Tag Archives: fear

Awake at 3:30 AM…Again

There is something about the time from 2 am to 4 am which comes with aging, anguish, and illness.  When our beloved dog Hanna had reached her later years, lots of them she had–17, she would wake up during that wee hour time period and pace around the house.  Doug would always get out of bed in order to let her, and her baby Nina, outside; then, he would sit down in a recliner in our living room waiting for a signal which would always come in the form of a single bark from Nina (she was the talker) signaling they were ready to come back inside.  He did this for at least three years, every single night.  You see, this is how Angels work, quietly, without acknowledgement, without complaint, without posting it on Facebook…they just do what needs to been done in the quiet of the night.

Matthew 6:6

But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly.

Now I am way far away from being an Angel; so when I wake up at 3 am it is just to…well I’m not sure.  Like I said, there is something about that time of night.  I picked up dirty clothes, trying to be quiet because Doug was sleeping (in the recliner as he was afraid to sleep in the bed with his tubes and bag of chemo); then I started picking up stuff everywhere…I just felt like I needed to pick up stuff and throw it away.  I am not a house cleaner any more than I am an Angel.

A nurse told Doug not to shave because he might cut himself…hearing that terrified me…so open ended…such an out of the ordinary statement to make.

There are silent screams happening during the dead quiet of 2 to 4 am.

Oh, and most importantly, the Huskers woman’s volleyball team won their game last night; they are close to a national championship.


Awake At 3:30 AM

Some people would never admit they are worried.  An astute observer, however, can see through their facade.   When you have been with the same person for nearly thirty years you just know when something is wrong.

Doug has a very distinct set of three main worry symptoms.

  1. He never has trouble going to sleep; but, when worried wakes up often during the night, can’t go back to sleep, then gets out of the bed very early unable to go back to sleep. 
  2. Belching.
  3. Irritability.

Today is the first day of his cancer treatment to which he has made everyone well aware of the fact that he does NOT need a ride; almost certainly because he doesn’t want to be a bother to anyone else.  He also doesn’t want to make a “big deal” out of the cancer treatment because, in his mind, by making a “big deal” out of the situation that the situation will become a “big deal”.  I liken his thinking to that of a team of baseball players who, when they are behind in a game, put on their rally caps in order to reverse their fortune. 

Whatever gives you faith brother.

He’s belching, belching, belching…then taking some Tums.  On the outside he appears completely cool.  He would never say, “Oh Tim, I really scared about this treatment today!”   

He had the radio news on and I suggested we put on some music instead–Mozart.  I would ask him to meditate with me but he would never do that, at least this early in the morning.  When it comes to life Doug is just not a coachable person.  I’ll just do what I can to keep things calm which in this situation is to do and say as little as possible about the cancer treatment…just pretend it’s just another day, awake at 3:30 am listening to Mozart interspersed with belching.

Just so you know–he doesn’t read this blog.


Some Gastroenterologists are Stranger than Others

Paraphrasing the preliminary “diagnosis”: 

Dr: “Well we found a small polyp that we removed which is of little consequence so you  should probably come back in about five years for another exam. By the way, have you ever had any problem with your rectum?”, as if this were just an afterthought.

Mr. D briefly described some mundane symptoms he had had over the years.

Dr: “Well there’s something strange in there I have never seen before…” (emphasis added) “it’s long and hard, I mean it could be like a wart or something.”

Mr. T at that point was beginning to boil with “doctor disdain” and rudely interjected:

“You mean to tell me that with all your years of experience you have never seen anything like this????”

“Well like I said”, blah, blah, blah.  Everything Dr. Weirdo blathered afterwards has become just a mish mash of bullshit by now.  All that mattered to Mr. T at that point was the open ended, and downright stupid, diagnosis which sounded like something a medical student might say during his first anal exam. AND, this blithering drama queen of a doctor did little to provide anything beyond fear to the patient…”something I have never seen before”?  Really?

Certainly this overpaid moron/fearmonger had seen a cancerous neoplasm before!  Why would someone want to leave a patient with little more than doubt and fear?

Worst of all, this clown of a doctor promised a result of the biopsy, which was taken of the thing he “had never seen before”, by the middle of next week.  Mr. D didn’t get his cancer diagnosis, online or by phone but from a total stranger (equally weird), oncology surgeon he met with the following week…not professional at all Dr. Strange-gastro!  THEN, days after this awful experience Dr. Strange-gastro had the nerve to call Mr. D at work to give him the diagnosis AGAIN!

The writer, Mr T,  doesn’t have much faith in doctors as he has been lead astray by many in the past, the first example of which, he was once told by the head neurologist of a locally famous medical center:

“You will have to take epilepsy medication for the rest of your life,” the Doctor X confidently asserted.

“No I won’t,” said Mr. T; and didn’t. 

As a matter of fact it wasn’t too long after this consultation that Mr. T took himself off of the epilepsy medication (not recommended for readers) and, although having been diagnosed with severe epilepsy, never had another seizure again.  Is this a miracle, coincidence or just sheer force of will.  Mr. T believes it is a miracle achieved by will. 

The point being, for now, that Mr. D’s post-colonoscopy consultation somewhat resemble Peter Seller’s portrayal of Dr. Strangelove in the classic film of the same name.  (Highly recommended as today’s global political situation has come to mirror that of the early 1960s.)