15 July 2009

Wednesday: Day -3

The routine changed. I had to be at the hospital to check-in through Admissions at 7:30a. They told me to wear my mask, but that I would not have to wait there, and would be taken directly to my room at 11 North. That is not what happened. I waited about 2 hours down in admitting before a volunteer came to take me to my room. The staff on 11 North is very nice and helpful, but apparently my orders had all gotten written up wrong. I was supposed to have gotten my blood tested, gotten any necessary blood products, get tested for the Thymoglobulin and have the three hour dose of Thymoglobulin administered at 10:00 Wednesday morning.

Late getting to the room meant late getting my bloodwork done. I had to get platelets and red cells. As usual, that took several hours. Had to wait to be sure I wouldn't have a reaction to blood products.

At 10:10 Wednesday night, I am still waiting to be tested for the thymoglobulin reaction. Apparently my orders have been rewritten several times, with variations every time, which are different from what my wonderful donor goes to make his donation. Hopefully the 12+ hour adjustment we already have won't compromise anything. Once the test dose is delivered, it is administered like an allergy test. Wait an hour. If no reaction, then I get premedicated with some number of drugs including Tylenol, Benadryl, Methylprednosone (steroid) and I'm not sure what else. Give those half hour or so to kick in and then start the Thymoglobulin.

time passes....10:30p: I have gotten the test dose. Now waiting to see how I do. We are hoping to start the real thing at 11:00p. So far, so good. I am connected to all sorts of equipment to monitor me and such. Oxygen rate, cardio rate, blood pressure, oxygen mask. I think that is all right now. The monitor for oxygen on my finger makes it a bit difficult to type. They are planning for any eventuality, but I think I should just skip any reactions.

We could talk about hospital food. For lunch they brought me a pulled pork sandwich, which was actually OK. The pork was well cooked and not greasy. Diet requires that I not have anything presauced. So they gave me a little packet of bbq sauce to use on the sandwich. Dinner was a veggie burger, which was also OK. Little foil packets of mustard and mayo - no other accoutrements. These things are not part of my daily life and it seems odd to be using them. Nonetheless, I keep remembering the dietician told me I can go back to eating healthy when all this is over. Healthy in more ways than one! So the food is nothing to write home about, but as hospital food goes, it could have been a lot worse. I shall not complain about food on my first day in here. Now tomorrow, all bets are off!

Mike went back to the apartment this afternoon to get some stuff done, because he wants to be here with me tonight while I'm getting the scary medication. I'm sorry to say, his chair does not look too terribly comfy.

11:10p: Nurse is off to call the Fellow. The tiny bump of medicine she put under my skin is still there Perhaps it was supposed to disappear. No other symptoms noted.

timed passes... Thursday 8:30am. Last night during the night I had an anaphylactic reaction to the thymoglobulin. Chills, fever, turning blue, couldn't breathe. That was around 2:00a. Not the kind of fun you want to be having in the middle of the night. I was pretty much out of it and don't remember that went on, but I know they had bunch of people and a crash package. I do recall shivering like crazy and being so cold. And I kept thinking if only I could just stop shaking for just a few seconds I would be alright. It didn't quite happen that way. I know they gave me a bunch of meds, including some more steroids and 100mg IV Benadryl. The second dose of Benadryl seemed to really do trick to push me over the edge and stop the reaction.

The thymoglubulin was stopped while they stabilised me, then restarted at a very low drip rate. After some amount of time, the rate was increased a bit, but not up to the normal rate. This bag of drugs is now taking many hours to drip, instead of 6. It starts for awhile, stops for awhile. Goes a different slow rates ad gives me a break during infusion. That's OK. I can go slow. I like being able to breathe and not turning blue. Blue is not my colour. RED is my colour.
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Gayle said...

Becki,,Sending good thoughts to you today..sounds like you had a rough night..I pray that you have a better day today..love reading your blog. You are such an inspiration to all us at the Barefoot Contessa blog...Gayle

bakinbits said...

Becky, I don't want you to turn RED or BLUE!!!!! I just want the rest of this to go smoothly for you. Sending best healing thoughts to you from New England. (Hugs), Regina

Linda said...

Hang in there girl...you are almost there...
Prayers and healing calm thoughts continue...

Anonymous said...


What a horrible ordeal! I'm so sorry this is giving you trouble. We are all thinking about you on the board!

Be well soon,

TEACUP said...


so, so, sorry tohear about your rough night. But hang in there as this is almost over for you..... you are a true inspiration to us all.
Sending you healing thoughts and prayers......and I'm visualizing for you a painless and speedy venture through this time in your life.

Stay well.....Erica (((HUGS)))

Jennifer said...

I am in awe of how brave and strong you are. Keep up the fight. All of your dish friends are pulling for you.


Anonymous said...

Keeping you in my prayers Becky!

Patricia said...

Blessings, Becky, for a problem-free procedure the rest of the way! Big hugs from Texas! (Everything is bigger in Texas! :) )