Monthly Archives: April 2013

Waking Up

I have never been a morning person. I have always enjoyed a lie in and I have always loathed an early start. I did the latter because I had to, I’m an adult after all, but rarely did I take pleasure in it.

Since my diagnosis, I have continued to set my alarm clock every week day; whether I get up when it goes off is another matter entirely. Keeping that normality however, pressing the snooze button multiple times, is important to me and I have no intention of turning it off. My drugs and My Myeloma in general make me tired, so that snooze button gets used a lot now. Six times this morning. Fortunately for me, I also have a human, who acts as an alarm clock before he goes to work, and that usually gets me moving. If not moving and dressed, at least temporarily out of bed for a pee and a cup of tea.

The struggle to wake up these days, under the influence of thalidomide is proving to be much more difficult. As I have always been something of a sloth, it means that I am now late for every day time activity, including my treatment every Friday at 11. The excuses I give for this varies, but I am yet to use, ‘I just couldn’t get up’. I suppose I could change the time of my appointment, but if it was later, I know that I would be in exactly the same position as when it is at 11. At least it forces me to get up. I always have grand plans about the time I am going to get up and become a human, but at 07:30hrs, that usually goes out the window. By 09:00hrs, I just hope that the next day will be better.

I am a zombie in the morning, correction, every morning. I usually feel like I have downed a good few pints of Kronenberg the previous night and that sensation will stay with me until at least midday when I will eventually be able to converse without going cross eyed. Even on the days and nights when insomnia is visiting, I am awake, but my body is incapable of getting up. I get through the mornings at a snails pace and it is frustrating. If I do happen to have plans before 14:00hrs on a day, I try to take my drugs before 22:00hrs the night before, because this will make a difference on my performance when I wake. It doesn’t however completely remove the hangover. If only it did. Fortunately, I have dealt with many a hangover in my time.

Gone are the days where I can skip breakfast. Added to my current levels of tardiness, is the fact that I have to take drugs and eat before I do anything. There is a timetable within that however, so I am not talking about a five minute slot every morning where I shove things down my gob. It is slow, leisurely affair. My bowel issues will almost always delay me in the morning. I imagine not many people have to schedule in poo time. The sad thing is, one cannot predict how long this activity will actually take.

I really do hate being late for everything. I have felt it more over the last few days, but I think that is because my alarm clock has taken himself on a holiday, so I have to take on a little bit more responsibility for my actions. Or lack there of.

One day I’ll be able to wake up at 06:30hrs again and then be ready in 45 minutes, but unfortunately, I suspect that for this chapter of my life, I cannot exist before 11:00hrs.

To be clear, all of this is not because I am lazy, it’s because I have cancer. Nobody can argue with that.

EJB x

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Bruised

WARNING – THIS BLOG CONTAINS GRAPHIC IMAGES INCLUDING STRETCH MARKS, WHICH SOME READERS MAY FIND OFFENSIVE.

I am quite thankful that my current treatment does not result in me permanently looking like somebody who is fond of heroin. My girth probably assists with this too if I am honest and adhering to stereotype. As I am not constantly being cannulated (once every four weeks does not equate to constantly), my arms are not constantly covered in multiple bruises. Again, I repeat that for this small mercy, I am thankful.

Cannulas go in your arms and everybody sees my arms. Back on PADIMAC, everybody could see that my arms they were always covered in bruises at various stages of decay. Those wrist ones take an age to heal. These days I am usually limited to a small black dot on my left arm where my blood is taken weekly. The lack of visible bruises makes me sexy. Sex on legs.

Unfortunately, I still have to inject myself everyday. I do this in my stomach, specifically the left hand side of my stomach. The right side of my stomach is saved for Velcade. I would not want to get the Fragmin involved with the Velcade because I am sure I would just make those Velcade scars worse. Now, for those of you unsure what I am taking about, revisit this blog. It tells you what Velcade does. https://ejbones.wordpress.com/2013/01/05/so-long-velcade/.

