No fooling

Although last year I was able somehow although with some natural incentive to pull off a good April fools post I seem to be at a loss this year. I tried yesterday to calm myself amidst the boiling anger and frustration of another minor set back but was unable to pull any true comedy out of the situation. Although, as I usually am able to do, I did calm down today and accept the steps I have to take to deal with the liver issue. That being said I was called my oncology office today and the covering doctor for Dr. Lui saw my labs and thought I should do what I had proposed which was to stop the bactrim. I have already taken three doses of the increased cyclosporin and although I have a few more days until the next lab I don’t want to confuse the situation by switching course so I am sticking with the Seattle plan. Either way I hope the liver is better next week.

Last night I found myself in the shower mulling the liver issue over for the umpteenth time when I became sort of calm and realized that I couldn’t get worked up anymore about it. At the same time I thought of when I was a kid and how water was such a calming influence. I was drawn back to the memories of a part of our bedtime routine. Now my memory is probably a bit askew on this memory but I do recall that quite often the Dudley clan would around 7 or maybe even 8 at night would pile into one of the little Subaru’s we used to cruze around in and roll down the hill to the Hot Springs pool right in downtown. For those of you who don’t know there is a number of natural springs around Steamboat Springs, some of which are hot. These are obviously a big draw. The one in downtown is much more modernized than the Strawberry park hot springs. These days it is hard to tell the the pools are even part of a spring system.

None the less the trek down to the hot pool in the later evening was something Mark, Luke and I  really loved. The pool was much less sophisticated in those days. There was a very large cold pool (slightly heated but mostly covered in the winter except for the lap lanes) with a diving board, a decent sized hot pool which was just a big rectangle and the original Heart Springs which was where the water came from but was at the time not used for swimming. We would show up at what seemed to be fairly close to closing time, although looking back as kids it probably wasn’t that late. The three of us would already be in swim shorts. We would sprint into the lobby through the snow or cold or whatever weather afflicted town at the time. We stripped off any extra outer wear as we came to the pool side and then in we went trying not to dive. The feeling of that warm water was so wonderful. I wish I could adequately describe it. The feeling of the cool Colorado air no matter what time of year seemed to shrink back into your body when the water enveloped you. Quickly the cold was driven back out through your breath and the entirety of the body seemed to be penetrated by the warmth.

We would often spend what seemed like hours there, again little kid time frame is so different than adult. Our skin would become wrinkled, our bodies limp like noodles cooked to long and our minds comfortable with the idea of going to bed. I so often wish my boys had that opportunity to wear themselves out swimming in the giant bathtub that was the hot pool. We often extended our cooking time by flying off the diving board in the months when it was open. We even spent a good deal of time rolling in snow and screaming about the pins and needles when we plunged back into the hot pool. At the end of the time, which always came we rarely seemed to fight as we slipped and slid our way to a quick shower in the locker room before struggling not fully dried back into our outer layers for the short ride back up the hill to the house.

I do remember times fighting bedtime and sleep occasionally. There were some funny moments, some even immortalized on those bunks we slept in (the Luke inscribed “I hate Matt” can probably be seen on them where ever they are now). There was a good portion of the Dudley boy’s young lives we slept in the same room in two sets of bunks. I can only imagine we went to sleep at all because of those swim trips to the hot pool. The times I remember arguing about sleep never seemed to coincide with the hot pool nights. Maybe these wonderful trips are why I always find it comforting to take my shower at night and calm down before I crawl into bed. I know the water seems to wash away some of the ugliness of the days when I need it and to relax me further on the days I seem to be already clean of worry. I know I missed the calming effect of water while I had that Hickman in the majority of the last year.

I would have liked to have come up with another good April 1st post in-sighting some comical laughter from another odd physical symptom of cancer or illness but I wasn’t gifted with any funny stimulus this year. Making people worry more doesn’t seem like a nice April fools anyway. So the image of three soundly sleeping little Dudley boys, tucked away in bunks, atop their hill after a night of wrinkled skin fun will have to suffice. I really loved those nights and the warmth and comfort that water brought.

Head Up, Heart Strong. I need a cure.

Although I don’t have the hot pool I do still get some cool sunsets. This is yo our playroom window looking over the Knik arm toward Susitna, the sleeping lady.




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