Friday, November 13, 2009

No transfusions for second week in a row

On Monday I got my blood drawn in "Danny's Room." This is a small room down the hall from the major infusion room. It can fit two patients, or sometimes three, and is presided over by a cool nurse named (duh) Danny. He works with another nurse, or, sometimes, two others. I was never really sure why Danny got his own room, but in any case, it's usually fun going in there.

Danny wears an earring and sports an irreverent attitude. He is also incredibly sweet. He usually has something funny to say, and Monday was no exception. Danny was drawing blood from a young man who had a Hickman catheter. The patient didn't look too happy. He was very thin, his eyes were half-closed, and his head hung down. I was in the opposite chair, being drawn by another friendly nurse whose name I don't remember.

The other patient held one of the tubes for a minute as it filled with blood, and he said, "Wow, it's really warm." Danny replied, "That's good, because if it was cold, you wouldn't be telling me about it."

The patient started to laugh. Then he laughed harder, not loud guffaws, but very quiet little bursts. It was contagious. My nurse started to laugh, and then I joined in. "I hope mine is warm too," I said. "I'll bet you a million bucks it will be," Danny said.

For a moment, we all sat there laughing.

I think the other patient and I were refreshed, ready to face the rest of the day. It's great to have nurses – and there are plenty of them – who make you laugh. It's probably good for them, because if they don't lighten up, it must be extra hard to work all day around some serious stuff – and it's definitely good for the patients. It's as though they've been given permission to not take themselves so seriously.

I got out of there for the second week in a row without a transfusion. My counts were actually about the same as last week. Platelets were just about the same, whites were up, and hematocrit was actually down, from 28 to 25. , but they would rather skip the transfusion if they can, so off I went.

Diane brought tuna sandwiches which we ate together. It was nice visiting, plus the homemade sandwich gave me a chance to avoid the egg salad lady. I was going to follow PJ's lead and make my own sandwich, but I was running late as usual and didn't have time.

It was early, about 4 p.m., when I got on the road, but for some reason I was incredibly tired and started getting that urge to close my eyes as I drove towards the turnpike on Route 9. I had planned to stop at a Starbucks on my way to the highway, which I did, but first I pulled into a spot and konked out for about half an hour. Then I got my coffee and I was fine for the rest of the way home.

I dashed into the supermarket and picked up Maddie at doggie daycare, aka Jim and Jane's house. She runs around in the backyard most of the day with their big dog Blue, who, according to Jim and Jane, likes the exercise. Then she makes herself at home and gets on the bed with Jim, who works part time. She takes a nap with him, her head on his shoulder.

Sorry this post is late. I've been pretty busy all week. Last night my book club met here, and it took a while to pull it all together with making the living room presentable (getting Katie to help me move all the stuff that gathers there) and then buying cheese and crackers, fruit, cookies, etc. We discussed Anita Diamant's "Day After Night," a novel about four women, refugees from Europe in World War II, who are imprisoned by the British in then-Palestine in an internment camp called Atlit for illegal immigrants.

It's based on fact, so we had an interesting discussion about a piece of history most of us hadn't known about. Next up is Olive Kitteridge by Elizabeth Strout.

Well I have to go pack for a flight to Philadelphia for Tami's daughter Sarah's wedding. Dr. Alyea gave permission for me to go as long as I wear a mask on the plane. Tami is among the "sisters" I've known since high school. Emily, another "bff" from Friends, is flying from Pittsburgh and connecting with me in Philly. She is worried that I will miss the plane. She gave me a wake-up call this morning and I was already up. Ha. I really need someone here telling me not to procrastinate by doing such things as writing on the computer. So I guess I better sign off. I'm going to catch that plane!


donna said...

You are AWESOME girl! Little steps towards wellness: two weeks in a row without transfusions! And isn't it great to be so busy with life: hosting a book club meeting and flying to a fun get-together! You do it all with style. Have fun!

PJ said...

I think you've turned the corner. It's amazing how quickly it can happen.

Enjoy your trip. Do you have a fancy mask to wear to the wedding?

Anonymous said...

Ronni -- I heard about what you're going through from the Friends grapevine and can't believe it. You're an amazingly tough character...I got a little sense of that back in High School. Both of my parents succombed to cancer in my 20's before they had better ways to treat it.
I'm not surpised that you took up running with those long legs of'd probably beat me hands down. Send me an email if you want. Jonny

Ronni Gordon said...

If Jonny checks back in: Send me your e-mail address!

Susan C said...

Great post. I felt I was right there with you in "Danny's Room" yukking it up.

So thrilled that you get to take the trip to Philly.

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