Friday, October 28, 2016

Of not being born yesterday and a string of nightmares

In the department of...

1. Not being born yesterday. The driver Wednesday was Facetiming with his girlfriend while taking me to Boston. I asked him to stop and he said he was just looking at directions. While we were in the middle of the Mass Pike and I saw a woman's face. Whose lips were moving. Maybe she was giving him directions.

My nurse at the Kraft Blood Family Blood Donor Center said I should report him. But I wouldn't do it because he seemed to at least be a normal human being and it was his only job.

2. Learning something new. I couldn't think of the word for the uncomfortable feeling I have on the skin of what used to be my waist. The nice Dr. Savage said he has heard some patients say it feels like a band. I thought it was a sign of backtracking, but then Wednesday I talked to a different doctor who said it is actually a sign that the extracorporeal photopheresis is working on my graft vs. host of the skin: It has broken down the top layer of skin, and the "band" is the part underneath. He said some patients get a hernia but that doesn't seem to have happened to me. So far.

3. Reminding you what that is. A nurse puts a big needle in my arm and I lie as still as can be for three hours while my blood cycles through a machine that separates white cells, subjects them to a photosynthesizing agent, and gives them a zap of UVA light. This is a good explanation that I haven't used before. New machines have made it a little faster. The nurses remain kind and funny.

4. Dreams that reveal the trauma just beneath the surface.

(a) I dreamt that I was wrong in believing that after losing 12 teeth I was finished with the teeth-pulling. My dentist said no, that was the beginning, I would need an iron plate put in my mouth or the rest would fall out.

(b) I picked at one of the spots on my hand and the whole top layer of skin came off. I tried to put it back on but it stayed like a flap.

(c) I chugged a bottle of delicious juice and after I was done was afraid it was grapefruit juice. (Grapefruit interacts with some of my meds.)

(d) My car kept stalling while I was driving it into a garage. I was afraid I was going to hold up all the cars behind me. I finally got it to go and went straight down to a repair area. I guess this is the most positive of all because I called the repairmen to get it fixed so I could get on the road again.

All of this vanishes when I am at the Holyoke Canoe Club. I wish I could take a piece of the court and ride it around like a magic carpet. I love how we are so crazy. On Wednesday we played outside wearing coats and jackets. Our coach, George, is the tall guy next to me. Char, the doctor making a funny face at the other end, calls him King George. We have been a much bigger group. These are the diehards who will play until the snow falls.

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