The support and fundraising that has happened on my behalf has touched my heart and has made alternative cancer treatment a possibility for me. Donations continue to be my primary funding for healthy food, supplements, living expenses and medical bills. If you feel moved to give to my Health and Wellness Fund, please follow the Paypal "Donate" button below. To avoid Paypal's 3% fee, checks or cash can be sent to Zachariah Walker, 1003 Chipeta Ave, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Blessings!
*CRITICAL ANGELES HOSPITAL VISIT: CURRENT ESTIMATED COST = $25,000. AHHH! PLUS UNEXPECTED CRISIS CONTROL AND 4 DAYS IN ICU*
Tuesday, June 12, 2012
No Apparent Side Effects
It is Tuesday morning and tomorrow marks two weeks since I've been at Angeles Hospital in Tijuana. There is a bittersweetness to this timing as Larkin and I will be leaving tomorrow. It has been a phenomenal experience here. However, I am certainly ready to get out, despite how comfortable, accommodating and nurturing it is, it still is a hospital. As I have calculated, I have spent 42 of the last 64 days of my life living and being treated in a hospital setting. I have dialogued many experiences and the side-effects of treatments, particularly the traditional chemotherapy aftermath. Though, honestly I have spared many of the graphic details and have some pictures that might make the weak-hearted queazy. There are a number of things I have learned along the way, I guess you could call them secondary side-effects, that I've felt worthy of noting before they are distant afterthoughts.
One cool thing that could likely earn me some money making bets at a party is my ability to accurately predict how much pee I am holding in my bladder. I have become very tuned-in to my ins and outs. While in the hospital they measure your intake (food and liquids) and your output. As I explain it to the enfermeras here, "mi numero uno y mi numero dos." That feels a little more adult that "mi poo-poo y mi pee-pee." I have taped a nice chart next to the toilet to document my daily dos (or do-dos, I guess you could say). One amazing discovery is the body's ability to maximize the volume of the bladder while laying down. I have been amazed at my ability to fill a urinal in the middle of the night. My record so far is 1400cc, that's 1 and 1/3 Nalgene bottles! (Ha, that reminds me of my flight here and a near emergency over St. George that Christopher does NOT have documented on his iPhone). In comparison, my standing rate averages around 500cc. My mother has noted how she has noticed some striking Haussler characteristics that are more evident with my lack of facial and head hair, but my bladder must certainly come from the Walker side. Just ask any of the Haussler spouses on a road trip! (Ma, I'm not gonna get in trouble for that one, am I?)
In an abstract way I have also learned to drink from my jugular vein. This, of course, first requires the installation of special equipment, in my case a Hickman port. The trick then is learning how to run the machine that hooks up to the port. There's nothing like the incessant beeping coming from the IV pole to motivate a quick study. It's kinda like riding a bike too, I learned when I was young and it comes back quick. During one of my stays at St. Mary's the nurses were excited about the new pumps that quickly made the old ones obsolete. About three days into it I was training new nurses who were coming on shift for the first time. I could only stand to watch them scratch their heads for so long. The funny thing is, while there I always felt like I was undertaking a covert operation. Adding an extra 50mLs to empty my IV so I didn't have to wait around chained to my pole waiting for a nurse to show up. My heart would race a bit, what if I get caught!? I kinda liked it... yes, searching for excitement! It was a whole new challenge once I got to Mexico. The pumps are in Spanish using abbreviated word that are far out of my range of vocabulary. The first time the beeping started I stared at the pump in awe, what a rush! Using deductive reasoning I eliminated half of the buttons as possibilities. Some of the others had picture icons. Stopping the beep temporarily was easy, but that wasn't good enough. Another button and the screen changed, uh oh, a moment of panic... My buzz was quickly killed when a kind nurse came in and showed me how to do it. WHAT! I have permission? On to figuring out the Tequila drip...
First Take (bloopers)