Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Nurse Island

I felt the best I ever have post-five hours of chemo yesterday. I got small boy to piano, and picked up a van load of large boys after practice, got everyone home safely, got my peeps feed and through homework and off to bed and it really wasn't a struggle. I had trouble getting up for my vampy blue plate special this morning, but I got to the hospital by 10:30 for the 4 hour procedure and then I crashed. My blood pressure went down to 70/40 and while it's up from that now, I feel really kinda zonked. I guess my body has a lot to assimilate, having had nine hours of foreign matter pumped into it over two days. I'm sometimes frozen in disbelief at the ordealishness of this ordeal.

I had a list of things I was going to do this afternoon which I guess was a silly notion. Instead I came home to my wrecked house, too messy to enjoy, dishes to do, laundry to fold, bills to pay, it's so hard to keep up even when life is normal. I laid in bed with the cats for a couple of hours feeling very lazy, at the same time, I couldn't quite move. I have to have long talks with myself, me explaining to me that lying in bed doesn't make me lazy if I have no choice, reminding myself of the extenuation circumstances {like I can really forget}. Cutting yourself a break is a hard thing to do.

The chemo ward is a large square room with an O-shaped nurses island in the middle. The perimeter of the room is lined with individual, 3-walled chemo cubicles, each open facing nurse island. Each cubicle has a big lounge chair, a visitors chair, a giant IV pole on wheels that plugs into the wall behind the chair, and receptacles for different kinds of waste -- regular trash, medical waste, bio-hazard and such.

We all unplug ourselves at times to roll to the bathroom and it seems to be common courtesy to look straight ahead and not at the people in the other cubes. I can't help myself, I peek. It's usually all old, and oldish folks, I've never seen anyone there my age until yesterday and then again today. Sometimes I wish I were doing treatments at Women and Infants because there'd be all women and some my age and I'd feel less freakish and unfairly picked on, and I bet there'd be more chatting. At my hospital, I've never seen one patient talk to another one, we all stay obediently in our little cages. Yesterday, I asked my nurse if the other woman had breast cancer too and she said "oh no, it's very sad" and I knew not to ask for details which is incredibly difficult for me. Today the same woman was next to me and I said "hi" when I walked by and every time I walked by and peeked at her she peeked at me. I wanted to go talk to her, to say hello, introduce myself, but I just couldn't. I don't know why, I'm not a terribly boundary-oriented person {some would say I have a problem in that regard} but I just couldn't do it, I'm not sure why. But I have this woman on my mind and I'm really wishing her well.

1 comment:

  1. I'll bet you have been on her mind as well :) If she wasn't interested in contact, she would be plugged in and not peeking!