Chapter Twenty-Seven: A Little Italian

Sorry for the delay in posting. Mom is keeping up with work from the hotel, which necessitates the use of the sole Internet connection for most of the day on weekdays. Since the Ethernet jack is in Mom and Dad’s room, this also means I can’t use it after they’ve gone to bed, limiting me to the time after Mom finishes work and before she or Dad go to sleep. While this may sound like plenty of time, this is also the only time we can have dinner or do anything else together. I’ve started writing posts offline ahead of time (this being the first) so that I can simply upload them later.

Monday we opted to have lunch in Cleveland’s Little Italy, at Trattoria Roman Gardens. We ordered the fried calamari as an appetizer, and I was pleasantly surprised to find that it was the best calamari I’d ever tasted. One of the difficulties with calamari is that if it is cooked too little or too much, even by a matter of moments, it becomes rubbery. This calamari was perfectly soft, lightly breaded and accompanied by a mild marinara sauce. I stopped eating my ravioli halfway through in order to go back and finish the calamari, which is saying something because I have a terrible weakness for ravioli. After finishing lunch, we went across the street to a pastry shop we’d visited on one of our earlier trips, only to find that it is closed on Mondays.

Arriving home, Mom went back to work while Dad and I played a game of Scrabble. We took Uncle Paul’s suggestion of using a theme, but instead of limiting ourselves to theme words, we opted to double the point value of words that fit the theme. Dad refused to use “food” as our theme, for which I can’t blame him, and instead we decided that our theme would be “sports”. Despite the broad range of acceptable sports words, only a few were used over the course of the game, which I won with a score of 478 to Dad’s 336. The completed board can be seen below.

After the Scrabble game, Dad and I went to buy groceries to make dinner, opting to stick with simple cold cut sandwiches after our big lunch. Shaved turkey, corned beef, cheese, some fresh Italian bread, and tuna fish rounded out the options. I also picked up a can of Ovaltine, which I found by accident while we were looking for Irish tea (a fruitless search). Mimi and Papa came up to the suite in the evening, but were still too full from lunch to eat even the sandwiches. I was glad that we’d scrapped the earlier idea of making hot spinach dip and an apple tart.

After dinner, I sorted most of my medications for the week. While the planner now contains more medicines than I had been on at home, and I am taking more nebulized and IV treatments than I was previously, the difficulty of maintaining my regimen has actually decreased as my energy levels have risen since transplant.

Yesterday began routinely, though I ended up taking a Percocet at Dad’s suggestion, as my abdomen continued its tendency to cramp up and cause pain. He and Mom went with Mimi and Papa to visit one of Mom’s cousins, an hour’s drive away. I opted to stay at the hotel since I hadn’t showered, was still hooked up to my morning IV meds, and was still waiting for the Percocet to take effect. The thought of spending an hour in a hot car with four other people (the Escape seats five, uncomfortably) would have been enough to deter me, but I also saw an opportunity to complete the work I began yesterday on the Bulletin, changing the look and flow of the site and adding a few pages. While there is still work to be done (which probably won’t happen until the weekend), I finished enough of it to be presentable. As you can see, there have been some major changes that will hopefully make the site more readable and easier to navigate. Please leave feedback (comments, questions, suggestions) on the new layout so I know which parts are successful and which are not.

After spending a few hours overhauling the Bulletin, and after Mom and Dad returned from lunch, I took a nap in order to catch up on some of the sleep that I’ve been missing due to my med schedule. When I awoke, Mimi and Papa were sitting with Mom and Dad in the living/dining room, and I joined them to watch a bit of TV. I cooked the leftover spinach salad from Sunday night and ate it for dinner, and before she and Papa left Mimi made sure to give me hugs from my cousins and goddaughter.

Today’s plan was to have lunch at Carrabba’s, as Mimi and Papa will be going home this afternoon. Unfortunately, Carrabba’s doesn’t open until 4 o’clock, so we walked down the street a bit more and had lunch at The Boneyard, a grill and pub covered in skeleton (and booze) décor. Their fish and chips (which both Papa and I had) were very good, and their wings might merit a return trip sometime next week. I’m adding their “Ridiculously Hot” (NC-18) wings to my food to-do list, because their menu warns that they should not be eaten by anyone with respiratory or heart conditions. Delightful. In addition, wings are 39¢ each on Wednesdays from 6pm until closing, so I can make a meal out of them without breaking the bank.

I’ll resume cooking either tonight or tomorrow morning, depending on when we are able to go grocery shopping and what we are able to find. In the meantime, I plan to post the recipes that have appeared in previous updates and in the future to post recipes at the same time as the updates that feature them. Recipes that I have borrowed from other sources will be posted in their entirety, with a credit and link to the original source. Original recipes will not have such credits but may have notes regarding the inspiration for them.

I learned yesterday that May is (apparently) national runners’ month, which conveniently ties in to my goals for the coming weeks. While it is slightly ahead of my original plan, I now hope to be able to run (or at least jog) by the end of May. I don’t expect to be able to run very fast, or any great distance (my body is still adjusting to the new lungs, after all), but I’d like to push the envelope just a little and be able to celebrate the month with a run. I’m sure the doctors will be wary of this, but I will run the idea by them (pardon the pun) during my appointment Thursday. I believe I have a bronchoscopy scheduled for that day, a prospect that excites me not at all. I’ve never had one before, and from all accounts it is an unpleasant experience to say the least. I hope I’m unconscious for the procedure, as it is pretty terrifying to have foreign objects in one’s lungs. This will also give them an opportunity to remove the stitches from the last two tube sites without causing me undue pain. Here’s hoping.


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Rich Coulombre
    May 06, 2010 @ 16:33:12

    Hi Mark,

    I’m so glad to hear you’re doing well. I love your writing style, and enjoy the stories… particularly about food! I love to cook as well, and enjoy seeing a young man who enjoys it as well.

    Speaking of food… yesterday I was in Amherst and had lunch at Antonio’s pizza. Damn I love that place! I also passed a sushi restaurant that I believe you wrote about in a prior posting. Then we went to Atkins Farm for donuts and pastries. Yup… it was a nice day!

    Please know that our whole family reads your blog. We really enjoy your words. You truly have a gift.

    I look forward to seeing you when you are back in Medfield. In the meantime please know that a whole bunch of us back here are so happy for you and your family.


    Rich Coulombre


  2. Mark Puorro
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 10:15:59

    Hi Mark –

    Love the new website format………a much easier read. In addition to getting your health updates, I look forward to your culinary experiences. If the mechanical engineering thing doesn’t work out, you could definetly have a career in the culinary industry.

    All the best,
    Mark Puorro


  3. amy lyons
    Apr 29, 2010 @ 00:23:25

    Hi mark, hope you know who i am…it’s funny we have never really “met” hence precautions, or Alcatraz as I like to call it. But, i do now your parents and new Dan & Lisa. I am so moved by your story and your famlly’s love, support, faith, & humor. It has always been inspriring. You deserved this miracle gift of lungs, and I am very The irony of it being April Fools, ha ha. Keep up the fight. You make me want the fight too!
    please give your parents my love
    Amy lyons


  4. Patty Hoey
    Apr 28, 2010 @ 21:36:10

    Mark, you are so witty. I enjoyed this post so much. It was so well written, so witty, so funny it made me laugh many times. Screw the mechanical engineer career, you are a wonderful writer, a great comic, a culinary want a be . I love all the photo inserts too. This was my favorite posting on the site. Stay well. Keep up the progress. Love Patty


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