zen.org Communal Weblog

July 1, 2011

Helter Skelter

Filed under: — brendan @ 21:44 GMT

This morning, while I was finishing my breakfast, a nurse appeared with a wheelchair to bring me down for my chest x-ray. Apparently they were going to do it last night, but I was asleep and they didn’t want to wake me. What’s funny about this whole thing is the fact that the nurse was going to be bringing me down herself. She’d sent a request for a porter to come, but after 15 minutes with no response, she didn’t want to wait any longer. She was even more fun when, in both directions to and from the x-ray, we passed at least 3 or 4 porters each way who were hanging out in the halls talking to each other. With no wheelchairs or patients around them. Tsk, tsk.

It’s been a busy day for my central line. Later in the morning my fever (over 38 C aka about 100 F) came back, so they gave me some paracetamol and at least two different antibiotics. Apparently my hemoglobin count went from 9.x yesterday to 7.x today, so they decided to do 2 blood transfusions; the first started in the early afternoon. By the time that one was done, though, my fever was back up to 38. More paracetamol, and then later a very cold bottle of water, both to try to bring the fever back down so they could do the second bag of blood. I was also encouraged to turn off the light which is above my bed, since it emits heat and could be “heating [my] head”. Really. And despite all this fever-ishness, I feel pretty okay.

I asked one of the haemotologists what could make a hemoglobin count drop like that. She said they’d gone through the various possibilities, including me having been bleeding anywhere internally or externally (including “the back passage”). Since none of those match, they believe it’s related to my fever and the infection involved in it.

There were two different sets of blood cultures done today, one in the morning and one late in the afternoon. Part of it is drawn from the line, while one remaining glass container gets blood from a fresh vein in my hand or arm; I thought I wasn’t going to have to do those anymore. I get the impression they do these blood cultures each time your blood pressure “spikes”.

One nurse mentioned we may not know until Monday or Tuesday. I didn’t understand why, actually. Well, until the second blood culture was taken. Ironically, the ones taken this afternoon won’t actually be looked at until Monday. The nurse said the important thing is getting them while my fever is up, “so they can get the things that you’re growing.” Insert here an image of those little green bugs they show in the commercials which bathroom cleaners are killing. Instead, this is a lab with medical geeks trying to identify my infection.

Just plain weird, sometimes, even for those who like science…

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