Meth(od) Meditation / Doctoring in Disarray / Deprivation and Deceit

Because my roommate is snoring as loudly as he is, I am afforded the rare opportunity to voice text into my phone at this late hour.

Not much has changed here. Except my clothing. Yes. I am now wearing warmer things out of necessity. Even in my room.

Of course, the air conditioning is on. Inside. And the air is rather cool outside, too. Yes indeed, it's 64° outside, and 62° inside my room. So if you are feeling mathematical, do the math.

Luckily I have a heating pad. And a sheet. And a blanket. Sweatpants. And a hooded jacket. That may sound like a bit much, but ….

Eh. Let's get down to brass tacks, shall we? I mean, what other kinds of tacks are there? Thumbtacks? Sales tax?

So I had a bit of an adventure yesterday. Fairly nearby, and along the bike trail, I found a meth pipe. It was an exciting discovery. Why? Because I've been looking for any way possible to relieve the pain I've been feeling of late. The physical pain. The pain that is sometimes agonizingly horrible. Or possibly I am exaggerating here. Maybe possibly. I could just be overly sensitive to painful things.

Anyway, I've been trying to acquire narcotics. Although really, I'm not trying that hard. I should be trying harder. But I don't know where to go to find actual narcotics. Street drugs. Whatever. And really, I need the good stuff.

Here at the nursing home, it's Tylenol City. And ice. Yes, ice cold ice supplied directly to my upper abdominal area.

I do have another appointment with the gastroenterologist on January 13th. 2023. And that doesn't help me all that much right now. Apparently, no one will prescribe pain medication for you (or to you) unless you're actually dying. And if you're actually dying, you don't really need the pain meds anymore.

For those of you who don't know, I do not take medications. At all. Well, not usually. Unless things get bad. Constant Tylenol has only been a recent addition to my daily ritual.

Meanwhile, back at the meth pipe. Well, I'm assuming it's methamphetamine residue inside the actual pipe, but it very well could be a crack pipe. Cocaine residue. Right?

Anyway, here's what I did next. I stared at the fucking thing. For five minutes straight. Contemplating drug related things. I did my best to think like a meth head. Or a crackhead. I'm not sure which. My concentration wavered and waned. There are many distractions along the bike path, you know. Other artifacts to study. Bike people doing bike things at high rates of speed. The hungry hawk soaring high overhead, making patented hawk noises while riding the thermals. Traffic below me (cars aplenty).

Anyway, I kept staring at the drug paraphernalia. Perhaps by staring at it, a brilliant idea would come to a head. I mean, there was residual residue inside the reservoir.

Fast forward 24 hours.

Yes, I am commanding you to fast forward. This is a direct order.

Somehow (on Monday) I remained pain-free throughout the live-long day. Until I chewed some chewing gum at the resident Halloween party. I became hungry, watching everybody snacking and eating dinner. So I chewed on a piece of gum and whammo, zammo, blammo…!!! A rapid return of the pain. Yep. Anything in my mouth. Anything at all. Minutes later my duodenum starts doing duodenal things. Some type of unfortunate initiation takes place. Salivary instigation? Inflammation? I don't know. Use your own filler words in this instance. My words don't seem to make much matter.

Note: until late evening, Tuesday was also pain-free - so after 37 days of this bologna…. Ummm, who the heck knows? Anybody???

The Best

I seem to have finished another song. It's a 20 minute extravaganza. I think it'll be called "Human is Bred" - yep, that's right. If you end up listening to the darn thing you'll understand. A large portion of the number contains improvised (way out of tune) piano playing. But heck, I don't want to give it all away. I mean, I will eventually give it away for free. On YouTube.

The Registry CNA Experience: 1037pm

She's better than the one last night, so far. Although she left the room ten minutes ago and the air-conditioning is still cranked up all the way. Also, she probably hasn't notified the nurse that I need my formula bag rinsed out… so I'm waiting to see if anyone shows up. Or perhaps I'll simply call the nurse station.

