Saturday, March 15, 2008

In Bedded vs. Embedded

Well, Week 6 has now ended of my seven-week therapy – but certainly not as anticipated in most scenarios. It began with pain medicines.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV, so recognize you are reading the words of a patient, and DO NOT TRY THIS AT HOME!

The matching of the right dose of the correct pain med with the correct pain of the right cancer is like one of those algebra problems where the variables and the unknowns don’t match.

The case of Oxycontin SR and Oxycontin IR case is a good example. Oxycontin SR is a longer lasting, sustained released painkiller that is strong enough for most cancer pains. Oxycontin IR on the other hand is an immediate acting pain med when needed.

Last Friday, Victoria and I left Bethesda with instructions to increase the amount of Oxycontin (SR) as the pain was increasing with the effects of both chemo and radiotherapy building up from weeks One and Four. We were told to increase the Oxycontin IR to 50 by cutting one additional tablet in two, making two 20s and one 10. Oops…

There were actually two NNMC Med folks involved in the “oops”, each from different clinics, both of whom are now aware of what happened. “What happened” was that Oxycontin SR is not designed as a long acting med which can be made into several smaller long acting meds. Rather, it becomes something weird, something I now call a “Loopy Land Special.” Cutting Oxycontin IR in half is perfectly fine, but not what was directed. Confused? So were we.

I became loopy, not processing info correctly and hallucinating a bit on the reality around me. Victoria had the kids come for Sunday dinner, and I asked for a special priesthood blessing from Travis and Christopher, since we all knew that something wasn’t right.

On Monday, we were back at Bethesda for the start of Week 6, and describing to the docs the events of the weekend to include a fever that had arisen on Saturday night. In just a few short minutes, I became an imbedded blogger at The National Naval Medical Center, required to stay until my fever was gone and my pain meds were behaving as expected.

While imbedded, I am sure I was asked to do a story on the role played by the Washington medical bureaucracy in the continuing controversy over Global Warming.

First, I had to sort the massive amounts of evidence and testimony that GW (the President) was responsible for all things bad on the planet, from those who had confused the President’s initials (GWB) with Global Warming (GW). Then, I had to sort the connections between GWB, GW and the Global War on Terror (GWOT). Clearly, we had a shortage of consonants.

But, in Global Warming, the Navy had collected some key information and developed new technologies:
Here is a photo of the one of the special collection uniforms worn by those of us imbedded at NNMC. The uniform is shown with pieces of skin from drowned polar bears pulled in from the Potomac River.

This is a super-secret data collection cart which collects temperature and CO2 measurements as Navy agents move throughout this region. 200 degrees Fahrenheit was just an average reading for this week.

This gross picture is what a human neck looks like after exposure to short periods of GW. By sheer coincidence, 5 weeks of chemo and radiotherapy for cancer produces a similar result. Al Gore claims that the government is hiding photographs like these as part of “An Inconvenient Truth.”

This code word training device was developed by Al Gore as a technology which will allow humans to communicate with other planets, themselves also possibly subject to global warming.

To speak to a viable planet, Mr. Gore speaks through the inter-planetary megaphone to the light blue orb and offers his full range of environmentally sound programs that will benefit an early, emerging society. The dark blue planets, those to die “The Day After Tomorrow” are offered by Gore and Associates programs for currently civilized, but overly rich planets that must change their life styles. Finally, the black planets are those, such as our own, for whom all hope is lost and who are forced to listen to Rush Limbaugh on the megaphone as their planet becomes yet another “ball of fire.”

Thankfully, having my own special collection uniform made me pretty inconspicuous among others, but the security was extremely tight as shown here.

I became concerned that my “loopy land special” drug problem was not being resolved when I swore I heard on the radio that the DJIA, falling for weeks, had just jumped over $416 per index share. I shook my head to clear the cobwebs when I read that crude oil was now selling at over $110 per barrel. And I knew there must be a problem with the drugs when someone reported that 22-year-old women were being hired for $5500 by the Governor of New York to assist him with business in Washington.

So, I went back to practicing my Wong Baker Faces because I think that I might need them more in Week 7.

Jack LeCuyer found Victoria and me on Friday night. I think he was sent by the Navy to find the blogging mole. I will have escaped by the time you read this blog post if the “Ticket to Ride” works.

By then, I will have spent all of week 6 imbedded in “the belly of the Beast.” The people continue to be wonderful, their medical care superb and their attitude positive. Heck, they even fix their few mistakes… And the chances to catch a spare autograph are pretty good!

Thanks for your prayers and support. See you on the high ground!


AgentHammerYou said...

Hello Ken,
Your experience gives new meaning to the phrase "Soldier On." The brave and humorous manor that you tackle this challenge is a real strengh to me in my life. Keep up the good fight. We are praying for you.

With Love & Respect,
Doug Nicholls

The Dragonfly said...

After seeing this post, I feel like your blog title has finally been earned. Your leather neck is taking a beating, but will come out strong - I AM SURE!!! Love you.

Anderson Zoo Keepers said...

I'm glad you are home and happy to hear the happy but loopy state of affairs in your mind, but I'm very sorry to see the sad state of your neck.
I must say I'm also very pleased that your discharge papers do not indicate you are pregnant. This is encouraging news - you didn't need another complication. :-)

queenie said...

the government did a lousy job at hiding Al Gore too.

The Carlsons said...

Dad, this post is "Money". I was busting a gut after each paragraph. Glad you're at home now. Your son, Christian Bale, I mean Chris.

A Wink at Rip Van said...

You are a great writer Mr. Carlson and a very strong individual. Our family and ward are thinking about you and keeping you in our thoughts and prayers. I am grateful for your example and courage. Thanks,

Kenton Nicholls

Pinspot said...

Please, Dad, no more pictures of your red, scabby badge of courage.

Matt said...

I think you could make some money from the photo of your neck by becoming a model for Aloe Vera.

Hang in there pops, you're in the home stretch!

Tobi said...

Mission of a Warrior in Transition.

I am a warrior in transition. My job is to heal as I transition back to duty or continue serving the nation as a Veteran in my community. This is not a status, but a mission. I will succeed in this mission because

HOOAH Uncle Ken!!