The Way of the J-Tube / Underwear Crisis Averted / Orange Sun Turns Red

This is sort of a practice blog entry. I really don't think the content is worth reading. Or raving about. And it's not particularly uplifting. Nor emotionally quenching.

So damn, what the hell did I spend all this time writing about?

But, I received ALL kinds of requests (three of you - lol) that I push forward and present a blog entry. So, I wrote this on Tuesday (I'm not sure what today is. But I do know, it's not Tuesday anymore). So please take that into consideration. Or not.

The Sting

Again, I awaken to the harsh burn, excess leakage from the blistering bile seeping out of my feeding tube stoma. It happens. Life happens. Sleeplessness happens. And I've been experiencing lots of happenings of late. This particular four in the morning happening is more of an irritant than any kind of life threatening event.

Of course, I blame Covid-19. My intestines ceased functioning altogether back on December 24th, and I had to go without nutrition for two weeks. Saline and Dextrose were all I could tolerate through the continually "blowing-up" (or imploding) IV's. So yeah.

You needn't be concerned. I won't escort you all the way down the boulevard, through the Covid carnage and Beyond Thunderdome into some future hellscape defaced with ragged Mel Gibson/Tina Turner posters affixed to decaying concrete pillars. That would be cruel, unnecessary and unconscionable. Everybody has their own mind muck, and no one needs to be dragged through mine.

Anyway, it's 5:13 in the morning and I am now completely shut down for an indeterminate amount of time. Ever since my intestinal shutdown event, I've had continual ruptures and seepages around my feeding tube stoma. So I am now determined to come up with a better solution. And no, I'm not asking anyone to present solutions to me, because none exist. The Way of the J-tube… The wearer of The Tube traverses along unique pathways forged on one's own.

What I am getting at is that I have simply become frustrated at this point. Each of us knows frustration. I am no different than any of you in that respect. But eventually this issue will resolve itself and I'll be able to sleep through the night. Yes. Everything is temporary. Life is impermanent. Reading my stupid blog is also akin to an insane undertaking, with words that soon to fade into the dark recesses of past nothingness. Nope, I am not experiencing some type of existential crisis here, but perhaps you very well may be after reading this nonsense.

Anybody ever notice how the word "crisis'' is no longer prominently used or affixed to the news headlines. Growing up in the 70s, every "trouble'' seemed to be labeled or defined as a crisis: The Watergate Crisis, The Gas Crisis, The Three Mile Island Crisis, and I think for a time, Skylab used to be part of a crisis management effort… up until they discovered it would disintegrate over Australia. Then all bets were off. No one cared anymore. Except the dirty dingoes doing their dingo best.

Real Life is Easy

Yesterday was the second time I went outdoors since returning from the hospital.. an event and effort more widely known as "Howard's Covid Crisis 2022!" Ha! And things today went a lot better than my initial foray outdoors on Friday. I desperately tried getting outside over the weekend, but on Saturday I ran up against a troubled CNA, the one who's mistreated me in the past. And then on Sunday they (we) were too short-handed to have someone bring me outside.

Hmmm… this blog entry is all sounding very negative. Let's not be negative anymore, Howard! Don't be a total f@!!$ a#@$#$! The People of Phoenix Rising require and demand cheerful exuberance!

The CNA will no longer be an issue (I finally took action) … unless he comes back here and tries to murder me. Something like that. Otherwise I should be okay from now on in that regard.

Because of the pandemic's 42% positivity rate (locally) we aren't readily accepting new residents now. So, to the best of my knowledge, they are staffing below the usual numbers (source: observation and gossip).

Up and Up

Yesterday I enjoyed a wide array of dissimilar cloud formations, a cerulean blue sky, a pleasant left-to-right breeze, and instances of socialization. Real people spoke to me with real words, and I spoke back to them. Well, that was mostly the idea and the plan.

Five to One, Baby
One in Five

Soon thereafter my activities coordinating pal came out (no, she's not part of the LGBTQRSTUV Movement… ) and brought me a package. It turns out my Medical Advocate purchased underwear for me. Five pairs. Navy blue, dark blue, light gray, dark gray and cerulean blue. And I swear I don't ask for things, besides my dumb applesauce, and now, those Gluten-Free Oreo cookies. But in this instance, I probably do need the underwear. Possibly someday I shall wear them out and about and throughout the desert terrain.