If anyone gets mad at me - ummm, let them.

Minutes pass -

Hmmm. Nobody answered the phone. Anywhere. In the building. So maybe the phone lines are down again (a bi-weekly occurrence, of late), or all of the staff members bailed out on the sick and the dying.

Last night's CNA was offended when I asked her for help. Sure, I probably asked the wrong way. Or something. But she never came back after my 10:30 vitals check, so no bandage change-out until - the damn stoma thing started its irregularly scheduled bile burn down around midnight.

Okay then…. After not being able to reach anybody I got out of bed and into my chair (in order to seek out signs of life, or signs of death!).

*Kinda cool how I can just get up and get outta bed, huh? Well, it's not merely cool, it's more or less AMAZING! I am SOOOOO thrilled that I can do this.

My nurse was at the nurse's station (no surprises there) and my overnight CNA was sitting there mindlessly playing with her phone (also not a surprise).

My nurse tended to me shortly thereafter. The CNA failed to acknowledge my presence. Eyes to phone remained glued.

Halloween Theme

Our unit won the Halloween decorations contest. Yay! Ice cream and cake and candy for everyone - almost, everyone! Ha!!!

Betsy decorated 87% of everything. Literally. She deserves all the treats and kudos and praise herself. Mostly, the other CNAs were busy playing with their phones while Betsy was up and about making matters aesthetically better for all to see.

The thing is, she's been on vacation for the past week, which has led to very occasional rough going. But good for her. She's so damn fantastic that she deserves seventeen vacations. Consecutively. In a row. One after another. Yes. That's right. Total appreciation. Red carpets rolled out. Trumpets blaring. 21 machine guns saluting. Keys to the city! Keys to lasting success! A serene stay at Hemingway's Florida Keys bungalow!

Updates

I'm still working on the disability submission paperwork (with help from staff). Mostly it's a matter of culling medical records from long gone doctor shops (retired doctors/out of business enterprises).

Insurance still hasn't approved my muscle biopsy referral.

As mentioned, my G.I. can't see me until January, so I need to find somebody else. Sooner. To prescribe the ever elusive narcotics. Too bad I have such a poor reaction to marijuana.

Speaking of doctoring - yesterday, a dedicated physical therapist suggested I may have M.A.L.S. (median arcuate ligament syndrome). What piqued my curiosity is that this rare affliction involves the Superior Mesenteric Artery! And that's something I've been suggesting as the probable cause (of the localized pain and dysfunction) forever and ever to anybody and everybody who will listen (in regards to that specific area and culprit).

Her daughter suffered from this affliction, and recently had successful surgery. Specific contact and diagnosing information has been given to me by the therapist.

Okay then, enough of that medical business.

Grounded

I'm mostly staying on (or near) the property, or even remaining in bed some days. Part of that equation has much to do with my roommate. He's receiving round the clock treatment for a systemic infection. So, the nurse comes in our room early and often to flush lines, hang IV bags, wound care maintenance, and such.

Lights go on. Voices get super loud. The usual culprits for overnight waking. Plus, my adjacent neighbor Dora has found a brand new way to get the staff's attention. She blasts The Jesus Channel at full volume whenever her needs aren't being met. Or, she calls the police.

Speaking of criminal activities, Daniel (our favorite thief) moved back home last week. He lives nearby, in this neighborhood. Which is nice. And with him, he stole his roommate's $2000 laptop computer, and a $12 grabber. And most likely, other residents' possessions as well. Staff members things, too.

Yet, NOBODY does anything.

Ummm, Daniel is an asshole. Truly. Right?

Anyway, sleep is hard. Sleep is a privilege.

Overall

Things are okay. I can get out of bed on my own. I can be outside all day long if I do choose (yesterday I chose). I can involve myself conversationally with others, now and again. When I sleep, my energy is still good and seems to be gradually improving.


