Tuesday, March 2, 2010

How Do You Feel Today?

1.  Madder 'n Hell.  This morning the oncologist appeared in Sue's room at a few minutes after six and announced to Sue that he was concerned about the weakness in Sue's muscles and that he had been unaware until this morning when he spoke with Dr. Crooks that Sue was having these issues with muscle weakness.  It's probably a good thing I hadn't got here yet, because I'm still mad enough to spit.  What have we been doing here for a week?  We presented Sue to the E.R. a week ago with complaints of muscle weakness and fatigue.  Granted, Sue also had a fever of 103 F at the time.  Somehow she ended up in isolation with a red-herring diagnosis of TB, and so now it appears that for the past week "we" have not been addressing the real issue(s).

2.  Tired, and Needing A Little Focus. Sue called me at five after six this morning and said don't bother to come down to try to meet with the doctor, because he'd come and gone.  But I was up and had coffee brewing so I'm operating on five hours' sleep today.  Good for marines in training, perhaps, but I'm not genetically disposed to operating on that little sleep. 

I'd hired a second maintenance man last month and he had scheduled work out of the office for which he needed to use my truck.  So I "loaned" him my truck and "borrowed" the 2010 Ford Focus I bought last month for Yesenia to use showing and inspecting properties.  I drove the Focus to downtown Fresno to file papers at the courthouse and the Sheriff's office.  On my way back to where I'd parked, I was thinking distractedly about "things" when I noticed the empty parking stall where I thought I'd parked my truck, and I had about 30 seconds of great annoyance as I approached the empty stall thinking (in terms moderated for public consumption), "Oh this is just great! As if I don't have enough troubles, some idiot has stolen my truck."  Momentarily I regained my focus, and realized I was standing next to my Focus.

3.  Needing A Little Male Counseling.  A lot of people who know of Sue's unfortunate medical situation have an inexplicable urge to ask me how I'm doing.  I'm not the sick one, but to be sure the recent events surrounding Sue's hospital incarceration have been stressful for all involved.  For you ladies who like to ask, I'd like to explain what a good man to man "counseling" session might look like.  To set the stage, the Counselee will be the one "needing" counseling, and the Counselor will be the male friend who offers it.  We speak here in the third person because no self-respecting male of my generation and geographic upbringing would ever admit to needing or wanting counseling.

So typically, Counselee is home "sipping" beer and watching a sporting event on t.v.  Counselor rings the door bell, and Counselee answers.  The following dialogue occurs:

Counselee:  Hey, what's up?

Counselor:  Not much, how 'bout you?

Counselee:  Just watching a little basketball.  (A few seconds of uncomfortable silence pass where, following the briefest of eye contact, Counselor inspects his nails and Counselee inspects the neighborhood while deciding if he wants to invite Counselor in.)  You want to come in?

Counselor:  Sure.

Counselee:  Want a beer?

Counselor:  Sure.  (Counselor sits down and another minute of silence passes while Counselee gets the beer, opens it and gives it to Counselor).

Counselor:  Thanks.  You hear about the Jazz beating the Lakers?

Counselee:  Yeah.  That was disappointing. (Aha, true emotions spilled.  That was truly healing.)  This basketball game's a little lame.  You want to watch some UFC reruns?  (UFC cage fighting.)

Counselor:  That'd be good.

Counselee then tunes in ultimate cage fighting reruns.  Counselee and Counselor watch three fights of three rounds without speaking, quaffing two more beers each and periodically making exclamations like "ooh" and "ouch" and "ahhh ahhh ahhh" while watching angry, testosterone pumped fighters punch, kick, elbow, and knee each other in bloody, sweaty combat, trying to put each other to "sleep" (i.e. knock each other out) or submit the other guy by popping his elbow out with an arm bar to get a "tap-out submission."  This is a vey gratifying way for both Counselee and Counselor to constructively relieve stress and agression.

Counselor then stands up and says:  Well, I gotta run.

Counselee:  O.K.  See you around.

So that's what a good counseling session might look like for a man.


  1. And would that "counseling session" help?

    Perhaps your blogging is a bit more helpful? ;)

    And I don't blame you one bit for being mad!! I hope you get some answers and a good night's sleep tonight.

    More prayers.....

  2. Hello George

    I'm with you on the health care system being incredibly frustrating. The lack of communication and accountability is stunning. And if you are really sick with no one to advocate for you, good luck. But yet it, and prisons, are growth industry.

    P.S. mano a mano means "hand to hand" :)

  3. This seems somewhat typical when you stop by our house. However, you usually get to have me thrown into the mix as well. You know, to add some real perspective. And to ask a bunch of questions you don't really want to answer...