the PANIC visit

In my post ‘quality of life…. (or lack of it)‘, I wrote the following –

With the recent move to Tampa, Florida and change in healthcare, comes more doctor visits, appointments and more medications.

The transition to this area is a struggle with regards to finding new doctors and scheduling the appointments.

In today’s post, I write the following –

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Image Provided by: ateachingmommy.com

One of the previous mentioned appointments was with a new dentist.  I was fortunate to see a new dentist within the first week because once my chemotherapy begins I should not be having any dental work.  There is always the possibility of an infection and during chemotherapy my white blood count is low and therefore more prone to infections.  So, my first visit with the new dentist was an examination that included the usual x-rays that resulted in me having a cavity.  I very seldom have cavities and was surprised to learn I had one.

Okay, two days later and another dentist appointment to take care of the cavity.  Before I write about this appointment, let’s go back about 14 hours –

It is the night before and I am experiencing a great deal of back pain.  I take pain pills and go to bed extremely early – around 7:00 PM.  I am unable to rest or sleep, so around 11:00 PM I am taking additional pills for pain and sleep.  I do finally receive some sleep, but the next morning, I am tired.

Early morning Gary and I depart for the dental appointment and I am excited about using a new smartphone app that I can use for street parking near the dentist office.

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Image Provided by: Christian Science Monitor

I set the time and pay for two hours the maximum amount allowed.  Gary is also having a dental appointment the same time so, two hours should be enough time.  The dentist is running behind and I become a little nervous about the time, but I know I can extend it from my smartphone.  It is the first time I have used it, so I am a little nervous that maybe it will not work and I will receive a ticket.

Now I am sitting in a chair and receive my injection to numb my mouth.  Oh, did I mention I do not like to go to dentists?  I have Cancer and deal with appointments, procedures, IVs and blood tests – but going to the dentist makes me nervous.

Now I am at another dentist appointment to take care of the cavity – it is time – but the mouth does not feel numb.  The dentist decides to give me another shot.

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Image Provided by: Holistic Health & Living

Within minutes, half my throat goes numb as does part of my vocal cords.  I am having trouble swallowing and breathing.  I request the staff to get Gary in the room – I need him.  The dentist thinks I may be having an allergic reaction to the lidocaine.  I am not allergic to anything – I receive an Epipen injection.

911 is called just in case there is an allergic reaction – but they are not needed.

I am having a panic attack as the throat is swollen, I am unable to swallow and breath and having difficulty speaking – I am also crying.

After some time to relax, I go through with getting the cavity fix because chemotherapy starts in 2 days.

I am glad I do not have to see the dentist again for another 6 months.

The Phantom of the Pee

Most of us are familiar with ‘The Phantom of the Opera’; a musical with music by Andrew Lloyd Webber.

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Image1 Provided by: CMUSE

I bet you are not familiar with ‘The Phantom of the Pee’; not a musical with no music.

Merriam-Webster has the following definition for ‘phantom’ –

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a :  something apparent to sense but with no substantial existence :  apparition

b :  something elusive or visionary

c :  an object of continual dread or abhorrence the phantom of disease and want

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:  something existing in appearance only

3

:  a representation of something abstract, ideal, or incorporeal

she was a phantom of delight — William Wordsworth

Google ‘Phantom’ and first on the list of results is ‘DJI Phantom Drone’, with the following descriptions –

The Phantom is a series of unmanned aerial vehicles developed by Chinese technology company DJI. It is widely regarded as the company’s flagship UAV line, as it is the most widely used and known product DJI has released currently.

Google ‘Phantom Pain’ and first on the list or results is the following –

Phantom pain is pain that feels like it’s coming from a body part that’s no longer there. Doctors once believed this post-amputation phenomenon was a psychological problem, but experts now recognize that these real sensations originate in the spinal cord and brain.

I current do not experience phantom pain, but I do experience phantom pee.  Have you heard of phantom pee?

Phantom pee is a real thing, very strange real thing and I do experience it on a regular basis.  I mentioned this to my Urologist Dr. P. and yes, this is a real thing.

