Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that going 9 weeks without taking sustenance orally would be a part of my life. Now that I’m officially sipping – as of Friday:
It seems – well – kinda like it was no big deal. IT WAS A BIG DEAL WHEN I WAS IN THE MIDDLE OF IT! Isn’t it funny how quickly our perspective of things changes?
During my season of not eating/drinking some interesting things developed:
I had an overwhelming urge to cook and bake. And so I did. A lot. And I’m still enjoying it.
I started thinking that chicken – which I’ve had a huge aversion/allergy to since my son was born nearly 13 years ago – smelled good. So much so, that I actually took a bite of some to test it out. Yeah, not so much. But at least it doesn’t make me want to hurl quite so much when it’s cooking now.
I took my first sips of Iced Green Tea on Friday and thought, “Hmmm… not so yummy.”
I took some sips of iced water – which I’ve pretty much hated since my DS 7.5 years ago – and thought, “Hmmm… YUMMY!”
I found that I REALLY like being home more.
I learned that I wasn’t as much of a wuss as I once thought I was. Dealing with the PICC, hooking up infusions, flushing lines – all of it, no big deal. I can’t believe what a baby I was when Dr. Zelko first told me he thought I should get one.
I met some really amazing people along the way – the home health nurses are at the top of the list of truly wonderful, compassionate people.
It’s been a really interesting season of life. I’d never have scheduled it into my life plan, of course, but I’m grateful for the good things that have come about because of it.
They started tapering me off of the TPN on Saturday. They did half volume Saturday night. And then Sunday night half volume again, over just 8 hours (rather than the customary 16 hours). Then Monday morning (yesterday) was the last time I had to unhook from TPN. Happy day!
I do still have my PICC line. I just got off of the phone with Dr. Zelko – and I have official permission to eat whatever I want. Although he told me he wants me to fire up the protein first engine – my albumin level is pretty sucky right now. Pretty much, eating is going beautifully. No pain, no upper left quadrant pain, no fever. Just normal stuff. Normal is good.
Dr. Zelko sent me for another iron infusion yesterday, too – I finally got to meet Dr. Ye, the hematologist at Pacific Oncology who totally gets it about malabsorption and iron labs. Because I hadn’t had a reaction to the iron the last two infusions I had, we decided to give the infusion yesterday a go without a Benadryl pre-treat. Yeah – well, it was a nice thought. I did have a reaction pretty immediately – shortness of breath, vomiting, spike in B/P and pulse. They got Benadryl on board in quick order and then everything was fine, and they went forward with the infusion. I slept through the afternoon, pretty much. And I feel fine today.
I will say that going to an oncology center for iron infusions should be required – it really helps give one a sense of perspective on just how blessed one is! I do have a comment to make though – the nurses there were SO impressed with my PICC line. The poor chemo patients they try so hard to get a line for – and then once all of their veins are blown, they give them a central line. WHY THE HECK DON’T THEY JUST GIVE THEM A PICC LINE? HELLO?! SO MUCH EASIER! I know – it’s a bigger deal for placement, but dang – so much easier once it’s all over and done with.
Of note… The past many months – gosh, I don’t know how long – maybe since I first got sick in April – I have not slept through the night. The past 9 weeks, and the weeks prior when I was hospitalized (cause they don’t believe in letting you sleep through the night in the hospital!) – it was pretty routine for me to be up at least every 1.5 hours during the night. When you’re on TPN and your fluid load starts at 9pm – well, nature takes its course and you gotta pee – a LOT – during the night! Last night – my first night off of TPN – I actually slept through the whole night. It was wonderful! I’m looking forward to many more nights of the exact kinda stuff! J
So… I’m easing back into life quite a bit healthier than I’ve been in quite a while. I like that. I like it a lot.