Hoping to Get Paroled

Awhile back I wrote about how I’ve never been confined to one space for so long.  To turn that into a prison analogy, it feels like I’m waiting on the parole board to make a decision to let me out.  I’ve been before the board, I’m pretty sure they’re going to release me, I just need them to stamp “paroled” on  my paperwork so I can get out of here.

I just realized today that I haven’t written about toilet paper yet.  As an employee, I’m used to the toilet paper at IU Health.  Earlier this year, IUH switched suppliers and began receiving toilet paper from Georgia Pacific.  I was a little skeptical when it was first announced because one of the bullet points in the announcement was that the new toilet paper would have the same paper content as the old toilet paper.  Now why would you have to point something like that out?  Once they installed the new TP I knew why.  Hold it up the right way, and it was basically transparent.  No joke.
Using the IUH TP only between the hours of 8a and 5p on weekdays was fine.  As an employee I don’t expect to have ultra charmin stocked in the bathroom.  However being a patient, the transparent TP is what I have 24/7.  This summer I commented that I think Georgia Pacific used nanotechnology to engineer the toilet paper.  I now know that not to be true.  You can’t get this stuff this thin with only nano technology.  I’ve now concluded that Georgia Pacific has indeed discovered the Higgs Boson and is actively manufacturing products at that level.  It’s quite possible they’ve discovered something even smaller than the Higgs, I just don’t know what to call it.
Eventually my sensitive hiney could take no more.  I had Lindsey bring in some ultra soft toilet paper for me.  I hear that this is not uncommon and many patients bring in their own TP.  I know for each of my next 7 admissions for chemo, it’s something I will pack.  I can understand stocking the employee bathrooms with the cheap stuff.  We’re a non profit and patient care is our #1 priority.  It’s just a shame that an organization that strives to be preeminent and the place patients choose when choice matters most can’t provide better TP for their patients’ #2 priority.
I Pooped Today
Staying with the same theme, a good friend of ours got me a t-shirt.  Constipation is a big side effect of chemo.  Being able to “go” is a big deal around here.  During every assessment I’m asked “have you had a bowel movement today.”  Even the current doctor always asks “Is the plumbing ok?” (come to think of it, next time he asks, instead of just saying “yes”, I’m going to tell him I have to jiggle the handle a few times and see how he reacts).  So poop is a topic of conversation multiple times a day.  The t-shirt I was given has a stick person raising their arms into the air in a sense of triumph and says “I Pooped Today.”  I wore the t-shirt yesterday and it was a big hit.  First off, when I was asked if I’ve had a bowel movement, I simply had to point at my shirt.  Aside from that, I wore it as I walked the unit and got a lot of smiles and laughs.  I even had a few staff come into my room just to see the shirt 😉
We’ll Get You Into Mayo
When I first told my mom of my diagnosis, here response was “We’ll get you into Mayo.  Wherever you want to go for treatment, we’ll get you into the best place.”  I appreciate my mom’s support and as a parent know that I would get any of my children the best care possible, no matter the cost.  With all due respect to Mayo, I am confident I am being treated at the best place possible.  The IU Simon Cancer Center is a state of the art facility, with advanced technology, strong research, and most importantly a kick (ALL’s) ass staff.  My doctors spend time with me and check in on me multiple times a day.  My nurses take time to get to know me and deliver my care professionally and expertly.  The housekeeping staff asks about my kids and tells me about theirs.  The room service staff makes sure my food is exactly the way I want it and jokes with me when they deliver seconds.  As part of the IUH family I may be slightly biased, but the people here are second to none.  I’m sure Mayo provides excellent care as well, but I’m positive we do it just a little bit better here.
Colts Ticket Auction
Congratulations to Daniel Simpson who was the high bidder for the Colts tickets.  He will be taking his daughter Abby to her first game at Lucas Oil Stadium.  I hope you both have a great time and say hi to Chuck for me!
To Put This Journey Into Perspective
A true Hoosier knows what it is like to drive to Florida for spring break.  As a kid, I made that trip multiple times.  I’ve decided to use a round trip to Florida as a marker for my journey to a cure.  As you know, I’m not considered cured for 5 years.  That’s 1826 days.  It just so happens that a round trip to Ponte Verde Beach, FL is 1826 miles (took me awhile to find that one).  So if one day of my real life journey equals one mile traveled of my fictitious drive to Florida, then I’ve gone 21 miles so far.  That means I’m just a bit north of exit 90 on I-65.  On March 24th, 2013 I’ll be crossing the Indiana border into Louisville, KY and I won’t reach Ponte Verde until June 9th, 2015.  In other words, we’re not there yet.
Mental Enema
To stick with the theme of this post a bit more, it appears my writer’s block has been cleared by a mental enema.  Hopefully I’m discharged tomorrow, as I think I’ve used up all my topics now.  Maybe I’ll ask for a little extra stool softener tonight to keep the thoughts flowing.
A Duck Dynasty Prayer
Father God, I’m on the verge of getting out of here.  On the verge of being discharged.  On the verge of being able to return to my normal life, but I’m not sure normal exists anymore.  I will be back in the hospital 7 times over the next 7 months, and that is only a minimum if I have no complications.  I will have to live differently.  I will have to eat differently.  I will have to be more careful in what I do.  But the biggest benefit in all of this is I choose to worship you differently.  I choose to follow more closely.  I choose to honor you more consistently.  I feel you hands upon me.  Use me as you see fit.  Thank you for another day.  Amen.

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