|Thanks gfdonc, gordoste, dalai, Duang Daunk regdog55 & TimP.
Warning: Epistle upcoming!
Nils bastardi carborundum!
(I’m not letting the bastard grind me down!).
>Hey just out of interest what are you doing to pass the time?
Aah, an opportunity for a ‘life’ outside of my new ‘normal’, by an acknowledgment and consideration of facts!
Please indulge me giving a book reply to you when you’re only wanting a page…
Long and short of it is that between hospital routine and incredible fatigue/lethargy as a result of the equivalent of a double organ transplant; not much other than snaffling sleep when I can get it, but still waking up tired.
The hospital routine on Haematology Ward is full-on, with little time between constant interruptions by the schedule to do much at all with any real continuity.
When on chemo, haemoglobin or platelet transfusions; Monitoring Observations of blood pressure, oxygen level, temperature, etc, are frequent to the point of 1/4 hourly sometimes though standard routine is at least 6 hourly anyway.
Being hooked up to a Pump machine (BD Alaris Unit), with not uncommonly four, though usually only two drip packets connected (can be up to ten),dispensing chemo / antibiotics / saline solution flushing / blood transfusions, etc is a time consuming rolling interruption.
This is because the lines from it that are connected into a Hickman Line installed in my chest (or PICC line in upper arm), both of which are a kind of semi-permanent cannula; often get occlusions, or sometimes air bubbles, which sets off alarms that require sorting of the issue.
Alarms also go off as drips time-out for changing to new drip bags.
The alarms are loud and effectively wake me up if I happen to be sleeping.
This doesn’t sound like a big deal, but being hooked up continuously 24/7 means between the machine alarms and Observations, coupled with Drs and other Specialist’s visits, procedure appointments, meals; not to mention increased comfort stop requirements due the amount of ‘stuff’ going into my body and needing to come out; … any breaks (2 hours is a luxury), I get are usually spent napping due lack of sleep otherwise!
… And this is if I’m not feeling ratshit as a result of the drugs / chemo.
To top it off because my blood counts are so low, fatigue is incredible and this perhaps is the most debilitating aspect of leukaemia, as all the other stuff comes in waves or you actually become accustomed to it, but the fatigue is constant.
It makes itself evident despite my best efforts to thwart it. A typical example being reading (my preferred escape), or texting on the phone to keep in contact with others.
After getting part way through a paragraph, then nodding off to sleep, waking up with a crooked neck to resume, only to nod off again, repeat ad infinitum … you get the idea!
~> care to hazard a guess as to how long it’s taken me to type this reply?
Not minutes, not hours, but days!!
My escapism mentioned above has been reduced from reading lengthy books that I never seem to get to the end of, to living vicariously through short interval stuff like following others exploits on Strava, or Website Forums, where there’s no need to keep up to date in any meaningful way with what’s happening, ie a passing interest is elegant-sufficiency.
Here’s a strange overlap of thought process that I find intriguing …
I read the following excerpt from a third party review about a difficult wall climb done by a climbing duo-
> (reviewer) found their (ascentionists) comments on the time taken for the experience quite insightful also. It had me thinking about what I would do with two extra weeks of my life, if given the 'month' it seemed like to them, in the 'doing' process. If this sounds convoluted then you are probably right; but big walls will do that to you; i.e. cause a certain amount of introspection / reflection.
Not that I’m on a wall, … up against one at the moment perhaps, … but-
I can easily empathise with both sides of the sentiment expressed in that review statement.
I’m re-confirming to myself that time and normality get warped by intense experiences.
(E. Wells - time traveler - you will be stoked, read on … !).