N A S A   S T U D Y   -  P A R T   E I G H T :  " D O    Y O U    S P E A K    J E W I S H ? "
 
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2009     03:27 pm
Breakfast consisted of pancakes, yogurt, a bowl of fruit, and a glass of OJ.  I had to swallow a SmartPill again; since I couldn’t sit up, swallowing was much more difficult than last time and I could feel it on its way down.  I have the receiver resting on my stomach.

I did my stretches and watched more NewsRadio on Hulu.  My eyes are very teary… this is actually normal but it’s annoying and I don’t know why it just started this morning (as opposed to yesterday morning, for example).

"Do you speak Jewish?" and "Has anyone in your family ever married someone from another race?" were just two of the questions the masseuse asked me during our session.  I told her I learned Hebrew for my bar mitzvah but I forgot it all on the way to the reception.  By race, I assume she meant religion… yes, some of my relatives have married outside the faith.  If I meet a girl who’s Jewish, then great… if not, no big deal.  She laughed when I told her that I am definitely not converting… after all, I need the Judaism to explain the neuroses.  It was funny at times, but I did my best to steer the conversation elsewhere; we talked about my family’s somewhat gluttonous habit of finishing Thanksgiving dinner in fifteen minutes; she laughed at this.  We talked food and family (when she wasn’t grilling me about yarmulkes and bar mitzvahs).

Mom and dad called me from the road.  They were headed to a barbecue competition in Plant City (near Lakeland) and needed directions.  I Googled it for them and mom sent me a text: "We found it!"  Then I started thinking about my cravings… right now, I'd kill for a pizza, or a twelve-nugget combo with fries from Chick-fil-a, or a burger (cooked medium, no cheese, just tomatoes and pickles) and fries, or a cookie sandwich from Mrs. Fields, or some Joyva jelly rings from the candy store in the mall, etc.  I'm gonna have fun when I get back, shuttling from one place to another to get my fix (that didn’t sound healthy at all)...
 
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SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 21, 2009     09:43 pm
Oddly, my lunch was a repeat: spaghetti with chicken, cheesecake, garlic bread, and milk… I believe this had something to do with the SmartPill but I’m not sure.  I got another finger stick and I also shifted onto my stomach for a while.

Dinner was chicken, fries, broccoli, apple sauce, sandwich cookies, and grape juice.  Nurses keep asking me how my back is and I tell them it’s hard to describe at this point: it’s not as bad as yesterday. but the aching feeling is still there. I just finished with the ice pack again and my feet have been elevated most of the day on a big pillow.  I could actually feel the big pillow fall off the bed during the night… I tried to stop it with my toe but it didn’t work.

Thanks to the SmartPill, I wasn’t allowed to drink water for six hours this morning so I got a late start on my water allotment.  I just finished my third and last pitcher and, God willing, I won't have to use the can during the night. Tierra complimented me on my healthy urine… when it’s clear, it means I'm properly hydrated.

Not a great day today… my ice pack sprung a small leak so they had to wheel in the gurney, have me flip onto it, and move me out into the hall so they could replace my linens. Tierra plucked a dry shirt from the nightstand for me and Jorge wheeled me into another room so I could change.  I'm usually self-conscious about this sort of thing, but this time, I said, "You didn’t have to do this; I would’ve changed out in the hall," but Tierra said she wouldn’t want me to feel like everyone was gawking… as always, it’s the thought that counts.
 
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2009     11:55 am
Got a decent sleep, in between all the tossing and turning.  Another BM and, thankfully, it was much better than yesterday in terms of, uh, I’ll just say efficiency.  Hopefully, the SmartPill is out of my system.  Breakfast was French toast, eggs, sausage, a bowl of fruit, and OJ… I just brushed my teeth and I have three more finger sticks and a shower at 1:30.

More NewsRadio… another finger stick… I’m on my second water pitcher… truth be told, I’m getting a little (ahem) antsy… the ambulatory phase is one thing but bedrest is another.
 
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 22, 2009     08:50 pm
Lunch was a sloppy joe with half a bun covered with a melted slice of cheese, greens, Famous Amos cookies, a bowl of apple sauce, and egg salad (Pee-wee’s bête noir in Big Top Pee-Wee).   I was bold: I took the cheese and ate it in pieces, by itself, with nothing else… it was touch and go at first but, by the end, I had successfully finished it without it coming back up.  

