Wednesday, November 14, 2018
The stronger anti-diarrhea medication had seemed to work last night although it is really hard to tell as Glen has a good night followed by more bad nights as a general rule. Whatever it was we were thankful for a better night where Glen was only up three times compared to the usual back and forth all night path between the bed and the toilet.
The morning started out warm already by 7:30AM. I was thrilled with that! We headed downtown to find the lab where Glen would get more blood work done. Dr. Kim had crossed off quite a few of the tests ordered by Dr. Torres because we were paying out of pocket and all of those tests would cost us close to $2000.00 US. We walked out having paid around $400.00 US – definitely better. At this stage of the game anything under $1000.00 is a huge “thank you Jesus!”
We were supposed to meet with Dr. Issels this morning but the blood work got in the way so that would wait until tomorrow. They ushered Glen in relatively quickly to start the day’s treatments. Today it was Star, another nurse from Los Angeles who we started with. She did some diagnostic tests with some fancy machines, one of them that was exactly like the one our naturopath Dr. Tracy Park (who is awesome!) uses back at home. There were a few extra tests done than I had ever witnessed. I must admit I find it all fascinating! There are so many gizmos and gadgets that measure this and that. Sadly I can’t hope to keep track of it all because it’s all so new – like learning another language. When I ask Glen if he remembers what they’re all called he just looks at me like a lost school boy with those adorable deep blue eyes of his that mesmerize me and make me fall more in love with him daily, hourly… I digress. He also doesn’t have a clue what they told us the gadgets do. They measure many things in the body to see how he is doing.
Glen moved from that to an IV so I went out to move the car again. The parking here is a royal pain. We are only allowed to park on the street for 90 minutes at a time. After that we will get a ticket. With all the money we are paying for treatment and being here a ticket would be rather annoying. As I move it I am forced to drive another block because of all the one ways and find a park. I drove closer to the clinic and then walked back to the park with my lunch from the market deli place across the street. Plopping down out of sheer hunger on the first bench I saw I ate my wrap and then wandered around the park. It was a really beautiful butterfly park with a man-made pond in the middle. The trees were a gorgeous mix of many varieties including the palm trees. There were a few butterflies, although I was expecting more. There were turtles and many ducks in the pond. When it was time to move my vehicle again I walked back.
Checking in on Glen he was still doing an IV. I waited for a bit and then decided to be brave. I hopped in the Santa Fe and drove all the way down State Street and there in all its glory was the beach! Glory be! I had no idea where to park but found a spot on the street right across from Stearns Wharf. There was writing on the curb that said something so I just hoped it wasn’t saying “no parking” as it was unreadable. I ditched my backpack and just took my little purse to lighten the load and headed for the beach. The white sand looked amazing so I excitedly eased my feet out of the runners holding them hostage and planted my bare feet in the warm sand. By now it was a delicious 26 degrees outside and I was soaking it in! I walked into the water and sighed deeply. Emotions are funny things. I had really wanted to do this first beach trip with Glen, not alone. I felt guilty for being there without him. At the same time it was wonderful and I needed a break from the clinic and thoughts of that hellish word “cancer”. I walked up and down the beach keeping my feet in the water the whole time and getting wet past my knees. If I had my swimsuit on I would have been totally submerged swimming and enjoying the detoxifying effects of the beautiful salt water. The waves crashing gently on the shore were a beautiful backdrop to my mind and soul and I purposefully breathed it all in. As I waded further in to my surprise a seal popped up about 15 feet away from me and just stared at me. It was the coolest experience ever. Later when I got back to the clinic Doris said they are very used to people and pop up beside swimmers all the time along with dolphins. Dolphins! Now I really want to go swimming!
I spent an hour and a half at the beach, walking in the water and then begrudgingly put my shoes back on to walk down to the end of Stearns Wharf just to see what was there. You could drive onto Stearns Wharf and park for their traditional 90 minutes. There were a few restaurants, a few shops, and a fishing tackle shop. A few people were fishing off the end of the wharf. It looked really familiar to me and I wondered if I had seen some movie shoots off this pier.
I made my way back to the clinic without incident and walked in to find Glen. Roberto teased me with his Spanish accent by saying, “You’ve lost your husband? Does that make you sad or happy?”
“Definitely sad Roberto,” I returned in jest but in reality it brings me to tears that never end to dwell on that thought.
Roberto showed me where Glen was – in a hyperbaric oxygen chamber. I, of course, was curious and excited about this.
“So cool!” I exclaimed.
“Do you want to try it?” he asked.
“Of course I want to try it!”
“Ok – hop in. I’ll give you twenty minutes,” he graciously offered.
“Really? Oh wow!”
I had my shoes and socks off in no time and plunged into the little pup tent with excitement. Maybe this would help the headache from going from bad to worse. The ocean helped a bit…
Once my ears stopped popping like mad it was wonderful. I almost fell asleep – maybe even did for a few seconds. I could feel the energy moving around in my head. Glen thinks that is silly but I really can feel those things. I guess it comes with being super sensitive. All too soon my time was up. Roberto and Kinsey had given me almost a full hour. I was so beyond grateful! I mentally put adding a hyperbaric oxygen chamber on my list of things that would be beneficial for people at my counselling clinic and eventually the counselling ranch Glen and I are hoping to start together. Why not treat the whole person? In my rationale, owning a hyperbaric oxygen chamber would only be helpful for us as a family too with one person who has cancer and two who struggle with Lyme Disease.
Glen emerged not quite as excited as I was about it. He hates confined spaces and gets claustrophobic so had music going on his cell phone. I had not even thought to bring in my phone and was quite grateful to be away from it. The peace and time spent with God in the little space was exhilarating. Poor guy. He is very brave to do these treatments in confined spaces when you fight things like claustrophobia. I think he’s slowly getting better. I am thankful that his mind is strong.
By 4:00PM we were happy to drive back to the Casita in the day light and have another half an hour to sit outside while the sun set. Dinner was fish and vegetables that Glen ate very little of. He was exhausted from all his treatments. I understand that as his body is working very hard to heal and he gets precious little sleep. I also know how extremely difficult and even traumatic healing is from my own experience of going through the last four years doing treatments specific to Lyme Disease. All the nasty symptoms come out and it is beyond exhausting when your symptoms double in size. There is no more energy left. He feels bad to see me doing all the supper preparations and clean up but I don’t mind. He’s my man and I would do anything for him. (Except taking things back to a store! 😉
We watched a bit of TV, I wrote a bit and then it was time for bed. I collapsed and fell asleep sooner than normal – a real blessing.