In addition, there's a plan percolating within and throughout this nursing home facility. One dedicated CNA is hell-bent on having my dirty clothes washed… and more importantly, returned to me. For instance, I wore that Orange Phoenix Suns t-shirt (that Lenora purchased for me) for 23 consecutive days.. until yesterday. Yes, I wore that t-shirt throughout my covid ordeal here, and then in the hospital, and then back here again.

It's now stained with blood, and other random colorations and spillages from my hospital time spent. But there was no way I was ever taking that shirt off, because taking the shirt off meant it would go to the laundry, never to be seen again. And that would be most unfortunate. Lenora made extreme efforts in purchasing that darned shirt for me. So I am going to wear the hell out of that shirt until...

Well, it doesn't seem they're going to do anything about it. I mean, I wore those super comfortable shorts for 47 consecutive days (October 11th - November 27th), until the super persuasive folks here at this facility super-convinced me to send my only pair of shorts in to be washed. That was more than a month ago. And those shorts haven't been seen since.

Anyway, a nice CNA woman went down to the laundry, insisting they find my missing clothes. My missing clothes include: two pairs of shorts, two shirts, and a pair of socks.

So that was on Saturday. And she failed to locate any of my clothing at that time. Then on Sunday (Sunday afternoon to be exact), that same CNA walked into my room with a fistful of clothes: three t-shirts and two pairs of shorts. So now I have more clothes to make dirty!

In theory, I can now wear different clothing items for a shorter duration. And I can start working a rotation, utilizing each clothing item until they become unwearable. Determining what makes them unwearable may be a problem (any suggested criteria?). Please keep in mind that I have a high tolerance for dirty clothes. Heck, I have a high tolerance for dirty things in general. I've slept in dirty places. I've lived in dirty places. I utilize dirty words more often than I should. And Southern Arizona is nothing more than a big ole desert basin full of dirt… accumulated windblown debris, former mountain remnants having succumbed to erosion. And compressed leftovers from ages-old inland seas. So nope, Dirty Ain't Such a Bad Place to Be! And that's likely the title of an AC/DC song, right?

So it seems everybody wants options, and I now have options. Additionally, my big sister wants to hire a laundry service for me. In theory, they'd be able to drop by the facility, pick up my very few items, wash and then return them in a timely fashion (@ once per month). The problem is that these people cost $30 per month. That's a lot of flipping money. Yes. That's more than I earn during an entire calendar year! Plus, you have to have a Minimum Sized Order. Something like 15 lb or 30 lb or some kind of serious poundage above and beyond anything I own or operate in clothing materials.


Okay then, where are we now? Looks like I've rambled on and on about a whole lot of virtual nothing.

Meanwhile, I'm listening to "Layla" by Eric Clapton. Or rather, Derek and the Dominos. It's a Love Song on a love album. The making of the album's rather fascinating story, but I won't get into that here. Of course, I'm interested in how things are made, especially creative things. But if it helps at all, the album was recorded in South Florida in 1971, or maybe it was late 1970 (in and about Miami).

[I miss making music]

Cloud Covered

I need to start wrapping up here. I need to gather my outdoor apparel. There's a slight chance of rain today. I could get wet. I could be cold. But either way, I shall be fully glad to be out there in the open.

Take care,

Post Script: as of last night the J Tube issue seems to have resolved itself! Also, I tried on the new underwear, and they fit. Well, at least one pair fits. I take it there's no point in trying on all five pairs at the same time! I'm also physically improved, the past two days especially. I'm having better conversations as well.

On a sad note, my roommate is dead. Covid-19.

I didn't really know him much at all, but perhaps him no longer being with us means he's no longer suffering (he had all kinds of physical difficulties). So, yeah…



Oh, Howard, I’m so happy for your update.
I’ve been waiting for it!

it’s kind of a sad thing about to live where you live…
You get to know people a little bit, and they die.
Where we live at the moment, in our block, there are only old people. (Except for us, of course)
So during our 4 years living here, I’ve got to know three neighbours rather well.
And two of them have died.

what we need to hope for now is that your new neighbour will be a quiet and nice person.

you need to ask someone to by you a marking pen.
And write your name on every clothe you own.
That’s how it’s done here, in our area, anyway.
The clothe- washing people have no way to know who the clothes belongs to otherwise.
Maybe you sister want to by you one?
It will be cheaper for her than the laundry service
Good Morning, @Howard......Just waiting for the PT people to put in an appearance....not long, I hope.

