I hope this post finds all of you well. I don’t have much to report but I’ve found out that if I don’t report in every 5-6 days, then I start getting emails from you asking where the latest story is. The heck with my physical being. :-) I think I have created a monster.
Real quick on my health… (like you care….)
I believe I’ve finally turned the corner. In my last post or two, I think I said how frustrated I was because I didn’t see any changes. Well, I believe I can now. First off, I believe the mucous has finally moved on. (Note the title of the post…. get it?) This is great news for me because #1, I’m not hacking up that crud and sounding all gross… #2, I feel better… #3, It is allowing me to eat more, such as milk based products. I haven’t tried them yet but this means chocolate shakes, which means weight gain. Yay! So very glad the mucous has left the building!
Secondly, my appetite is slowly returning. I am able to eat different things now. My taste buds are still out of whack, however. I am very sensitive to spicy things. Now I wasn’t exactly what you would call an adventuresome eater before all of this. I’m not into very spicy things. But when ketchup is too spicy, something is out of whack. But, I’ll take what I am given, and right now I am able to eat different things instead of oatmeal for every meal.
With my appetite returning, however, I still have to chew up my food into very small bites so I don’t strain my throat, which is still hurting somewhat. So if you have dinner with me, it is going to take awhile.
So that is the good news…. mucous is gone and appetite is returning. Bad news?? As I just mentioned, my throat still hurts somewhat. Also, as I am beginning to feel better, I am getting back to my usual level of talking, which as most of you know, is quite a lot. I am finding out, however, that when I do talk at length, I develop a bad case of cotton-mouth. My mouth gets incredibly dry. This happens when I eat as well. I’m not sure if my saliva glands are damaged or destroyed by the radiation. That is one thing I am going to ask the Dr when I see him next week. But yes, dry mouth is an issue.
I went to the gym for the first time in quite awhile. I wasn’t going to do anything stupid like use the same workout routine I am used to. I was going to take it nice and slow. So I spent about 5 minutes on the elliptical, did one set on the leg press with only 100 lbs, one set with bench press (machine, not free weights) with only 65 lbs and a set each on lat pulldown and overhead press. The whole workout lasted less than 15 minutes and I didn’t even break a sweat. However, it just about killed me. My muscles were screaming at me and I was very wobbly when I was leaving the gym. Due to all the people in the lobby, I had to straighten up and act like nothing was wrong but Holy Cow was I fatigued! I went again two days later and did the same workout and it was a little better. It is going to take longer than I thought to get back into shape.
Special shout out to a friend of mine that is going through a tougher time than I did, Mark Spinney. Hang in there Mark! Our thoughts and prayers are with you!
Also wanted to thank MK! Thank you.
Ok… I think that is about all the recap I have. Things are slowly getting better. As mentioned, I go see my Chemo Dr next week and we will evaluate the pain medication I am on and probably start to scale back. Other than that, I will continue to try and gain weight as I am still down 30 lbs. I had to break down and go buy some clothes last week. I was wearing a pair of my old pants and they slid off my waist…and they were buttoned at the time! My plan is not to gain the whole 30 lbs back. Probably more like 20 and evaluate then. I’m just hoping with all the food I WANT to eat, I am able to stop.
Alrighty… enough about me. I’m sure you have skipped to this point anyway….
UNRELATED STORY TIME
To supplement their income, police officers work off duty jobs, known as “extra jobs” or “moonlight” jobs. They vary from sitting in a rich guy’s driveway 24/7 to sitting in a squad car on a highway while highway workers pave a new road, to standing in a parking lot at a bar. Dallas prohibits officers from working INSIDE the bar so in that particular job, you stand outside and make sure cars aren’t broken into and your presence is sometimes a deterrent to bad things happening. Of course, if something bad happens inside the bar, you can go in to quell that disturbance, but for the most part, you stay outside.
This particular story deals with me working such a job with another officer named Charlie. First, a few words about Charlie. Charlie was born in Hawaii to Japanese parents. Obviously oriental in looks but no accent whatsoever. One of the funniest guys I know. I met Charlie when I was drafted to dispatch. Charlie worked down there at the time and was my trainer. (Yes, I was drafted to dispatch when I had about 2 years on) Charlie trained me my first week and we became good friends. I learned, however, that Charlie is one sneaky SOB. While in dispatch, which is in the basement of City Hall, with no windows, you go a little stir crazy and a little bored. You would usually dispatch for one hour with a 30 minute break…normally. Sometimes, if it was busy and people were off, you might work for two hours straight with only 30 minutes off. Believe me, sitting in front of a console dispatching calls and keeping up with everyone is nerve wracking and stressful. Especially if something happens to the officers you are dispatching to. If an officer calls for cover or needs assistance, it is your job to dispatch the appropriate people while making sure all the other things are being taken care of. And when you only have two years on the department, and full of piss and vinegar, and want to be out there helping but you are stuck in the basement, it is very nerve wracking. Charlie showed me ways to release stress.