Take care.
Howard


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Comments

Hi Howard.....I'm glad that life's going on, the weather is getting cooler (but, as you pointed out, you have to dress for it) and have PT around when you mention the cause of your pain to the Dr.

I don't know what to say about the nursing care. If it's any help care isn't great anywhere. So many people are leaving the medical field and they're shorthanded everywhere and exhausted. A mass exodus is taking place.

Glad you won the halloween prize, congrats are in order. So it's now November and it will fly on by as it does every year. I wonder how much turkeys will cost this year?

Glad that you're still producing music. All in all, Howard, life sounds better than this time last year.....and so time just keeps rolling along. I hope the nursing situation improves, although be good or you won't get a Xmas stocking!

I'm just exhausted from non-stop company from the beginning of Sept. Not that I do much, but at the very least talking to people is good. The post-COVID rush. Our daughter from CA was here and was very helpful. She'll return with her family in 16 days and then we just found out they'll be arriving on Xmas Day as they arrive from some island off S. America. Somewhere in there, they both have lots of jobs and work.

Our other daughter & hubby are now somewhere in Mexico. Really, it's hard enough to keep track of just two children. No time for making music. Stay healthy. Yours, Lenora
 
Great to hear from you, @Howard!

I was wondering what the Halloween scene was around that place....

I love that photograph: I'd label it SNAPPED

There are enough new shoots on the remaining branch, suggesting nobody much is concerned about that random tree branch..

so...you retrieved the pipe?

(your allowed to not answer that questions, given we were asked to move on)

Its nice knowing your freedom and movement continue.

And here to wishing new Cell Phone policies would be adopted. Why is it OK to be on your personal phone at work?

If I ran these places, phones would be locked up.
 
so...you retrieved the pipe?
I was rather curious about that myself …what happened to the pipe?

I had to look up median arcuate ligament syndrome, I don’t think I’ve heard of it before…
I hope you’ll be able to get some real follow up on that one…

The page I read, said it to be rare, but I suspect it’s more common than they know.
I know of two or three people who could fit this description, the instant, intense pain as soon as they’ve swallowed anything. But as the docs don’t find anything, they’re told it to be psychiatric somehow. You know of course, how it is. (It would be fine enough if it was a psychic problem, they could get some treatment and perhaps get better. But it doesn’t seem to help)
 
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life sounds better than this time last year.
Yes. Very much so. And it's all about mobility. And my ability to (mostly) care for myself.


so...you retrieved the pipe?
.... and @Hufsamor

Nope. I left the pipe behind. And the next day I came upon a junky doing his junky thing, extracting the residue. Fiddling with a syringe. Something with a lighter.

He looked up at me, half bewildered and half bemused. I rolled past. Uneventfully.


Oh. My pain is still on the wane. Last night was the first time I had to apply ice all week long. What happened?

I chewed gum.

Yep. Not a good idea.

But because my pain is less prominently featured I've been able to resume administrative functions and music making!

Gonna try and get some sleep - the traveling phlebotomist was in my room for nearly an hour... phlebotomizing my roommate. Lights on, full wattage. Constant conversation. But she finally cleared out and the lights went down around 440am.

I gave Deathspell Omega a listen, but that didn't seem to help my jangled nerves. Wish me luck, though. Full-on muscle recovery requires seven full hours of slumber.

H
 
phlebotomizing my roommate.
@Howard! That sounds almost X rated.

And the next day I came upon
Perhaps entire chapters can be written. This pipe might just live on, indefinitely serving as a civic lesson.

Many decades ago, we were in some remote mountains and some ATVers were tearing the place up. A bit later, hiking around I came across The Pipe (wooden, still warm). When we drove out, we encountered a big ATV wreck, and had this Instant Karma feeling. (its like a warm glow, as long as its others..).

I kept that pipe for forty years. Yes, I was a bit of a collector of found objects....
 

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