Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Fun with kids and at Dana-Farber

Minnehaha Falls, Minneapolis
After a couple of downbeat posts about neuropathy and nightmares, it's time for some (mostly) fun stuff.

I had a great four days in Minneapolis with Katie, arriving home Monday feeling beat but feeling good.

It was sunny and warm, great for swimming in Lake Nokomis, riding 10 miles round trip along the Mississippi on the Grand Rounds Scenic Byway and stopping for our selfie at Minnehaha Falls (first time in a long time on hills but granny gear served me well), walking in parks, drinking coffee, eating out and hanging out, having lunch in Saint Paul with our friend Marysue Moses, enjoying my fabulous Airbnb, going to lively Shabbat services on Friday night, and going on an adventure to picturesque, artsy Stockholm Wisconsin,  about an hour and a half of a scenic drive away.

I love Minneapolis. Parks and lakes all over the place! 

Found Joe at the Open
It can be pretty hard to track down all three kids in the same general time period, but I accomplished it by seeing Joe briefly when he was working at the US Open while Donna and I were there, and by going with Ben and Nell to the beach in Fairfield on Labor Day and also saying a quick hello to Meghan and baby Callen. 

Long-lasting feel-good moment: Nell holding my hand when going down to the water and saying "Grandma jump" when we were jumping in the (small) waves.

Today it was back to the medical grind: checkup with Melissa followed by ECP. It is not exactly a grind because I love seeing Melissa and spending three hours with the fun nurses at the Kraft Family Blood Donor Center. But it is a time sucker. I did get to play tennis but cut it so close (not wanting to leave the Canoe Club) that I didn't take a shower. (Sorry, gross, I guess.)

Ben and Nell at the beach
I am farblondjet over the neurologist's instructions on what to do about the neuropathy. I shared my confusion with Melissa. The neurologist said to increase my gabapentin at night, so I took three 300-milligram tabs at night as opposed to one, per her instructions. That was Monday. 

Yesterday morning I felt drugged. It was my first day back at The Literacy Project. I was embarrassed because I couldn't keep my eyes open. It was like being back in school and hoping the teacher didn't see me. There was probably some leftover fatigue from my trip, but I don't believe that accounted for such intense drowsiness. Melissa said to take  two instead of three and call the neurologist. My feet only tingle when I'm still, so maybe the solution is to run around all the time. 

While I used to live by my counts, these days I mostly just ask how they are. She said they were excellent, and that was good enough for me.

Selfie with Francisco 
On  my way across the bridge to ECP, aka the blood treatment for my graft vs. host of the skin, moved to 4 p.m. now, I was happy to bump into one of my favorite doctors, infectious disease specialist Francisco Marty. He has an actual infectious smile. Even when I was super sick, I smiled when he came in.

He is also as excellent photographer, as you can see from our selfie. 

At ECP, my nurse had trouble getting the needle in. Ellen, the PA, came over to distract me. It hurt for a little bit but then settled down with help from a heat pack. 

It can be a lot of fun over there.

One of the nurses started to crack up over Ted Cruz's account liking a porn tweet. She came over to my bed and reported that Cruz's college roommate said that based on Ted's behavior back then, he was not surprised. A couple of others came over.

Two residents stopped by to chat. I'm as interested in them as they are in me, and hearing their stories helps pass the time.

We were three patients with four nurses, busy monitoring us but also with time to talk. I'm getting to know them as friends. I bring my laptop, New Yorker and a book, but sometimes, like today, I'm so busy talking and laughing that I don't even take anything out.

All in all it wasn't so bad.

But getting home after 9 at night, and then eating and writing this, and ending up staying up too late, makes for a long day.

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