Day +5. Most of my counts have zeroed out now: neutrophils, lymphocytes, leukocytes. My platelets have been depleted to a low level such that I’m getting a platelet transfusion today, but my hemoglobin has stayed above 7 since a blood transfusion on day -2 (which is when the serum sickness started).
Sorry for not writing much in the past few days. Getting over the serum sickness was probably, honestly, the worst thing I’ve ever had to do in my life. My days consisted of chronic aches and overbearing nausea, with spikes of fevers sprinkled in between. I cycled between pain meds, nausea meds, with no appetite — the most I could stomach was apple sauce and popsicles and even those got old. A dose of oxycodone, followed by dilaudid, followed by ativan, followed by tylenol, and then more drugs, other drugs, more pills, more bags hung on Steve connected to my octopus arm. Sleeping through the day and night in 60-90 minute intervals only to be awakened by some pain or beeping and then to be put back down with meds (narcotics).
I did a lot of aimless talking, daydreaming. For example, I apparently had a dream where a little old man was telling me how the world was going to end, and when asked what he said, I responded, “It’s just one of those.” Or, I had a dream where I was walking in my work neighborhood where there’s a lot of construction happening and in the distance I saw a construction worker on a building who’s butt, when bent over, looked like the Virgin Mary’s nose. So I did what any sensible person would do, I touched it.
Needless to say, I made it through with flying colors. I’m alive, I’m much much better, and I’m eating more. Now the biggest thing I’m facing (again), is the not-so-irrational fear of getting sick from something since my immune system is gone-zo. Chronic hand washing, water chugging, chap stick applying, doubly scrutinizing something if it’s clean enough for me to even touch (I’ve been religiously wiping my phone with alcohol wipes). Now we play the waiting game. Again.
Halloween was this past weekend. Halloween is one of my favorite holidays of the year, what with the costumes, parties, and yummy fall treats. I had major FOMO this year, but I was cooped up in bed resting all day. Ricky swung by and helped me put together little bags of candy for the patients on the floor. I went around and delivered them to people, in a “reverse” trick-or-treating kind of way.
I was nervous at first, because I had no idea what each patient was going through behind their closed doors, but everyone received the goodies well! It made me so happy to see how happy people were from such a small gesture. 🙂