Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Finally! Out of Emerg and into a Room!

I didn't know how really awful staying in emergency was until I finally got moved, an hour ago, to a room! OMG!! This feels like the Hilton. I have a bed and not just a gurney with a chunk of cardboard for a mattress. My hips will be in lala land when I sleep tonight! I have a bathroom! I just had a shower for the first time since at home on Monday morning. I feel clean again. I can brush my teeth without an ordeal. I can wash my face. I got out of my clothes for the first time since Monday. Man, I was stinky! Sorry for that odour-image.

I have a window. A view over the river much like the view from the building where I work. In fact it's right next door. I also get real food instead of some generic and unappetizing boxed lunches (mercifully doctored and supplemented by Hannah). Hospital food doesn't have the best reputation in the first place but today's lunch was a vast improvement over what I'd been receiving to date. Too bad my appetite is a little off.

Comfort is massively improved. My white blood cell counts showed signs of rising today. They were 1.5 (or close to that) as opposed to .02 (or whatever that measly number was. I'm having trouble remembering all the details. Chemo-brain or Heather-brain. I'm not sure yet. I know that last night I tried reading a book and I read the first sentence several times. I kept forgetting the first part of the sentence by the time I got to the end and so had trouble grasping the meaning. And it wasn't a tricky sentence. I got better as I went. Good sign.

Last night I had continued problems with fever. Late afternoon, about an hour after taking tylenol for my headache, my fever went up to 38.7. They gave me more tylenol 3 hours later which brought my fever down to almost normal. And then in the night it spiked again to 38.3. They still don't have an explanation for the fever. They keep looking at the infected blister on the soft under-belly of my left arm and haven't been able to say what it is. Nobody has said "shingles" yet so I'm hoping it's not that. They wonder if it isn't a boil or a rogue hair folicle thingie.

Today was a big hair loss day. It's been coming out in little bits and pieces since yesterday but after today's shower, I had a big, hairy mess on my hands. Can you imagine if Carol hadn't cut it?! The nurse helped me after my shower and she filled the garbage can with hair. FILLED! I don't look bald (I have pretty thick hair) but believe me, there's a lot of hair in that garbage can. I'd show you a photo if I had my camera. You would be amazed.

I know I have to be here at least one more day. Someone said they think my white blood cell counts have to be over 2.5 before I can go home and, of course, this fever has to be under control. I'm having a lot of headaches, too. Maybe it's the antibiotics and all the fluids they keep pumping through me.

Darrel spent the morning with me and helped me get moved to my room at noon. It was nice to have that time to chat with my bro. Brenda was here at work today, so she stopped by. Thanks, Brenda. And Patio stopped in for a moment just now. Gum! I didn't know I needed gum or I would have asked for some. Cuzin Dave came by yesterday with some reading materials for me. Thanks, Dave.

Last night Hannah, Luke, Kevin and Darrel all came by. Hannah's been spending lots of time with me and I appreciate that and all she thinks to bring for me ... good food ... good music ... good literature ... good conversation.

And thanks to everyone for cheering for me and for your comments and emails. I'm very grateful for my team.


  1. Hi Heather
    Bummer that you are still there but great to be out of emerg and to have a view of the river. Home is always more comfortable but you don't want to be there with an IV. Michael was on an IV for an infection at home once for 5 days. I was responsible for looking after it and changing the bags precisely every 8 hours. They said something at the hospital about taking health care into the community, empowering parents, etc. It was horrible. You don't want to do that to a family member! So you are safe and well looked after and sound amazingly upbeat in the face of all this added excitement. I am thinking vicious thoughts in the direction of your infection, hoping to encourage it to leave. In the meantime, enjoy being looked after, even if the food isn't so great!

  2. Hi Heather from all us Steponchev`s!Wow!You can make a party out of anything!That is one of the first requirements for becoming a GYPSY!R.J.will be proud of you.Lots of love from all of us.Chuck

  3. Hi Nora!

    I had a big chuckle at your "vicious thoughts"! I love that image. I can see you crinkling up your nose and narrowing your eyes to send them. Whatever you're doing, it's working! The infection is subsiding and I'm getting stronger. Thanks for your help!

    I can't believe you would have had handle intravenous at home! How scary is that??!! Not this kid. Not then. Not ever. They would have to drag me out of the hospital before I'd try to manage that for me or anyone at home. I have always considered myself one of the least likely people to be involved in the medical field and that's because I'm pretty much a wuss about all things medical.

    How are all your critters?

  4. Hi Cheryl,

    I'm just getting now to responding to comments on this blog. We already have a laugh over your "party" and "gypsy" comments, didn't we? (giggle). Yeah, this is a real party, I tell ya! Woo hooo ...

    Thanks for stopping by with RJ today. It was good to see you both.

  5. Hey Heather, not sure whether you go back and read old comments that have been added but I thought I would add one here. About the worry that the blister might be shingles....I have had them twice and lived through it so I sure you can survive that if that is what it is. Hope not though, a blister is simpler. Sorry to hear that you wound up in hospital. If I had read the blog sooner I would have come to see you. And about the hair, no biggie. Some heads are beautiful naked!! I am sure yours will be!!
    And not having to worry about doing the hair all the time, kinda nice and time saving!! I know easy for me to will grow back and may be totally different color or type so a surprise is in order in the future. Something to look forward to right? Love all the flower photos!!!! Take care..........Gail Wittig
    Splurge buddy


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