The mornings are the worst. I’m tired, so tired. And this is when all the action occurs in the hospitals. NPs do rounds, doctors do rounds, nursing assistants want to feed you and put you in the shower but all I can consider doing at the moment is putting my hands back underneath my body and closing my eyes. This morning I woke up from a nurse checking my vitals and bringing me pills. I ate most of a bowl of cereal. I don’t remember what type of cereal it was. It doesn’t matter. They all taste the same. I didn’t tell the nurse that I don’t like cow’s milk because liquids all taste like water. I dutifully ate my cereal while she was on the computer in my room. I mentally prepare myself to make my body move so I can go to the bathroom. Most days I can talk my body into standing long enough to complete “oral care”. Somedays I just glare at my pills before putting my head on the pillow, eyes closed until 10:30. Usually it is 2:00 before I can consider doing things like walking, eating and talking with my eyes open.
Today is Day +20
Today’s neutrophil count is 640. That’s right, I have surpassed the goal needed to leave the hospital. I won’t be leaving until a few other things get fixed up. The eating goal is tough to meet. I’m supposed to have 2 liters of food and fluid in a day. Fluids are easier than food. And I have no idea how to measure food intake in terms of liters. They account for every bite. And every bit of output. This is the other area of concern for going home. Diarhea. I passed the test for C. Diff so they are watching to see what happens. They watch you very closely including full interviews about every time you go to the bathroom. Was it soft? hard? liquid? glowing? small? large?Jeffrey and the kids have all been sick with a lingering cough. The hospital isnt going sto send me home to a house full of “viral microparticles”. I love that since I work in healthcare they can use all the jargon with me.
Once we see how everything goes we are looking at a POSSIBLE release day of Wednesday. Yes, this week. It’s both exciting and scary. Exciting to see my kids who are coming through all this like troopers. Just like the last time. And the time before that. I’m thinking of starting a puzzle to work on with the kids during mommy time in bed. They are great about bringing stuff to me when I’m sick. I’m excited to see Jeffrey everyday. I can rest my head on him and snuggle up when I am cold. I can talk his ear off about random things while he nods from above his laptop. Annoying your husband is a lot easier to me than annoying the nursing staff.
It is scary because of all the things that could go wrong. There are so many things we have to watch out for. No one is counting out my medication several times a day or taking my blood pressure or temperature. The kids bring germs and want to jump all over me. There is my need to contribute to the household and do my share of the housework even though Jeffrey has it under control. Getting better is scary because what is “better” anymore?
Tonight for dinner I ate 4 crackers with cream cheese and a pint of hemoglobin. Dr Cohen came by for rounds. They usually do not transfuse until a patient is under 7 but he asked what he could do for me and I said a few more red cells would go far in helping me feel better. I know he wouldn’t have suggested it since I’m above their threshold but he checked my numbers and looked at my grinning face, looked at my numbers and agreed to a transfusion. Dr Vasu came in later, laughing behind her mask, asking me how in the world I talked Dr Cohen into a transfusion. I told her that he’s just trying to keep me happy. She said she told him that he does not know Lauren very well and I can be very convincing. Even so, they brought in my first transfusion of red cells and it was marked with my new blood type. As engraftment from the donor cells occurs I now have a new blood also donated by my sharp German boy (I always think of him like that). My blood type is now O positive. I also have the blood DNA of a young male. I still haven’t eaten bratwurst but Jeffrey is holding out hope.
Today song of the day is: