Tuesday, April 24, 2007


This might be a bit graphic so, be aware.

Yesterday was a six month anniversary of sorts, although champagne and chocolates were hardly in order. I refer to the semi-annual replacement of two internal “stents”—plastic tubes, actually—that deliver urine from my kidneys to my bladder. These were put in place in October, 2006, by drilling holes into my back and then feeding the tubes down to the bladder. All this was done while under a local anesthetic and guided by x-ray images relayed to the surgeon. While these have been in place, passing urine has been a “joyful” affair, considering what prostate cancer does to that act for a man.

There are parts of yesterday that made it an adventure and I’ll start with some things that have been ongoing since December. I’ll spare the Dear Reader a blow-by-blow accounting of most of the personal issues I have endured except to provide a bit of a picture of what it’s like to live in a house occupied by five other people, none of whom are related. In this instance, I’ll focus on some odd behavior that, frankly, made me glad I was headed out of the house to surgery for the day. Maybe that is odd behavior in itself, preferring the hospital instead of the comfort of home but, perhaps things will come clear.

I set my alarm for 6:00am as Bill was coming by an hour later to give me a ride into Pali Momi. I was already up anyway long before that as the female tenant (“FT”) approached my room at about 4:30am and announced through my closed—and locked—door, “Hope you enjoy ‘loser’s land.’ I’ll add that to the list!” I have no idea to what she is referring.

This was just one incident in a string of many that shined a light on some of the oddest behavior I have ever experienced. This FT moved into the house sometime in December. There were five men living here. She seemed somewhat intelligent in the beginning weeks, buttressed by her repeated assertions that she had a master’s degree and that she taught school for some 18 years. I found any discussion of virtually any subject with her difficult as she couldn’t seem to stay on the discussion thread for very long, diverting the talk by interjecting other subjects altogether.

One of the housemates took umbrage at her moving in and began berating her for a variety of issues, much of which I wasn’t aware. This relationship—or lack thereof—took a turn for the worse when the FT cried tearfully every morning after these sessions. The rest of us men in the house looked at the situation and deemed it worthy of discussion with the landlord, if for no other reason but to get some calm and harmony within the household. We couldn’t seem to reason with either one of these combatants what with one yelling and the other blithering. Maybe a meeting with those of us concerned with chivalry and a lady’s honor would defuse these circumstances and all would be happy.

What a surprise--we later found out--that we meeting-attendees were as much actual victims as the one portrayed by the failed graduate of “Bad Acting School.” The FT hooked us all into believing she was a “poor thing,” misunderstood and not appreciated by certain segments of society and we should take her side as “gentlemen.” We did stand up for her yet, to this day, not a thank you in word or gesture as ever emanated from the FT. We made things better not only for her but, for all of us.

Or, so we thought…

As the year progressed, the FT called attention to her every act. If she as making morning instant coffee in the microwave, the door would slam shut loudly. If she was heating up a can of soup, she constantly had to borrow a can opener. The radio blared in the bathroom whenever she showered causing other roommates to bang on the door to ask her to turn it down. She would leave the back door open when doing her laundry in the washing machine allowing flies to enter the house en masse. Her response to requests that this habit be reversed was, “I’ll do it when I’m good and ready!” The FT took a liking to one of us and began a hugging campaign on him and even went further by exposing herself to him, completely nude, by delaying her entry into the running shower. She began lifting food from us out of the common refrigerator a little bit at a time and since she was the only one in the house that did not keep anything in that icebox, we suspected her immediately.

She burst into my room from time-to-time to ask my opinion of what she was wearing. When a bowling ball on toothpicks asks me anything in the fashion arena, I turn away.

Her behavior became more overbearing and disturbing. Once, she demanded that I allow her the use of my PC so she could check her email because, “If I don’t do it today, it will all be removed from the server—forever!” I said too bad... She yelled at others when she was bathing if they deigned to flush a toilet or draw some water from a faucet as this lowered the water pressure at the showerhead. She constantly left the kitchen light on all night to give her a “sense of security” when going to and from a ½ bath at 4:30am. When I challenged her about this so-called security at 8:00am, she responded by going outside, slamming the outer screen door and the fence gate and proceeded to shout loudly—in the middle of the sidewalk, in full view and earshot of neighboring homes—that all she wanted “…was to go to the bathroom in peace and security; is that so wrong? At another time, she went out to the roadway and loudly sang “God Bless America.”

