A little resort stay

OK, before y’all go getting jealous, it’s not a real resort. The “resort” is what I call Children’s Hospital, because pre-transplant, that’s where all my vacation leave ended up being spent. 🙂 Hence, resort.

I’d been feeling crappy for about a week, so I called my transplant team on Wednesday. I’d been having some chest tightness so that’s something they like to know about, as well as shortness of breath, weakness, general malaise-y stuff. They said to watch it, and if the pain got worse to go to the ER.

Pain got worse Friday night, we went to the ER. In the ER they couldn’t find anything wrong with an EKG or X-ray, so they gave me some ativan/large dose of steroids because they thought it might be skeleto-muscular and/or inflammation. I remember nothing about post-ativan life until I sort of woke up in the car as we were heading home, but dad told me the major steroid dose was NOT a winner, since it made me throw up (as I knew it would, but I guess I didn’t tell them this?).

So Saturday was sort of lost in the fog of the drugs, although I did do my taxes correctly, and Dad came over to help me take down my tree.

Sunday, I went to teach CCD (the kids very much liked hearing about how the 12 apostles died), and we had our usual review game. I went to confession before Mass and in the middle of Fr. Tom’s homily my phone lights up. I have Google Voice to translate–well, write out, in this case–my messages, so I waited a few minutes and then surreptitiously checked my email.

It was the ER, saying I needed to come back in. They were rather adamant about this.


So I left after offertory and headed to the ER.

Apparently the blood tests they took on Friday had come back, and my port line was infected–or I had a blood infection–or something. So I was hooked up to a big bag of vancomycin (vanco, for the rest of this) and they told me I was going to be admitted, which was OK with me, because, as I said, I was feeling crappy. So I texted my parents and they came in, bearing things for a few days at the Resort. While I waited for nurses and parents, I planned the next two CCD lesson plans, so it wasn’t entirely unproductive, and watched football.

Apparently, I have a lovely reaction to IV vanco–I turn super-red (sort of like Violet in Willy Wonka, just, you know, red) and get super itchy. I was about two steps away form cutting off all my hair so I could scratch my scalp in a much better way, when the nurse came in with IV benadryl (which I didn’t know existed) and immediately it was like cool water on my scalp. Ahhhhh. 🙂 We had to do another dose later but the new rule: pre-treat Emily with benadryl before you give her vanco so she doesn’t turn into a purple-red tomato.

So I was up on the Floor of the Squirrel (at Children’s, each floor has an animal mascot, and my floor has a Squirrel). I didn’t sleep very well on Sunday night, due to the pain I still had, and the fact that when I’m in the hospital I wear my CI 24/7, and I had my port accessed and a peripheral IV in my right arm, so I couldn’t find a great sleeping position.

Monday I spent watching a lot of Food Network. 🙂 My sister had worked the night shift (she’s a nurse at Children’s) so she came in to keep me company and we bonded. My transplant docs made rounds around 9–not much new happening there, since we were waiting for results to come back–but they said I would go home that day after I did PFTs (pulmonary function tests).

My parents came, Mel went home to sleep, and I did PFTs. They had dropped a few points, which made me a bit unhappy, but it also explained the shortness of breath I’d been having, and my PFTs usually drop a bit in the winter. Most people have consistent PFT levels–they are always 75% or 60% of 18% or whatever. I’m not. Mine go up and down in a seasonal pattern, and winter is usually the worst, when I hang out in the upper 40s. So, this was “normal” but I wasn’t expecting it.

So I was discharged around 4:30 (it’s always rush hour. Always.) and my parents dropped me off at home and then, thankfully, did some grocery shopping for me, since the massive steroid doses make me want to eat the table I’ve got my computer on, here. I also had received the Dickens books I’d ordered from Amazon, so I have some reading today:  Dombey and Son, Our Mutual Friend, and The Pickwick Papers. 

Another exciting chapter in my life, right? I’m home now though, so that’s always happy.



3 thoughts on “A little resort stay

  1. Pingback: Seven Quick Takes Vol. 35 | Living Adventurously

  2. Oh Sweet Mercy! Glad you’re home now and recovering. I had the same reaction to my chemo on Thursday. The mainlined benadryl sensation was sort of like what you see when the Starship Enterprise is flying through space at warp speed and then suddenly….stops. It’s like landing on a big cushion or feather bed. The best part is that the itching stops IMMEDIATELY! Take it easy, my friend.

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