I'm truly sorry that your former roommate died (the 2nd one, right)? You helped him as much as you could....and we can only hope that he didn't suffer much.

Darn, isn't anything a surprise any longer? No one's fault particularly, but don't count on Amazon for gifts. OK, I'll admit that the undies were for your b'day, although it seems they could have also been shorts. Rather confusing,

Yes, @Hufsamour is right....labels help, but not really b/c no one reads them, it seems. Anything classy seems to find its way from the washing machine to someone else's chest of drawers (not a patient's....let's put it that way). We had the same problem with my mother's clothing and I hired a service to help out. Big she was the size of your average female dwarf and things kept wandering around anyway. I wasn't aware that the home even had a children's area....but her clothes found their way there. One learns not to spend a lot on things, because if there's one act they have down pat, it's the disappearing one.
Mom was able to shop for long periods after I had given it up b/c of necessity. Just couldn't do it any longer. Cleanliness does matter to me, Howard, but I don't want an overload of clothes...after all, saturation point is saturation, isn't it? Besides, Rod doesn't notice clothing what's the point?

I'll see if I can dig up another Sun's t-shirt for you and will have it sent. No trouble, and no, I don't want to listen to you complain about being a complaint to others. I'll just do my best, and you know that,

Did you talk to you son over Xmas time? Phone or otherwise? I know you did your mother and your son would have made a very pleasant call (one hopes!).

It's all a giant blur already as it is at this time each year. Sylvia (oldest daughter) arrived yesterday with some lovely flowers, and is very glad the kids returned to school on Sunday. (Actually she didn't give them a choice...shades of her own mother, as I recall). So for you younger parents, bear that in mind....the years make all paternal judgments much easier to deal with.

OK....that's all. The world returns to upright....personally, I find that a gift of its own. Take care everyone. I really don't want to think about my 5 fractured pelvic injuries, which have to heal on their own. You know, we are stronger than we think. P.S. In case think you're alone....I'm somehow supposed to use my walked 3 times/day, (min.) never mind that my arms can't support me, and that this bony rear end is not going to be given pain relief.....I have to walk and then sit for 6 hrs. at a time....and boy am I ever annoyed. Pain relief is nowhere in sight, and if you're lucky enough to be without it, I would consider myself ultra fortunate....but I'm not.

In all these years, we still don't have decent pain support and whether we know it or not, is one of our biggest problems. It's not coming anytime soon...and I want to know WHY? I'd like to hear from people "in the know" researchers in that area, what is out there and is there anything likely to improve problems as time passes? I'm on an ice floe (one the few remaining ones, it seems), have no help and I have to learn to skate around this in a couple of week. Is there something a bit bizarre about this scenario? Yours, Lenora
Sorry you felt pressured to blog. :(

Also, I too like @Hufsamor's suggestion. I was going to say the same. Permanent magic marker and have them write your name front, back, sleeve, hem (in other words, several places in big lettering) before sending to laundry.

Have them wash it before you wear it again though because those markers smell horrible.

Anyway, a nice CNA woman went down to the laundry, insisting they find my missing clothes. My missing clothes include: two pairs of shorts, two shirts, and a pair of socks.

So that was on Saturday. And she failed to locate any of my clothing at that time. Then on Sunday (Sunday afternoon to be exact), that same CNA walked into my room with a fistful of clothes:
I'm glad that aide finally came back. I was worried maybe she got lost there too. :lol: :meh:

Edit: Ooh, when you post a pic of the sky next time can we do color?? Like I said once, blue really feeds lovely "nutrients" to my brain and I live far, far away from the Arizona sky so it's a real treat. :D
it’s kind of a sad thing about to live where you live…
You get to know people a little bit, and they die.
Right. I figure that by living in this nursing home for the next 30 years I'll outlive everybody!

you need to ask someone to by you a marking pen.
And write your name on every clothe you own.
Yes. ALL of my clothes ARE labeled, but it doesn't matter. They just never come back.

Anyway, I've got quite enough clothes now… enough to last me for months on end without needing to be washed. After clothes get dirty, the solution is to let them sit for a period of time. Then, after they sit long enough, they are just like brand new again!


