Wednesday, March 25, 2015

(Nurse) Friend for a day

Well, actually, she was only my friend for about an hour and a half, but she made my bimonthly therapeutic phlebotomy as pleasant as can be yesterday at Baystate Health, where we chatted away the time about this and that and touched on such important topics as my nurse Lynn having the same name as my mother, only spelled differently.

It was much better in the new location in a hospital setting as opposed to where it was formerly done in the blood donor center.
My nurse, Lynn Schwartz, and me

I had a bed and a nice nurse to sit with me, and although this is not a good photo of me, I am posting the selfie for fun.

(Note to grammar checkers: I double checked the most common use of bimonthly and it is every two months, although it can also but less often mean twice a month.)

I always felt out of place in the blood donor center, where through no fault of my own I am dumping blood rather than donating it like the good souls in the other chairs.

Plus, the nurses who I dealt with yesterday understood where I am coming from and took the time to reassure me by giving me a second finger stick when I was not happy with the hemoglobin count from the first one.

To back up: One time when I went to the donor center for this procedure, my hemoglobin measured 11. My orders from Dana-Farber required it to be 11.3 or above, so they said they couldn't do it. Also they seemed to forget why I was there, because the phlebotomist, when seeing the low level, said, "Good news, you don't have to be drawn."

I had carved out a chunk of my day to do this, and I asked if they would please recheck it because previously this had happened at the Kraft Blood Center at Dana-Farber and when they rechecked after I warmed up my hands, it was fine.

The phlebotomist made a big production, calling in her supervisor and even paging a doctor, who all said it was a good stick and they saw no reason to take the seconds needed to try again.

Yesterday the finger stick showed 11.4. It was high enough to draw, but although I know realistically that after six years I am safe, an aberration can still put me into a reflexive panic mode. Just a few weeks ago my tests at Dana-Farber showed a normal level, (12-something, in the low normal range of 12 to 15.5, but normal is normal) and I wondered how it could drop so quickly.

The nurse who had tested it yesterday let me run my other hand under hot water and sit on it for a minute or two, and viola`, "You'll be much happier this time," she said, because it read 12.2.

I could have had an extra-strength day by taking the Exjade in the morning, but I treated myself to a day off.

Lynn said to take it easy for the next 48 hours. I wondered if maybe I could just go Pilates today because that it not too strenuous. She said that actually it is, and I said, oh yes, the hundred...

Struggling to stay awake at the end of my short drive home from Springfield, I pulled into the Big Y parking lot in South Hadley to take a nap.

This morning, a cup of coffee and a piece of orange almond cake at the Thirsty Mind while writing a piece for the Vassar Quarterly helped pick me up. Twice around the lake and a walk through campus with Maddie and a friend saved me from following up on my notion that I should at least go to the pool.

1 comment:

Frank said...

Ronnie. Hi! Your the one that got away at Vassar! Glad to hear you are well. Frank Wolff