Updates, of a sort.

I saw Dr. Elf today for the last time until April. The New Bug is performing beautifully; I'm even able to lie on my stomach for a massage without any nasal regurgitation (aka saliva running out my nose). He thanked me for being such a happy patient; I thanked *him* for being kind on the days when I was not happy. There were plenty of those.

So, April: I go for a chest CT. That's scary as hell. Apparently, polymorphous adenocarcinoma rarely metastasizes, but when it does, two things happen: it goes to the lung or brain, and it's incredibly virulent. My brain, so far, is clear. (My coworkers would say that it's not just clear of cancer, it's clear of thought and reason as well.) My neck is clear. I'm very happy that the lymph nodes in my neck are clear, by the way: the radiologist who read this last CT was the same dude who read the last one, and he said something like, "I note that the lymph node in the right neck, swollen in the pre-surgery CT scan, has returned to a normal diameter and density." I'm hoping nothing nasty shows up in April.

ANYway, the same day I see the CT guys and Dr. Crane, I see Dr. Elf for a follow-up. As he said, this is a dynamic process. As I age, as I lose or gain weight, as I sing more or less, the prosthetic will need to be modified. We'll let it float until April unless something major happens.

Speaking of major, two things happened this past week: BCBSTX denied my appeal and simultaneously refunded me about a tenth of the money that they ought to admit they owe me. What this means in real terms is that I now have to appeal to the Office of Employee Benefits at Giganto Research and Education Corp. Beloved Sister is helping me set up the most impressive packet of information ever, including slightly nauseating pictures of The Deficit, in order to do that. So, more of that.

Enough about me. In work news. . .

It's getting harder and harder to get one of the cross-covers to call me back. She's a nice girl, if a bit scatterbrained and inclined to panic. I'm thinking that I ought to just page her in haiku:

Your patient's IC
P is rising. Perhaps
You should come see him.


Wind through falling leaves
Like gas in patient's bowels.
Please order senna.

In sadder news, one of my coworkers simply didn't wake up last week. He was thirty. As is usual for this sort of unexpected death, there'll be an autopsy; likely he had sudden cardiac arrest or a PE. And, as is usual for this sort of death, nobody had a bad thing to say about the man. He was, as a friend of his said, a "good hand"--coming from a deep East Texas country boy, that's high praise.

I know I'm not supposed to wish death on anybody, but wasn't there somebody out there who set kittens afire that could've died, rather than the nice young guy with four kids? I liked working with him, knew I could trust him, was glad to see him in the mornings. Greater praise no nurse hath for any man.

Aaaand in less-sad news, we have a new place for the NCCU: we're taking over a unit on the floor above where we currently are. We'll have real doors that close or not, as we choose, and real monitors, and real beds, and real pumps! Just the luxury of more than four square feet of desk space (and half of that taken up with a sink) is more than I can think about without giggling. We should be there by the end of next month.

Finally, read this by Xeni Jardin. She captures better than I ever could the feeling of being out there, beyond reach of the people you depend on most, stuck in a new place.

"When I finally got through, someone else's voice was coming out of my mouth, and it was taking forever for the stuttery radio transmissions to beam through space, from the cold planet I was lost on, way out here, far from home."