How I Spent My Summer Vacation


Wednesday, May 27, 2009
The summer heat is upon us which can only mean one thing: fighting over the temp in the house. Honestly! Tom believes a house isn't livable until you can see your breath; I, on the other hand, believe you shouldn't have to wear a parka in your home during the summer months. We compromise. During the day while Tom is at work I will knock the temp up, then an hour before he gets home I run the temp back down again. On this particular Wednesday I forgot to make the house cooler before the iceman cometh home. OK, yes, I do know that the thermostat can be programmed to automatically adjust the temp throughout the day - but that would require me having to read instructions, and really...that is so not going to happen.
So, Tom gets home and mumbles something about bursting into flames then readjusts the air temp himself. I was so cold that night I couldn't sleep. By 3 am I am shivering and wearing pretty much all my clothes at the same time. I finally decide I'm going to go sit in a bath of scalding hot water to warm up. This worked for a few minutes, then I was right back to shivering again. By 4:30 I was able to fall asleep, but not for long. I'd only slept for about an hour or so when I woke up and something clicked inside my frozen head...perhaps I should take my temperature. Turns out the house was no colder than normal, I just happen to be getting sick. Super!
Thursday, May 28, 2009
I wake up Tom and tell him I've got a fever. We now have to decide when is the best time to call the doctor. I'm not allowed to have a fever of over 100.5 and already I was up to 101. It was 6 am and we knew the doctor on call would just tell us to go to the emergency room. We strongly dislike the emergency room. Of course, this meant doing nothing until the doctor's office opened at 8:00. As we tried to decide how to handle this my fever continued to rise. I also had a pretty nasty pain on the left side of my chest where my breast used to be - I could tell it was starting to swell and it was tender to the touch.
Next thing I remember I'm at the hospital infusion center where I receive my chemo treatments. I guess while deciding what to do at home, I fell asleep and when I wasn't asleep I was somewhat delirious. I don't remember that, but I'm sure it was fun. At the hospital, Dr Young seemed very unconcerned. I received a couple of Tylenol to break the fever, a chest x-ray for the pain in my chest, an IV bag of fluids, plus my first dose of oral antibiotics. I was told the antibiotics needed 12 hours to clear up the fever - until then, go home and rest.
Friday, May 29, 2009
My fever is laughing at the antibiotics I had been given. The Tylenol would bring my temperature down for a moment before it would spike back up again. I felt truly horrible. Another call in to the doctor's office where they tell me to to add another OTC fever reducer to the mix. My chest hurt and I was getting more and more frustrated by the lack of concern from my doctors. It wasn't until I threw up in my sleep that the doctors' finally told me to come back in so they could take another look-see. I was a bit surprised they wanted to see me again - then I realized it wasn't Dr Young who wanted me to come in again - it was her partner. Dr Young had left town.
I was immediately admitted into the hospital. While the day before, Dr Young could see nothing wrong with my chest - her partner AND all the nurses could clearly see how swollen the area was. But not only that, the area was red and warm to the touch. Oh, Dr Young, you make it so hard for me to love you.
They put me on some powerful antibiotics; tried to make me eat and watched me throw up for the next few days. I was absolutely miserable. The fever wouldn't go away! They had me on cool (as in cold, not cool as in totally hip) IV fluids that they swore would make me feel better. In their world shivering even harder is feeling better - isn't the case in mine, but I've never had professional training and they have, so what do I know? This was my first hospital stay where they tried to respect my sleep. Unless the doctor was there to see me or I was being wheeled off for lab work, they left me alone. They would wait til I woke up to make me take my handfuls of pills or give me shots in my stomach. I appreciated this.
At some point something started working, because my fever disappeared. Unfortunately when my fever disappear it didn't take with it the pain in my chest. It was decided that I needed to get a sonogram on that area But, of course, by this point, my doctor tells me any fluid that is found will have been cleared up by the antibiotics, so they may not be able to tell what it was that caused this sickness in the first place. He said they really should have checked that before the antibiotics. Sigh. Anyhoo, I got my sonogram and the next day I got the pocket of fluid drained.
Soon after getting the area drained they let me go home. And I went to bed. Which is where I've stayed. And wouldn't leave if I didn't have a chemo treatment tomorrow. This infection wiped me out. I've not had much energy anyway, but this is as bad as I've been in a long time. And it's only going to get worse after tomorrow. Oh yippy.

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