Last week’s Velcade injection was on my waistband, which was not delightful. It was itchy and swollen, and just unpleasant. It actually made me look at my stomach, which to be honest, I rarely do, because why would I? Other people can look at it. I’d rather look at bums. So, there I was looking at the reflection of my stomach in my dirty mirror, and I was surprised to see a big black blotch of bruise on the left hand side of my stomach. The right, just looks gross, with seven marks in various colours, separated by stretch marks; but I expected this. I never think about the left hand side, despite me fingering it every evening and then stabbing myself with a needle. The size and colour of the bruise is ferocious.

I am sure there is a technique I can employ to limit the bruising. Perhaps being more gentle and less rushed with the daily poke, applying pressure after would prevent some bruising, but to be honest, I cannot be bothered. Doing the injection takes enough time out of my day, I don’t want to give it any more. It, is My Myeloma. Anyway, the Medically Trained People told me that bruising was perfectly normal and it is just what happens.

So the point of this blog, is just to let you know that I am living with a big fat bruise on my big fat stomach. My bruise will be with me for as long as I have to inject myself everyday. In the grand scheme of things, it is the least of my worries.

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Englishness

Today I found myself on the tube or to go by its official name, the London Underground. I have never been a fan of the tube, it’s the sweat aspect of it really, people’s sweat in my face and my sweat on my pits. Anyway, I was on the tube because I was running late and even though I do not like it, and there are more changes, which does me no good at all, it is faster than the bus. Practical.

So there I was on the Victoria Line, with my walking stick. I walked through the sliding doors into the carriage, rattling my stick, to find all the seats taken. People looked up and me, but nobody was budging. Bastards. This threw me into a dilemma. The only reason I travel with the bloody stick is to avoid situations where I have to ask somebody for a seat. In terms of my manners with strangers, at times when I do not have steroids pumping through my veins, I am the most English of English people. I say sorry to people when they bash into me, I like to queue if there are seats, and as it turns out, I do not ask people if I can have a seat on the tube because I do not want to appear rude.

Ordinarily, I think I could have managed the 15 minute journey standing, but somebody on my train was taken ill, which added a further 20 minutes to the journey. People tutted. I rattled my walking stick some more and sighed. People did nothing. Instead, I had a couple who both needed to wash their hair, shove their instruments in my face.

I then had a hot flush, one really needs to sit during one of those bad boys, if only so there is something else there to absorb the sweat from my butt. And still, my fellow commuters, travelling outside of rush hour, were oblivious to my plight. Perhaps they were all afflicted with an invisible disability like me and were brave enough to face the world without a visible symbol of weakness, but the odds of that are pretty slim, like getting myeloma. I will take a gamble however and say that the majority did not have an invisible disability. The longer I stood, the more I could feel my back, invisibly poking me. Perhaps I need a badge, like the ‘Baby on Board’ badges that says, ‘Cancer. Weak Bones. Take Pity’. I did contemplate theatrically removing my hat, because I thought that my head plus walking stick would definitely result in somebody giving me there seat, but I vetoed that, because it would have meant that I had to carry my hat as well as my coat, stick and handbag. The longer I stood, the more I believed that everybody in my carriage was evil, and I mean urinate on puppies and kittens type of evil. By Oxford Circus, I was convinced that there were so evil, that they might actually defecate on those puppies and kittens too. Bastards.

All of that venom and anguish because I was too polite to ask for a seat. I say polite, you may say something else.

I’ll have to learn…

My name is Emma Jane Jones and I have a disability.

Fortunately my faith in humankind was almost restored on the District Line when a Mr Darcy-esque male with manners, offered me his seat without prompting when I changed tubes. I felt a bit sorry for him, not because he was wearing a pointy loafer, but because I was only on that train for a stop. But my, did that seat feel good. I sighed with pleasure. Trust me, that’s not a pleasant sound for anybody. I then felt sorry for everybody on the carriage. Well, the people not listening to their iPods.

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Bed and Breakfast

For 241 days, upon my release from hospital, I have split my sleepy time between my broken bed in Dalston and my bed at Mamma Jones’s house. That is two beds. Just the two beds. For 241 days I have not been able to sleep in another bed that is not called Emma’s. I haven’t even been able to sleep on a sofa. Realistically, I have not been able to do those things, even if my mind was willing. There has always been something calling me back to safety.

