So Monday night after our potassium episode I go up to the 3rd floor to bed.
12 steps.....landing....12 steps....dumped my stuff on one side of the bed and flopped on the other.
For some reason stairs are hard on steroid patients. Kate, my NP has confirmed this is normal, so I stopped worrying about it. I can walk and walk, but just two flights of stairs is a deal breaker.
I reached over after a few minutes to grab the O2 and see if I couldn't get a few good deep breaths. But...the O2 tank was empty.... Well that just means I have to wait it out.
Then I sat up to take some pills and a wave of nausea threatened to overwhelm me. I put my head back on the pillow and waited for 40 minutes. I was cataloguing my symptoms. Shortness of breath. Chest pain. Pain in left arm. Nausea. Headache. I knew these were things I was supposed to call them about.
But I kept waiting.
Part of it was that I didn't want to bother my parents. They were asleep. So I called Grace from my cell phone. My mother hasn't stopped making fun of me for this. "Why did you call Grace? We were right here." So Grace very calmly told me to hang up because she was going to call the house phone.
A few seconds later my father was in my room. We talked and he called the on-call doctor. It was Dr. Yang. But not the kick-ass Dr. Christina Yang from "Grey's Anatomy" because this Dr. Yang had to look up Velcade and didn't listen carefully to what my father was saying. I almost want to warn people when they are going to talk to my Dad. He is very smart, but very demanding. If you don't listen the first time and make him repeat himself, it's not going to go well for you. Oh well. Dr. Yang wanted them to bring me to the ER. She actually wanted him to call an ambulance even though she knew that would mean I would be brought to Mass General as it was closer than Tufts/NEMC. I didjn't know that part. I thought she wanted me over at Tufts. But all I could think about is all those icky dirty people I see hanging outside that ER when I pass on my way to infusion. Remember the scene in "The Exorcist" when Father Karras is in the subway and the bum says "Father, can you help an old altar boy? I'm Catholic" Ok, that guy and all his rummy friends are hanging in that ER. Plus all these stupid vacant looking people who step just outside the door to blaze up their cancer sticks and talk loudly on their cell phones about abusive family members and swear colorfully about the police or social services. Not to mention the neighborhood people (it's Chinatown) who hack and spit everywhere.
You can call me prejudiced and snotty. I don't care. I felt like shit and I couldn't face that at that hour of the night. If it was daytime, I would have let them drive me over and I would have planted myself in Dr. Miller's office.
But it wasn't daytime. So I told them I wanted to wait it out.
My mother came wandering in my bedroom and put my stuff on the floor to make a spot for herself on the bed. "You'll do anything for attention." We laughed.
After it was settled, my parents covered me up and shut out the light. My father called Grace to tell her what we decided and I could hear him tell her that it was fine he would just stay up all night and watch me. I turned my head into the pillow and cried. I felt like such a jerk stressing them out like this.
I have to work on not panicking. As it turns out, I slept for a few hours and the nausea passed. then I could down a few Tylenol and the headache went away. By morning I could breath freely and the chest pain receded.
Grace showed up Tuesday morning and carted my ass all around. I voted (don't get me started on that!) and we picked up my O2 tank and my Revlimid - YAY! (did that seem sincere....it wasn't) and we grabbed Jen and went to Lily's. Grace charged my cell phone. We brought my mother a Jenny's pizza and had a good visit.
Today after breakfast I picked up a book from the stack Grace brought over - "The Girl who Stopped Swimming". I sat down in the living room, my mother reading in the other love seat. I finished it in a few hours. It was a total snack. No redeeming value, just fun.
So I showered and that counts as my accomplishment for the day.