Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day +17: Oops!

Remember playing Chutes and Ladders as a kid? That's how I feel this morning, like I've slid down one of those dreaded "chutes" - after climbing the "ladders" so successfully. I spiked a fever last night (100.9) and ended up in the emergency room! I actually spent the entire night there (not recommended***). This is standard operating procedure for somebody in my situation - to check into ER. They did blood cultures and an X-ray and generally poked and prodded me all night. I got on some serious IV antibiotics. I'm fine now, and the fever is gone.

The Bone Marrow Transplant people came and visited me this morning (finally, people who understand me!) and, thankfully, decided to send me to the relative calm and safety of my home, rather than keeping me in the hospital. So I'm back home now and happily 'blogging' and soon to be 'napping' from my recliner - where I belong!

A night in the ER:

***OK, so I'm trying to keep a positive attitude about all this, and, to a person, the staff I've worked with "on the hill" are terrific. HOWEVER, spending the night in the ER was pretty close to torture. It started out OK actually: I was admitted immediately - valet parking even! - and put in a treatment room, but had to keep my mask on the whole time - since ER is where all the SICK PEOPLE are! We checked in about 8:00 PM, and, somewhere around 1:00 AM the nurse allowed that I would be spending the night in the hospital, but, they didn't have any "beds" available, so I was going to have to stay in the ER. Julie was able to go home a little after this - leaving around 1:30AM. Sometime later they found me a pillow. The nurse who came on shift at 6:00 AM thought to bring me a blanket. (Oh, and, thank god for noise canceling headphones because there was a woman screaming and complaining loudly every 10 minutes or so ALL night. She was obviously a chronic complainer, and staff were doing the best they could to keep her quiet. She was still going at it this morning - though she had clearly lost some energy and ability to project her voice - finally!) I was really OK though - and kept consoling myself by thinking: "at least I'm not the guy who's coming in on the LIFE FLIGHT HELICOPTERS" that kept landing outside... Oops, there I am slipping back into optimism again, sorry.

Anyway, suffice it to say that the ER is NOT the place you want to spend the night. They are good at patching people up and saving lives, but they are not really geared up for creature comforts and "healing". God bless em though if you need em!


  1. Hi Mark - So sorry to hear you fell down a Chute and had to spend a night in the ER - I know exactly how uncomfortable that is since I did it a couple of months ago after a fall. Not Good - to be avoided!!! We returned yesterday after 3 great days in NC mts. with Ann and Pete and now leave Sat. for Estes Park with Patricia for 2 weeks - wish you and Julie were coming too as you did last year. Sending heaps of love and good vibes, Doris (and John)

  2. Mark, My heart goes out to you! My 24 hours of ER volunteering confirmed that I'm too sensitive for that environment. I ran around making sure patients were comfortable and giving reassurance that they weren't forgotten. I'm sorry you didn't have an EMT student like me watching over you! :(

    I hope you are feeling better and resting in your recliner with your adoring pooch at your feet. xo jessica

  3. hi Mark,
    Thinking of you....Here's a beautiful aria for you...
    from Henry Purcell's The Fairy Queen to help calm the chutes....

    This is one of those incredibly beautiful arias --that baroque orchestras love to play...and listen to...
    (no basso continuo....just fiddles!)
    The text is lovely... let the noise, doubt and despair be banish...
    All will be well....each day at a time.

    -- See, even Night herself is here,
    To favour your design;
    And all her peaceful train is near,
    That men to sleep incline.
    Let Noise and Care,
    Doubt and Despair,
    Envy and Spight,
    (the fiends delight)
    Be ever banish'd hence,
    Let soft Repose,
    Her Eyelids close;
    And murmuring streams,
    Bring pleasing dreams;
    Let nothing stay
    to give offence.

    Take care and feel the presence of hope.
    Your doggie will do that I am sure...(hope springs eternal looking for a dog biscuit :))
    warm blessings - Sue and choir

  4. Hi Mark -- I well remember the night I spent in the ER right before I had my gall bladder out. No fun -- and no sleep!

    I'm leaving for Mountain Lion tomorrow morning (early) with Mother and Dad. I wish you and Julie could join us and we could repeat our fun time of last year. Hopefully we'll do that soon. And when you're up to it, you and Julie should make a trip there -- we'd love to have you take advantage of the place, so just let us know. I'm sorry that I'll miss Julie this year too -- I leave to start teaching summer school two days before she arrives.

    I'm so glad you're home -- and what a treat it was to hear your actual voice last Sunday on the phone. Take it easy and slow, and keep up the steady pace of progress.

    Much love to you and Julie both -- Patti

  5. Hi Mark,
    It was great to see Julie in the park today. I am glad you made it through your ER experience, I think ER was really best in the old days when it had George Clooney on it. I am sure he wasn't there the night you were there... was he?
    I hope you are rested up after that experience. Hospitals aren't the place for much rest.
    I hate to tell you where I was when you were in the ER but here I go, Bob and I went to the Pat Metheny concert at the Aladdin. You would have loved it, he had all these amazing music contraptions set up to play automatically. So it was just him and his "Orchestrion". Here is the link:
    It was really amazing.
    So hang in there as I know you are! Be sure to wear the appropiate PPE (personal protection equipment-remember, a single strap mask doesn't do any protecting) when you go outside! (Can you tell I am taking Construction Safety now?!) Pretty soon you will be able to smell the newly mown grass! Maybe not as good as lilacs but still pretty darn good!

  6. Ah, a night in the ER, it's like a weekend in the train station. I spent my night in the ER at OHSU too. I'm glad to hear you are back home.