Demon Horse, More On Morphine and… A Possible Flaw In The Curative Powers of Friendship!?
Thursday December 23rd 2010, 11:59 pm
Filed under: Friends, Leukemia, Who Knows?

Denver International Airport’s Demon Horse: At last, someone gives this horse the attention it deserves.

Tonight on CNN.com, there was a story about “Denver’s infamous airport horse.” I tried to turn this into an elaborate Broncos/Tebow joke, but it just didn’t compare to the actual information about the horse.

For instance, this statue fell on the artist who had just completed it and killed him. And how about the fact that this horse statue isn’t really a statue at all, but rather an actual horse–a demon horse no less–tasked with guarding the entrance to another dimension called Haz’hou”ta’hou”tek, a hell dimension of incomprehensible horrors, insufferable pain and other bad stuff like constant door-to-door salesman who keep ringing your doorbell over and over and over until you answer the door and they start talking and talking and talking and they just can’t take a hint, and after an hour, when you’re finally able to push them out the door, they give you their card and tell you they’ll be back later after you’ve had time to think about their product. Or about them. *shudder*

It’s also just one scary looking demon horse if you ask me.

Morphine: A to-the-point and frank conclusion to yesterday’s entry.

My oncologist prescribed me three different narcotic drugs to be used as painkillers when I am in enough pain to merit using them. For me, each has been useful for different kinds of pain. One of these drugs is morphine. I do not take it often, but there are times when I know it is the only drug that will give me any relief from my pain. And sometimes, if I have too few platelets in my blood, I’m not allowed to take anything but these three narcotics. “Body aches? Don’t take Advil, take morphine!”

The Pain Management Clinic at the hospital reviews what drugs have been prescribed for my pain since I am a long-term patient and they want to make sure that a) I’m getting the drugs I need to be comfortable and that b) I’m using the drugs I have responsibly in the way they are intended to be used. I have consistently been okayed by the Pain Clinic and have even been told that in certain circumstances, I should be taking my narcotics or more narcotics when I’m not normally inclined to do so.

Inevitably, however, the next time I go in to see my oncologist, he will ask if I’m off any of the narcotics he prescribed me. This is confusing and frustrating for a number of reasons. Among them, it is not as if, somehow, all of a sudden I’m going to start experiencing less pain from the same exact chemotherapy pills, pushes and infusions that I’ve been receiving since May 12, 2008. I know that chemotherapy does weird, random things I can almost never plan for. But there is almost always one constant: pain. Despite the pain, I keep pushing ahead because I must keep pushing to the end. I can’t stop early. I’m four and a half months from being done and I have every intention of crossing that finish line.

Unfortunately, I feel like a pariah when I take morphine, despite years and years of being told if I need it, there’s no reason to remain in pain. Sometimes my pain gets too big to handle because I don’t want to say, even to my parents or honestly, to myself, “I am in pain, I need to take morphine.”

My doctor’s questions reveal more that there is a lack of communication between the different clinics within the same hospital than a lack of concern–which is certainly not a problem; everyone clearly cares and wants what’s best for the patients. That lack of communication leads to a lot of uncertainty, though. What am I hearing? Opinions? Hopes? Orders? I don’t know, and it all gets mixed around in my brain, which is already overloaded with confusion, fear and anxiety and I don’t know what I should be doing. Well, except for right now.

I am in pain all over so I need to take morphine, which will take away enough pain to enable me to go to sleep.

Annual McDole Christmas Dinner/Reunion: Great to see friends, though my high expectations for this wonderdrug were probably a bit over the top.

Every year since our group of friends split up and traveled to the four corners of the earth to attend college, Matt McDole and his exceptionally gracious parents have hosted a Christmas dinner for our group to come together for a night to rekindle some of that magic we have when we’re together. I’ve only been attending this dinner for a few years since, before I had cancer, I celebrated Christmas with Amy’s family in Connecticut for many years, which was a different kind of tradition, but one I was quite fond of.

I may have been to one of Matt’s dinners in the past ten years before I had cancer, but there are many years of photographs missing that might offer some clue. The only photos currently on Facebook (the be-all, end-all source) confirm my attendance at the McDoles’ in 2008 (I’m bald in the pictures because I was undergoing radiation at the time), 2009 (last year; my hair had grown back) and now 2010 (tonight; and I’ve needed a haircut for a while now).

In all honesty, I felt horrible all day today. This intense pain all over my body is just terrible. A full on attack of every knuckle, every nail and every hair is really wearing thin. I slept, or tried to, all day. I planned on going to the Christmas dinner with almost full certainty, even if I was still laden with pain. Many personal experiences over the past few years told me that being with a group of close friends would go a long way in making me feel better.

Of course, I wanted to see my friends to catch up with them as well, not just to take advantage of the healing effect they posses. Although only a few friends were in town for tonight’s celebration, everyone seemed to enjoy the more intimate conversations the smaller group allowed for. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, the magic spark I was counting on to make me feel better just didn’t turn into a flame. Out of desperation, I even tried my backup way to feel better. It’s worked a couple of times here and there: smile big, act healthy and happy, and ultimately try to fool my own body into thinking it’s actually feeling great. That didn’t work either. The amount of pain was just too much for magic tonight.

That said, it was really great to spend some time with Matt, the de Mahy sisters, the Sullivans, Heidi and Millman. In fact, I even got to say hello to some of Roo’s friends who were in the other room for Matt’s sister Tiffany’s own Christmas dinner which was running concurrently to ours. Again, a big round of thank yous is clearly owed to the Parents McDole, who not only allowed two separate Christmas dinners to go on at the same time in different parts of their house, but who also cooked and cleaned for both groups. Thank you very much, Sandy and Matt Sr.!

As for the magical restorative powers of friendship, I’m not giving up on them by any means. I was just too sick to rely on magic tonight to make me feel any better physically. However, spending even the too-short-a-time I spent with my friends tonight lifted my spirits. I may have left in an enormous amount of pain, but I had a real smile on my face.

–Reid.

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Now playing: Coldplay – Death and All His Friends
via FoxyTunes


2 Comments so far
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That demon horse was one of the first things I saw when I arrived in Denver and he frightened me.

Comment by Christina 12.24.10 @ 11:37 am

That’s because the horse is pure evil. If ever you were to have occasion to stare into the demon horse’s eyes, you will see a great void where a soul should be. To not be frightened of him would mean that you too were pure evil.

I mean no disrespect, but let’s face it, Christina: on the spectrum of pure evil, you’re far closer to fresh chocolate chip cookies and fluffy, cuddly bunny rabbits than you are to a soulless demon-spawn from an alternate hell dimension who skips breakfast, eats poor peoples’ eyeballs for lunch, then skips dinner and goes straight into dessert: a troop of live, shrieking Brownie Scouts.

That’s right, this evil mofo doesn’t eat breakfast.

–Reid.

Comment by Reid 12.24.10 @ 11:18 pm



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