N A S A   S T U D Y   -  P A R T   T E N :   M E R R I L Y    W E    R O L L    A L O N G 
SATURDAY, NOVEMBER 28, 2009     09:45 pm
No kinks in my neck this morning… and I slept a pretty good sleep, right up until we were awakened by a song featuring a children's chorus.  It's pretty lively here this Saturday morning.

Breakfast was a burrito, cereal, bowl of fruit, a glass of OJ, and a glass of milk… I’m watching more Larry Sanders on Hulu and I did my routine of stretches.

Lunch was a cheeseburger (with half a bun), corn, greens, fruit, and a glass of lemonade.  They asked me if I'd like to take an early shower and I agreed. I’m back in bed now, dry, and with no water in my right ear.

Dinner was the fish (salmon, I believe) cake thing with rice, greens, vanilla ice cream, peach cobbler, and a glass of punch. Casablanca was on TCM so I kept that on as background noise.  I seem to be alternating between periods of hunger and satiation… unfortunately, satiation is winning, and I almost didn’t finish dinner tonight. I also have a headache and was given two more Tylenol caplets.

11/28/2009 9:45 PM
Sanjurjo called.  He asked why both sides of my family never get together for Thanksgiving and I couldn't provide him with a satisfactory answer.  We're both looking forward to seeing Steve and Jen in January after I return.  My head feels slightly better, and I finished my water pitchers with plenty of time to spare.

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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2009     12:43 pm
There is a fly in the room… first insect I’ve seen in almost a month.  Hopefully it'll go away, or land on the bed so I can kill it.  Last night went by fast; I'm used to tossing and turning, which makes the night go by slower, but last night I slept like a rock. I turned over, then about five seconds later, the music started… I muttered an expletive as I woke up, wondering where the time went.

Breakfast was toast, hard-boiled eggs, a bowl of fruit, OJ and oatmeal.  I’ve been watching the rest of Larry Sanders on Hulu and have one more episode to go.  It’s just a boring Sunday and if I were home, it would still be a very boring Sunday.

Lunch was a peanut butter and jelly sandwich with pretzels, cookies, and milk.  Time must be flying, by because it seems like only yesterday I was out in the common room watching Star Trek and eating the same meal.  I have a massage later so we’ll see what she asks me this time…
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SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 29, 2009     09:17 pm
The usual masseuse wasn't in… instead, it was a girl named Quindy (I don’t get it, either).  Quindy is only four years older than I am, but seems to have another lifetime of experience: she did ballet and some acting (I assume when she was younger), married, divorced, had a kid, served in the Marines, was stationed both at home and abroad, lived here and there, etc.  We talked about life, relationships, how I became involved in the study (she admitted she could never do it herself).  I swear, Quindy spent twenty minutes on just my right foot.  When it came to my back, she didn't apply as much pressure and I didn't feel any different after it was over… but it was a small price to pay for not having to be subjected to questions like, "You really don't celebrate Christmas?"

Dinner was Thanksgiving Redux: turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, cranberry sauce, along with the usual greens and peach cobbler.  Billy Wilder's One, Two, Three was on TCM and I used that as background noise (very well-written noise, I should add).  I finished my second pitcher of water and I just have half a pitcher to go.

Watched the latest episode of Have I Got News For You… one of the guests was a very funny comedian named Jimmy Carr. I've seen him on Comedy Central before and he is very dry. Erica is writing up tomorrow's schedule for me and I'm sure it's more of the same, but with a shower instead of a massage.

Okay, I wasn’t done with my water.  Dana just came back in, and gave me a Styrofoam cup with about an inch of water in it. I downed it in ten seconds and she said, "You didn’t have to do that."  I followed that up with my standard "Meh."
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2009     12:19 am
Breakfast consisted of pancakes, OJ, a bowl of yogurt, and a bowl of fruit.  Apparently Scrubs returns to TV tomorrow… I had no idea... I'll just catch it online the next morning.

Another day, another shower… this time, shampoo in my eyes and water in both my right ear and up my nose.  One thing's for certain: this should make an interesting conversation starter at the ten-year high school reunion.  I will literally have nothing to do when I get home… no job waiting for me… just my folks and my stuff and a couple of friends.  I'm definitely going to go to Orlando with Mike to see Steve and Jen.  Depending on the situation, I might even go a second time to see the girls from improv… but I can’t stick around home for very long.

Lunch was spaghetti with chicken, a slice of cheesecake, garlic bread (yay!), and a glass of milk… I actually had too much sauce left on the plate so someone had to come to my room with a little cup full of the excess sauce for me to eat (drink?).  I also had too many cheesecake crumbs so ditto for that too.  Next time, I'll have to use the garlic bread to sponge up the sauce.  We were told they'll be renovating the shower for the next study which begins in January (which involves larger gurneys, thus necessitating a larger door) so I'll be skipping one or possibly two showers… oh, well…
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MONDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 2009     09:22 pm
Tammy walked in and started with, "UTMB has instituted a policy…" and that’s when my heart started beating rapidly. I was expecting the "online content that is obscene or profane" speech but, thankfully, it was just about swine flu and that anyone who hasn't received a vaccination will be required to wear a mask if working within six feet of any patients.  She had me worried there for a second.  Starting tomorrow, we'll be seeing a lot more people wearing masks around here… hospital policy and not just for our crazy little wing up here.

Dinner consisted of chicken, fries, broccoli, apple sauce, sandwich cookies, and a glass of grape juice… right now, the subject monitor outside my window is Jonathan.  I've spent the better part of the afternoon watching Studio 60 episodes on Hulu.  I was an extra in one of them, playing an audience member; they actually reused the footage because I show up wearing the same clothes in another episode later in the season …

Finished my water.  Tomorrow is December 1st… my how time flies.  On one hand, it seems like just yesterday I was in Orlando doing improv class… on the other hand, I feel like I've been here forever, but I don't say that as an insult.

This is the longest I've gone without wearing shoes, going outdoors, being exposed to natural light, driving, eating chocolate, or drinking a caffeinated beverage…

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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2009     10:15 am
Breakfast was raisin bran with nuts, yogurt, fruit (apple slices, melon, and strawberries), a dab of peanut butter, a glass of OJ, and a glass of milk.  I slept okay but I could hear everyone congregating out in the hall just before 6:00am.

Another BM… I still hate it.  Dr. Seton visited… per the new hospital regulations, she was wearing a mask, too.  We chatted for about thirty minutes… I joked with her how hard it was to take off my scrubs after a shower and she made a good point: even though I can be a glutton for punishment (I didn't have to wear scrubs; I could’ve used a towel instead), I seem to relish the challenge and being able to look back and say, "Look what I just did!"  Another minor accomplishment on my part.  We talked about Thanksgiving, food (likes and… mostly dislikes), and the weekly survey and how one of the questions (I didn’t specify which one but she was able to read between the lines) was missing a good answer.

10:15 AM... Why is the fire alarm going off right now?...
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TUESDAY, DECEMBER 1, 2009     09:36 pm
Lunch was a turkey sandwich along with corn chowder, a bowl of trail mix, and a glass of some orange-mango-tangerine concoction… either time is just flying by or they took some food items off the menu since, once again, I swear I just had this! I'm listening to some film music by Elmer Bernstein that someone uploaded to YouTube.  Sanjurjo posted a hilarious link on my Facebook page: “Top 20 Urkel Moments”… I forgot he built his own A-bomb and blew up the city…

Dinner was chicken, broccoli, carrots, a glass of punch, and a small bowl of Jell-o.  It was back to the old masseuse, and she told me I was special, not because I’m Jewish (that’s implied at this point) but because I have a mole on the bottom of my left foot and she had never seen one on a foot before.  At first, she asked, "What’s this?" and, like George Costanza, my first thought was, "Is it lupus?!"  Nope, just a mole.  Thankfully, the religious talk was kept to a minimum this time.

Amber posted my schedule for tomorrow; I have a blood draw and the finger stick lady returns.  Amber drew a red smile on her mask and I asked, "Why so serious?"  She didn’t get it.  I've just been surfing the net for the last couple of hours.  I need a new phone and, as much as I'd love to get an iPhone, I don’t want to switch to AT&T, especially since their service in NYC reportedly sucks.  I’ve been looking at the HTC Hero for Sprint which runs on the Android platform... very interesting...