It started off with my back. I had to sleep upright for nearly four months, and I needed that insert in my bed. I still require a certain amount of pillows. Then there is the drugs, then and still.

Practicality and sense means I have to be home every night. My Myeloma tells me so… Or does it?

It didn’t last night. After 241 days, I managed to reach another milestone. It may sound like nothing to you, but I spent the hours of midnight-08:00hrs lying down in a bed that was not called Emma’s, and this fact means a lot to me. Recently, I have been constantly complaining, dwelling really, about my new treatment and the general state of my health. My Myeloma continues to be the main man in my life, I know this all to well, but there is nothing wrong with the occasional bit of infidelity. If I can let my hair down with something else, something more fun that raises a smile, then I will. It’s that simple to me. My occasional acts of defiance make Mylomaville habitable.

Last night then, actually it is the night before last, I stayed in a hotel. Apart from the quandary about how I disposed of my used needle, it was surprisingly easy. Oh and I suppose my morning grogginess was also an issue. I had to hide it by oversleeping. That’s my excuse. My suitcase had wheels, was fully stocked with pills, there was enough pillows on my bed and I had rather helpfully been booked on the ground floor. I made myself right at home.

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A messy nameless hotel bed

As with everything and anything in my life now, I did have to adapt slightly. I am not going to lie to you. Once upon a time if I happened to have found myself in a hotel midweek, in a county that looked something like Yorkshire, I would not have gone to bed at 22:00hrs and I would have regretted that decision the next day, however, last night I did take myself to bed at 22:00hrs. I had drugs to take. Who knew that cancer would make me more sensible? Plus LA Confidential was on ITV4. Who needs a hotel bar when you have Danny DeVito? Really.

And so, I stayed in a hotel and I did that in spite of My Myeloma. It raises a smile.

EJB x

It has been a while since I stayed in a hotel, so I just wondered whether it was normal fair now, to find this in the bathroom?

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It’s not normal is it?

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The Reminder

Until last week, the last time I spent four days in bed was the epic Christmas of 2012, after my last dose of dexamethasone. Then there was last week.

The thing about spending a long period of time in bed, is that it gives one time to notice things that when they are busy or active, they probably miss. I say one, I mean me, because I would not presume to speak for others. Otherwise I might open up a can of ‘roid rage on myself. There you go, that’s this week’s fixation/target of irrational anger… Back to my bed, so yes, I spent a few days noticing things about my body that I had missed when I was feeling better. I didn’t actually miss them if truth be told.

My current ailments, because that is what I am talking about, look something like this:

• Neuropathy – I told you about this the other day.
• Pain – My back is playing silly buggers. I’m regressing. Sure, I actually blame this increased pain on the fact I had been lying down for so long, but I have gone back to the point where bending over is a difficulty. That is why this weekend, I decided to pick up and spin my 20 month old niece around a bit. In your face lesions. I am paying for that today. I am also paying for playing crazy golf on Sunday. That is probably a better indicator on the state of my back.
• Pain – The pain is not just limited to my back. Oh no, that would be unfair to the rest of my body. I also have a sensation of having a chest infection. It’s not a chest infection. I may not be medically trained, but the sensation is familiar to me. It’s my body’s way of telling me that there are lesions at the front as well as the back. I recall me telling Middlesborough last July that I could not go to Zumba, because I had a chest infection. It wasn’t a chest infection.
• Fatigue – I also told you about this the other day.
• Bowel – nobody knows what it going on here. One minute it is shy and the next minute it is in my face. In short, it is not right and it is taking up a considerable amount of my time dealing with the ‘issues’. My current favourite friend, is called Suppository. Let’s hope my back does not get any worse, because that may make our relationship problematic.

To top things off, I am still getting the hot flushes, which was delightful last night at dinner.

There you go, that’s a list. That’s how my body is rolling. These little illnesses like to compete with each other for my attention. They have it. The good news is, is somehow still manage to go about my business.

