“Well good evening where ever you are, thank-you for tuning in my name is Geoff, some call me Skeats, and I am the host. We (which is really only me) are coming to you from 4 North A of the newly developed Eaton’s complex (The Health Sciences Center) located in beautiful St. John’s Newfoundland. If you have never been here before then you aren’t missing much, but the few things that are interesting about this place will be highlighted in our Top 10 later in the show!”
Now on with the Monologue (Directions, not actually spoken) :
Usually about this time in the show I give you guys the regular update on how things are from my corner of the world, I tell you that “the arse is out of something” and “we’re digging in the corners,” stuff like that, but not today. Today I’m going to get away from that a little, and give you a caption of my last 24 hours here on 4 North A of the Eaton’s complex located in beautiful St. John’s Newfoundland.
Let’s begin with supper time yesterday, which saw me have a home cooked meal delivered but not prepared by my brother, who does know his way around a kitchen incidentally. Re-heated meat, which tasted good but guess what, not compatible with my poison filled stomach. Lesson learned. From there we move to the evening, which saw me check my messages around 6:30-7:00, 6 MESSAGES!! This I decided, I would give my best effort, and attempt to return all of them. I failed but tried none the less. I ended up on the phone for quite some time having a great chat just before bed, which was around 12-12:30, but in between all those conversations I have left out many details, which I will now attempt to provide.
Before reading this paragraph I feel it is important that you know that I know how important Nurses are to my care. But Holy Hannah, they can be enough to make an Eaton launch himself from the 4th floor, just to escape their paws. Well it all started when I got a little temperature, nothing major but over 38 C peaking at 38.8 C, I decided that I still felt fine so I still felt fine. When a patient is “Neutropenic”, which means they have no white cells/neutrophils, thus no immune-system, a temperature of 38 or higher requires attention, as a temp. of 38 is a good sign of an infection. Any infection can be very serious for me, life-threatening even, if not treated, but temperatures are very common for a patient in my state.
My blessed temperature arrived around 7:00 p.m. and the exploration process is well documented mentally but the order and times are not. I had blood Cultures, which are extensive blood tests – the third in 4 days -, relatively full examinations, blood from my Hickman Catheter, more examinations, more blood in the middle of the night, blood first thing this morning, measuring of heart rate, temperature and blood pressure every damn hour on the hour (or so it seemed), 17 requests to clean my Hickman dressing (which must be done daily), 17 explanations that “I was planning to get a shower as soon as I get a bit of rest, then it would be great to have it cleaned”, then the final straw…….. I finally get some time to sleep early afternoon and I am woken to have a swab taken of my Hickman, I’m woken at 3 the lab closes at 4 (but no one mentioned the test won’t get done today anyway) so I agree to have the test done. They change my Hickman dressing, you know considering I’m awake anyway, and never do find anything to swab except a bit of blood that I pointed out!!
This may sound like I’m complaining, but it is a “fairly” accurate statement of facts as per my last 24 hours. So as most every good leader does (I’m the leader because I’m the only player) when faced with some adversity he/she must re-establish their position, their authority and re-evaluate the factors influencing the outcome. I am pleased to tell you all the I have just finished a 25 minute conversation with one of my Doctors, who thought she was stopping by for a little examination of my body not my examination of her processes and the like, and I have re-established control and the rules of the game and am looking forward to my next meeting with the Board of Directors (i.e. my Doctors), which will probably be tomorrow.
OK, I have given you a fairly biased detailed view of my past 24 hours, hope you enjoyed it!! Things are going great, for two reasons I want you all to know, because they really aren’t that bad, you should always remember that no matter how bad things are, there is always someone who is in a tougher spot than you. The second reason, which is my favorite, because I HAVE DECIDED THEY ARE GOING GREAT!! We all have this incredible power, it involves the use of our mind, and I am exploring a whole new part. As I mentioned to a friend of mine yesterday, you are in the fortunate position of being able to be exposed to my “new views” without having to have the poison pumped into you. Sounds like a deal to me, of course I’m sure at least half of you are saying Eaton has lost his marbles, holy shit man this Leukemia thing has really shaken him up he’s all spiritual and stuff…. Well just so you know I’ve never had my marbles and this experience has definitely opened my mind and added to my perspective.
OK you know what time it is, its time for tonight’s top ten list!! (They won’t necessarily be funny, but accurate) Tonight’s list comes from the home office in Topsail Pond, Newfoundland, here we go!!!
Top 10 things about this hospital that drive Eaton NUTS!!
10. The dry air – I wake up every morning with my lips dried together, very poor heating system.
9. The food – I haven’t touched it so far and all signs point in the same direction, can’t say the same for my Dad.
8. The Bed – regular size, I have never been regular size anything in my life (almost never), but forget the size, the mattress is older than me and you should hear the damn thing when I try to raise the back, sounds like something out of Scream.
7. Salt Water – the chemo will give me mouth sores, and to combat or reduce the affects of these sores I must rinse my mouth with salt water every 3-4 hours, most enjoyable, if you haven’t tried I highly recommend it…. that is if you’re about to eat the crap on the bottom of your slippers, the hospital food or anything else that doesn’t come from the outside.
6. Shower water – explanation, presently my white cell count is at ZERO, thus it is unwise for me to enter any environment that may alter my bodies current state or for that matter have anything enter my environment that could alter my bodies current state (reason for no visitors). If I were to live strictly by this rule I would never clean myself the whole 5 weeks of my stay as the damn shower water has a temperature somewhere between the air at a 6 a.m. hockey practice in the tin can (Smallwood Drive Hockey Arena Mt. Pearl) and a river in February. (Yes I’ve been in both!)
5. Nurses – I love my Nurses they have been great and will be a major element in my Series, but as I said before please let me sleep. When I’m on the phone they won’t come near me, but when I’m asleep its open season. Logic, no there’s no logic.
4. Temperature Control – not of me but of my lovely hospital surroundings, I always have one of two options for room temp. Northwest Territories or Nevada.
3. My #@!$’in pole – it’s actually my buddy, it’s the pole which hosts the poison that drips into me at the rate of 46 ml/hour, now you can see why it’s one of those buddies that when you hear he’s moving to the North Pole, you don’t get real upset.
2. 1-ply – as opposed to 2-ply, I think we all know what I’m referring to, and my brief thought is that if they are so concerned about my platelets being low then they should have opted for the 2-ply, thanks to my supply trucks I am now armed you a sufficient supply of 2-ply.
And the number 1 thing about this hospital that drives Eaton NUTS is
1. The NEEDLES – I hated ‘em when I came in, and I’ll hate when I get out!!
Thanks for your patience, I realize this has been a long installment but I guess I had a lot of things to say. Anyway I will leave you with my “line, thought and other stuff” line of today.
“I would not have been given this opportunity if I were unable to take advantage of it.”
I really view this as an opportunity and have every intention of taking full advantage. If you know of people who would like to read my not so little blurbs please encourage them to visit the website and join the My Friends email group. Thanks for reading.