Saturday, August 16, 2014

so rare, so rare

 So Rare, So Rare

11/ 14/ 14

A day after last week's doctor's appointment, one of my NPs called to let us know that my blood platelets were low by about half -- a nearly inevitable case after chemotherapy. New rules while my platelet count rebounds (and good ones of thumb, for that matter): 1. Don't get stabbed -- platelets help stop the bleeding. 2. Don't go the ER in the case of stab wound -- the place is pernicious with cooties -- platelets are integral to the immune system's efficacy.

Luckily, lately, my cautiousness has been up by about double . . . as in doubled -up on the kitchen floor clutching your hurt back, as in double-down on your incautiousness and you'll be bound to an ER rife with airborne cooties.

Luckily, last week, my shiny burgundy four-wheel walker arrived. Believe me, for an emblem of misfortune, this gal is a beaut. She shimmers, she rolls. She has brakes on her ergonomic handles. She sports . . . wait for it . . . a  fold-down seat if pushing wheels becomes too exhausting. Under which seat . . . wait for . . . can't wait storagecompartment! Need to tote a turkey sammich? Stash! Bag of crunchy Cheetos and a fistful Oreos? Stash, stash.

8/ 12/ 14 

Sorry. It's not like me to get sidetracked.

During last Friday's Avastin infusion, the man in the chair next to me began to have an allergic reaction to some new drug he had dripping into his arm. He became alarmed and alerted the nurses, trying to explain the matter as one by one they tuned-in, recognizing the potential gravity of the situation.

I love nurses. There's a wide and well-oiled sidetrack here, but I'll trundle on.

The man said he felt on fire, he felt he was going pee himself, if he hadn't already. The nurses hurriedly attached new IV bags in an effort to reverse the new drug’s the ill-effects.  Things got worse.  A headache joined the fray. His composure began to slip. His vitals went haywire; his heart sped. The nurses hustled, communicating their expertise with calmness.

The man went blind.

As he went blind, I cannot say to what degree of severity or even truth, the blindness came on; I do not need to know exactly, but I know well enough the blended timbre of panic -- the blue-jay's worried call from branch to branch, the goose's hyperventilated hiss, the dolor of the abandoned dove, the ten-octave descant of a maniac hawk.

Crows calling for doom, sparrows for mercy.

I cannot say for sure how already dead the man thought that certainly he was as the soothing voices of the nurses became disassociated with the calmness in their faces.  However,  I can speak to death's mission accomplished as being preferred over its loitering terrors.

Dead or not --  he lived. At least throughout our acquaintance. He panicked was all. I know I would if I came-to blind.  Just to think about it makes me wish I hadn't written about it.

Rest in peace tonight, man no longer beside me, seeing and undecaying. Pills for crows, crust for sparrows.

8/ 11/ 14

Here is our lullaby . . . 

So hush now lah-lolly
Lailai lailai lah-lolly

My gal will tote you
Compartment so rare
She’ll stash you then eat you
So rare, so rare

So hush now lah-lolly
Lailai lailai lah-lolly


8/ 13/ 14

I did not get sidetracked. I got tired.

To get back on track and hopefully to stay awhile . . . the depletion of platelets is inevitable in whom there has been a long-fought battle of cells, I was told as much by my team of white coats, learned as much from their complementary glossy pamphlets; and, I know as much by now.

However, I have discovered that inevitability is harder to take in stride than eventuality by ambush is to plan for. The given is taken for granted -- especially as time wears on and slowly-but-surely becomes the order of the day. The inevitable pales in your rearview, ducks out of sight; it reappears in no real hurry to catch you up,  just keeping tabs. Memento mori, it seems to wink. Memento sanguis.

"You're gonna die, Bud, and it might just be your own blood that kills you or . . .   a transfused understudy or . . . some other eventuality. But as you were told, as you learned, as you know for certain -- inevitability will catch you up and emerge from you're blind-spot -- all high beams and tooting horn.


Wait. How did I get so already dead all of a sudden? I hate it but I'll have to backtrack.

Here I am.

There I was, considering platelets -- their betrayal, my pathetic reliance on their allegiance. Because I need roughly 100,000 parts per micro-liter more than I currently have which puts a damper on my cataract surgery hopes; then, not four paragraphs into this journal post, I got on the fast track to here. Here I am, surely going blind, no surgery in sight.
There I was . . .

a car on my tail, some unimpressive Latin, a meaty lecture held forth regarding what will and what might, it struck you as presumptuous but sensible enough, brief comment on platelet depletion, of all things -- a lullaby, there was uncertainty and indeed presumptuousness, a few point-of-view swaps which struck you as art for art's sake,  a strong, I mean strong, exhibition of prose poetry resonating with the music-lover and bird-enthusiast alike, there was a shout-out to nurses, description of my new walker -- its beauty and capacity, the man beside me in the in the infusion room who went from afire to wet to blind before I could catch-up with the plot on Divorce Court . . .

Here I am again. Practically dead to hear me talk. Virtually living the life opaque.
The Go or No Option

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