A dispatcher sits in front of his/her console and has a printer to their side. On this printer, calls that needed to be dispatched would print up. They would also appear on the computer screen in front of them. The dispatcher would see what cars were available, call that particular car or “Element” and give them that call. Each Element had a slot in the console and the Dispatcher would tear off the piece of paper and stick it in the Elements slot and enter it into the computer. That way, there was a manual record (piece of paper in the slot) and it was also entered into the computer.
If you wanted to find out all the stolen cars in the City of Dallas, you would pull up a “hot sheet”. This Hot sheet showed all the cars currently reported stolen. On any given day, there was usually at least 300 cars listed. Now as you can imagine, it takes awhile for this Hot Sheet to print up, especially on the dot matrix printers we were using at that time.
If someone pissed off Charlie, or if he wanted to just mess with them, while sitting at his console, he would route a Hot Sheet to the other Dispatchers printer. (Not many people knew how to do that). So this particular Dispatcher is trying to keep things organized and put the right calls in the right slots but all of the sudden, his printer starts going haywire and prints up this Hot Sheet, which takes a long time to finish. Meanwhile, calls are still popping up on this Dispatchers computer screen but he has to wait for the Hot Sheet to finish before he can manually assign them. It is very frustrating for that dispatcher. Invariably, they would blame Charlie, because he was just the sort of person to do that and had the knowledge of how to do that…but here is the genius of Charlie…. to deflect the accusation from him… he would send a Hot Sheet to his own printer as well. So when someone accused him, he would respond….”It wasn’t me! Whoever sent it to you, also sent it to me!” And they would immediately scratch Charlie from their list of suspects and think someone else did it.
Like I said… Charlie was sneaky.
So one night, Charlie and I are working in this parking lot of this bar for young people in Dallas. All of the sudden, the front doors of the bar flung open and people began spilling out. We grabbed a couple of the people and asked what was going on and it seemed that a fight had broken out inside and people were trying to get away. One guy came out holding a napkin to his lip. We asked him if he was ok and he responded that he was and everything was fine and continued on his way.
Meanwhile, unknown to us, when people came out of the bar, a couple of them went to the street just when a squad car was passing and they flagged down the car and told the officers in the car that there was a fight. So the officers in the car stopped and got out of the car and approached the bar.
Charlie and I are standing in front of the bar with the Manager trying to piece together what happened, because everything had died down by now, when these two officers approached us. As we talked later, neither Charlie nor I knew these two officers as they worked the Northeast station. Also, as we found out later, one of the officers was a Field Training Officer (FTO) and he had his rookie with him. I forgot the FTO’s name but lets just call him Corporal Frank Jerk.
So Cpl Jerk and his rookie walked up to us, standing there with the Manager, and Cpl Jerk pulled out his nightstick(!) and crossed his arms and said…. “I want to know what the #$%@# is going on here!!” I think Charlie and I were both too surprised at his actions and his language to be offended at that time but we said, “Well it looks like a fight broke out inside but its over now and…”
Cpl Jerk unfolded his arms and took his nightstick and started tapping Charlie on the chest (Charlie is in uniform!) and said…. “If you can’t handle your @#$%# mess then you need to get the ##$%# out of here! C’mon Rookie…lets get out of here!” And with that, he strutted off with his rookie.
Charlie and I stood there dumbfounded. Finally the Manager of the bar said, “Do you know that guy? Is he really a police officer?” We didn’t know him but as we talked later, we were going to find out. We were just too shocked at what he did to do anything. No one does that ! Especially to another officer!
So I didn’t see Charlie that week but the week rolls by and we are now working the bar again. As we were talking, I mentioned something about how I hope that Cpl Jerk shows up again and how I was going to give him a piece of my mind. Charlie just grinned. Knowing Charlie and how he is, I asked what he did…. and oh boy….did he do something.
There is a particular area in Dallas called Oak Lawn. It is known as the gay area of town. Lots of gay bars and it is where a lot of the gays live. So Charlie goes there and goes to a gay book store to the magazine rack. He takes the “Subscribe – Please Bill me Later” card out of over 20 gay publications and writes Cpl Jerk’s name on them and uses the Dallas Police Northeast Substation address and mails them off. He also goes by the Dallas Gay Alliance and signs up Cpl Jerk as a member, pays his dues! and enters him in all sorts of activities such as the fun run and Halloween parade.
When Charlie was done telling me, I wanted to give him the slow clap of appreciation. I was impressed. It was typical Charlie…. a way to get revenge and there is no way that Cpl Jerk would ever know who did it to him. It was ingenious and sneaky and I told Charlie so.
He said…. “Well you know how us Japanese are.”