December 12, 2010

Friday report

As I came to, the one sensation I was most aware of was that I had a cold something next to my cheek.  Thanks to the architects who designed the medical building that houses Doc Qs Huntington Beach location, I was laying face down on some lovely fake blue granite tile instead of vinyl on the Infusion Room’s bathroom floor.  I was covered in a cold sweat so that probably made the coolness even more pronounced.  It is funny how sometimes in life even a cold bathroom floor can be such a perfect place to be…

That was Friday about 6:30 P.M. when everyone on the Doc’s staff was likely already home or at Holiday party someplace.  Except for Nurse Dawn and Nurse Cheryl who have earned my eternal love by deciding to let me make an emergency like trip to the office to see what they could do for me to try and get my post Cycle 3 healing going.  I was in really bad shape now down more than 10 pounds in the last week, lingering nausea and stomach problems from chemo and frighteningly weak.  I had not “walked” in 3-4 days; instead I stumbled along with my feet spread a bit for balance, taking those old folks kind of straight-leg steps while reaching out for a wall or something else to guide me along. 

I laid in my bed or recliner for too many days thinking “just one more day” thereby putting myself in a nasty negative G dive that I could not pull out of.   I gave in and asked Lieska to try to get me into Doc Qs even though it was already 3 PM Friday.  My normal Doc Qs was basically shutdown for the weekend so they had referred us to the HB office.  Quick consideration there confirmed the obvious; there wasn’t enough time for me to get there and for them to do any kind of effective treatment.  That is until someone apparently got in the conversation and volunteered to stay after hours for me.  That someone obviously was Nurse Dawn or Cheryl.

We got there as quick as we could.  As soon as Dawn weighed me in, she knew I wasn’t just being a cry baby this time.  So she stuck a needle in to my Chest Port thingy and started pumping saline solution into it thus immediately into my blood stream.  We talked at length about what was going on.  After considering all those details and having Rachelle, Doc Qs Physician Assistant check me out, they added a couple more bags of wonder juice into a tangle of plastic tube Y connections.  If these women had been ham radio operators I would have been proud to see what a wonderful scene they had created and plugged into my chest!  It matched any good rat’s nest of cables, etc., seen behind a ham’s radio table.

Actually the conversation with Rachelle turned out to be a very touching moment.  While we talked, I began feeling so bad seeing how deeply these people cared and how intense they were to help me. I was so sorry that I had to bother them this way and couldn’t hold back water from leaking out of my eyes as I said that as well as how grateful I was to be in that chair safe and under their care.  I quickly turned away and tried to brush water away before she would see it.  Rachelle tried to pretend she has not seen by riveting her eyes on her clipboard.  I knew she had seen, though, because when she did finally look at me again, her eyes were full of shimmering water. Then this angel touched my hand with a special softness as she rushed off; probably the kind of touch these people fight hard to contain within themselves so that they can somehow remain strong when people like me, not one damn tiny bit as tough as I thought, need their care.

After the infusion of the saline and other drugs was complete, I was feeling better.  Still weak as can be but no nausea, I was ready to go home after a quick stop in the restroom.  What I thought was going to be a quick sit down with Mother Nature went bad….real bad.  After winning the battle against vomiting since the middle of October, without any warning, my stomach exploded upwards. It was crazy, just wham up it shot!  I had to dive off the toilet I was parked on…shorts and pants at my ankles...and vomit what tiny bit I had in me.  That quickly turned into horrible dry heaves that went on and on with Dawn and Cheryl outside the door calling in trying to figure out if I was okay.  No surprise to me, as weak as I was, eventually my arms and head slide off the bowl and I collapsed to the floor. 

Or I guess that is how it went – I sure do not have any memory of thinking, “Hey!  I think I’ve had all the fun I can take screaming at the top of my lungs into a porcelain bowl so I’m going to nick a little nap now down there on that pretty blue tile floor.  What a sight that had to be, snot running out of my nose, slobber out of my mouth dripping onto the floor, and my underwear and pants still all the way down tangled in my feet.  Another UTube moment lost, huh?!

Speaking of bathroom, I think I will wrap this up for now…