Day -3: A Touch of Humor

There are two types of people: people who see obstacles and grumble and those who see obstacles and have fun with them and count their blessings. I’m a member of the second type.

I’ll use a couple examples from my Facebook postings as examples. The first one is about the first is some fun I had with my phlebotomist. Bear in mind that the morning blood draw is usually between 4:00 AM and 5:00 AM, well before dawn. I have a choice to grumble or have fun.

I finally broke one. My phlebotomist came in early this morning – well before dawn. She didn’t take much admitting that she was not particularly hungry. Hmmmmmmm. I put her to the test. Well, I bluntly asked, “Are you a vampire.” She said, “You figured us out.” It wasn’t hard. In hospital they always arrive before dawn. In Fast Track Lab, they work in a windowless room and only leave long enough to call a name from the doorway before they duck back into their lair. This is the same arrangement at home as well. See what I mean? As my phebotomist/vampire scurried down the hall to her coffin, I believe I heard a maniacal “Mwha-a-a-a-a!”

And I’m not even on morphine or any other pain killer. ;-0

The second Facebook example is the experience of the first day. This time the choice was to count my blessings.

A hospital is like a living breathing organism. Think elephant in Lord of the Ring size. It moves at it’s own pace. Last night was a perfect example. We were supposed to start my Rituxin at 8:00 PM. It didn’t arrive. We were promised 10:00 then 11:00. It wasn’t for lack of effort on the part of beautiful, competent nurse Ambly who wore the phone out calling the pharmacy. I finally went to sleep. I vaguely remember raising my arm for blood pressure checks, lifting a finger for O2 readings and opening my mouth for temp taking. Somewhere in the deep recesses of my dream world, I knew the drug was being administered.

When I asked Ambly what time she finally started the Chemo, she told me 2:00 AM. It finally finished at 7:20, just before breakfast arrived.

Don’t misunderstand. I’m not complaining. I know the pharm was doing the best they could, and in a facility this large, emergencies come first. Chemo treatments are low on the totem pole.

I still believe I am in the perfect hospital for anyone with cancer. I hear of miracles every day – people who had no expectation to live more than a few weeks are multi-year survivors all because of the great staff and creative minds at MD Anderson.

Thank you, Ambly. Thank you pharmacist, whoever you are. Thank you MD Anderson.

Last night provided another example. The nurses keep track of my liquid I/O, In Get out of my wayand Out. Yesterday, the intake was about 5 liters, 3/5ths of that IV fluids with or without medications. Output was much less than that. The solution according to Dr. Olson, the in-hospital rounds physician this week, was to give me a dose of Lasix. If you recall, they give Lasix to race horses to keep them from bleeding. I think that is a cover story. After my experience of running to the bathroom every 45 minutes all night, I have a different reason for giving it to race horses. They will run faster during the race in order to get to the finish line so they can stop and pee!

Well, there’s my dose of hospital humor for the day. I hope you enjoyed it. Better still, I hope it helps you through any trials or tribulations you face today and in the future.

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