Wednesday, May 30, 2018


It’s another sticky-hot late spring morning here in North Texas. For the next 10 days our high temperature will fluctuate between 97° and 101° with zero chance of rain. Jesus ... in weather like this I’m actually glad to be housebound!

Here’s a bunch of neatly-subtitled paragraphs for you with important stuff that’s going on here at Howdygram headquarters. Thank you for your support.

ENCROACHING BRAIN FUZZ. I can’t explain why I’m awake at this obscenely early hour (it’s 5:16 a.m.). Most days (translation: I ALWAYS) wake up after 8 a.m. when Sam is out for his morning “constitutional” and the house is quiet for an hour or two. Today, though, I woke up asking for my sister Robin, who came for a visit this week but went home on Monday. Sam said I was probably dreaming. (I think I was probably whacked-out.)

ADJUSTING TO A HOSPICE LIFESTYLE. My privacy is shot to hell these days. On Monday, Wednesday and Friday I have visits from: 1) a nursing aide named Letitia, who bathes me and monitors my medications; 2) a visit from my hospice R.N., Bea, who dresses the ulcer on the bottom of my left foot and discusses new prescriptions. I also get a monthly visit from a hospice social worker (Teresa) and an occasional half-hour with the agency’s “chaplain.” I put that in quotes because he represents every faith (and no faith at all) … however we’re comfortable. He can hook us up with a nearby rabbi if we’re interested in that. (Not really. No.)

SOMEBODY HAS A NEW SET OF WHEELS! A few days ago (Thursday? Friday?) Sam finally couldn’t take it any more. We already knew the air-conditioning in his Hyundai Sonata had been broken and unfixable for several months, but when temperatures started to climb into the upper 90s outside — and with my sister coming for a visit — he decided it’s time to replace the vehicle. It had a good, long life … 13 years! (Sam would still be driving it if the A/C worked. Trust me.)

Sam’s beautiful new Kia Optima. The right car, the right size, the right price.

So Sam paid a visit to two local dealers … Fenton Hyundai and Trophy Nissan, both here in Mesquite, and started wrangling with them about prices. He wound up with a late-model-year Kia Optima from Trophy Nissan’s used car lot. It’s got all the bells and whistles, a good warranty, a nice low price, charcoal gray clearcoat paint that actually looks more like plum, depending on the light, and they gave him $1,000 in trade for his old Hyundai. Everybody’s happy … except me, of course, because I haven’t been out of the house for eight years.

I’M GETTING MORE PAIN MEDICATION. Yesterday Bea, my hospice R.N., told me she should be able to start me on extended release Morphine today as an add-on to my current pain medications … Hydrocodone 10mg and Gabapentin 2700mg. Oh my God … MORPHINE. Morphine! I’m so excited I think I might split a gut! The last time I enjoyed Morphine I was hospitalized in Michigan and recovering from my hysterectomy in 1990. I had a Morphine drip into my I.V., which means I could click a little button whenever I needed more pain relief and I’d get a fresh dose. So fuck the opioid crisis … I’M GETTING MORPHINE!

I just asked Sam for a favorite breakfast treat … American cheese slices on white bread, grilled in the toaster oven until the cheese burns and turns black. I LOVE THIS STUFF! I first went crazy for the blackened cheese thing when I was a kid and mom used to make her “grilled cheese” sandwiches. (She also blackened her famous “grilled hot dogs.” Don’t ask me what she did to her homemade beef stew.)

It’s 8 a.m. and I’m almost cockeyed with exhaustion right now. I need SLEEP. Thank you for stopping by and thank you for reading this. If you feel like remembering the Alamo, go right ahead. But turn out the lights when you’re through here, okay?

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