HOSPITAL SITCOM

I will first give you an update, then get into the funny stuff. I am still on my second round of chemo (to catch up those of you who aren’t up-to-date) and I am on Day 6. That means I have one more bag of the poison and that will be in my body by tomorrow around midnight. Then I will have about a week (hopefully) of no major side effects, and then after that, that’s when the fun begins. Side effects can include fevers, chills, night sweats, hemmoroids, rashes, weakness, loss of appetite and stomach issues. That’s only skimming the surface. The first time around, I was lucky enough to avoid the nausea, mouth full of canker sores, metallic taste in my mouth and the fairly long list of other possible side effects. Believe me: I AM GRATEFUL. My blood counts are high and my doctors are happy. All is well in Camp Summerlin for today.

So now we address the possibility of me creating a sitcom. (Now I am very new to this blogging stuff so you can see I am very balls-to-the-wall in this whole new career I am creating for myself. What else do I have to do while sitting here in the hospital bed? I might as well dream big!) Anyway, the premise for the sitcom: Its about all the abnormal $hit that happens around Camp Summerlin but seems all VERY normal for us that are here day in and day out. The idea came from my dear friend Malene who is Danish. She said us Americans may not find it hysterical but it would be a hit in Denmark. (They have a different kind of sense of humor than we do.) So…now I am thinking…I might need to find a Danish producer and production company. Ahh…just minor details.

Denmark_flag

So I have just a few examples of what would be included in the pilot episode. (All events actually took place.)

Incident #1: I told you $hit went on in here – literally. I pride myself on my multiple walks that I take daily. Even though my walking buddies left me, I have kept up the trekking. Its so important to keep moving and stay active whether you have a disease or are completely healthy. (Blah, blah, we all know that, right?) I am one of the youngest on my floor so there are patients that are much older and in worse condition than me. I am self-sufficient but others can’t get to the bathroom on their own and have to wear Depends. (This is going to bite me in the a$$ because one day I am going to be the one in the Depends.) Anyway, I was taking my nightly walk and I just could not get away from THE SMELL. Someone had just done a Number Two and there was no escaping it. I even had my mask on and I was still being inundated from the odor. Needless to say, I cut my walk short. But, like I said, normal occurance in a day at Camp Summerlin. I hope one of the nurses grabbed the air freshener and sprayed the crap out of the hallway.

Incident #2: My floor is split between chemo/oncology patients and the cardiac unit. Cardiac patients come here to recover from open heart surgery, removed lungs, etc. The cardiac patients do not have private bathrooms. They just have a toilet in their room and a curtain to give them privacy when they do their business. There are no doors because back in the day heart patients would go in the bathroom, lock the door and then pass out or have a heart attack and the nurses couldn’t get in. Therefore, the policy was changed. For some reason, the toilets are positioned toward the front of the room and there’s a window with blinds right there as well. You know where I’m going with this. As I take my walks, I have more than once walked past a room with the privacy curtain closed and the blinds WIDE open. Only for me to happen to see an old gray-haired man taking a pee. A normal occurance in a day at Camp Summerlin.

Incident #3: Same scenario – I’m taking a walk. (13 laps around both nurses’ stations is a mile by the way.) I happen to look into an open door to a patient’s room. (I feel like a peeker but I can’t help it. If you don’t want people to look in your room, then close your door!) Anyway, there was another elderly gray-haired man standing with his back to me. The back of his hospital gown was just WIDE open. Can we say a FULL moon? Believe me, I kept walking – and quickly.

Full Moon

Incident #4: I was getting my mask on to go for a walk. (Maybe these darn walks are the cause of my problems. If I just became a hermit and stayed in my room all the time, I wouldn’t have to endure these episodes. Ehh…that’s too boring.) My mask was on and I hd my trusty pump (Mr. Buddy Braun) with me. I encountered an older lady in her 70’s with her super comfy hospital lounge chair in the middle of the hallway (not really normal.) She does have a nurse with her (a good sign) and they are trying to get her out of her chair to take a stroll. Apparently, she has Alzheimer’s so she doesn’t really know where she is, what’s she’s doing here and she’s not sure she wants to walk. The nurses were encouraging her and all seemed to be well. Then she started yelling, “Let go of me! Let go of me!” and “Help! Help!” Then other distressed noises come out of her mouth. Then she calmed down and continued walking. Then she decided she wants to go into another patient’s room, so they needed back up nurse support to get her going the right way again. Then she doesn’t want to walk again and threatened to hit the nurses with her cane. More than once! That’s when I decided to get back to the safety of my own room. The halls were too dangerous for me! All I knew is that my end wasn’t going to be due to an old lady with Alzheimer’s and a cane.

That was all just a sneak peak. I will periodically update you on new incidents because I am SURE I have not experienced the last of them. I only have more to look forward to – and more sitcom material. Malene! Start scouting out a production team in Denmark! Stat!

HOSPITAL ETIQUETTE

Being in a hospital is just weird, most men usually aren’t even in here (they don’t go to the doctor! They never get sick!) and women come here to have babies. (At least that’s all I associate hospitals with.) You do lose all sense of modesty and the nurses are used to it. It seems more awkward if you seem weird so I feel like its just easier to go with the flow. I got my first full on sponge bath (sorry Sponge Bob Square Pants – it didn’t involve you.) And I was suddenly placed on bed rest. Guess what that means – BED PAN!! Because there was bleeding on my brain, doctors wanted to me reduce how much I was moving around.

Now the bed pan. I always got the general concept of it, but it is literally a pan you lay under your butt and you pee in it, in your bed, with the nurse right there. Am I worried…am I getting in the pan? Am I peeing all over my bed? I mean this could get embarrassing. I’ll just say I became a pro at it but was also proud when I got to graduate to the “big girl potty”.

The Bed Pan

The Bed Pan

Now that my only job is to take medicine and follow doctors and nurses orders (who have all been fabulous by the way) my big tasks for today are: to get an actual REAL shower and a take “big” walk around the nurses area. Now, from going to being a personal trainer to making a walk “around the nurse block” seems silly but that is how broken down my body has become. I better get my sweatband and water bottle to make sure I can get back to my room. On a side note, on my walk, I found an American Cancer Society magazine that features all of the cool hats, scarves and wigs that I can don once my hair falls out. Ironically that part isn’t freaking me out yet.

Because I am on continual chemo, antibiotics, plateletes or red blood cells, I am hooked up to a pump that attaches through a port-a-cath in my right chest. So “Mr. Buddy Braun” goes with me EVERYWHERE. He stands 6-ft. tall and is like my protector. Except it can get daunting taking him with me to the bathroom, walks, or even to get something on the other side of the room.

Buddy Braun

At least the hospital staff knows I’m not escaping here any time fast – Buddy Braun would be the weak link.

The last thing you need to know if you are going to come visit me. You’ll get to look like a dork. Because my immune system is so low, you don’t want to get me sick. All visitors get to wear masks and gloves and sometimes even gowns. Dave got away without a gown last night but he needs bigger gloves.

Visitor's Wear

So as you can see, this is certainly a learning curve – having AML, living in a hospital, creating a new blog, so I am embarking on a journey of many new experiences. I would appreciate all of your support and advice and any comments you make on my blog help me out as well. As I said, I’m a newbie to blogging and WordPress, so if there are any experts out there, I would love to pick your brain. THANK YOU FOR READING!