Story 6April 2022: Busy Wednesday

I had trouble sleeping, so the morning came unbidden and bright. So did my allergies. Breathing is not optional, and the bright morning drove me from my cozy bed. I took more antihistamine, which brought the sneezing and coughing under control.

I went slow as I had many things to do this morning. I did write the blog (forgetting to include something) and a letter to the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center. I am trying to have Susie return to their rehabilitation program. I contacted the insurance, and it is allowed; now I just have to have someone make it happen. I also paid for the previous and next week for Susie. No insurance covers this, so I pay about $12,000 a month for primary care for Susie. I would like the insurance to cover a few weeks and cover rehabilitation services. With all the paperwork, I was not dressed until noon.

Evan wanted to come over and visit Susie and see how I was doing. I put him off until noon. I am keeping with my fake-it-to-you-make-it attitude. Mostly pretending that chemotherapy is not that bad and nausea can be ignored. I am also careful not to get my head below my heart as the anemia from the chemo is harsh. I tire very quickly from the anemia and the chemo side effects. Evan showed up at noon.

So Evan and I headed out to Forest Grove at about noon plus 15. We took the new updated version of the board game Architects of the West Kingdoms with us. I have the latest cool roll-out matt and all the new bits from all the add-ons, plus some promo cards from the last Kickstarter for the game, and this includes a large box to hold everything. Garphill games add-ons often improve the game and add new useful features. Other game companies often dilute the game with extra rules and sometimes introduce broken combinations. For example, the makers of the board game Scythe added airships, but I seldom play with them. So I am looking forward to playing all the add-ons and promos all at once and enjoying an improved game. The online reviewers give this combination a high rating. However, we can play only If I can manage it–last time I passed as I was too exhausted.

Without losing any paint on Air Volvo, we make it to the Forest Grove Rehab and Care Center at 3900 Pacific Highway, Room 44A. We witnessed some very relaxed drivers who obviously are assured of their salvation or reincarnation in the next life, making lane changes without regard to their other fellow drivers. The other drivers did manage to break and miss them.

When we got there, Susie was just finishing her lunch. While Susie’s speech is unclear, she is more conversational and smiles and laughs more. Most days, Susie looks better than the day before. With the excellent help of the staff who say they love her (their words), she has surprised everyone with her sudden recovery.

I received word later, but it fits the story better here that Susie is officially leaving hospice on Friday. The paper blob is enormous to do this but is mainly handled by Bristol Hospice nurse Dawn. She will do an exit check of Susie on Friday and contact Susie’s primary care doctor to effectively give Susie back to our doctor’s care. Exciting.

We call Susie’s mother while Evan sits with Susie; she finished lunch after we arrived–eating about 1/2 of it. I then pay the bill for Susie to reside in Forest Grove, over five thousand for two weeks. I then deliver my letter that states our intent for Susie to be accepted into rehab services at the Forest Grove facility when Susie leaves hospice. I talk to all the directors and admin folks so they can understand the intent. I am hopeful this little paperwork miracle is possible to get Susie back to getting rehab.

Evan and then I left Susie for about 90 minutes. We headed to the Grand Lodge, and we had lunch. I had a diet RC cola and the hummus platter. I figure this will more likely stay down over a heavy burger and still supply some protein-based calories. I also eat slowly, but it will be iced tea and not soda next time–diet soda is not welcome to my nausea, even with the cold bubbles. Evan has a pizza and a cocktail.

We return to find Susie in bed resting. She looks tired but is talkative and happy to see us twice on the same day. Finally, Susie starts to yawn, and after the fourth one, Evan and I say our goodbyes. It is always sad to leave, but Susie was happy to nap and see me the next day. So a better ending.

After so many strokes, Susie’s mental condition includes the inability to recognize faces, almost no short-term memory, and some loss of logical thinking, showing signs of dementia. All of this will be helped by more interaction with people and some rehab. While Susie cannot remember that I told her she is getting better and that we are looking at rehab options and moving her closer to home, she knows that things are better, and she is smiling more. While I will have to repeat what is happening to her every day, she remembers not my words but my positive attitude and smile and thus knows that things are better.

Returning to the narrative, Evan and I take an uneventful trip in Air Volvo to the local bar, 649, not far from the house. I am not as tired and nauseated as yesterday and agree to a small beer and a game. I am trying to do more in my days than watch Clone Wars endless episodes. The board game Architects of the West Kingdom takes a few hours, and I try out all the new features of the updated game. We flubbed a few minor rules that would have not changed the outcome. I love the new rules and use them to pull ahead of Evan by 15 points. He was not using the new rules, and I remembered how Richard beat me so many times in Architects of the West Kingdom, so I tried to build combinations that locked together to give me extra scoring at the end of the game. Evan built the top level of the Cathedral and went for maxed-out honor–a good strategy. I have done this plan before, and it prevents you from building the point-building combinations as it takes so many resources, and I have lost even with the 20 points for the top of the Cathedral to Richard and Evan. Instead of using honorable means like Evan, I used the black market and influence to support my less than honorable plans. I also built the wonder from bricks. Lastly, I started with the Thief Apprentice and could raid the tax stand without serious harm. As I said, I won by 15 points.

We put the game away as the 649 was filling up. Steven, our bartender, had a line nearly out the door for drinks, so I just let him close my tab later, and he will add a 20% tip.

We picked up Corwin and headed to Mexican for dinner. I wanted a nice taco and a tamale. We ate fast, and I had just iced tea. We returned home, and Evan headed out. Corwin went to the gym. I stayed home under my heated blanket and watched the next episode of Moon Night. This is the newest Marvel series, and I like it, but it is scarier than their usual fair of inexplicable superpowers. It reminds me of the Hawkeye series I liked in 2021.

I read Maise Dobbs until late, going to bed a bit early. I am still having issues when I stand up too fast, so lying down and reading is comfortable. That is the anemia and problems existing in my inner ear before chemo. I am careful to stop and hold on to something when I forget and get going too fast. I slept with a few interruptions that proved I had lots of iced tea this evening. Only one bad dream, and I slept well after that.

Aside: I watched the movie Cromwell from 1970 two nights ago on my Apple. I wanted to see it as I had watched a great scene on YouTube. Unfortunately, I cannot recommend the movie as it shows all the signs of a Hollywood version of history, but it is pretty and has a zany soundtrack. Alec Guinness and Richard Harris both star in it. I rented it for about $4.


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