As you know my surgery in January removed my bladder and prostate and other male related organs.  My urine is now removed from my body via a stoma into a urostomy bag on the outside of my body.  I no longer have control of my urination.

But I still have the feeling of needing to pee, but I can’t.

Anyway, very strange feeling when you have ‘that urge’ and you no longer can ‘relieve’ yourself.

So, although ‘The Phantom of the Pee’ is not a musical with no music, it is a real occurrence.

no noise please

Living and Learning –

I have written in past posts the difficulty I had learning as a child.  You can read more about these difficulties in these posts ‘Learning the Hard Way‘, and ‘A Slow Learner am I‘.   I was labeled as a ‘slow learner’ and a child with ‘learning disabilities’.  Per Dictionary.com, certain criteria consider me ‘retarded’.

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Some of those learning difficulties I had as a child continues today.  The difference is today I understand and accept that which makes it difficult for me to learn.  But, still today at times I become frustrated with the learning process.  The frustration is mainly due to my learning style or method being interrupted and then concentration is lost.  First of all, I am a visual person: I need to see something to learn something.  Me sitting and listening to a lecture is a lost cause – I will receive very little from it.  And if there is a visual portion, I may receive a little more, but I need my own set of visuals to learn.

And for me I learn best by myself; reading, researching, documenting, speaking out loud to myself – this is a great learning method for me.

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Image Provided by: My Favorite Things – blogger

I also need quite time, no noise please.  No TV in the background and sorry Gary – no phone calls with speaker phone – please?

In the last job I held before retiring, I was a IT Quality Assurance Specialist.  This company created software for devices related to delivery of communication.  On the surface of any software; what the end-user sees and uses – we take for granted that it will work.  If it does not work, someone did not do their job, usually that someone is Quality Assurance.  My job was to make sure the software worked per specifications and requirements and it would not break anything else and it would be easy for the end-user to understand and use.

Sounds like an easy job, right?

For me not so easy, but I did find it challenging – and challenging is a good thing.

I would arrive early in the morning; several hours before anyone would else because I needed my quite time, no noise please.

You see, I had much to learn about those specifications and requirements I just mentioned.  They were complicated and I had to know them inside and out; it was my job to ensure the software worked as it should.  So there I was early in the morning with no noise no interruptions with my visuals and I read, researched, documented and spoke out loud to myself.  I learned my way and I was excellent at my job.

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Image Provided by: Sunwood Development

Children and adults learn different ways – there are many different styles and methods to learning.

What about you, how do you like to learn?

My Life; part of the blues?

From my post ‘find the humor‘, my friend and fellow blogger tcriggs over at Canary in the coalmine left the following comment –

Love this! thanks!

Btw… the post today on my blog, is for you… please stop by. I hope you like it!

I visited tciggs’ blog and read the post ‘If you fail to succeed, but do so Epically… did you actually succeed?’, that concluded with the following –

CONFESSION:

My husband is a singer/songwriter incognito… (he even sings one I wrote! *gasp*)… Still, as an avid music lover, and having a freakishly weird unintentional skill (yes, even commercials!) for remembering notes, chords, and lyrics… he plays covers now and again.

You know…Those favorite songs that speak to him.

One of the songs he plays and sings is by Sun Volt, called “Windfall” on acoustic guitar. (I tried to get him to let me record him… to no avail… sorry! But, I have evil plans for the future… stay tuned… )

Anyways… Quite literally, every time I hear him play this song… I think of the blogger ‘Spearfruit’… (Terry), dealing with some pretty heavy sh*t these days…

I can’t explain why… like I said, but when I hear it, I think of him.

I can say with certainty; I immediately wish him well and healthy…

I left a comment appreciating the mention and wanted to respond also in a post –

I am always touched when I am mentioned in another blogger’s post – as I consider myself no different than anyone else.

Per my ‘About Me’ page –

So, what makes my life more special than others? Well nothing really. The difference is this is my life that I am writing about.

I visited Son Volt’s website and read their BIO page.

Their BIO seems familiar to my life and me; here are some excerpts –

“There are only two kinds of songs,” Townes Van Zandt said, well before he died. “There’s the blues, and there’s zip-a-dee-doo-dah.” The new Son Volt album is titled Notes of Blue.

