!!

Seriously, 'though, that is one terrific picture! Red obviously suits you .. and really, what more stable reality is there than one where santa hats with flashing lights exist? I;m a nig fan of that reality myself! LOL!



ken coe said...

What a wonderful picture! And the hat, well, the hat is what tells us so much about you and your family. It says so much about lives well spent and efforts so endearing. Our thoughts are with you Don and your family.

Joyce Barrette said...

Hi Don-
Love the hat. I had sent you a message awhile ago, not sure if I did it right, & if you received it.
Have been thinking about you & have been catching up with your blog. You have a great way with words.
Just want you to know that our thoughts are with you & your family.

Ruth Morton said...

I love this picture, Don! Been thinking of you a lot lately. I'm always glad to see another entry on your blog.