Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Nothing like a day @ the hospital to cheer you up!

This morning I woke up with a bad attitude and angry that I am getting sicker and there seems to be no end in sight. This has not been the first time I felt this and won't be the last. As I wallowed in my self pity and developed a sharp bit of anger I prepared for a day of adventure. I had to get to the hospital by 730 to start with a blood draw (7 vials). This was followed by a trip to the cath lab for a procedure I have been undergoing for quarterly for the past 3 years. I showed up with my traditional skull shoes that I have become semi-famous for. A tech comes out to get me and puts me in a holding room where a nurse wants me to change into a gown, lay down and prepare for an IV to be placed. None of this is part of my normal procedure. We argue for a while and I capitulate to the possible change in protocol. IV placement has become difficult for some reason and today was no exception. 1, 2, 3 strikes your in, imagine what this has done for my mood. I then return to the waiting room and try my darndest to not fall asleep. Eventually it is into the lab to get the procedure done. The normal preparation of the site etc and the stabbing begins. The challenge is to place a catheter in my jugular vein and snake it to my heart to get some readings. Knowing that the cardiac fellow performing the procedure has not seen me in quite some time, I remind him that the vein is distal to the entry site. He hears me say this from under a blue tent that has been created with the surgical drape. He must have thought I was talking in my sleep because he ignored that bit of advice and missed the vein. He trudged on with the catheter scraping the back of my collarbone as either a point of reference or just for fun. The attending Dr came in and looked at the screen and said flatly "take that out". He then proceeded to order some meds for my IV and fluids since I was dehydrated. He then finished the procedure himself without incident. I was terribly sleepy for some reason. I come to find out that they administered Versed during the procedure and I needed to be in a holding room for an hour to let it wear off. This too was out of the norm for my procedure but it did have a better effect on my mood. They fed me a box lunch while I waited and I tried desperately not to fall asleep with food in my mouth with itinerant success. Once released, we look for another good spot to wait for my next appointment in an hour or so.
Waiting and people watching had an additional calming effect. I was not nearly in the horrible mood I started in by the time we got to the clinic waiting room. The place is up for grabs and we find the only 2 seats available to wait. Unlike any other medical office, the appointment time comes and goes and there we sit. We is my wife and I. About 5 minutes after, a young lady comes out and calls "Jim?" Some 6'10" dude get s up and goes thru the door. More than 1 Jim I guess. About 15 minutes later another young lady comes out and calls "Jim?" I get up and go with her and get into the exam room where I see the name of a Dr I don not know. My wife asks the MA, "Who is Dr …?" The MA looks at the chart and asks "what is your last name?" Out to the waiting room again and yet another Jim joins the fray. 5 minutes pass and a confused 6'10" guy, followed by a blushing MA come back out. He was more than surprised when the topic of transplant came up as he was having his vitals taken since he was there for an echo. Long story short, they thought he was me. I finally get into the exam room (take 2) and wait for the Dr. my transplant coordinator comes in and is lambasted about the changed procedures from the mornings events. Stammering and blinking repeatedly, she tells us to ask the Dr when he comes in. No worries, will do. Dr comes in and we give him the business in a more lighthearted manner. He jokes with me for a bit and gets the exam done.
By the time we are out of that place it is 4pm and I have to stop on the way home to get a script for an injectable drug to bridge my blood thinner. Nothing like twice daily shots in the belly to cap the day off. We finally get home, I am very tired and have several holes healing up. Odd thing is, I am just fine. The mood and self pity are gone. I don't care how or why, I am just glad to be back.
Next week on the Greatest Gift, ICD surgery and a visit from Mom and Sis. I am looking forward to 2 out of those 3…
Be good to each other,

Monday, April 6, 2009

Keep Living!!!!!!!!!

I got a call from my brother the other night. He and his wife recently added a son to their family. They live in the Midwest and here I sit in Salt Lake awaiting my transplant. I am not allowed to travel as a result. To my surprise, my wife and I were asked to be the godparents for this newest addition. The first thought to cross my mind is that I cannot be there to attend the baptism because of this situation. I immediately counted myself out due to the limited travel and my physical condition. Was I ever wrong. My brother proceeded to tell me that they would come here to have the baptism. What a fantastic idea!! My wife and I are honored and so excited about the upcoming events.

This got me to thinking about the whole transplant process. I have been listed for almost 3 years now and have missed my share of functions and family gatherings, the birth of my new nephew among them. That does not mean I have to count myself out. I can still retain my relationships with out of town family and friends and share in their lives as well as start and foster new relationships along the way. This transplant journey may be a detour from my original path but it is NOT a stop sign unless I let it be. Keep Living!!!

Be good to each other.