Day 2; or, What’s an NRB, Mike?

Today was my second of three days receiving the high dose chemo. They have me pretty well medicated for side effects like nausea/vomiting, so the toll has mostly been taken in the form of pure fatigue.

It’s a hell of a thing to be pretty much stuck in a small hospital room, hooked up to a drip 24 hours a day — they have me on a constant saline drip that they will take off if needed for showers or walks in the unit. I have yet to venture out into the hallways, mostly because it’s very small and the routine to make the journey includes a mask, gloves, and plastic booties. I am trying to stay out of bed as much as possible. Sit here at my tiny computer desk, or sit in the somewhat comfy chair and read or write, or play my new Nintendo DS (thanks brothers! — the soccer game is great!). Today I did some minor stretching to try to remind my legs that they still have complicated functions they must remember how to do in the future.

Most of all it is strange and a bit embarrassing to be in this position in life. Like a rat in a glass cage: doctors, nurses, social workers, nutritionists, maintenance people, food servers, are in and out of my room all day and night. Being woken at 4am by a nurse so that my vitals can be taken is not so fun. Most embarrassing moment (thus far): this morning at about 8am a new nurse arrives. Her name is Monica, and she is to be my nurse all day. She is ready to begin my morning vitals, which includes having me stand on a scale to get my weight (it was 153lbs). Unfortunately, she has woken me from a deep sleep and I am suffering from an exclusively male condition that is known by many names, but whose clinical name is spontaneous erection. Where I’m from, we call them “morning missiles,” or NRBs (the first words are “No Reason,” and you can figure out the rest — but you didn’t hear it from me). It’s just what happened. Stalling long enough with conversation, I managed to have the thing mostly gone before I had to stand up to be weighed. I mention this to remind you that even in the most depressing and sterile of situations, there is always room for a good story, and a laugh.

Thank you everyone for all of your generous support, kind words, thoughts, prayers, and energy shipments. We receive them all with humility and thanks.

I’d also like to note how great it was to have three of my five siblings in Madison with us over the last weekend. Aside from kicking ass on some stuff I wanted to get done before I left for Indy, we just had a blast hanging out, laughing, arguing a bit, and just having some good ol’ Lawler time. It’s hard to believe we all see so little of each other sometimes. Thank you brothers. Come back soon.

And oh yeah: OBAMA!!!!!


4 Responses to “Day 2; or, What’s an NRB, Mike?”

  1. Love you.

  2. Great story, Mike! I read it to Tami–after the kids were in bed of course. We had a good laugh with you!

  3. Hi there – I wrote in a while ago – was a fellow student of Stephanie Jutt’s in Madison with Dawn. I have been meaning to let you know that I have family in Indianapolis – an Uncle and my grandmother. I just wanted to say that I’m not sure if there’s anything you need or that they could do for you but if so, please let me know and I would be more than happy to ask. Maybe just a visit later on when you’re feeling better to have some company? All best – Maureen (O’Brien)

  4. We call it Morning Wood.

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