Sunday, June 26, 2011

Mick McKellar Update--Day +125

Today is recovery day. I tried mowing the yard yesterday. Had to borrow a mower, because although my dependable old Eager-1 will start, it won't keep running. More maintenance is needed. I managed to mow about one-half of the yard before collapsing. My batteries went completely dead. I don't think I have been so profoundly fatigued since the early days of my transplant/chemotherapy treatments.

This morning, muscles that have remained unused for months are complaining bitterly about being used yesterday. I expected as much, especially for the shoulders and upper arms. My legs did not mind the exercise as much and are OK for the nonce.

Marian (and some friends) finished the major mowing of our fledgling hayfield. With all the rain and sunshine, the grass has been growing quickly. Now, I have to get the weed-wacker started. Like my poor old mower, it did not get proper winterization last fall (I was kinda busy at the time), and will need rehabilitation this summer. Just one of many projects created by more than five months of inattention by the owner...

The grand experiment

I'm hoping for the best, and so far my blood glucose readings have been at or well below the average range...without the aid of insulin injections. If this continues until Wednesday, I am hoping I can stop injections and put the issue of steroid-induced type II diabetes behind me. How long and now often I would be required to test my blood glucose is unknown.

A matter of taste

The devil is in the details, and the flavor of food is one of those details. My taste buds, which went on leave while I was undergoing initial chemotherapy last year, have failed to return or have come back altered. In general, food does not taste very good. If one could create this condition without having to take toxic chemicals or suffer a debilitating disease, it would be one of the most effective diets on record. It is truly difficult to have an appetite when nothing tastes good, and some things that tasted really good, taste really awful.

Although the lack of taste is a frustration for me, it can be worse for Marian. Imagine doing your best to cook a meal, seasoning it to taste, and serving it up, only to have your husband refuse to eat it because it doesn't taste good to him. That's more than frustration. So, we have kept our experiments small, and the portions even smaller. I hate wasting a meal, and have on more than one occasion eaten food that didn't taste right -- so it would not be wasted.

One of the hardest things for me to imagine, was any day during which I would have to force myself to eat. There are people who eat to live; and there are people who live to eat. For most of my life, I fit into the second category. Since the beginning of chemotherapy, I have fit into the first category. As I said, the devil is in the details…

However, missing out on  a few favorite foods, whether or not the condition is temporary, is a small price to pay, when the alternative, the downside, is the long sleep. There remains a very good possibility that one or more of my medications is causing, and reinforcing the problem with my taste buds and the thick, nasty tasting saliva in my mouth. Should I be gifted with enough days to reach the point where most medications can be discontinued, I may yet enjoy my favorite foods again.

In the meantime, taking things day-by-day means making the most of what I can retain and remember and finding a way to override and overlay the lack of taste with memories of flavors past.

Our front curtain is drawn as the flavor of twilight moves on into the dark taste of night. Thank you for your prayers and good thoughts, your messages and phone calls.

God bless and good night,


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