Thursday, June 14, 2018

Let’s all go to Baku, the garden spot of Azerbaijan!

Hello from Howdygram headquarters! I slept late this morning, and now I’m hanging out in the family room with my MacBook laptop ... pondering lunch. I don’t have much of an appetite, to tell you the truth, so I probably shouldn’t eat anything heavy. Maybe just Kraft’s high-class pimiento cheese shmeared on crackers with a plastic knife plus a side order of Mt. Olive sweet corn relish. (And napkins.)

Holy crap ... it’s only 12 noon and I’m already nodding off. I don’t know how it’s possible. I woke up this morning at 9, barely one hour ahead of Roskeisha’s (the “s” is silent) visit, and the most strenuous activity I’ve had so far involved swallowing a bunch of pills. That’s it.

I’ve got a number of health reports for you today. First on my list … THE BANDAGE FROM HELL. Last week a hospice R.N., Martha, had trouble replacing the adhesive dressing on the bottom of my left heel so she decided to wrap half my foot with a gauze bandage. Unfortunately the bandage was a little too tight and eventually caused the muscles in the arch of my foot to seize up, like a gigantic charlie horse, making it unbearably horrible to walk or put any weight on it. HOLY SHIT … I DON’T NEED ANY ADDITIONAL PAIN! (For the record, at bedtime last night I had Sam cut off that goddamn gauze bandage wrap. By this morning my foot was already 80% better.)

Second, MY WEEKLY CHECKUP. I got the once-over this afternoon by Isabella, another hospice R.N., who declared that the ulcer on my the bottom of my left heel was almost 100% healed and kaput. She cleaned it and applied a new adhesive bandage. My “vitals” weren’t great, unfortunately. My blood pressure was 85/60 and my oxygen level was 82%, which are both extremely LOW. Isabella told me to use my cannula and oxygen generator as much as possible from now on. Oy.

Third, A NICE BATH AND NO APPETITE. My hospice C.N.A. Roskeisha (the “s” is silent) was here this morning to bathe and powder me ... and a happy time was had by all! An hour later when I should’ve been enjoying lunch, however, I barely finished a mug of crinkle-cut pickled beets with sour cream and had to admit that I really had no appetite whatsoever. I didn’t even feel like eating teeny squares of pepper jack cheese on Ritz crackers! So I fell asleep for a few hours. And now it’s 7 p.m., and I’m pleased to announce that I actually want dinner. I’ll ask Sam to nuke a pre-grilled Costco hamburger patty for me and bake a few steak fries. Welcome to L’HOSPICE GOURMET, everybody!

It’s almost 2 a.m. and I’ve got things racing around in my head tonight. Urinary things. To be specific, I’ve been worrying about what the fuck’s going to happen when it’s time to change my catheter because I’ve had the same one since I was admitted to the hospital back on May 24. Catheters don’t last forever, you know. They have to removed and replaced. And I’m scared to death. The only times I’ve ever been catheterized successfully (without screaming and/or kicking people half to death) are when I’ve been unconscious in the E.R. or during surgery.

So why is all this is on my mind? Because about an hour ago I had a very strong urge to pee — something that should NOT happen when a person is catheterized — and I believe I actually eliminated several drops that burned like hell. This might be a sign that: 1) it’s time for a new catheter; 2) I have an infection; or 3) I’m having a nervous breakdown. (I think it’s Door Number One, Monty.)

So although I’m not sure what to do right now, I guess there’s no point waking Sam until I figure this out or I don’t have any additional “unexpected peeing” incidents. For instance, if there’s any pee in my urine collection bag at the foot of the bed, that would mean the catheter is still working. Because Sam emptied the bag before he went to bed at midnight.

Stay tuned …

A SPEEDY UPDATE. I woke Sam. I felt lousy about that but I had no other choice. He’s the only person who could help me figure out if I’ve been peeing on myself or not. And the answer is: NOT. I’m already refilling my wee-wee bag quite nicely and Sam said I didn’t feel wet anywhere. Thank God. Now I can get back to writing my Howdygram post!

A couple of weeks ago I think I mentioned that my hospice offers a fabulous annual caregiver’s “perk” that involves moving me into a ritzy nursing facility for five days with full — and free — room and board (and free transportation to and from home) so Sam can enjoy a desperately-needed respite. We picked mid-September because Sam wants to fly to L.A. to visit his friends, siblings aunts and cousins, and he always stays in a hotel and rents a car so he’ll have maximum freedom to come and go whenever he wants. In case you’re curious, I’ll be staying at The Villages of Lake Highland in Dallas (photo below).

The Villages of Lake Highlands … the ultimate nursing home experience.
Let’s contrast this with a conversation I had on Wednesday afternoon with my cousin Bobby, who’s four years older than I am — almost 71 — but still physically active and still traveling the world. As a matter of fact, Bobby told me he booked a hiking tour of (ready for this?) Baku, the capital and largest city of Azerbaijan. Baku is also the largest city on the Caspian Sea with a population of 2,374,000, and it’s located 92 feet below sea level, making it the lowest-lying national capital in the world and the largest city in the world located below sea level. Bobby’s visit includes a “home stay” with local residents … the last tour group had to sleep in a barn and use a plywood toilet in an outhouse. HOLY CRAP. (In 2017 Bobby signed up for a week of yoga in Costa Rica.)

Baku, the capital city of Azerbaijan. (I think I’d rather go to Disney World.)

Hail and farewell, everybody, because it’s time to get some sleep. Thank you for reading this!

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