Story 15Feb2022: Mistake

Going backward describing Tuesday, the pain in my incisions was quite bad as I tried to sleep. Pain killers were taken earlier, and the pain drifted away as I did into sleep before midnight. It was not a lot of pain. I think I just had enjoyed too much dinner, and/or my sneezing from the pollen from the last few days of good weather in Oregon might have stressed my incisions. It is terrible to have pressure from the inside!

Before the pain grew, I was working on my balloon model; as the chemotherapy starts on Thursday, I wanted to get some more done before I likely will have to wait. I tore up more of a paper sack and glued the pieces on a 6″ craft ball to make it look like a make-shift airbag from various skins sewn together. Like many cool modeling ideas, it takes time and careful repeated steps to get the look right. I also cut and carved a bit on a cork making the sides more angled for the well cork for the balloon. I plan to wrap it later with little bits of paper and then finish with ropes, heavy to scale anchor rope, to make it look more finished. I will be sewing some pieces of cloth to put here and there on the model to get a bit more drama. Oddly, I have a bunch of heavy sewing needles for my wearable work from AdaFruit. The last time I had hand sewing, it was with metallic thread.

The pain got worse, and the model needed the glue to dry, so I took some painkillers. I hate to do it as my ability to stop bleeding is likely already impacted by the chemo meds, but it hurt.

Before this, with the pain just starting, I had a few more bits of Chinese-styled dinner paid for by my friend and long-term co-worker at Nike, Don Eytel. Don is one of the few folks left who will tell you he worked on AS/400 computers from IBM and might even admit that he once knew the unique (insanity causing?) language RPG II (not RPG2, but as IBM made it RPG II). Don, like me, has worn many hats at Nike over the years. Thanks, Don!

Before this, I reset the table in the dining room and played another game, just me playing both sides of a two-person game of Unsettled. This time following the rules and the planet effects on the distress cards (which we were less than disciplined following in the previous game). As this is a cooperative game, me playing with me was highly collaborative–but the focus was less on playing than to get the rules and process right: Meaning I died. I then tried to put the game away.

Newish designed games contain trays that allow you to reset the game and be ready to use next time. But, this requires following a process again with discipline. It took me a while to figure out how to do it–yes, the set-up instructions are pretty detailed, but you do not expect the same intensity for tear down. Nevertheless, I managed to get Unsettled correctly in its box, find the planet components, and get those back into their respective boxes. Unsettled comes into main parts, the base game, and, in its own box, a planet that is the scenario of play.

Aside: The game has a strong following on Facebook and I put some details there, including this photo, and then answered questions about the game from all over the world.

Before, this I had dinner ordered from Happy Panda. More Americanized food than ethnic, but I used to go there for years with Michael Giessner and Michelle Smith, so it is kind of comfort food. I ordered noodles, too, as that is Corwin’s fav.

Before all of this, I was reading and trying to relax. Usually, I would go somewhere to ramp down and write in a coffee place or something like that, but with Covid-19 newest versions out there and masking wearing being shut down, that is clearly unwise. I also start chemotherapy on Thursday for cycle 2 and do not want to mess that up. Thus, I read and tried to rest. I did not sleep as I wanted to sleep better that evening.

Before this, I reached Susie’s facility just before 1ish. Susie was having lunch at the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A, but not in her room but out with the nursing station. The aid was feeding her, I took over from her. Susie was having trouble with the blender-ed food. She could not swallow it, and It was a bit dried out. One of the puddles was a dinner roll and was Susie’s fav (I saw the ticket for dinner that listed what was on the tray included a blender-ed dinner roll). But, again, one has to put the strangeness of the food out of your head and just help Susie. Next, she had trouble swallowing it. I got her to drink honey-thick water between bites, and that worked. Susie completed about 1/4 of the food, which was good with the swallowing problem and the dry nature of the food.

We then traveled through the facility and called Barb, Susie’s sister, in the large hall. Leta, getting worried, called in the middle of Barb’s call. I called Leta, Susie’s mother, a few minutes later. Cathy Thoma called also. We talked about Cathy’s recent loss (I will not explore her recent loss as that is her story and would not feel right to express it for her) and my everyday adventures with colon cancer, and she got to chat with Susie too.

Susie seemed to melt into the wheelchair, and her hands were very close to the spokes of her wheelchair. I asked the nurses to be careful, and they said to leave her near the nurse station; Niche, the RN, will keep an eye on her. I left Susie with a kiss as she fell asleep in her wheelchair. Lunch and all the talking had tired her out.

Driving to and from Forest Grove allowed me to explore the unique relationship that many Oregon have with space, time, and roads. The most impressive moment was an older man near the prison, stop all the traffic by just stepping out and waving. Being polite and many overly-relaxed drivers, he stopped (Aside: Grammarly suggested the word “Exterminate” for “stopped”–their last software changes seem to be a bit aggressive), and he then reached his bus, and traffic resumed. When pushing Susie in Portland on her walker with a seat (a rollator), I have stopped all the traffic too, and the PDX folks would smile and stop for me. But, I was not expecting that in Hillsboro next to the county lock-up. Every trip comes with new learnings.

Before this, I wrote a 1,800-word blog entry, which delayed me. Editing is a long process; Grammarly found nearly a hundred mistakes. It was fun to write so much, but it slowed me.

The morning started without issue and the usual processes. All followed with discipline as the chemo begins on Thursday.




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