… “For years I’ve been drawn to the passion, common struggle and possibility for redemption that’s always been a part of the blues. Everyone has to pay the rent and get along with their significant others, so many of the themes are universal. For me, the blues fills that void that’s there for religion, really. That’s the place I turn to be lifted up.”

Why does this song and this group remind tciggs of me?  Maybe the answer is in some lyrics –

Now and then it keeps you running

It never seems to die

The trail’s spent with fear

Not enough living on the outside

Never seem to get far enough

Staying in between the lines

Hold on to what you can

Waiting for the end

Not knowing when

May the wind take your troubles away

May the wind take your troubles away

Both feet on the floor, two hands on the wheel,

May the wind take your troubles away

Trying to make it far enough, to the next time zone

Few and far between past the midnight hour

Never feel alone, you’re really not alone

Yellow: the five percent

I like yellow, it is my favorite color.

Wikipedia.org has the following –

Yellow is the color of ripe lemons, sunflowers, and gold. It is between green and orange in the visible spectrum, and a primary color in subtractive color, used in color printing. According to surveys in Europe, Canada, and the United States, yellow is the color people most often associate with amusement, gentleness, and spontaneity, but also with duplicity, envy, jealousy, avarice, and, in the U.S., with cowardice. In Iran it has connotations of pallor/sickness, but also wisdom and connection.  It plays an important role in Asian culture, particularly in China, where it is seen as the color of happiness, glory, wisdom, harmony, and culture.

I like yellow, my favorite color.

Google the word yellow and you receive the following results –

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Image Provided by: Google Play

Yellow is a location-based social search mobile app that allows users to find others to share their Snapchat and Instagram usernames. It also allows users to chat with one another in the app.

Who knew there was an app for that?

And did you know the group Coldplay has a song called Yellow?

There is an interesting article on psychologytoday.com titled  Why We Prefer Certain Colors that has interesting information about why we have a color preference and how it influences our lives.  If you are interested in reading, click the above article link.

Did I mention, I like yellow?

From bustle.com –

The most popular color in the world is blue, and it’s also the most popular color for men, everywhere in the world, to wear. (Women, on the other hand, mostly prefer wearing black.) Statistically, yellow isn’t preferred by many, with only five percent of people claiming it as their most favorite color, and apparently, as people get older, they start to shun orange.

Okay, I am in the five percent when it comes to preferring yellow.

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Image Provided by: Jodi @ https://lifeinbetween.me

I always mention my favorite color to Jodi over at THE CREATIVE LIFE IN BETWEEN because she has wonderful watercolors that have the color yellow.

Did I mention, I really like the color yellow?

A year ago, I published a video post ‘it’s a “Jodi”’, where I unwrapped a package.  The package was sent from Jodi; she sent me a watercolor that I really liked.  The water color is a red boat, but it also has my favorite color.

Did you know, I really, really like yellow – it is my favorite color.

Any guess my favorite fruit?  (hint: it starts with a ‘B’ and yes, it is yellow)

And if you have never heard Coldplay’s song “Yellow” –

There is a mirror

There is a mirror you see

Right in front of me

And as I look at the current me

I am reminded of what I use to be

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The daily shower to clean the body

Now the body seems so shoddy

There once stood a man who some thought a hottie

But now that changed man he considers himself a nobody

 

The shower stands in front of that mirror

The doors open I am not far but nearer

I have changed much it is so much clearer

And times I see myself as inferior

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You see that mirror it sees the truth

It tells me my reflection is so much different from my youth

As I open the doors, that shower that booth

You see that mirror it sees the truth

 

But it only reflects the outside of me

There is much more to me, than one can see

My mind will wrestle with the reflection of me

But I remind myself, that, that I can still see

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The body is unimportant, because I have changed

Yes, the inside is a little rearranged

But the personality that cannot be exchanged

It remains positive and it remains unchanged

 

There is a mirror you see

Right in front of me

And as I look at the current me

I am reminded of what I can be

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red dots and double blue lines

Back in February in my post ‘Of course, … a course’, I wrote about occasionally making mistakes in my posts usual related to grammar errors.  I read, re-read and proof read my posts and still some grammar errors slip pass.  I have also used a correctly spelled word but used it incorrectly within a sentence.  For instance I found a few times after I published a post, I found an error in which I meant to use the word ‘life’, but instead I wrote ‘live’.

