A lesson in waiting and perhaps presence
Waiting and presence are also known as patience which is a word I don’t like and avoid. Of course, I’m not patient. I’m sick. But I’m at a point that I have no choice. I have to wait too long for too many days in a row to be in agony over the hours. I can’t keep waiting to live.
I have been feeling horrible since Thursday. I went to bed at 7:00 that night and short of going to take pictures of Amira’s first day of kindergarten and a couple times out of bed I slept until Sunday morning. The fatigue is debilitating but it’s better than the nausea I feel when awake. I have three prescription drugs but I still manage to throw up once a day. Today it was in the car but Jeffrey is always prepared for a vomit emergency. I’ve also had this strange feeling of restlessness and being unsettled. It’s from the meds but if I’m not sleeping I feel anxious. Most alarmingly I’ve had shortness of breath with small activities. Walking across the room or taking a shower require a rest time afterward. We finally decided to call Dr. Vasu on Sunday. Of course, she says to go to the ER and of course the ER doc wants a CT scan because he is scared of a pulmonary embolism. He said I was textbook case. At least in my case there is no waiting in the waiting room or even triage. They get us in a room right away. The bed was about 2 feet wide and made of spikes (I’m sure of it) and the temp was set to minus 2 below zero. I pictured myself wrapped in a mummy bag hanging from a icy ledge in a bivouac on one of those deranged expeditions to prove you can withstand cold while climbing uphill to where there is no air. I needed an IV for the CT scan and I also had to wear a heartrate monitor while balancing on the 2 ft bedboard in frigid conditions.
Finally, I got my CT and it came out clear and the doc was relieved but maybe a little disappointed that he didn’t catch a PE in the leukemia patient. I convinced him to let us go home for the night even thought he wanted to admit. We were due back in the clinic Monday morning so we were let go.
I’ve discussed this before but again, I don’t know what takes so long at the clinic. Today I got two bags of chemo and a blood transfusion and talked to a nurse practitioner and we were there from 10:00-5:30. Waiting. It takes two hours just for the blood to drip in. Jeffrey is working and i have entertainment devices but I can’t seem to focus on anything so I just sleep. Jeffrey likes to joke that I take my “James nap”.
The blood and fluids I got today are supposed to help with my shortness of breath and so far they have. My numbers are low in all areas so the theory makes sense. I just hope it lasts long enough for me to get some relief.
I will continue to look for peace and joy in the everyday because its too soon to get tired. Here is the puke bucket that has now become my friend. It doesn’t look like much but it’s always there when I need it.