Sanjurjo texted me, and I called him back… we talked Trek and stuff… then I took another shower.  No water up my nose, but still in my ear.  I put on some scrubs to wear for the trip from the shower to my room and they were a hassle to put on and get off.  I had no idea how much I could contort myself if the situation called for it.  Of course, this might all lead to more permanent damage later.

Dinner was turkey (smothered in something), rice, greens, a small bowl of Craisins, a small bowl of nuts, and a glass of milk.  Just another lazy Sunday… called mom and spoke to her for almost an hour.  I met another coordinator (her name escapes me) who asked me about my back.  News sure travels fast in these parts… at this point, my back is more of an annoyance than a serious pain.

Elva posted tomorrow’s schedule and it looks like I have a busy day… an echocardiogram at 8:45, another T-reflex test at 2:30, and a massage at 6:30… that’s pretty late for a massage.  If I tell the masseuse that Jews turn into werewolves at night, I wonder if she’d believe me… (better make it vampires – more profitable).

Finished off the night with another finger stick and more NewsRadio.

  
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2009     12:37 pm
My first installment of breakfast consisted of a glass of OJ, a bowl of fruit, and half a bagel with (let me see if I can describe it) part of the “crust” cut off… weird.  Arby is the monitor this morning and Karina checked my vitals.  My back feels okay. Last night, I e-mailed some family members who live in California that there has been a change of plans on my part regarding moving back to LA.

Another echocardiogram, this time with a Dr. Martin.  I could hear my heartbeat, and it sounded like something from Star Trek or Star Wars.  It was nice to get out of the room even though the other one into which they wheeled me was almost identical.  Breakfast (the sequel) was the remaining half of the bagel along with bacon (yay!), hard-boiled eggs (yay!), and cream cheese.

Apparently, the large pillow they gave me a few days ago might be too large and some people are taking pictures of it, presumably to send to someone who will make a final decision as to whether it raises my legs too high above my head, which is already at negative six degrees.  "Can we take a picture of your [pillow] wedge?" is what they asked me… I happily obliged.

Dr. Seton came by, and we chatted for a good thirty minutes or so.  She said I should be hearing from the marketing person either this week or next (what with the Thanksgiving holiday and all).  I mentioned going to Mrs. Fields when I get home and the good doctor groaned, not because what I said was corny or gluttonous, but because she would probably do the same thing.  I talked to her about the masseuse, the shower, using a bedpan, sleep habits, etc.  Lunch arrived just before she left… pizza, greens, salad, nuts, raisins, Jell-o, and a glass of, well, something reddish-orange.  Karina just walked in and asked about my water… I replied, "Slowly but surely."
  
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 23, 2009     08:19 pm
Another T-reflex test with Liz and Keena.  This time, we were joined by a trainee, a girl named Yuri (?).  Once back in my room, they had to raise my bed since Elva couldn’t see me through the window from her station outside the room… couldn’t she just sit on a phone book?  My back is annoying me right now.  I'm on my second water pitcher, and Karina keeps encouraging me; she doesn’t want an Incident Report like last time when I didn’t finish.

And Karina took the large pillow away…

Dinner consisted of fish (tilapia, I think), rice, a sliver of apple pie, a scoop of vanilla ice cream, and grape juice.  Karina just picked up my urine.  I assume the nurses work twelve-hour shifts… the monitors, I’m not sure…

I'm listening to track samples from Intrada’s new Back to the Future two-disc score release, which I already ordered… too bad I won’t be able to listen to it until I get home.  In a word, WOW!!!  This score is a holy freakin’ grail, not just for me, but for thousands of film score aficionados and Back to the Future fans.  I can’t believe it’s finally here, after years of waiting.

Anyway, my massage ended an hour ago… less Jewish talk but she did ask me what my parents would think if I dated a gentile… "As long as you’re happy," was my answer, quoting mom.  She also asked if I had a girlfriend… I told her I’ve had missed opportunities.  I mentioned a girl in LA and a girl at film school… one didn't like me "like that" (I still think the jury’s out on that one) and the other, well, maybe I should’ve said something sooner… it'll happen when it happens…

 
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