He had half his liver removed. Now he's had a tube inserted into his lung cavity (while awake) to drain the fluid. He lives vicariously through himself. He is the most interesting man in the world. I never drink alcohol, but when I do, I prefer Dos Equis.
Well, last weekend I was feeling a little rundown, not much of an appetite, and a headache. I made the trip to Pittsburgh to see the Panthers beat Notre Dame, but I couldn't finish my Primanti Brothers' sandwich, so the victory was missing something! I had to take a narcotic for my head after the game. The next day, I figured out that the headache was due to dehydration. I drank a few bottles of water and was okay.
Monday came and I had a fever, so I stayed home from work. It broke later in the day and I went to a cancer event that night involving skating (stay tuned for post about that night). The event was great, but on my way home, I started feeling beyond sick. I felt awful in so many ways I didn't know what was ailing. I took some narcs and went to sleep. Tuesday was more of the fever, but not as bad as Monday night, so I thought I might be recovering. Tuesday night, it started to hurt with each breath. Not good. If I wasn't better on Wednesday, I was going to the ER.
ER Time... In the ER, there weren't many people in the waiting room, but the back rooms were full. I waited 3.5 hours in the waiting room. I entered at 100.2 degrees and 3 hours later was 101.8. They got me back to a bed fairly quick after that.
Saline was pumped into me to get me hydrated and they took a chest x-ray. It showed I could have pneumonia. There was fluid in my lungs, but people with cancer in their lungs can get fluid there, too. I did a CT scan to see if I had a blood clot, too. Here is the best news of the week...no blood clot! Okay, now back to crap...
I was admitted to the hospital and pumped with saline and antibiotics (even though we didn't know if I had pneumonia). Thursday night, doctors decided to take the fluid from my lung and then test the fluid to see what it was. I asked if my visitor could stay. No, they needed it sterile. So, we began... I sat on the side of the bed and leaned over a pillow on a table in front of me. My arm was stretched over my head. At this point, the tech enters my room to get my vital signs. "Can't you do this later?" "No, I have to do it now." (What? Was she an ant? If she leaves her line, can she not find her way back? I'm having a needle jammed into my upper back. Do you think you're going to get an accurate pulse reading with a sharp instrument in me?)
She eventually left and after using ultrasound, the lung docs found a path through my body to insert the tube. They began. It started off like they were trying to pop the most painful pimple ever on my back and they kept going...until they hit rib. I guess the ultrasound lied because they had to start over. This time worked and they sucked the liquid out. 600 ML of if. It was so gross. They said "we are going to get the most out that we can. we we get near the end, the lung will start to expand/contract and you are going to cough. I went from "fine" to coughing in no time. And I couldn't stop. I thought I might cough up that lung.
The results came back from the testing of the gross stuff. It was not from pneumonia. It didn't mean it was from the cancer, but since I have cancer there, it's likely. In fact, I still don't know what it's from because nobody can tell me a definite answer. That is why I left the hospital. I layed there for a day and a half more will no one was doing anything bug giving me an oral antibiotic. I can that at home and not have people waking me ever hour to borrow blood, take my temp, listen to my heart, or reach in and rip out my stomach.
Do I feel I should have left the hospital? No. But I also knew that no one there was going to do anything for me there. There were no tests lined up. I will monitor myself at home and if I need to return to the ER, I will (but at a different hospital.) 90% of what I have seen at Georgetown is a joke. I like my oncologist and my infusion nurses, but the rest of the staffs seem not to care at all. If you have something else on top of cancer, you might as well go to the local theater and see if there is a doctor in the house.
So, my pain was cleared up via the drainage, but that was the only thing the hospital trip did for me. I know have that lovely water-retention again. My body thinks it is dehydrated and is storing water for the winter like a squirrel with nuts. My legs and abs are huge, pudgy and blobby. And maybe because of this inflated torso, I also have shortness of breath. I get winded walking stairs or anything. Then again, the shortness might be from something else, but none of the docs cared to find out.
I'm banking that when the weight drains, I'll be able to breathe. I have to drink plenty for that to happen.
Stay thirsty, my friends.