zen.org Communal Weblog

March 12, 2011

Hit the wall

Filed under: — elana @ 23:49 IST

Forgive me, since  I’m really tired so there might be a few errors.  Actually, is that now a common theme?

B had a rough day today.  He’s tired: physically and mentally.  He doesn’t want to be there, of course. But his vision is getting a bit worse, and that’s getting him down.  That’s part of the fun of today…we got to ride in an ambulance!

But wait!, I hear you say.  Weren’t you already in a hospital?  One of the largest in Dublin?  YES! I exclaim!  BUT there aren’t eye docs in Vincent’s on weekends.  Let me start over…

I walked into the room this afternoon at around 2.  I said “Hi sweetie, how was last night?”  He said “It really wasn’t that great.”  I walked out to the nurses to talk to them, since talking too much tires him.  Basically, his vision is worse, and since there are no eye docs around, they got the reg to see him (that’s the equivalent of a resident, if I understand it right).  Now, this all could have been done before I got there, but B didn’t want to have them put drops in his eyes, in case (steel yourself now)…he couldn’t see me when I got there.

/blows nose in tissue.

At that point I said, Get the freaking drops already!  They put in what B and I call the Mr Burns drops: B had to get them for his laser surgery years ago, and they dilate your pupils so the docs can see your eyes really well.  He totally looked just like this.

The reg checked out his eyes, and basically said that he thought that there was some bleeding or something, but he wasn’t an eye doc.  So they talked to the SHO (senior house officer, IIRC?) who agreed on them calling an ambulance to transport B to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital, or what everyone here calls the Eye and Ear, where they would see him in the A&E department right away.

So, a little while later, after B had his dinner so I think it was around 5, the ambulance men came in and off we went to the other hosp.  Irish ambulances are kewl, btw.  They have these hydraulic lifts, and proper seats for passengers.  It was me, sitting near B’s head on the stretcher, Nurse D behind me, and the ambulance man riding backwards against the front of the ambulance.

We get to the eye and ear, and get seen by the intake nurse, B.  She was a bit scary and intimidating (you should have seen Nurse D’s eyebrows go up, was hilarious) until her peppering B with questions made him visibly upset.  She chilled then, and was a bit gentler.  She checked his basic vision, and then we went in to see the eye doc, F.  Who looked at his eyes for a few minutes, and basically said that he is hemorrhaging in his retinas due to the low platelets in his blood (true, since he got two bags of sticky platelets this afternoon while I was there).  They aren’t sure if it’s connected to the leukemia or the chemo, but it would be one of them.  And there is no guarantee that it will clear up, or that it won’t.  They just don’t know, and won’t until the leukemia goes away.

So we get bundled up, wait a bit in another room, and the ambulance men come back (“Sorry there, we were on the Naas Road with a van versus car…guy didn’t want us to cut the car to get him out.  Twas new, he said!”) and off we go back to Vincents.  B was absolutely wrecked at this point.  I’d say it only took about an hour and a half, but he was sitting up most of the time, which he hasn’t done a lot of in the past few days.  Plus talking, it was a bit chilly, the ambulance really didn’t have good shock absorbers and the stretcher looked kinda uncomfortable.  But hey, this way he was so happy to be back in his room in Vincents, he was looking forward to it!

We got back, he got his next double dose of chemo (it was Kool Aid in a syringe night again, as well as the drip in the purple bag) and was almost asleep at the end of that.  He still needed another 2 bags of blood tonight, but that happened, I guess, after I left.  I needed to meet up with B’s Aunt Mary and Sheelah, who had the boys for the afternoon.

So this is where he is…he’s not able to read or type.  The laptop came home with me…and those of us who know geeks know that that’s possibly the saddest part of all of this.  I’m skimming his email each day and filling him in on things, but any responses you get will be from me.  He’s too tired to dictate too much to me, so the writing will be only from me from now on.

The boys are doing well, so far. P likes that he can pretty much go to whoever’s house he wants. Eoin’s just hanging out and going with the flow.

As for me?  Holding it all together, I guess.  This evening  was the beginning of day 5 of chemo, so it’s been 6 days from diagnosis.  We’re halfway through the first round of chemo.  I can’t really remember this week, and I can’t really imagine the next week.  Our lovely friends and family are keeping us going, and there aren’t words enough to express our thanks.  We’re going to need those good vibes next week, when the chemo is done, and we start with the wbc regeneration.

Shoutouts today to the awesome Nurse D, who helped us laugh through some of this; to Mary for the minestrone; Dolores for being there; and the awesome Aunties who are propping me up so well.  And many many congrats to Magda’s brother and sister in law, who had their second son this morning at 6!  Whoo hoo!  The world needs more wonderful people like them!

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