Saturday, September 22, 2012

Safety First

Still here in the hosptial, waiting it out. Infection is clearing up rather nicely. All the inflamed ugly redness has resolved into a healthier pink and not inflamed. No more blood or stinkiness, and still draining nicely. My surgeon is happy with how everything looks and is going. The med docs seem happy with how everything is going. I've been getting IV antibiotics fresh every six hours for two days running now and it seems to be agreeing with me. They're transitioning me from one IV antibiotic to one oral and one IV (which can be prescribed as an oral). They're keeping me overnight for observation and to make sure I don't have any issues with the new meds. If everything looks good, I continue to have no fever and my WBC counts don't fall any lower with tomorrow morning's blood work, they will likely let me go sometime tomorrow afternoon. So almost done.

In this blog post we learn about blood science (yaaaaayyyyy!!!). Today's post is brought to you by the letter N. When you get a basic CBC blood work up you get your RBC, WBC, hemoglobin and a whole slew of other chemistry names that tell you nothing about what it really is. One of those words is Neutrophil. This is your mature white blood cells. Your WBC count tells you how many recruits you have on the ground, but the neutrophil count tells you how many seasoned vets in tanks are there with them. These are the guys that strategize and really know how to take out the enemy (evil cancer - ooooohhhhh). So your WBC count could be pretty decent, but if your neutrophil count is low then you are still in pretty crap shape. If they're both low (like me), then you are in crap shape no doubt about it. This state is called Neutropenia and calls for neutropenic precautions. So there's a note above my name that says this and is accompanied by a box of face masks. Anyone who comes in who may be sick, could have been exposed to something, or is generally paranoid about that sort of thing can don a mask before coming in. This is for my safety, not yours. I don't have anything to give you, but I am a ripe candidate for all bacteria. I've got five whole pages of other precautions, but you seriously don't want to know about that paranoid paraphernalia.

It's certainly interesting seeing most of the people in my room with pale yellow masks on. And the way they move when people talk is weird and birdlike. I get kind of fascinated watching their masks and getting caught between Bane and Big Bird imagery in my head. It's not an absolute that you have to don a mask when you come in, but all of the day staff are following the guideline. And since we take things like this seriously in our household, it's safety first even for the safest of visitors. (*snerk*)

Good visiting tonight when my sister showed up in town. We had a little pizza party here in the room and a good time. I kicked everybody out a bit ago so I could get to the midnight poking and prodding and meds, finish this post out and get some sleep myself. A bit of an insomnia bout last night so I'm pretty wiped out tonight. Since I'm mobile and doing really well, I am low on the priority list for the shift nurses. Which equals a good thing because they don't come in so often to check on me and unless they need to take vitals or make a change to my IV, they'll just leave if they see that I'm sleeping. So there are good 3-4 hour shifts of sleeping that can be accomplished. A very nice perk indeed. Hopefully by this time tomorrow I'll be happily ensconced in my own bed with unlimited sleeping shifts available. For tonight, again, I'll have to be satisfied with just my pillow. Oh, and I miss my kitties.

1 comment:

  1. Hey dear, just catching up on all of your recent travails (have to say, sounds like you're doing great) after you mentioned it over on FB. Glad to hear that you're overall doing pretty damn well.

    Second, I wanted to offer my professional background: if you ever want a run-down on the biomedical shop talk, ask. Given my own background in cancer research (not to mention my dad's fight against pancreatic) and immunology, I'm pretty well versed in the stuff. (okay, life's kinda crazy right now down here in NM, but I'll answer as best I can.)

    *hugs* and glad to know what's going on. Lemme know if I can help.

    Brian

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