The day after Dennis told me, "OH MY GOD YOU'RE GONNA DIE IF YOU DON'T DO SOMETHING NOW," we scheduled an appt. with a new doctor. Quoting:
"Dr. Steve had me take some blood tests and a chest x-ray and then prescribed paregoric to stop the you know what as a last ditch effort. Yes, the old famous paregoric. He said no one makes it anymore and it's hard to find. But, of course, Bob's Pharmacy had it. Bob has everything. I looked it up in the dictionary when I got home and saw that it's made from opium. How nice."In case you aren't aware, narcotics help block up the old poop machine. This new doctor, who I have absolutely no memory of, checked me out and decided that since TPN costs about $600 a day, and is a very extreme measure, he thought we should take one last stab at stopping the diarrhea the old fashioned way: narcotics.
"A quiet day. The paregoric worked somewhat on the diarrhea so that was a relief. I went over to Jim Latham's and wrote two complete lyrics in a hour and half for a movie/tv project he's doing."Jim Latham is one of my oldest friends here in L.A. He and I have worked on several projects together and when we first met, he was a "second" sound engineer at Theta Sound Studios in Burbank. We named the character of "Jim" after him in TLS. I haven't seen him in a long time so I just sent him a note and, hopefully, I can get over to his place soon so we can hang out. What I do remember is that would go over to someone's house and have to take a nap upon arriving. Then I'd wake up and we'd do something. Then I'd sleep again and drive home. From the entry on the 28th:
"Since I'm on the mend right now and don't have much energy, I purposely stayed in most of the day yesterday and rested -- and guzzled all the anti-you know what medications I had. Every few hours -- I felt I was in a battle zone and I was going to defeat the enemy. Drink the paregoric! Have a codeine! More immodium! All day long, and this morning? Victory again. But I must continue the battle. I win it and I lose it and I win it again. I'm determined to beat this and get my life back."Thinking back, I remember now that the goal was to go a single day without diarrhea -- and then another. So, I'd literally guzzle the opium-based paragoric (which was this orange, totally vile, thick gunk), take codeine pills, take Immodium and eat nothing but BRAT: bananas, rice, applesauce & toast. And I'd sleep in a narcotized stupor.
Every morning when I woke up, as I did on this day 10 years ago, I would keep my fingers crossed that a hundred gallons of water wouldn't pour out of me, because that's what it usually felt like. And even through this, every single day, if I had a "victory," I'd feel like I was at a turning point headed back in the right way.
Unfortunately, the list of things going wrong with me just kept getting longer and longer. The worst days were to come.