Saturday, July 01, 2006

10 Yrs. Ago: The 20 Lb. Barrier

Funny how life parallels itself. 20 years ago today, July 1, 1996, we had already cast our workshop of TLS, we had been rehearsing everyday, and this day was our first chance to rehearse in the theatre itself, the Zephyr Theatre on Melrose Avenue. Today, July 1, 2006, after rehearsing his little butt off, Jim Brochu will be having his very first rehearsal down at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood in Hollywood for "Zero Hour," his new one-man play about Zero Mostel.

10 years ago today, the air conditioner went out in our apartment and it was boiling hot. So far, the AC works here today, so I'm hoping that part of the story doesn't duplicate. But man, was I miserable. And to make things worse, the port area of my IV was beginning to become affected. Here's what I wrote:
"I was having some problems with my IV. When the nurse changes the dressing the last thing she does is put a large clear square piece of plastic over the whole site. I can see the catheter coming from the vein clearly. The danger of infection comes when any moisture creeps up under there.

And I was sweating, so except for the edges of the patch, most of it had come up off the skin. The catheter itself, which works it way out of the vein a little bitty bit each day (from use of the arm) had come out a whole lot more than ever before. Now, since the catheter is very long and nearly reaches my heart (from my arm), there's no chance it will totally pull out, but because the plastic square is not tight to the skin around the "wound" there's nothing holding it in.

I felt some anxiety about it, to say the least. Well, the A/C guy came and, of course, told us it needed a part which he didn't think he could get right now. I called Vicki and told her it was sweltering in here, and that my IV patch was becoming dislodged from my skin and that I felt very panicked that if I had to stay in this heat all night long, it would come off leaving vein exposed to god-knows-what. It's not as if my body can fight off infections."
I was whining and moaning so much. I was picturing some infection crawling up under the patch, getting in the port area, racing up my bloodstream and into my heart. The headline: Killed By Missing Air Conditioner Part!

I remember being a total pain in the ass about all this. But also, this whole IV thing, with the electric pump and the IV tree was beginning to wear on my nerves. The novelty had definitely worn off.
"And little things really annoy me. Sometimes I get into bed and realize I've forgotten something. It means I have to fumble around in the dark to find where I'm plugged into the wall, stumble in the darkness kicking obstructions out of the way so Louie won't tump over, get what I need, walk back and try to find the wall socket again.

And this big plastic bandage and catheter site. It's so ugly out in public. I can see people's faces kind of trying to not look at it, but it makes my arm look like it's made of plastic. And there's this big white bandage and tape with a port further down my arm--you know, I think what I really hate about it, is that it makes me look like a patient."
I know I must have been hell to live with. However, with all that, I did reach another milestone.
I have officially crossed the 20 pound weight barrier. I have gained 20 pounds in five weeks. Man it feels good. I feel so alive everyday now. Singing my songs, acting with these brilliant actors; it's more than I ever dreamed possible. How often does it happen that one can dream dreams and then realize you didn't dream big enough! That the reality of what is happening exceeds the dream you had!
There's an interesting conundrum. What happens when you make a wish and suddenly it all comes true? Back when I was really sick, all I asked for was some good days and possibly to see my show on stage. Instead, I was coming back to life and my show was actually getting produced and I was in it!

I had to regroup and think up bigger dreams, of course!
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For my birthday, also St. Francis of Assisi Day,

here is "Rescue" the song I sang to Erika Amato 's Buddy the dog. Imagine if we loved humans as much as we love our animals...