EJB x

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The Numbers

I am trying not to live for my paraprotein result. By live, I really mean, I am trying not to dwell on my paraprotein result. Bloody numbers.

I have spent months waiting for the result of that monthly test, where a few points up or down can have epic consequences. On the one hand it goes down and I got a Christmas with my family, on the other hand, it goes up and before you know, I am back watching my paraprotein level, sweating at the thought of it like I am finding out my A Level results all over again. The anxiety this causes cannot be good for me, maybe good for my bowel, but really, it isn’t good for anything else. The thing is, try as I might, I am always going to fixate on the result.

The Medically Trained People told me not to worry and think about it, but when my paraprotein level is the indicator they go by as to the success of my treatment, how could I not worry about it? Don’t worry about your paraprotein, but it does need to reduce by half for you to go to transplant. Okay, sure thing, now just excuse me, whilst I remove this elephant from the room.

In this area, I want to be a medical marvel. I don’t want to be known as the young lady who got myeloma, I want to be known as the young lady who got myeloma and responded astoundingly well to her drugs and was cured. Alas, that is not a test I can study for. If only I could. My body does what it wants regardless of what the best thing for me is and intellect has no weighting here.

I’ve been pretending I am indifferent to the results, mostly because failure scares me. I failed once before and now, I just see the stubborn figure as a big fat major. Every time I think about my paraprotein level, I think about failure, my mind goes into a spiral with thoughts that do not need to be repeated here. Bad thoughts.

The issue I also have, is that I don’t know what is a good or bad result. I have already been through this once before, so I know that any improvement (see what I did there, positivity)is going to be slight. As much as I would love to fall asleep, have my blood taken and then three days later find out that I have had a reduction of 15, I know it is not going to happen. My paraprotein level takes things slowly, like my erm… metabolism. So, I have to take any improvement as a good sign, as hard as it is for me to get excited about a point here or there. I don’t get excited about it anymore, because even if it goes down, it is still there. I get my exam anxiety pre-results because there is always going to be a part of me that wants to be the medical marvel. I cannot stop myself thinking that, thus anything that is not that, is a big fat letdown, even if it is a move in the right direction.

So, with that in mind, last Friday I found out that my paraprotein level had reduced by a measly three during my first cycle to 23. I am not excited about it.

EJB x

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My Left Hand

Last week I sat in my appointment with the Medically Trained People and when I was asked the question “how is the neuropathy?”, I responded with “it’s nothing, nothing like before, in fact, I do not need to discuss it with you, so it is not an issue right now“.

Now, I do not mean to speak ill of the people I love, but I am a fool. A big old plonker. I tempted fate and now fate is holding my left arm hostage.

For those of you wondering what the heck ‘neuropathy’ is and what it means for me, then wonder no more… https://ejbones.wordpress.com/2012/11/19/cillit-bang/ I was preoccupied with this particular side effect for quite a while and somehow, I get the feeling, that I will begin to dwell on it once again. Do you know how I know this? It’s because I have a left arm.

For the last week, I have been constantly aware of the fact that I have a left arm. Intermittently, I am aware that I have extremities on the left hand side of my body, but it is the arm and hand bearing the brunt of the Velcade madness. If one is lucky, they have a complete set of limbs, but I bet during the course of a normal day, you do not think about your limbs. They are just there and they do their job. Velcade makes me know that I have limbs. In everything I do and everywhere I go, I am accompanied by them and a growing sense that I want to rip them off. Obviously, I will not rip them off; My Myeloma is enough to contend with at the moment thank you.

One Medically Trained Person told me that the side effects from the Velcade would be eased by the Thalidomide. This pleased me. However, since then, two Medically Trained People have told me that the Thalidomide enhances the side effects and thus it is super duper important that I report any changes to them. So… Helpful. They all agreed that the symptoms will get progressively worse the more injections I have, so I have concluded that… Hang on, my left arm just wanted to say “hello”… where was I? Yes, I have concluded that I will monitor the side effects like I did on PADIMAC. My dose was reduced after three cycles on PADIMAC, I wonder whether I will be able to make it to the end of my second cycle before that happens now. Worst case scenario is that I have to start a new treatment, if the neuropathy becomes unbearable. We, by we, I mean my arm and me, do not want that to happen.