I am truly sorry you are suffering that way. I hope you get relief somehow. And soon! I don't know anything about anything when it comes to pain. Or anything else to suggest. Just know that you'll improve incrementally (unlike with me/cfs!!!).

And the one who died was my second roommate, the most recent.

If they put someone in here who is NOT quiet (prone to watching TV at excess volumes) I'll just spend 24 hours outside in the courtyard. Probably erect a tent. Knit a sleeping bag. I'll figure it out.

I'll see if I can dig up another Sun's t-shirt for you and will have it sent.
And you needn't worry about a new t-shirt for me. I got 23 solid days of orange T-shirt wearing. The point being, thank you! It would take most people an entire year to wear a t-shirt 23 times!

Nasty thing Covid if it gets hold of you
Right. I absolutely did not expect to struggle in that way. But yes, outside of a few weird happenings, I feel mostly back to my usual self. :)

I think Layla is one of my most fav Clapton songs ever.
Clapton kind of had some momentum in the late sixties early seventies and then he fizzled out after He Shot the Sheriff. Note: my mother used to enthusiastically sing-along with that song as we motored around town way back when


Ha! I was joking about the pressure of three entire people. I always write every day no matter what (besides the covid hiatus), it's just a matter of… is there any entertainment value? Does my writing make sense? Somewhat uplifting? Am I responding to a question? Am I being self-indulgent?

Well, you get the idea. I have criteria. After all, I'm an artist! Or not. Standards. Yes, standards.. that's what I have. Minimum standards. :)

blue really feeds lovely "nutrients" to my brain and I live far, far away from the Arizona sky so it's a real treat. :D
On the pics, yes, I can do blue… but @rufuos has mentioned having a hankering for my black n white images in the past, so I do have to work those in every so often. Unless…

But of course, mostly color images it is! It's just that I try to find different ways to make interesting images from the same exact location day in and day out. :)
Hi @Howard.....I think you need something fancier than a Phoenix Suns shirts for that view. I'm thinking Hawaiaan, definitely something that makes a statement....what do you think.? You won't even have to iron it!

I'd very much like to see the PT who was here yesterday. As per usual, I'm in so much pain that I can barely move....but I have to, no question of that one.

I'm glad you were out are your friends? I'm sure they missed you. Just don't overdo things, especially in the beginning. (Right, I'm the perfect one to be giving advice, aren't I?)

OK....can't stay anywhere for long. Enjoy that perfect view. Are you warm enough? Take care of Howard....and you know, I forget if I told you, but I'm really sorry about your roommate. A great shame. Yours, Lenora.
Hmmm.....the making of Layla in FL. Anything to do with the Miami Sound Machine? I agree with you @sunshine44's a gorgeous song.

Clapton wrote it while he was waiting for his girlfriend (Patty Hanson?) to get dressed for some "do" that he was ready for. Sometimes men do have a point about things, don't they? However, in the end one has to say we look better than they do because we've actually put a little effort into things. Right @Howard? Yours, Lenora:music:
Hi @Howard........HAPPY BIRTHDAY to a really good guy. Before we know it, the day will be over and that would be a terrible shame Of course all of these wishes come from everyone at PR. Good for you!!

I hope you'll be able to visit your friends in the courtyard & will be nice & snuggly warm.

So enjoy your big day....I'm sorry that I can't send you a prettier picture, but I'll leave it up to those who are truly artistic among us: My gift to you:

Your personal rendition of DANCING QUEEN!

Happy Birthday: :):balloons::cake::gift::bouquet::music::moneybag:

Thought this might be helpful, if you're up to it .....

Free course for mindfulness and happiness:

"You should never underestimate the importance of soft skills, and one of the most crucial is your own mental health and happiness. This has become even more vital as more of us find ourselves working, sleeping, and living in the same constrained space all the time. It’s easy to contract Space Madness when you never leave your apartment (or put on pants).

Happiness and mindfulness aren’t lucky accidents—there’s a science behind them. The University of California, Berkeley offers “The Science of Happiness,” which will educate you in Positive Psychology, an emerging concept that will teach you practical strategies for nurturing psychological and emotional well-being. In an increasingly remote world, ensuring your mental and emotional health will be more important than ever."



Sorry for the rush, but I just came across this this morning :xeyes::xeyes::xeyes: ….

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