I am sitting on my porch enjoying a gentle breeze as the day turns into evening.
I have given my daughter the “privilege” of using the family vehicle to go to the grocery store and pick up a few things for dinner. I love this short season in a new driver’s life when their new found sense of freedom out ways any sense of obligation or chore. I remember it in my own life. I was willing to run and pick up my brothers at school or church events. We needed a gallon of milk…toss me the keys and I was your man. I will admit it is kind of hard not to feel like I am “taking advantage” of the desire for freedom…but hey, she has to learn sometime. She just pulled back into the driveway. I can feel my blood pressure dropping…now I can relax a little more and talk of other things.
I went to the gym today. I met with Kristi, one of the trainers, to talk about how I can exercise and what would be good for me. To be honest I am growing tired of what I am calling the “old mans shuffle”. I have never been a great athlete…but I have at least been in decent shape. These days my joints ache and I find I move at the lightning speed of a sloth. Standing up takes effort. There are times I am not stable and especially in crowds I find I am less than steady on my feet. The other day I was helping my brother, Nancy and Rayann do some work around the home and ended up flat on my back. We were clearing out a section of the yard/forest/overgrown mess. I was mainly supervising. I was told that was my job. I did it pretty well until there was this mess of vines that “just needed to come down”. They were growing up into the trees and were going to kill everything if we did not take care of them. When nobody was looking (okay, with everyone watching) I moved over and started to pull them out of the trees. One by one I was winning and accomplishing something. Yeah for me. I grabbed hold of the next vine. It could not have been any bigger round than my pinky finger. I tugged and pulled and yanked but there was no movement. Finally I gave one last pull with all I could muster. The vine snapped and I ended up on my back. There was total silence. Nobody said a word. Nancy did not laugh, which is her default reaction when someone does something to hurt themselves. I slowly picked myself up off the ground and said, “I think I will go over here to sit down, hydrate myself and supervise for a while.” Nobody argued and they slowly went back to work after I sat down. My time at the gym this morning was good. Kristi was great. We talked over options and I will be going back so she can help move me in the right direction. I am hoping it helps give me stamina, stability and simply puts my mind on things other than fighting Cancer.
You know how they say you only need one good idea in a lifetime to make millions…to be set for life? Well I have two ideas, both of which are winners…both of which I am going to share openly and freely here in the hopes that someone will pick them up and act upon them for the betterment of all humanity.
Idea #1: Put some form of flavor in the Barium drink required before certain MRI, CAT Scan, X-Ray testing. In our day and age of multi flavored coffee and the way we add special flavors to just about everything this should not be too hard. I mean really…we have mushroom flavored ice cream here in Kennett…can there not be a few options for Barium? After drinking two (rather large) containers of the stuff I arrived at the doctor’s office for my test. At check-in I asked the woman signing me in if, “she had ever actually drank any of this Barium stuff”. She looked at me, smiled a knowing smile, and then said, “No, I never have.” I asked the registrar…same answer. I asked the nurse who took me back and gave me a gown to change into (more on that in a minute), same answer. I asked the very nice man giving me the test, same answer. I am amazed at how they use it…how it works. I am thankful for the pictures of my insides the doctors now have thanks to those two large bottles and an MRI machine…but a little flavoring would go a long way in making the journey more enjoyable. If you can figure out how to put the flavor into Barium you will make some money…guaranteed.
Idea #2: Apparently there is a shortage of cotton in our world these days. As I was given a gown to dress for my test I asked, “is this the largest you have?” “Yes it is…but you will be showing some leg, you are a big guy.” Showing a little leg was an understatement. The gown came about half way between my knee and hip. I instantly had a new appreciation for how women who wear mini-skirts have to pay attention to how they move through life.
My mind went to this time when our kids were little and we were visiting the Philadelphia zoo. Rayann wanted to ride a camel and Nancy said she would take her. They waited in line until it was their turn and all of a sudden Nancy turned to look at me with utter fear and panic in her eyes. She had, at that moment, realized how she was going to have to sit upon said camel and how that was not going to work with the short skirt she was wearing. Being the trooper she is Nancy climbed up on that camel, hiked up her skirt and Rayann got her camel ride. I walked beside them on the outside of the enclosure. There were two men walking in front of me. One elbowed the other and pointed to Nancy and Rayann…they both started laughing. I tapped one on the shoulder and said, “excuse me, that is my wife and daughter”…end of laughter. Anyway, I came out of the dressing room laughing and the nurse looked at me and said, “I said you would be showing some leg.” She then asked me to get into this lounge chair so she could access my port and get me ready for the test. Well, there was no decent way to sit in the chair with this mini gown on. People coming up and down the hallway got a treat that morning. It was funny to watch how quickly they diverted their eyes from mine when they came towards me. I made it through the test and was glad to get my pants back on.
Here is the money making idea…someone needs to plant an extra field of cotton so we can get an extra twelve to eighteen inches of gown length on some of these gowns. I lived in Locust, NC for six years and drove past fields of cotton on a daily basis. There is room for growth in the cotton market. We apparently need more so we can make just a few gowns for us oversized people. So a huge shout out to my friends down south…this is your opportunity…there is a market…plant an extra field and dedicate it to extra sized gowns for hospitals. You will have my appreciation and the respect of many others like me.
This has been a good week. I have felt tired, a little fatigued at times but overall I have done okay. I have a doctors appointment on Friday which will be important. I will hear about the test I took on Tuesday. We are praying that there is good news. Thank you for your prayers and encouragement over the past two months [hard to believe it has been that long already]. I will post something Friday or Saturday about the doctors visit.
God is Good All the Time, All the Time God is Good
Kevin Nicewonger says
The barium drink can be mixed with other fluids, they should have told you that… The most common mix is with ginger ale or some other type of soda. That is what I had to endure during my hospital stay. For me, soda makes me sick so I had the pleasure of stomaching barium and boost (a nutrition milky substance), I would recommend staying away from that combination. Maybe ask if you can mix with Gatorade if you have to do it again. Secondly, I too struggle with short gown syndrome or SGS. Being a couple inches taller than you only makes things worse. I would wear loose fitting gym shorts underneath the gown, in case for some weird reason they needed to “get personal” during an exam that has nothing to do with that region. But longer gowns would be a great go-to option, someone needs to take that ball and run with it.