Universe playing dirty.


in the hospital again


Wow.  Tried to start writing a detailed account of how the hell I got here, but kept falling asleep mid sentence.  It was a rough night and I’m heavily dosed.  At 2:00 this morning, I walked out of the Radiology center and back to my room in the palliative care wing, without getting the CT scan of the pelvis that I’d been called down for an hour earlier (“I’m so sorry for the wait, mr. Cadwel, but they say they ARE finally ready for you.. there was some sort of pediatric emergency.”  This was a scan that I had been promised at 10:00 and had put off dinner in order to get).   Hill is allowed to stay with me here and we had both brushed our teeth and tucked ourselves back in to bed when the guy from the front desk in radiology burst in to reprimand me..  It had taken him 15 or 20 minutes just to realize that we had walked out.  They had been watching UFC or something like that on someone’s phone.

I’m waking up a little now.   Why am I here!?  The short version, which I think I’ll stick to, is that on tuesday I started experiencing a level of pain that I was simply unable to get under control (I ended up taking nearly triple my normal daily dose of narcotic pain killers all in an 8 or 9 hour window with no relief).  The worst discomfort I have felt since the last surgery.  Blinding pain.  The kind of pain that makes it nearly impossible to even communicate.  We eventually got my oncologist on the phone who suggested just continuing to try to get on top of it with break through medication over night and that he and my new palliative care doc would discuss it in the morning.  I never DID manage to get on top of it.  Palliative care doc called me in the morning, heard my account of things, and said that she’d like to have me admitted so that they could get things under control with IV pain meds, and do some diagnostics to try and find a cause for such a sudden spike.


“Well..  or we can try to see if you can get it under control at home with the oral meds you have..   But I would really like to be able to follow you for a while and make sure that things are under control”

“A while?”

The eight or nine days that I spent in the hospital after Surgery where some of the worst in my life.

“Well.  Usually it’s possible to get things under control in a few days.”

“Days.  Ok.  So there’s no chance I’ll get out of there this afternoon..”


“How about tomorrow..”

I’m drinking contrast now to try again on the CT scan.  The entire staff of the palliative care unit is up in arms about last night’s drama.  They’re ready to start some sort of inter-departmental smack down on my behalf.   Hopefully things will go without a hitch.  I don’t know whether to hope they find a cause for the pain or not!  (The universe feeling as though the Jury Duty joke wasn’t fully appreciated, now throwing a HEAVY wrench in the works to remind me that it doesn’t have to all be funny..)

Dozing off again.   At some point here I have to find the time to irrigate.

More later.

46 Replies to “Universe playing dirty.”

  1. Bloody hell, what an ordeal. I hope they manage to sort out the pain. Sending loads of virtual hugs and warm thoughts your way.

  2. oh i see. the universe is playing prison rules now. ezra. rest up. let the doc do all her testing and monitoring. i hope it doesn’t take too much longer. and you both get home soon. i mean, you’ve got jury duty to attend to, which means you are gonna have to iron that shirt! xo

  3. I know you through CB here in Seattle/Bellingham – but we’ve never met in person. You’re often in my thoughts. Everything I could say looks stupid once I type it – but my thoughts are all positive. I’d like it if you weren’t in pain, so I’m wishing that for you asap. I’m also thinking about your wife – strength and support to her from afar. What bullshit.

  4. I’m all for rounding up people to be up in arms at the universe, since the radiologist is taken care of by the hospital staff. Wishing you love and sunshine from now on, my friend.

  5. I hope you get some relief soon, Ezra. I have some idea of what you’re going through. I had similar uncontrollable pain in the days before they removed my colon. Only way to control it was IV meds. Even the morphine I was on didn’t put a dent in it. They do have some stronger stuff, can’t recall what it was, but it was instant relief. My experience was you had to demand relief, not just another shot of morphine. Hospital staff tend to be desensitized by everyone complaining about pain. They really could give a shit. They’re more concerned about when their shift ends.

  6. Ezra,
    I’ve been following your flickr for a few years but never wrote in. This last ordeal has finally compelled me to say something. I am sending my best thoughts and warmest feelings to you. You are an inspiration, a strong man, and a true craftsman of wood, metal, food and photography. I hope the best for you and Hill and will keep sending positive thoughts your way.

  7. Prison rules indeed.
    Thank you for going to the hospital. I felt that “Or?” coming as soon as you started to describe the pain. I have not yet found words that can accurately describe the level of fear/anger/forfeiting-of-self that comes with checking yourself into the hospital mid-episode like you did. The prison metaphor is the closest match. Like turning yourself in. A decision that is never taken lightly. I usually bristle at all the “brave” talk but it takes real fucking bravery to turn yourself in. So thank you for going back to prison. They will get the pain under control. You will get the fuck out of there. Soon. Sit tight. In the meantime, if the palliative unit needs a proper gang leader to go all Jets and Sharks on that radiology crew I am so totally down. Let’s do this.