She constantly talked to herself while in her room or in the bathroom, usually hurling epithets toward one or more of us regarding our behavior toward her. She loudly played a Christian music station from 4:30am, as well, waking up everybody around her. She would read out loud in the kitchen from her bible while the rest of us made our breakfasts and even tried to reason with her about how inane this all was. The FT regularly posted various brochures about the Christ in the common areas and we regularly tore them down. She seemed to have two personalities, one that was charming and the other that was evil, wicked mean and nasty and she could switch between these two at will.

The FT believed the police could solve anything for her. When she was upset by one of the tenant’s allergy problems (sneezing, hacking and coughing) she tried to get the police to throw him out. When one of the guys called her an unbecoming name, she got the police to respond by saying she was being “attacked.” They advised us to get the landlord to evict her as soon as possible, surely lending that advice after reading three or four pages of an FT behavior log I maintained on a daily basis.

She constantly left messages on one house mate’s voicemail of what she planned to do to the rest of us, especially me and another guy, including charging us with harassment, defamation of character, stalking and being peeping toms. She claimed to have filed a report with New Hope Mission (a church), the Department of Human Services and the Kapolei Police Station. We checked through a local prosecuting attorney and no notices were ever placed.

My patience ran out when she stole food from me and then claimed she thought it was someone else’s. When a ½ pizza disappeared from my section of the fridge, I pointed the finger at her and she denied it. She called me a “pervert” and announced I was frustrated and in need of Viagra in the presence of the housemates because I “…stayed up all night looking at naked girls on my PC.”

We reported this behavior to the landlord so often he stopped returning our calls. He asked me to send him a copy of my log and I complied. He said he would use this log as a basis for eviction—along with the more serious failure to pay the monthly rent for a second time. Not a single housemate got along with her except for, believe it or not, the very one that used to harass her in the beginning. But even he tired of her taking his food and lying about it. His opinion of her returned and he began arguing with her, even though I advised him “…never argue with a fool; people may not know the difference.”

When my friend, Bill, picked me up for the ride to the hospital, I told him that she had followed me out of the house, stared at me as I returned the city trash bin to inside the gate and then started reading aloud from her bible, loud enough that I had to get in my car to avoid it.

Our drive to the hospital was most pleasant as I learned more about Bill in those 50 minutes than I had in almost 25 years of knowing him. I got to Pali Momi at 8:00am with my surgery scheduled for 10:30am.

I was perfunctorily checked in by an administration person who needed a dose of charm school, quite unlike those in the medical specialties. Most of the former group has been quite pleasant during my recent visits. The entire latter group has been friendly and supportive in those same visitations. I was puzzled by the seeming difference in these attitudes; perhaps it was the difference in jobs. On the one hand, it’s a day of name, rank and medical insurance cards. On the other, it’s a variety of “procedures” among them the one I was about to go through.

At 10:00am, I was invited into a dressing area to mount into a backless gown and get punctured for my intravenous drip line. My blood pressure (BP) was high enough to alarm the nurse. I was nervous about what was about to happen and I was still thinking about the FT’s recent actions. For sure, this would cause anyone’s BP to elevate so; the nurse got a prescription for some “lowering” salve and applied it to my chest. It worked.

Next, I was wheeled into the real waiting area where I donned a shower cap and snuggled into some blankets because of my shivering. Fear and cold do familiar bedfellows make.

The last thing I remember was watching the overhead tiles and fluorescents whip by above me. When I got into the operating theater, the anesthesiologist said something unintelligible and I was out.

My urologist had earlier explained what was to happen. It was a “grope and grab” through my penis and into the bladder. He would find the old plastic tubes and replace them. He did warn me that if he couldn’t do this in one sitting (I was lying down, actually), then I’d be in overnight for a refit through my back as earlier explained.

I woke at 11:20am, just 50 minutes after going under, with the operation done. There was no pain anywhere probably because of those great drugs they give one. Seriously, I hurt no where. They wheeled me back to the waiting area I left earlier where I dressed and waited for my ride home with Timmy.

I was really thirsty. I think I drank almost a gallon of water and apple juice from 4:00pm until evening news time yet, I voided only a few tablespoons through my new tubes. I worried that something might be wrong since so little was coming out. I can’t tell you how relieved I was to be waking up almost every hour after midnight to urinate most of that gallon back to the environment.

I’m back, folks, better than new and grateful for the skilled hands that carried this off. Every six months, you say? No problem, I say.

By the way, more news on the FT: Today, the landlord set up her eviction. She has until the 30th to vacate the premises. I send her love and no hate. She needs help desperately. We’ll tighten our “Sam Browne” belts and await her further actions.

Stay tuned…