Saturday, July 26, 2008

The Funny Bone

I'm no longer a hospital virgin. Starting with 14 hrs in an inner city ER to learning that Versed (Midazolam) turns me into a non-stop talking machine (aka slut). Lu walked in the recovery suite and asked my nurse "Who's he talking to?" She replied, "Nobody as far as I can tell, he hasn't shut up since he got in here."

I got 5 units of blood, 1 in preparation, 2 during surgery to replace the 2 that ended up on the floor and another 2 because I left the OR with a hemoglobin of 7.1. Apparently I shattered the expected 2 tablespoon norm. As a consequence I do not have any screws at the elbow end of the titanium spike in my humerus. There just wasn't time and a bit of concern related to hematoma(s). There is a metaphysical-feeling set of consequences which led to the 2 units of blood that were hanging during surgery. Let's just say Lu is more amazing than I can give her credit for without sounding like a wacko.

So I left recovery with a new friend's (my recovery nurse, Patti) email taped to my chest. (there was no way I was going to remember anything like an email address)

My Mom found an empty room larger than the one I was to be squeezed into and Lu again worked her magic and got a room change to a family room with a hide-a-bed for her, my mom and all the kids to be comfortable in. That was a true top floor haven. The pain kept me in the hospital an extra day, which wasn't so bad considering the surroundings.

I'm taking a ton of Lortab for the pain, but less and less frequently. I get to pow-wow with my oncologist concerning upcoming radiation treatments this Tuesday. Unfortunately, because of the missing screws, my elbow is immobilized until August 4th. (Hopefully no longer then 10 days which should make PT a bit easier.) I will then move into a higher mobility brace.

All in all I feel blessed with the incredible out pouring of love and generosity. Thank you so very much for all your thoughts and prayers. Please feel free to post comments because I love reading them.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Egg Shells are Fragile

I had jumped ship on the GRN trial one week ago and had already gotten my mind around a major MM drug free summer holiday. My blood counts were starting to plummet and the 20 weekly infusions had started to make me freakier than I already am. I got a unit of Lu's blood, thank you very much, and then noticed I needed more shoes and my hair looked a bit gray.

With a hemoglobin approaching 10 I packed up a tote full of low key projects for camp all psyched for a relaxing weekend. A bit after 6 AM I go down to the dock with my camera to snap some sun rise photos. Unfortunately with one hand on each side if my kayak I learned my left humerus was just not strong enough to support lowering my fat ass into the seat... Of course I thought the dock broke - it sounded like it. The dock is fine.

The rest is a story of shock, pain and ER waiting. Today I am getting another unit of blood in prep for a new titanium humerus tomorrow at 3 PM. Then I get to irradiate it to cook the MM cells. I'll do my best at keeping everyone up to date. Remember I suck at one finger typing and can't be held responsible what I say, think or do while zonked on pain meds.

If you have any suggestions fire away.