Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Day 16: Marriage Evasion, Hunting Democrats, Fixing Broken Systems and Hearts

Yesterday I got a ride from Ashish Joshi (AJ), an Indian engineer I used to work with. AJ is also an actor in Indian productions in the Bay Area and a classically trained singer. I think he'd agree with my assessment that he's a non-practicing Hindu. He has taught me some interesting things about Hindu practices, including the springtime feast of Diwali, when people celebrate by spraying each other with colored water.

For years I would mercilessly tease Ashish about his marital status. I observed that most of the Indian engineers would take a month off once a year to go home and visit. Usually a bachelor would come back married. Ashish was one of only a few who didn't fit the pattern. His mother kept trying to arrange a marriage for him, but he kept evading all attempts. I used to ask him to promise to invite me to his wedding. He happily promised--since he had no plans to get married at all.

Last time I saw him, when some of the Trusted Solaris development group came to my house for lunch last month after I sprang the news, I continued to haze him.
The other women (European, Chinese, Vietnamese) at the lunch table speculated that AJ may be still unmarried because he doesn't have a chance to meet women. I said, "He's an actor and a singer, and I'm sure he is fighting the women off." He didn't disagree. He did say that his mother has finally given up. The rest of the women speculated some more about whether there was something about all of us that turned him off the idea of women in general, but he didn't reply to that loaded question either.

When he said he'd give me a ride, I said I wouldn't tease him any more. Well, this is the one more time I'll tease him.

We sat pretty quietly in the car listening to All Things Considered on NPR, and laughing together as the same things struck us funny. One was something I hadn't heard about before where some politician was accused of inappropriately using planes to search for Democrats who weren't showing up for votes.

Can someone enlighten me? I don't follow news or watch TV so I'm out of the loop. How could you go about searching for Democrats by plane? Do they have symbols on the tops of their heads, or what?

AJ commented dryly about the humor value of politics.

I feel much better today because the radiation doctor prescribed morphine. One dose last night gave me a lot of relief, and I feel renewed. I handled the tube feeding better last night, thanks to the morphine and another antinausea drug.

Vitamin E helps with the mouth and lip sores. Several people suggested it, and vitamin A. The radiation doctor agreed I could apply them topically even though they don't want me taking antioxidants during chemo.

Get this: to my shock I found out that the doctors and dietitians fully accept that patients are getting all those unnecessary chemicals (artificial sweeteners and
flavorings) in their tube feedings. One woman who is a nurse wrote me and said that her patients get the same thing. So it wasn't a mistake. It's accepted practice. My chemo doctor was not happy that I was upset. I was surprised that she found it acceptable.

The dietitian called me and assured me that the product she gave me doesn't have any artificial sweeteners. In a sarcastic tone of voice I read the names of the sweeteners off the label to her. I told her that the nestleclinicalnutrition website said that the ready to hang version has different ingredients and that I'm assuming that doesn't include flavorings and sweeteners.

She checked and called me back and said no, the formulas are the same. I meanwhile got an email answer from nestle saying the opposite, that the ready to hang version had no flavorings. Where's the truth here? She's still looking into it.

The dietitian also aid they don't use the ready to hang bags for some reason that didn't make sense to me.

But they did find me some unflavored stuff that doesn't have the offensive ingredients and they delivered it today.

Jan reminded me what I know but wish I had the patience to practice, this is not the time to fix the world's broken systems.

Today's a better day.

Except that after an exchange of hurtful emails, my daughter disowned me yesterday. Time for a lot of prayer for healing of this broken relationship.

Everyone, if I'm hard on you, please forgive me. I am trying to keep my Irish/Hungarian temper and not relapse into anger and intolerance when I'm in pain, and my biggest fear is that I will lash out and lose the support I need. I will do everything I can to not offend anyone, but if I do, please forgive me.

Remember the Lord's Prayer. In the middle it says that we only are forgiven as much as we forgive.
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