I write my posts in Microsoft Office Word therefore it will catch my spelling errors and I will correct those.

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Image Provided by: Microsoft Store

As with the post written above mentioned grammar slipups and the occasionally incorrect used word, I am okay with my writing – because it is me.

I use the latest version of Microsoft Office Word; it is 2016 and is updated by Microsoft when they roll out their updates, usually once a month.  I recently noticed Word now provides me suggestions to my sentence structure.  It will use red dots under a combination of words to suggest I could use one word instead.  For instance when you read the last sentence of this post replace ‘have to’ with ‘must’ or ‘should’.  Word also uses double blue lines under words suggesting a comma should follow.  If you were to view my posts in Word, it appears I do not use enough commas in my sentences.  Yes I understand Word is trying to help.

Now for spell check – thank you, it is not that I necessarily do not know how to spell, it really is that my typing skills are not as they use to be.

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Image Provided by: VideoHive

I loved the big keyboards and with my past laptops, I would have a wireless keyboard and mouse and would also have a big screen plugged in.  That was my usual way to work on my computer.  But remember, last year we downsized and now living in an RV, there is less space.  No big screen plugged into my laptop and no wireless big keyboard and mouse.  Now I work off my smaller laptop keyboard and touchscreen.  I like the touchscreen, that does make my life a bit easier, but the small keyboard, not so much.  I make more mistakes in my spelling because I am hitting the wrong key and yes sometimes I do incorrectly spell a word.  Once again, thank you Word for catching those.

Back to my red dots and double blue lines, does it really matter?

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Yes, I know some educators will tell me it does, but I am not a professional writer and am not writing for a professional outlet.  This is my personal blog, and I should be allowed to use words that come from me and not use commas where Word thinks I should use them.  If I updated the word suggestions and used all those commas, I feel it would take away from me, my personality and my writing.

I guess I just have to get use to seeing more red dots and double blue lines.

It’s 2:16 in the morning

I have had a restless night, not much sleep because I have thoughts swirling in my head.

It is a while now since I really have had one of these nights.  Since surgery, I am taking medications to help me sleep because I continue to have pains associated with my surgery and recovery.  I also have pains not associated to my surgery and recovery that make it difficult at times to find a comfortable position to sleep.

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But on this particular night, it is those thoughts swirling in my head.

I am unsure how long it will be by the time I publish this post.  I may have upset someone and I may have upset you and I may have upset myself.  I make no apologies to no one, including myself.

This blog has always and will always be about me and my life and for that I make no apologies.  I am who I am and have changed for the better in many ways over the years.  I continue to change for the better, though at times the changes come slow; to me at times slower than what my life will provide me here on this earth.

When I die, I will not be a perfect person; I hope to be a person that at least tried to be a better person.  I strive every single day to be a better person.  Some days I succeed and many days I fail; some days I fail miserably.

My point is I try and I do it my way, because I know me better than anyone else knows me.

I have been told at times by people that they do not understand me.  I at times do not understand me either, but I still know me better than anyone else.

When creating this blog, it was a way for me to write about me and my life.

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Image Provided by: We Heart It

My life in words for I hope one day those important to me would read.  I have no idea if they will read it or not – I don’t know.

This brings me to those thoughts swirling in my head tonight, this restless night and me writing this post at 2:16 in the morning.

I don’t really like to be rude; I can be though, and have been times in my life.  I can be rude and have been rude to people I know and to strangers alike.  My personality is complex and at times people do not understand me.  This has already been identified.

When writing and publishing posts, I attempt to write in a way where I do not come across as rude and I try to consider other’s feelings.  So please do not take this the wrong way – I am being honest here.

