Day-9: Hurry up and Wait

IMG_1195All the travel is done. All the tests are complete. The first round of chemotherapy has been infused. That was the “hurry up.” Now comes the wait. At least it gives me time to think. That’s a good thing … isn’t it?

Here’s the problem. I am at a point that I should not be in crowds. If I succumb to an infection, the stem cell transfusion (SCT) is delayed. If I do go out, I should wear a mask. I hate breathing through a mask. It is easier to stay “home” in our little efficiency apartment. That wouldn’t be bad if I felt like doing anything. I don’t. That is why this missive is so late in coming.

Melanie thinks I should begin packing for Thursday’s admission. Too early for me. I’m more of a day before packer. I know what I want to take. All I have to do is throw it all in a suitcase. Of course, half of it is in use right now, so that complicates matters. I do have a shelf assigned to “things to take” and it does have something on it. Several somethings actually.

Melanie has taken away most of my former responsibilities. She won’t let me empty the trash. The dumpster is … well, a dumpster. So, I make the beds (yeh, twin beds) in the morning and turn them down at night. I also push them as close together as they will go. Still, a crevasse of 4” remains. My main responsibilities are … making sure I take my meds on time. That’s easy if we eat meals on time. If we dare eat late, it throws the whole schedule out of sync and I may forget … like last night. Yes, I am a creature of habit.

I took a shower this morning. Had to “Cling Wrap” my CVC line attached at my chest. I can’t get the dressing over it wet or I will have to make a trip to the hospital to get it changed. Melanie is not yet certified for that. She can flush the three attached lines with heparin. She is also certified to change the IV caps once a week though it will be a while before that to happens … like after I’m released to go “home” after the transplant. Interestingly, we are told to correct the nurses if they don’t do it right! Sure. The first nurse to access it did it wrong. We kept our mouths shut. She wasn’t too far off. Still ….

I’ve rambled long enough, so I should sign off. But first … I may forget my toothbrush Thursday. I may forget a lot of things, but two things I will never forget. First, I will remember my sleep mask. Hospitals are never “dark”. And nurses have a way of coming into the room and turning on the lights to check my vitals every two or three hours. The sleep mask keeps the darkness in and the melatonin flowing so I can go right back to sleep. Second, I will not forget my “white noise” system. Hospitals are never quiet. I play a thunderstorm through my cell phone’s Bluetooth connection to a Jawbone speaker. Nice sound and it keeps the hall noises at bay (and the tinnitus in the background).


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