Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Day in the Life...Noon to 5PM

12:30- My blood pressure, which they're now taking every hour, is still extremely low, and everyone is worried.

1:15- Doctors order a blood transfusion, because my hemoglobin is only 8.4
Normal hemoglobin (or the level of oxygen in the blood) is around 13-15.  Oncology patients typically have a hgb of 10-12 (which can quickly drop), and 8-9 automatically means you will receive a blood transfusion.  Low hemoglobin results in dizziness or fainting, feeling really cold, looking pale, and extreme fatigue, among other things.  Teenagers are the most sensitive to changes in their hemoglobin, and don't do well with a drop in their levels.  
A bag of blood I'll receive
**1:30- Facetime with my awesome fam!!
One of the awesomest things about technology is being able to Facetime or Skype my family, sometimes multiple times a day!  It helps me get to see them daily, and share in their lives for a few minutes.

**2:30- First bag of blood arrives, and I start transfusion;  I drain the juice from a fruit cup.
My blood type is B+, so whenever I get transfused I always remember to be B+! Also, most days I receive platelet transfusions, because of extremely low platelet counts, which is an elevated risk of bleeding.  

2:50- Start IV Kytril, my main nausea med.  Turn on the Food Network, and pull out a little hair while I watch TV.
I've been on so many different nausea meds, it's ridiculous. But what my nurses find hilarious is that basically the only TV I ever watch is the Food Network, even though I can't eat anything!! I enjoy imagining the tastes and smells of the beautiful food I can see;  I also love to cook and bake, so with shows like Chopped I imagine what dishes I would make!  

3:00- Jen, with Smiles with Style arrives with her cart.  I get a lovely tiara, to cement my princess status, and cutesy little flower nail stickers.  I feel beautiful!
Like I blogged earlier, the love shown me is amazing.  Jen brought a cart full of "beauty supplies", and went to each room to spread a little joy, whether it be dress up supplies, lip gloss, or nail arts.  Thank you wonderful volunteers!! 
One Jen holding a mirror for the other Jen!  
What a wonderful idea! Thank you for making me feel special! 
 3:20- Dr. Petrosiute and Kristen, the BMT nurse practioner arrive, because my blood pressure readings are really worrying them.

**3:40- The second bag of blood begins transfusing.
Normally I receive multiple units of blood or platelets. 

4:00- Dr. Matloub and Linda Wakefield, arrive;  They notify us of an airborne water bacteria outbreak.
There was an unexpected outbreak of Legionella bacteria.  However, the bacteria was quickly caught, and drastic measures were implemented to help ensure the everyone's safety.  

4:10- Dr. Bhaskaran, the oncology fellow manually takes my blood pressure.  Still low :(
Because my blood pressures have been so low, I get my pressure taken manually, since that gives a more accurate reading.  
Dr. Bhaskaran with the flashlight, and Dr. Petrosiute smiling in the back!  
4:40- All the blood transfusions finished!

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