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Old 05-08-2010, 05:44 PM
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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Red face #2 ADMISSION: shaving head, rabbits, hydration, IV love, sleep deprivation, showers

I'll be recapping my full stem cell transplant in a series of posts....

#2 ADMISSION: shaving head, rabbits, hydration, IV love, sleep deprivation, showers

I got the call that a bed was ready on the afternoon of March 18. I was prepared except for one fuzzy detail: I had to visit Salon de Laura, since I was advised prior to admission to cut my nails (no clippers allowed in the hospital) and shave the noggin (no razors allowed, either). I learned a valuable lesson about having your spouse cut your hair. When she says “hold on for just a sec” midway through the cut, beware that she may grab a camera to take an unflattering photo of you. Not that Laura would ever do that… (PIC).

Within hours of arriving at the hospital I learned another valuable lesson: don’t joke with nurses. Especially about poo. See, they have to record ALL bodily output of every patient, and when that output is of the stinky variety, patients need to alert them in a timely fashion lest the stink fester. I tried to be funny. But when “clean up Aisle 7” got a resounding “huh?” I explained that a rabbit had infiltrated my room and left some droppings. They almost called animal control (or a psychiatrist, I’m not sure which)—and my reputation was forever sealed (“so you’re the rabbit guy”).

Home for the next three weeks was room G1138 in the southwest pod of the super clean “green zone” on the 11th floor of the MD Anderson Cancer Center (PIC). And I had Laura there 24-7. She slept on a Murphy bed and essentially never left my side. I owe her, like, forever.

For the entire time I was in the hospital, I was constantly attached to my IV pole. Eating, sleeping, exercising, showering, pottying. Nurses would check on me hourly during the day and vitals were done every four hours regardless. I also had seemingly constant visits from doctors, PTs, exercise coordinators, dieticians, social workers, volunteers, ministers, and food-services folks. Even evenings were not a time for much rest, with visits at 10 pm, 2 am, and 6 am, plus blood work done at 4 am. And since they were hydrating the hell out of my kidneys (I ballooned 15 pounds to 180 in week one), add in hourly or so peeing. And the best part? I was labeled a fall risk, so I had to alert a nurse every time I had to use the facilities, especially at night. And by facilities, I mean bedside commode, because I could not get into the bathroom with my walker—it was too narrow. I entered the bathroom only to shower (PIC).

NEXT: #3 CHEMOTHERAPY
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:06 PM
KristaH KristaH is offline
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Location: Albuquerque, NM
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It is awesome they let Laura stay with you! I'm sure that helped a ton. that pic of you and a half shaved head looks like something a spouse would do haha!
Good that you kept your spirits up even with the embarrassing stuff
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