11 November 2008

Tuesday morning musings ~ medical & otherwise

First of all I want to thank all of you for all your continued care and concern. It means more to me than I can ever express.

Also It's a day to pay respect to all of those who have served our country in the military.

Having slept most of yesterday and a fair amount during the night, I woke up at 4:00a. First order of business was to make coffee and treated myself to a cup of French pressed. Even though the pot was Mike's birthday gift, it's a gift that keeps on giving to both of us. I want to report that yesterday was indeed both manic and magic. You can decide for yourselves, which part was which.

My head is still kind of loopy from all the anesthesia yesterday, but I shall try to give a coherent report. We started the day out being early. I am a well known patient in the lab and have gotten to be friends with most of the people who work there. Yesterday they were commiserating with me on what all had to be done, but I told them it was beautiful day and I was happy. Figured if I started the day out worrying about things it was only gonna get a lot worse.

Then we consulted with my doc and his new CRNP and made it up to the blood centre. They also know me well and had made arrangements to be sure there were platelets for me early. Yea!!! The new guy stuck me for the IV. He hasn't been my nurse in charge before, so I had to explain how I really don't want to be warned when he was about to stick and to please give me a couple of minutes to start my meditation. Like the other nurses there he was very accommodating. Also like them, he was very surprised I didn't want to be "prepared" for the stick. LOL. I do want to be prepared... just my meditation way, not the standard "tell the patient now" way. But that part went off without a hitch.

As soon as the IV was in and dripping saline, he gave me a 50 dose of Benadryl through the IV, in hopes of staving off any reactions. My first unit came from an O+ person and went quite smoothly. The second unit was from a B+ donor. It was about 3/4 done when I started feeling the telltale tingling in my palms that quickly was being felt all over my face. I was so out of it and was trying to wake up to tell Mike, but was having trouble surfacing enough to talk. Fortunately I must've made some sound, because he looked up and saw by face getting red welts. My little room is right by the nurses' station so he got them in right away. They stopped the drip and gave me Solumedrol (a steroid). Some amount of time passed and the splotches started receding. After some more time passed they restarted the platelets.

All that was taking time. I was set for surgery at 12:30 and was supposed to be at the surgery centre by 11:00. That was not happening, but my nurses and the surgery centre were in good communication. The surgical people asked them to leave my pic line (which I had already requested, so as to avoid another stick.) We got to the surgery centre around 11:30, so it did all work out ok. But it was a good thing we had gotten the early start. The first IV drug they started me on was Levoquin (antibiotic). Although my NE# has increased from 0.0 to 0.4, it is still unacceptably low and means my immune system needs a lot of help. I also got a steroid, Versed and two other drugs that I cannot recall at the moment. (LOL. pun intended, but it is true.)

I had an interesting OBE or some strange experience during the surgery. I was sorta floating above things and watching what was going on and saw something leopard-like come into the room. Bizarre, huh? But it turns out the surgical assistant came in after I was under and he was wearing a leopard print cover-up over his scrubs. After I woke up I was talking with them about this. None of them had commented on his cat clothing because it is something he wears all the time. They were surprised that the first thing I said when I was coming out of the anesthesia was to ask about the leopard. Sometimes life is stranger than fiction.

In recovery, I somehow got into a foodie discussion with my nurse. It turns out there is a new cooking school open in our area (just opened last month) and it is having a Holiday Cocktail, Hors d'œuvre & Dessert class next Thursday evening. They were about to call to register and invited me to come along, too. Mike went out to the nurses' station to register me (and pay my fee, of course). The class is being limited to 20 people. Now is that cool or what? I've now got three new foodie friends. And they are local. I realise it's an evening class, but I will plan to sleep all afternoon that day, so I will hopefully be up for going. I have found it is really good to have some little things to look forward to during all these treatments.

Once I was discharged from the surgery centre, it was back to my doc's to start the Dacogen. I was still very out it, so it was a good thing Mike was there to pay attention to all the info. My nurse told me she will go over it all again with me when I'm awake. The Dacogen goes in through the port. Fortunately the surgeon left the little pigtail line in and told Mike that since he knows I'll be careful that it can stay in through Friday's treatment instead of being removed in two days. So before I get Dacogen, I get an anti-nausea med. That takes about half an hour to drip. Then they switch to Dacogen and that takes an hour or so to drip. I slept through most of it, but did not experience any difficulties. And not really much the rest of the evening. My surgeon gave me a prescription for Lortab that I took last night and again this morning. The pain is not unbearable and I hope to not take any more after today's dosages.

This morning my appointment is at 8:30. The long term care unit at my doc's (any treatment that takes over an hour is classified long term there) has wi-fi available. As I will be there around 3-ish hours every day, I will plan to take my laptop. But I also want to use this time for catch-up on reading. First book to get finished is The United States of Arugula, or How We Became a Gourmet Nation. I've had it for well over a year and it is tired of being neglected! Plus my iPod is charged and ready to go. :-)

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Sharon (junefour) said...

Becky it sounds like you are hanging in there. You have such a great attitude about it and that is a good portion of fighting the battle.

Maria (upstate) said...


Your ordeal brings back a lot of memories. Hang in there girlfriend!


Maria (upstate)

Becky said...

Thank you both so much!

Sharon, my surgeon told me he has some patients that still have their ports after 10 years. Thank you for telling me how long they can last. I had now idea.

Maria, you hang in there too! The convertible is ready to take us on a trip whenever we get ready!