Monday, August 16, 2010

Medi week: day two (and four)!

**This is not mine, but it IS available on ebay, so happy bidding!**

Drip drip drop little liquid energy!

As mentioned before my iron levels dropped. Maybe plummeted. I, optimistically, would like to say they've scooped, because they are super low now, but hopefully, they are shooting back up, as I type.

When the nurse called to give me the numbers, I could tell something was wrong. I asked her to give me my original numbers, post-iv numbers and latest draw numbers. I made my cute little columns. She asked how I was feeling, which I totally thought was a trick question. I was going to say, "I feel lousy," and she was going to say, "Really? Because your iron is higher than ever!" But, as she read the numbers, my cruddy feeling was NOT due to the vicodin (not valium).

HOW could my iron levels be LOWER now than they were 6 weeks, an iron iv, 42 multi-vitamins, 126 iron supplements and who knows how many burgers and steaks ago?!

As Carol says, "We need to do a double IV of iron as soon as you can," I coyly reply, "Well, that's no shocker, I've always been a double shot of espresso kinda gal," while internally, I start to freak. After checking schedules and setting up appointments at the marrow transplant center, Carol and I start to chat. I ask her if we're slapping a band-aid on something that needs stitches and she asks me to elaborate.

Me: Well, we keep pumping me full of iron, but obviously, something's not working. Should we be looking at other things? LIke maybe I should be doing more, dietary wise, to up my iron intake? Or something??

Carol: Well, regardless you need iron, NOW.

Me: Umm. Ok, but like I said, is there something else I should be looking at? Worried about?

Carol: Let's just get this iron in you first. Then we'll pull labs and if these two didn't work, Doc. T will have you see a hematologist.

Cue medical googling. OMBATHTUBS! I have stomach cancer! Or intestinal cancer! Or celiac! AHHHHH!

So I email my medi info to my bestest buddy who also happens to be fighting breast cancer, and kicking it's butt if I may say so! I didn't want to burden her with my wahh wahh's, but she is a nurse AND she's had iron infusions, so I thought she could offer me some medical insight. She medically advised me to step away from the google. Point taken.

Anyway, I excitedly purchase a book for the double and head downtown. As I mentioned before, the place isn't what I expected. A u-shape of recliners and a nurse station. I guess misery does love company. Anyway, as miserable as you may feel, it's guaranteed that the guy or gal sitting in the chair to the left is probably feeling a heck-of-a lot worse (except for the guy or gal sitting to my right).

The nurse asked if I needed an IV, and I joked that no, I'd take it on the rocks. She prepped my arm and I bragged about what great veins I have. We even joked that she could close her eyes and poke, and she'd probably get a good one. So what happened? Poke and roll. My BEST vein in my left arm rolled, and she chased after it with that needle. No re-sticking, just digging around with that needle until she got it. That's what I get for bragging.

I had planned on chatting with the nurses about my iron and the connection to my back problems thinking the low iron was affecting my back, but Thursday was SUPER busy. Instead, I tried to pour myself into my book. Problem? I hated it. I'm sure I just didn't give it enough time, but I just couldn't get into it. Also? I was cold?

About the time I was breaking down and unplugging myself to do some pole dancing, a girl my age, her two kids and her mother walked in and took a seat two chairs down. Mom was there for chemo, daughter was there to drive her and the kids were there because they had nowhere else to go.

I shuffled across the room to the blanket closet which happened to be right next to the little girl and her mom. I notice the little girl (Strip's age) checking me out. Not only was the only one with my own, natural hair, but I was also the only one with tar dripping into the iv. I overheard the mom say, "It's just her medicine, like grandma has, and it goes right into her body to help her." When I glanced over, I could tell they were both staring at me and looked away, uncomfortably. I smiled and told her, "It's iron, but I like to think of it as my energy drip! It's going to help me have more energy and be strong, like a superhero!"

Part of me wanted to tell her it was because "I didn't eat my broccoli and spinach as a child, and now they had to grind it up and shoot it into me with a GIANT needle, so eat your veggies, kid!" but I figure any kid who has to hang out hear while watching their grandma fight cancer didn't need that kind of lie from a stranger!

But, Mom and I got to chatting, and it was really nice. She got the ear she needed to listen to her, and we shared funny stories our kids. We talked about cancer and kids and exhaustion and faith and school and Jesus. Overall, a better 2 hours than I could have ever spent in a book.

Today, I came prepared with a new book and grabbed a new chair. My vein rolling nurse was on again today, so I told her I was just going to keep my mouth shut this time! She got me on the first stab, but MAN did today's hurt. They even slowed the drip down and gave me a heat pack, but OUCH did it hurt today. Luckily, it was pretty quiet, and I could pour myself into my book.

The minutes ticked by, but soon, it was time to go. And so the clock starts ticking for the next two weeks. But just incase the drip wasn't enough, I stopped for a burger on the way home. Then ate a spinach salad :-)

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