Sunday, October 10, 2010

Steak and Potatos

So right now, I basically have no immune system.   Every four hours, they check my vitals.  A vital check consists of a blood pressure reading, heart rate check and a temperature check.  As soon as I hit 100.5 or above, a flurry of activity happens.  (Regardless of what time of day or night it is.)  A fever is the first sign that there is some type of infection growing in my body.

On my last stay at Maine Med, I only spiked a fever twice.  The first time, it was preempted with severe chills to the point where my whole body was shaking uncontrollably.  The nurses kept putting warm blankets on me but the chills did not stop.  Eventually they game me an IV of Demerol at around 1:00AM.  The chills went away almost immediately and I entered a happy place that made me grin, giggle and drool a little bit.  As soon as the shakes stopped, a fever set in.

When you spike a fever, someone comes up from the lab to draw blood.  Directly from your vein.  A lot of blood.  They take that blood back to the lab and put it in test tubes and see if anything grows.  Then, based on what grows, they know how to treat it.  If you have read this blog at all, you know I am not fond of needles or blood.  Also, all the nurses on this floor know that fact.

When the girl from the lab showed up to take my
blood at 2:00AM, I let her know how much I did not like needles and asked if there was any other way to do this.  I was not making much sense I am sure due to the Demerol.  She was a 20ish year old Somalian girl with full head dress on.  I remember her being very nice and calming.  During the actual blood draw, my nurse came in and actually held my hand.  I know, pretty pittiful...

So, Friday night when I spiked a fever, I knew that meant a blood draw.  Who else walks in from the lab but the little Somalian girl from over a month ago.

"Hello Mr. Davis, I remember you!  Do you want me to go get your nurse so you can hold her hand?"  She was giggling as she asked the question....  I laughed and said that would not be necessary this time around as long as she could deal with seeing me cry.  She stayed in the room for a while after the blood draw and chatted with me.  She is was very nice. 

I spent most of the day Saturday watching the Hawaiian Ironman race live on the computer.  It is truly an amazing race and it was also a great race this year.  Definitely gave me some motivation and inspiration for this stupid "race" I am currently running in.  I was tracking a guy from Canada.  I have just started reading his blog.  He is guy that just few years ago completely out of shape.  He loves beer and every year has a "beer run" at his house.  It consists of a 5K run and you need to drink a beer at each K.  He has been triathlon training for the past three years and yesterday, he crossed the finishline of the toughest race course in the world carrying a Canadian flag in one hand and a beer in the other.  It was a riot but goes to prove the point that nothing is out of reach without hard work and dedication.  Check out his blog.
Crystal came in last night and spent the night.  The Dixon's watched the kids at our house.  From what I understand, three of them were not that well behaved.  The big surprise is Paige was the good one.  She said to Katy, "I am being good aren't I?"   Anyway, I told Crystal I was craving steak and potatoes so she stopped by Bugaboo on the way in and got me 14oz of prime rib with fried onions, garlic butter and smashed potatoes.  Man was it good.

Feeling OK today.  No fever.  Counts are still going down.  May need some blood tomorrow as my red count is only 7.9 today.


Mollie said...

That's pretty funny about that Canadian guy, can't wait to check out his blog...sounds like he's from Buxton. We think about you all the time and I hope your counts start going up and you don't have to have too many needles. oh and I like the new look of the blog! How's the basket coming? Talk about making the most of your time...:)

Jenn Roark said...

Those Ironman competitions are amazing...can't wait to see you complete one someday!!!! I love the Beer Run idea; that sounds like it would be quite fun!!! Well, thinking of you today, as always!!! Praying for the counts to CLIMB!!! Love ya!!!

Mary IronMatron said...

Oh... I'm sorry about the needles upon needles...
I'm glad crystal got to come for the night, and I'm glad there is no fever. I hope those numbers start going up!

Pam said...

Chad I love your new blog layout! Glad to see you are using your time wisely. I have to say when I read that you were watching the basket weaving videos, I literally laughed out loud. Ron (aka budget boy) thought you might have too much time on your hands and was in need of something a little more robust. He was going to give his History of the CIA book but decided that he probably shouldn't. I have to say I was also glued to the computer watch Bryan Payne's status in the ironman. I picked up his blog off of your page and was fascinated with his story. Ron was out with a buddy and came home when the race was at 11:15ish so I totally missed Bryan coming across the finish line at 11:24. Glad I got to see it on his blog tonight. The beer was a nice touch! Loved his post race video also. Awesome recap! He is definitely inspirational and can see why you are so drawn to it.

We think of you often and hope you get to come home by the weekend. Crystal filled me in this morning. No fevers!

Pam S.

Sonya said...

Love the new blog look. Glad you are keeping yourself entertained with some polar opposite interests! Not sure it would even make sense to write beer ironman and basket weaving in the same sentence:) Can't wait to see the finished basket and can't wait to enter in the Buxton/Hollis beer 5K when this is all done! Maybe Mark would actually run with beer involved:)
Just got back from a weekend training and was so excited to see two new posts. This blog is the best!!
You are always in my thoughts and I'm praying for a rapid climb in blood counts. Glad you are feeling good and psyched you got a sleep over with Crystal equipped with a yummy Bugaboo meal! It's those simple things that mean the most!
love, sonya

She said I need a goal said...

Hi there, I heard about you on Bryan's blog and dropped in to say hello. I look forward to reading up on your blog and learning more about you. From what I hear you are a real inspiration.


Doru said...

Hi Chad,

I got the link to your website from Bryan’s blog. I just want to wish you good luck in your journey towards the bone marrow transplant and the half ironman after that.

Just finished reading your post and I chuckled when I got to the part where the nurse asked you if you want her to get the other nurse so you can hold her hand.

Hope to meet you in person next year at Bryan’s HOP Beer Run.

Best of luck to you,