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Image Provided by: http://www.timorahilly.co.uk

When I write posts about me, the true very personal me, I ask for no advise.  I write the true personal me because it is important for me to do so.  I have come to appreciate support and encouragement here and the friendships I have made are invaluable.

Now, again at 2:16 in the morning, I am writing the true personal me.  It was a little while ago; and that week was tough and that ‘I don’t know’ was tough and therefore I was rude because I did not ask for advice.  I was writing the true personal me because it is important for me to do so.

Pain

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Image Provided by: Pacific Pain Medicine Consultants

For the many months

It has come and gone

 

It seems like a lifetime

That I have made it my own

The surgeries, the short recoveries

And there is my personal hell too

The many days, the many nights

There was never a rescue

 

There were short breaks

Before the significant reprise

The many tears that flowed

From my watery eyes

Sometimes different and many times the same

Front and back and in between too

Sometimes small and many times big

But then the time came it grew, it grew

Before the major one

Its significance overwhelmed

It took my strength

I became unhelmed

 

And the surgery to end it all

With more pain to follow

The pills, the pills

So much to swallow

Slowly the dispense as it takes its time

I want it a memory and not in the present

But I am reminded each day

Today it is another event

What lies in the future

It is unknown at this time

As in the past and today

There seems to always be a climb

 

The pain is here today

For this one thing I know

As the days become weeks

The pain will come and go

‘My Personal Hell’ (Reader Discretion Is Advised)

I wrote this post over a year ago, and never published it because I felt at the time it was too personal.  Since that time, my early cancer treatment resulted in Stage 4 Bladder Cancer and a major surgery to remove my bladder.  Since that time, I have written other posts that were sensitive in nature.  Since that time, now I have nothing to hide.

Written February 16, 2016 –

wikepedia.org uses these words to describe Hell; I also use these words plus others –

Agony, Torture, Pain

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Image Provided by: Now The End Begins

This post will be very personal in nature and will expose my thoughts that you may not want to read.  Stop reading at any time you feel uncomfortable – I understand.

A week ago I had a tumor removed from my bladder.  After the tumor was removed I had a catheter inserted into and through my penis into the bladder to help it drain urine and to also flush out any remaining pieces of tumor and any blood clots that had formed.  The catheter used on me is a ‘3-way catheter for irrigation’, therefore it was a very large catheter in circumference.  Upon having it removed, which I thought was bad enough; I am experiencing the usual pain and burning when peeing.  But the pain and burning is nothing compared to what I experience on a nightly basis since having it removed.

I do not look forward to sleep, as I know upon the many times I wake during the night, waiting for me is ‘My Personal Hell’.

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Image Provided by: http://www.pinterest.com

Let us review what takes place upon waking from sleep for a typical male.  goaskalice.columbia.edu has the following –

Contrary to what many believe, waking up with your flag at full mast is not caused by urine buildup in the bladder. Morning erections are technically nighttime erections (or Nocturnal Penile Tumescence) which happen three to five times per night. They usually pop up (pun intended) during periods of Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep (when most dreaming occurs) and last around 30 minutes each. Unrelated to dream content, they are both common and completely normal and men older than sixty years may even have them during non-REM sleep.

Yes, I am a normal man in that I experience this normal body function.  But less than a week after having a very large tube inserted and removed from my penis, this normal body function is now an experience that brings me to tears.

The last several nights, I have cried more than I ever have in my entire life.  During these normal body function times, the fire, torment, punishment, agony, torture and pain I feel is so overwhelming, I plead with God to let me die.  I am weak, I cannot handle the pain, my life will never be the same, please God, let me die now.

I am tired as this is my new nighttime ritual.  How long will it last, how long will I last.  I am tired not only due to the lack of good sleep, but the emotional toll it is taking on me.

I am down and I am sad and I am frustrated and I am mad.  I try to stay hopeful and positive for the future – but it is difficult.

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Image Provided by: CNN.com

It is difficult because every night I do not look forward to sleep – because waiting for me is ‘My Personal Hell’.

(This will never be an issue again.  As many of you know, my most recent surgery removed not just my bladder, but other organs that now prevent me from experiencing Nocturnal Penile Tumescence.  Lucky me!)