Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Hi all!

Summary: A bit of improvement, regarding Tank's profound fatigue. Some chatty visits. Some calories in. The mouth problem might be thrush, which is treatable.

Sally and I went to Terry's house last night to cook. I made a home-made noodle-roni type of dish that was a little bland. Sally baked the rest of the chocolate-chip cookies. We visited with Terry for a while. She seemed tired after her very productive day. New lamp for next to Tank's chair, new rolling tray for his bedroom, new non-slip bathmat.

Sally and I stopped by Bayside to say goodnight to Tank, and he was less tired than usual. Happy day! We stayed for 20 minutes or so, just talking. After a discouraging day, it was somewhat encouraging, because he seemed engaged, and not just spent. We can always tell how happy he is to see us. He requested a cranberry muffin for the next morning, and chicken taquitos with guacamole and sour cream from Dockside 2.

We picked up muffins (no cranberry, though) from both Carlock's in Los Osos and from Spencer's. We drove to Bayside, and Terry was already there, so I dropped Sally off and then went to Dockside, where I picked up the taquitos and a little smoked albacore (tasty). While I was away from Bayside, Sally and Terry talked to a speech therapist who said that Tank might have thrush, which would cause him to have a very difficult time eating. I assume they're treating it now. The speech therapist said that flavor is important when someone is reluctant to eat, but so is texture. She said that Tank might like food with interesting texture, or at least familiar texture. He seemed to know that last night, when he asked for the taquitos. He'd said something about how they would feel familiar in his mouth.

Good news, I think, about the thrush. I don't know how long he's had it. Maybe it develops gradually.

While we were there, Tank seemed to have a bit more energy, and he ate most of a muffin, and had some milk, and a piece of the albacore, and maybe one taquito. We left after a while to go to lunch with Terry in Los Osos (Garden Spot, I think it's called). Delicious. We ate outside, and it was fun and fairly relaxing. I think that all of us are a bit tense.

Terry dropped us off at Bayside, and she went home. Sally and I went in to see Tank again (it had been about 2 hours). I took him 1/4 of a Reuben with some coleslaw on it, to moisten it. He had a couple of bites, but didn't finish it. But the best thing was Tank's good mood, and his improved energy. This last visit (an hour ago) felt more like last time we were here, a couple of weeks ago. He was relaxed and chatty, and didn't ever grimace in pain. We talked about NCIS, and writing, and ideas in general, and our history together, and movies we've liked. It felt...normal. Almost. Sally also seemed to really like it. The three of us, sitting there, relaxed, talking, on a beautiful day with the window open and a cool ocean breeze. Nice.

Now, Tank says there a problem with "Gibbs," which is what he calls the phone. I'm not sure what the problem is. People have been calling in, and he can't pick it up. Maybe it's taking him a while to locate it and pick it up...I don't know. Something seems wrong with voicemail, and I don't know how to fix it. Maybe I'll take it to the motel tonight and troubleshoot. I tried making a call (to Kelly, who also answered "Gibbs,"), and it was fine. :) Kelly talked to Tank for a bit. Kelly is excited about visiting (with me) in a little over a week. We'll work on the phone. Thanks, Norma, for your attempts to call, and anyone else who tried. It must be frustrating for Tank, and I'll try to fix it. So far, the phone hasn't been a rousing success. We'll keep working on it.

Tank wants a DVR, like Kelly has. :) I want to sit next to Tank in bed at home, and watch all the episodes of NCIS (the only full episode I've seen was last night, with Sally). Doesn't that sound fun?

Tank encouraged me to bring the chicken casserole to Bayside, even though it's not perfect. :) He'll probably pretend to like it. I'm going to try adding some spices, and he suggested I top it with those canned/dried onions that you put in a green-bean casserole. We'll try that. So, Sally and I will probably say good-bye to Terry soon, grab the casserole, visit Tank again tonight, and then head for the motel. In the morning, we'll visit Tank one more time--maybe with a breakfast sandwich, and some scratchers--before we head for Las Vegas. I bought five tickets for the California Lottery, so we'll probably win millions tonight. We offered to hang out with Tank during the reading-of-the-numbers at 8 p.m., but he said no thank you. I told him I'd called him on the Gibbs if we won.

Last visit--especially early in the visit--Tank was stronger physically but weaker mentally than this visit. This visit--especially early in the visit--Tank was fairly sharp mentally but very weak physically. So, here's hoping he can improve his physical strength. Eating will help. His blood sugar has been pretty good while we've been here.

Ya'll take care. Tank had Sally make two signs...did I mention this already? "Laugh Lots" and "Don't Blame, Don't Complain." We hung those last night on his bathroom door, where he can see them. They are huge. He likes them. I think he feels like himself. :) There was this line the other night on "Lie to Me," where the ghost of Lightman's mom asks Lightman about Lightman's daughter Emily. "Who's she like?" asks the mom. "She's like herself," says Lightman. "She's exactly like herself." :) Isn't that a great line? That's how Tank is. Like himself.

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