Monday, April 05, 2010

another early start

Monday morning, I'm taking my dad to the hospital so he can receive his twice-yearly cortisone shot. This is administered very close to his spine to alleviate some serious back pain. Depending on the doctor, the procedure can run the gamut from painless to excruciating. Dad says that, although he's been told he can have the shot as often as every two months, he doesn't want to become dependent on chemical palliatives. Can't say I blame him: I was downing some major painkillers after I'd hurt my right knee during my abortive trans-American walk, and was in near or full-on agony for over half of the 600 miles I covered. But as soon as I reached a stopping point in Walla Walla, Washington, I went cold turkey. Luckily, neither ibuprofen nor naproxen sodium (I had used both, though never at the same time) turned out to be addictive, so going cold turkey didn't require any willpower. In fact, the side effects-- namely, bleeding from orifices that shouldn't normally bleed-- were scary enough to make me want to halt the medication.

Dad's been in a great deal of pain lately, and for the past two weeks, he's been verbally counting down the days until his shot. Today-- Easter Sunday, one day before treatment-- was particularly painful for him, as he was unable either to stand or to sit comfortably. It probably didn't help that my Easter meal didn't go quite as well as I had hoped: although the salmon turned out better than expected, I deemed the green beans inedible (and therefore didn't serve them), and wasn't too impressed with the chicken dish I'd made for my brother David, who tends to avoid fish, shellfish, and other denizens of the hydrosphere. David assured me that the chicken was good, but I didn't believe him. I probably didn't help matters by apologizing repeatedly.

On the bright side, the matzoh appetizers were well received: the hummus worked out nicely, as did the apricot-on-brie spread and the home-made charoset. As I mentioned above, the salmon worked out well (recipe stolen from here); my amped-up caprese with pesto and balsamic vinegar was also chomped on without complaint (I say "amped-up" because the center of the salad included sliced cucumbers, tuna, and boiled egg). In all, it was a hit-or-miss day for yours truly.

Dad saved the day with his rum cake and French vanilla ice cream; I also taught him how to make the strawberry sauce that I'd used with previous incarnations of this dessert. He proved to be a quick study, despite the extreme pain he experienced while leaning over the counter to de-stem, wash, and slice his strawberries.

David and his friend C [name redacted for privacy's sake] were our dinner guests; he and C left around 9PM to go see a movie. Credit goes to David (who arrived earlier than C) for prepping the salmon after I had concocted the marinade. Dad and I were pooped after David and C had left, and because we knew we had an early morning ahead of us, we elected to retire early.

So! Awake at 7, on the road to the medical center by 8. Dad's very much looking forward to a few months' relief. Here's hoping the doc performs the procedure correctly. And in case you were wondering: because the shot can numb the legs, I'm Dad's chauffeur for the day.


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