  8. I’m sorry – I forgot to end that with a hug or something:) Big Love, E. Close your eyes, you’ll be outta there soon…

  9. Your story is so much like every other story of how people are treated these days in hospitals. Hurry up and wait. It’s criminal. I blame the chief of staff who should have more health care professionals working, not less. The ones that are working are overworked. I worked in a hospital, but not as a health care worker. I observed this first hand for eight years. The staff that are good are a blessing, and the staff that is bad, well, there is no ridding the hospital of them, and they ruin it for the ones who pick up the slack.

  10. I’m scared of the kind of pain that propels Ezra to go to the hospital. Didn’t you just post an X ray of an arm broken in two pieces and follow it with. “it doesn’t hurt too much”? A poem: Pain pain go away…Go find someone that’s an asshole instead. XOXO

  11. I’m with Brian Hughes on this one. I can’t say anything intelligent, so I’ll just say how much I’m looking forward to giving you a hug and taking you out to dinner in a few nights.
    All the love in the world.

  12. Hey, just wanted to let you know that I appreciate your well-written candor. We’ve never met, but you and your creations – bikes, bike parts, pics, web site design, writing – have been inspirational since I stumbled upon them years ago. Now that I find myself dealing with similar cancer shit among friends and family, I appreciate your openness even more. Thank you, and prepare for incoming positive vibes. Cheers.

  13. Good luck, Ezra. Been a long time reader and admirer of your work and am sending you all the positive thoughts I can from Beijing. Hope you can get out of there and back home safe for some rest very soon.

  14. “inter-departmental smack down” in order big time! FWIW just a guy on the west coast offering up prayers for something supernatural to take place on your behalf. blessings & favor come upon you & yours.

  15. Don’t they know you are Fast Boy?!
    Let us know who to have “a word with”. We will happily let them know this will not do.

    Hopeful that tonight is a much more peaceful evening for you and Hillary.

    luvs from us too.

  16. Love, hugs and all the best mojo I can send from SoCal. May they get a handle on that pain, and soon. More hugs. More love.

  17. You are in my thoughts. We haven’t even met, but your writing and photos have made me think/reflect over the past 3 years. Thank you, Ezra.

  18. 3 am…was recently reminded of a quote from the American composer Virgil Thomson…”“I shall worry constantly, worry being my acceptable form of prayer.”
    Thinking of you, and wishing your pain,physical and metaphysical, could be worried away. If so, you’re set…so many people worrying for you tonight. Hugs (and better drugs) to you tonight.

  19. Dear Ezra,

    I’m sending you all the love I have! This might be strange hearing from a stranger, but through your blog posts, you have made it possible for me and I’m sure countless others to not be a stranger any more, but to really encounter you as who you are.. we are definitely not estranged, as we must all endure the human condition!
    All the best for you and your loved ones!


  20. Well crap, Ezra. This just sucks. I’m thinking of you and hoping that in the next few days you get the care you need to get the hell outta there. xo

  21. I hate that there is nothing I can do but send my love. I’ve sat in so many hospital rooms with Thomas and waited and waited and waited and waited some more. You two are made of the same stuff though and constantly amaze me with your grace, honesty and humor in the face of total BS. Keep going. Love you. My love to Hill and Putney too <3

  22. So much, too much really – and yet you write, and we read. Your honesty is compelling Love and prayers from Indiana

  23. There’s no two ways about it, being in hospital sucks especially when there’s an internecine war going on between ultimately well-meaning health care professionals (well the ones with controllable egos that is).

    You’re home now. That matters most.

    Now I’m off to bed to join my sick gal and my pup who’s keeping her company. It all hurts but it’s real and it’s there.


  24. I have recently viewed the movie about you and started to read your blog. I don’t usually post, don’t want to say the wrong thing. Maybe piss you off. I have so much respect for the way you are living your life. I have an understanding of some of the feelings you are going through. My wife, who I am deeply in love with for forty three years had breast cancer. She had it twice. The incidents were separated by eight years. This included a series of complications with two incidents of mercer as well as over twenty surgeries with more still to go. We lived and live our life with love, joy, compassion, and fun. I wish I had better words to explain this.
    A small gift for you.
    What do you get when you combine; an insomniac, agnostic, and a dyslexic?
    Someone who stays up all night wondering if there is a dog.
    With love, hope and some understanding,

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