Where to start? This blog took a siesta while I was stuck back in the In Patient wing of 5 West. I felt crappier than usual, my throat hurt to swallow, I was exhausted and sleeping constantly, waking every few hours from fantastical to maudlin dreams, then back to sleep again. All this time I was being monitored, so the feeling of safety was there and it was good. It also meant unless we were prepared and had food handy, I had to rely on hospital “food”. I can’t tell you how many times I was given “high fibre” cereals for breakfast. Think about it: everyone on this ward is neutropenic; being on immune suppressing drugs, we are all suffering from poor bowel movements. And don’t even get me started on the salads– briefly, any “natural” food from handling to serving can come into contact with bacteria, which would be Bad. I mentioned this to the dieticians and they wondered too, about both this and the high fibre cereals, and both agreed these were good questions. Then they pushed more Ensure and Carnation Instant Breakfast. I was told a few times if the diarrhea doesn’t improve and I can’t keep food down (due to so many drugs causing nasuea) they would have to keep me here. It was a hard battle. One day I had what I call a “dud” nurse– no disrespect, she did her job but didn’t keep me up on the antinausea pills and really wasn’t at all that personable, certainly an anomoly. She told me mid-day if I promised to eat something at home and drink more fluids, and if my pain was manageable, which by now it was, I could go home. Yes please. I started to pack up and she got the papers going, got permission from the head nurse, and I got out of there as fast as possible. It felt like a self perpetuating system of sabotage to me– bad food and too many drugs are bound to keep you in longer.
But the nurse I had today was AWESOME. She was thorough, perky, but not too much, knew of Wolfe Island because of the Kraft Hockeyville we competed in together last year (and for which we won a freezer and shelter for our new ice rink), asked questions and made recommendations like she was one of my doctors, and pressed for the reduction and ultimate removal of the pain killing patch to reduce my nausea. Generally speaking, all the nurses are awesome but this one was special. I look forward to seeing her tomorrow!
So now I am out, baby, but before I go on, I should mention the first few days here were honestly a challenge and I slept through most of it or wandered about in a daze and very monotonic, making Pete I’m sure worry and feel quite helpless. We were excited to see the CBCs go up and this was encouraging to all but it was an encouragement I simply could not express. Today is the first day in weeks I haven’t felt like sleeping all day, kept food down (except when I was writing earlier about hospital food– perhaps subliminal?) and actually felt like interacting with others. All respect to Bernie Siegel, author of Love, Medicine and Miracles and how laughter contributes to healing, but when you’re down and out and haven’t got the energy to read a book or listen/watch something, it can be a real drag to get over that hump. So, I lead you to infer, dear reader, if I feel better now because my pain meds have been significantly reduced, I am home and eating what and when I want or because recently a few things have tickled my funnybone.
This is the first thing that made me chuckle this today: https://mail.google.com/mail/?shva=1#inbox/135e8b6acb1a02dd (sorry, this is an email attachment that is not visible now. Trust me, it was funny. And rather sexy!)
This is the second thing that made me laugh today: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3qEd7DJBUqk
The third thing was actually a recount from a Big Bang Theory episode that my doctor and nurse shared after they saw I had been watching ST:TNG. Here is the scene from BBT. I think my reaction was particularly laced because I was surrounded by Trekkies!
Today I got out early, Pete got me a soft toothbrush — no more mouth sores means no more saline rinses. In other good news, my WBC rose to 2.7!! I expressed joy but a little concern, wondering if those little guys will know when to stop! Yes, I was assured. Thank you, April! She suggested we get some physio outdoors since it was simply too gorgeous to not enjoy some fresh air. The temperature was well above zero, maybe 12, there were people jogging everywhere by the canal where we had a picnic with fare from the Green Door. The sun, smell of the air, everything elicited a little cry of happiness. Ah, freedom.
For those not familiar, the top images are at the Rideau Canal. This reaches as far as Kingston, and this is why they say it is the longest skating rink in the world, at 202km. Sad year for skaters this year, I’m afraid. The bottom photo is the mirrored exterior of the Convention Centre. We are in the middle of the second row from the bottom.