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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009     11:10 am
Breakfast was waffles, sausage, scrambled eggs, a bowl of grapes and strawberries, OJ, and milk.  I had another finger stick (I haven't been counting, but it might’ve been my 30th stick) and another blood draw.  I still wince a little even though I should be used to it by now.  I watched last night's new episodes of Scrubs.  I have mixed feelings… no Elliot, Carla, or Janitor… one of the new characters is annoying.  I'm kinda lukewarm on the others, though the Australian chick is pretty hot.

I just finished watching the first two episodes of Magnum, P.I. on Hulu.  why?  Because they were there.  It was entertaining, and I suppose Burn Notice is the closest thing we have today.  I took my bandages off, and it still hurts no matter how fast I do it…

Michelle walked in and asked if I was okay with the room getting a small Christmas tree… I told her I was fine with it. I believe each room will be getting a small tree along with a big one out in the common area with the requisite decorations.  She said she'd also be getting me a menorah (it was going to be a surprise).  I said that would be very nice of her but that I didn't want her to go to any trouble, considering I'm not that religious.  She said it was no problem… I get the feeling they don't get too many Jews here…
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WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2009     09:46 pm
Lunch consisted of meat and noodles stuffed in a bread pocket, greens, carrots, a couple of sandwich cookies, and a glass of lemonade.  I was finally contacted by someone from their marketing firm… John from Solitaire Creative Services sent me an e-mail asking if I'd be interested in doing interviews and if my local paper back home was the Sun-Sentinel… yes and yes… I replied indicating my interest and we'll see what happens.

I've spent the last few hours surfing the net, not drinking water, and watching Three Stooges shorts on Hulu, including Three Little Pigskins, which features a young Lucille Ball, and Men in Black, the only Stooge short nominated for an Academy Award.   Michelle just called to apologize -- she sent a mass e-mail earlier where she referred to us as "you gays" instead of "you guys"… whoops! ... I told her I took no umbrage and that it happens to the best of us.

Dinner was quesadillas with rice, corn, salad, and a glass of grape juice.  Elva is having fun with her mask… at first, asking me to give her all my money, then drawing a duck beak on it.  I suggested to a couple of the nurses that they take several masks and draw different facial expressions on them, then they would have a variety of options depending on their moods.

More Three Stooges... finished my water...
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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 3, 2009     05:57 pm
Tierra just offered me Tylenol and I accepted… the headache still lingers, but barely.  I also have a damp cloth on my head.  Since I’m over the proverbial hump, I really hope my brain doesn't start readjusting back to "home mode" too early.  After all, I still have to eat this food once I'm ambulatory…

Breakfast was oatmeal, a bowl of fruit (just one large peach slice), some raisins, a glass of OJ, and less than one inch of milk.  Michelle asked if I wanted to play Scrabble out in the common room but I politely declined; today is laundry day for me.  Had the inevitable BM… (and the real reason I declined Scrabble because I didn’t want to be wheeled back in after five minutes).  I brushed my teeth and Erica is doing my laundry… guess what they’re talking about on the news? (hint: it’s a story about a golfer)…

This will be the only "meta" entry... my journal, as seen on Facebook, will now also be seen on Heather Archuletta's Pillownaut blog, edited for clarity and content… this will be for public consumption.  I first contacted Heather (a test subject from last year, forced out early thanks to Hurricane Ike) when I started going in for blood tests at Quest and we've stayed in contact ever since…

Lunch consisted of chicken pitas with cheese, a bowl of egg something or other (egg salad?), salad with cheese on it, a bowl of Mandarin oranges (yay!), a banana (yay!), a bowl of Jell-o, and a glass of lemonade.  I'm watching more Three Stooges on Hulu, and I'm still on my first water pitcher... gotta get a move on...

During my massage, we talked about holiday preparations and cooking; she asked me if I liked to cook and I replied, "No."  She said maybe I should learn since I'm single, but I told her I should learn for when I'm not single.  She seemed genuinely perplexed, but I told her more than one woman appreciates a man who can cook for her every now and then.  The music she played during the massage sounded like Vangelis’ Blade Runner score if it were composed for elevators...

Dinner consisted of brisket, along with greens, some bread and noodle thing (actually macaroni and cheese, casserole-style), dinner rolls, and two Fig Newtons.  NCIS is on in the background but hopefully later, I'll be able to watch the latest Terminator film which Michelle Netflixed for us.
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Continue on to Scott's Journal : Part Eleven


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