Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Day +6

I am glad I used yesterday to write an insightful post, because my brain feels like nothing but mush amongst the fog tonight. My blood counts are really low. It's not unexpected, but I was hoping a day or two of bottoming out and I'd be making my way to the top again. Today they almost gave me a transfusion of red blood cells because of how low my counts are, but they opted to let me wait a day or two more (if I can handle it) due to all the little side effects that can come with transfusions. I was happy to wait when they proffered me a few days, but as the hours have gone on I have started to regret my decision. I am shakey. Tired. Unsteady. Foggy. I may be turning into a vampire, because I definitely need some blood. If my counts have started up a little tomorrow, I will forgo the transfusion, otherwise, I don't think I'll be standing without one.

Today was mostly uneventful. Rora and Jen spent most of the day here just shooting the breeze. I only got to see Colten for what felt like a few minutes, as he has been running himself pretty ragged driving back and forth and getting everything done. And I saw hardly a nurse or aide at all. I am not one to talk against my hospital staff, but yesterday and today have been pretty devoid of great personal care. I think the hospital is understaffed, but patients shouldn't suffer for it. Yesterday I didn't care too much, I was up and feeling ok and free to schedule my walks and such around when the nurses could get to me, but today was different. I needed to walk when I felt capable. And I wasn't supposed to have to be hooked up to a stupid pole all day, but the nurses couldn't seem to get around to me to unhook medicines before new ones needed to go up (four hours later). I'm feeling frustrated, which is unpleasant when my head wants to float.

I was willing to let it slide (and not have it enter this blog) yet another day, but I got the Rectal Squad back tonight, and I lost it. So their names will forever go down in the blog as the night team that I detest. Such terrible punishment, I know, but it's all I have. Darren is the actual nurse, and he is training Julie. They both suck. Darren smells terrible, which seems like a mean thing to say, but I'm having a freaking bone marrow transplant and I still have personal hygiene. The least he could do is put in a tic tac and wipe on a little deodorant. That was my first impression of him, as I had him alone the first time I met him. He was smelly, but mostly unobtrusive (which is appreciated at night), so whatever. Then Julie joined the team. She is loud. And pushy. NOT appreciated at night. And they flip on the lights, and talk in normal voices to one another at 2:00, 4:30, and 6:00 in the morning when they invade my room. As an added bonus, with Julie in tow, Darren has suddenly became obsessed with bowel movements.

Let's talk bowel movements. Uncomfortable? Very. Welcome to transplant life. Everything that goes in or out of your body is carefully noted and put in the chart, after being analyzed by the aides. I am not ok with this. I wasn't during my first transplant, any stay I have ever had at a hospital, when visiting another person's house, public restrooms, or anywhere other than my personal toilet at home. Glad we got that cleared up. Darren, on the other hand, is somewhat obsessed. No other nurse annoys me about bowel movements but him. You see, I don't turn them in. Yep. I'm that patient. I flush the toilet. So tonight he started again on his favorite topic. But he has apparently reached his last straw with me, because I got threatened with a rectal swab in absence of a stool sample. Foggy or no, I don't take threats well. I told him simply, "I won't agree to that procedure, so you can threaten all you want, but it won't be happening." Are YOU going to hold me down for that, little man? Because it does not matter how low my counts are, I will lay you out if it comes down to you and my butt.

At this point he backtracked quickly, stuttered, made sure I knew he wasn't "threatening me," just telling me what the doctors will say, and letting me know that the nurses have the "squeeze" put on them and they have to let the patients know. Then he finally unhooked my I.V. so I could go take a walk, and stepped back with a little look of horror on his face when I stood up. This was the best part of my day. The. Best. Part. He's an average guy, but I am a tall woman, and I have two inches on him easily. He always takes care of me at night and so has never seen me do anything but lie in a bed.  He stared at me and said, "Wow. You're really tall," in a small voice. "Yep. Strong, too," I responded, gowned-up, and went on my walk, fuming. I have no idea why my height intimidated him so much, but I hope he keeps it in mind next time he thinks about that swab. So the Rectal Squad is born. And I wish I would never see either one of them after tonight, but I have a lot of nights left to go. I just hope they keep it down tonight so I can sleep, for their own sakes. I am exhausted and have no patience left for stupid people (and I'm tall, so beware).

As a brighter ending, Jen took Rora for ice cream while Colten and I talked for a bit today and the conversation turned towards serious topics that led me to some tears. I am so emotional with my body wreaking havoc on itself, so it's not hard for me to produce water works these days (or ever, really). Anyhow, Colten was a bit misty as well, and Jen and Rora walked in right in the middle of our talk. We both smiled and Colten joked and motioned with a chip, "Sorry, these nachos are just really spicy." Rora, my sweet, bright girl responded, "You should have got the ones that Jen got, Daddy!" It was so funny, and so precious. Exactly what I needed today. I also read a post on Facebook about people who are angry at dog owners for not picking up their pets' poop. One man posted a sign that said, "To whoever let's their dog poop on my lawn every day, I will find you, and I will poop on your front porch every morning for the rest of the time you live here!" Which is a huge overreaction, but I could not stop laughing when I read it. I guess the themes today were poop and laughter. There you go. Good night. :-)  


  1. Even after the storms are over, we still have to deal with the after effects. It will get better. Love you.

  2. Don't you hate those days that center around your poop, or lack thereof? Even Grandpa's hospice nurses, who are the epitome of grace and love, usually begin their questions with, "Did you poop today?" I'm on my way to an MRI, oh joy!, so have to make this short. But your sense of humor even comes through in your misery - keep your chin up, hang in there, and all that good stuff! And if you do all that, you'll look like a big lazy sloth hanging from a tree limb, right?? Tons of love and prayers!!