Just wanted to let everyone know that one of my Mercy Street friends got me home from the hospital today, after the doctors finally released me in a “surprise” move at the last minute.
Seriously, I’m sorry I’ve been so out of touch, but this last round of chemo really hammered me hard. Not so much with the side effects, but just my overall energy levels and general well-being. There were a couple of days that I knew what a mental patient on heavy sedation must feel like, as I spent most of the day simply staring out the window rather blankly while replaying the same disturbingly short day-dream over and over in my head. In between time, I somehow managed to carry on conversations with doctors and nurses and nursing aides. Oh, and sleep a bit, too. I think.
However, what kept me in the hospital past Saturday, was a low-grade fever that the doctors couldn’t quite explain. Now, I would have thought the dark, raspberry-colored rash that covers most of my body, and itches, might have concerned them more. Or the blood-clot in my right shoulder from the central line. But, no, it was the “fever” that ran anywhere from .2 degrees to two full degrees that concerned them. Even though most of the time that fever was less than a degree. As my father said, “I can raise that much of a fever just getting mad!”
Apparently, the doctors were quite concerned about sending me out into the world with a mystery infection that might come back to haunt us all. So, really, it was probably best that I was in the hospital, but, I’m really, really glad to be back home.
Now, the unqualified highlight of my latest stay at MD Anderson was Max, the Russian male nurse. I met Max as he came on shift. I was just waking up and he came in to check on me, as all the nurses do when the start their shift. (Apparently, it’s quite embarrassing to lose a patient at the start of a shift, so the check to make sure you’re there and breathing.) He introduced himself and asked that most dangerous of all questions, “How are you feeling?”
“Well, pretty good, except that I’m a little depressed that I’m still in the hospital. I’d rather be home by now, ” I told him.
Max paused for a moment, then, in a heavy Russian accent said, “Venn I was in Russia, in Moscow University, I had professor who say,’If you vake up in morning without zomething bothering you, then you are dead.’ So, is okay. Is normal.”
As Max was about to go off shift, he came into my room with something he called a “nasal irrigation”, but he announced this procedure by telling me, “Now, I have for you a little bit torture.” Let me say only that “a little bit torture” accurately describes the procedure and, at that exact moment, I knew that the KGB had given Max a scholarship to learn nursing. (Seriously, Max was actually one of the better nurses I had.)
So, now I have to go give myself one of three shots I get to administer daily for the next several days, including the dreaded Neupagen shots that caused so much bone pain last time. Luckily, I have an appointment Saturday morning at the clinic, so I’ll get one of the nurse practitioners to call in a prescription for Darvon early this time.