CDC Symptom Diary Card

Friday, October 23, 2009

cover your cough

Well, I spoke too soon. Here I thought I was on a clean path of relief until next week's chemo and then I was in the ER two nights ago. I think it started on Tuesday when someone coughed in the clinic and didn't cover her mouth. I know that sounds paranoid, but it's like I "knew" it right at that second in time.

She was a very distressed older female who was in the clinic for the first time. I had been sent to the 3rd floor because I had excruciating abdominal pain, and wanted to talk to one of my doctor's nurses. I have had abdominal pain since surgery, and it has recently intensified. I was and still am worried about either an ulcer or something being wayward with my abdominal port. So I had just received my neupogen shot and was waiting in the lobby of the 3rd floor clinic, and this woman and her friend came in all flustered. They had not taken a moment to be screened for colds/flu downstairs. Well, one just coughed without covering her mouth and it was if I could feel the blanket of "flu" cover me.

The receptionist immediately called her to the desk and screened her and gave her info on precautions. I can't be angry, it just "happened". But it is a lesson for us all. It's so easy for me to get sick, but we are all vulnerable.

Well, that night I had formed a slight headache, but on Wednesday morning I woke up with migrain level head pain. For the record, I never get headaches, just not my deal. I get stomach problems and joint problems, but have been fortunate as far as headaches go. So of course I was doubly miserable because I still had the super intense abdominal pain and now a headache from down under. I was in bed all day, unable to eat.

My thermometer was not working well, and finally at 11pm I asked mom to borrow her thermometer. Temp was 101.4. I panicked a little, took a tylenol, and it went down a bit. The resident on call said to go to the ER, so my poor sister and mom had to be with me in the ER until almost 5am Thursday morning. So after being up all day, my mom and sister entertained themselves watching infomercials on hard plastic chairs, eating vending machine chex mix and laughing at me when I received my pain killers. The IV nurse (guy) was excellent. He didn't want to use the central line/port already in my body, but when he started the IV, he was quick and accurate. No bruising.

Now I am on Tamiflu, tylenol, and lots of fluids. Still have stomach pain. Still running a slight temperature, but it's not over 101. I am now on a softer diet, and have been referred to a nutritionist.

By the way, if you have cancer and you go to the ER with a headache, they automatically do a CT Scan of your head. Can't wait to see that bill. Also if you go to the ER and have abdominal pain, they automatically do a pregnancy test, even if you tell them you had a hysterectomy. Crazy, it's part of their panel of tests, and I don't want to pay for that either.

I am so grateful to my mom and Mandy for taking me to the ER and making that whole ordeal bearable. The staff was professional and nice. My physician looked more like a lumberjack than anything else, and he was the coolest ever. They were all so nice and laid back, and treated us with respect. What a change!

My sister actually got back home at 5:30 am, maybe napped, took kids to school, volunteered at Addie's school, took a nap, and went to work on an order for her Savvywraps! Yeah for her. Amazing energy!

I love you Mom and Mandy, thank you!!!!

And also thank you to Tammy Gabel today for sending me some beautiful scarves. I will put them to good use, it was a very thoughtful gift. Thank you!!

I received a note from my new church in Seattle, and look forward to developing a relationship with members of that community too.

In spite of all the pain, I still feel very lucky. I need the pain to go away, because I do not know how I will function and work later next year. It will subside, just not as fast as I'd like.

Hope all of you are well and thank you for your prayers.


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