Monday, January 23, 2012

Day 6: Update & Today's Inspiring Video

Let's start with the video, and I'll give you the update on me afterwards.

This video is from the founder of TOMS shoes, Blake Mycoskie. He started a "sustainable" charity. The way to do that, it appears, is for his company not to be a charity, but a for-profit company. Basically, they sell shoes, but for every pair they sell, they give one away somewhere that it's needed. (I assume that's usually in a third-world country.)

This is the kind of idea that stokes me. Giving is good for the soul. I'm all for giving. I'm blessed by people who are generous, abundant givers.

But I love good, practical ideas, too, and this is a GREAT one. Blake's idea is not dependent on giving or on a good economy. It will do good and give as long as the economy is doing well enough that people want to buy shoes.

There's a book advertised in the video. I'll bet it's a good one. However, if you want to know more, you don't have to buy the book. There are dozens of YouTube videos on this guy.

Also, I found out about him from the article: "7 of the Most Inspiring Videos on the Web."

My Health Update

Judging by the reaction the nurses give when they look at my mouth, my mouth sores qualify as really bad. I have a couple sections back on my pallet that are oval, about a half inch wide and three-quarters of an inch long. The ovals are about half covered in blisters. Well, blisters is what they look like. I have others on my lip, and sometimes when they check my temperature, the thermometer sticks to them.

I keep imagining that this is what it feels like to come crawling in out of the desert, your lips and mouth completely parched.

Don't feel sorry for me. They give me pain medication for it. Guys crawling out of the desert don't have that.

Last night my temperature slowly worked its way up to 99.0 across the course of the night. I don't run 98.6 normally. I run 97.6. So it took about five readings to slowly get up to 99. That was scary. Fevers are a problem. I'm back in the 97's today, so that's gone, though Dr. Goodman says they may run a blood culture anyway.

My nose bleeds from being dry. If I blow it, I can always get blood. They told me not to blow my nose at all. I moisturize it with saline solution, and I dab at it if it runs a bit.

Definitely our best hospital picture so far

The hemorrhoids are doing better because I've been taking Imodium. That dries everything up. I'm really glad not to have to go to the bathroom. They have to make sure I have a bowel movement here and there, so I can't just take it indiscriminately, but preventing diarrhea is something I am really, really glad for.

Let's see, I also have a mild rash that they've prescribed a steroid cream for. The steroid cream can't be used on my face because it's too strong, so I'm just using lotion on that. Basically, all my skin is dry and sensitive.

Normally, the question would be, "Are you getting enough hydration"? My answer has to be, I sure hope they're giving me enough because they told me to avoid drinking except to take pills or if it's really needed for comfort. I can rinse my mouth all I want, but no drinking.

The other thing they're doing is checking my blood sugar every 6 hours. The IV nutrition they're giving me puts sugar (dextrose?) directly into my blood stream. Apparently, that's difficult on the body, as it's not used to processing the sugar that way. So they prick my finger every 6 hours, like diabetics do, and if my blood sugar is over 151, they give me a shot of insulin, which I take in my belly.

Jerry told me a few months ago that if there's an option, I should always take shots in my belly. There are less nerves down there, and sometimes I can't feel the shot at all. I have to ask if they really gave it to me. Mostly, though, it stings a little, but less than even shots in my arm. My dad was in the military. I'm used to getting shots in my arm.

A friend of mine in Ireland wrote me telling me about what he was going through at this stage of the game. His Hickman catheter—the ports I have up near my collarbone that let them give meds and take blood—had gotten infected and been removed. He was getting poked regularly and using a normal IV connection in the arm.

I won't even tell you about the other things he told me about. When I read them, I was ready to cry. I can't imagine what this blog would be like if I was going through that.

Uh, yes, I can imagine. It wouldn't have any posts for the month of January.

I have more stamina for walking than I did a couple days ago. Isn't that weird? I sleep more, though, and writing a blog can wipe me out for an hour or two.

Finally, because of the mild rash and because I have something of a tan from the radiation, I feel like I look like a wizened old man in the mirror. I've lost weight, too, so that just enhances the effect. (I've kept my New Year's resolution to lose weight, have you? Lol.) I don't know if you can tell or if I'm just being overly self-absorbed, but here's a picture:

I couldn't smile because it hides all the bumpiness on my cheeks.

Really Fun Inspirational Video

And finally, here's one of my favorite inspirational videos. This happened several years ago, and I've probably already posted it on the blog at least once.


  1. Interesting that we have so many things in common. My regular temperature is around 97.4. Reading about and praying for you every day.

  2. We're praying for you Shammah. We love you and Hannah tons! Miss you guys a ton, and can't wait to see you again. The boys are really cute praying for you--sometimes they'll repeat their requests a few times in one prayer. They're quite diligent.

  3. Thank you, Tamara! God has been definitely answering people's prayers. I am such a blessed man with so many people taking care of and praying for me!