I know my side effects are not that bad when compared to what other people experience. I can still do up my buttons and I do not have constant tingling in my fingers and toes. What I have is, dead arm. If it is not dead, my arm is morbidly obese weighing in at 100lbs and it is a chore carting that imaginary weight around with me everyday. My arm is also fond of the dull ache, correct, constant dull ache. I have a left arm. When I am sitting still or lying down all I am aware of is my arm. Arm, arm, arm, I have an arm, it is on the left hand side of my body, arm, arm, arm. Whilst I may not have constant pins and needles, it is very easy for me to get them. If I hold my phone the wrong way in bed, then that’s it. Needles and pins, pins and needles. I have an arm and it wants to wake me up.

Time will tell… I have managed it before and I will manage it again. In the meantime, my arm and me wish you well.

EJB x

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Crash

Anybody who has been fortunate enough to have come face to face with me over the last five weeks, would have had the pleasure of discussing my current love of the steroids. I say ‘love’, but what I actually mean is sheer and utter loathing of a drug so vile, it is essentially a reincarnation of phlegm.

It would be fair assessment then, to say that I hate them. I hate steroids. Hate them. The timetable I was on VDT/VTD was a weekly obstruction on my life. Steroids for two days, followed by a two day crash, followed by insomnia and accompanied by constant mood swings and a winning desire to overeat. I discussed this issue with the Medically Trained People. I did not want to get my hopes up a fortnight ago when it was proposed that I took my month’s supply of the ‘roids in a week, so I sat on it, held my breath and was incredibly relieved last Thursday when a Medically Trained Person with a lot of training said I was allowed to take my 80 pills over four days. That would be 80 pills over four days, instead of 20 pills weekly.

In my mind, this option was and is, most definitely, the lesser of two evils. And steroids are evil.

The problem with evil things, even if they are less evil, they are still evil. I knew that top ending my steroids into a week was going to be horrible, but my thinking is that it will give me one horrible week, and the payback is then three weeks of near normality, before it starts all over again. The other option is constant interruptions and constant steroids. I don’t want that. I don’t want any of it, but I am no martyr. I have to find a way to make my treatment work for me. And I guess that erasing nearly a week from my life once a month, is the best option for me. Thanks myeloma.

I have experienced a high dose steroid crash before. I have experienced it five times before in fact, so when I decided to spend my weekend taking pills that make my mouth taste like tin, I knew what I was getting myself in to. I knew that it was going to make me so poorly that I could not get out of my bed and do the fandango. Knowing what is coming however, doesn’t make the crash any less disgusting, or any easier.

I know that there is nothing I can do to change the current feeling inside my body. I know that me not being able to get out of bed or get dressed for two days is not me being idle. I know that my inability to wash is not a strange fetish of mine for musk. I know that sleeping for 18 hours yesterday was completely out of my control. I went into this week knowing that these were the likely side effects. One bad week, for three good, remember?

I may know all of this, but it does not make me feel any less ashamed. I want to be able to get dressed and get out of bed. I am embarrassed that I cannot. I am embarrassed by the fact that for these few days, the steroids effect me in such a way that I cannot look after myself. I wish I could find the dignity in it, but what Housemate was greeted with when he got home from work yesterday was not dignity defined. I know that I have not given in to my drugs, and they are ruling me right now, but I wish that mind could beat matter in this instance. It cannot. I like to think that next month, I will be happy to let people see me when I look like I have been dragged through a hedge backwards after 13 pints of Kronenberg and some pork scratchings, but for this week, I am just working on getting through the week.

The fact that I am able to write a blog right now makes me think I am over the hump, and that gives me a little hope that I may have a weekend. I just have to keep reminding myself that every hour down is an hour closer to me feeling normal again. It’s an hour closer to me being able to go to the shop to buy myself a pint of milk. It’s an hour closer for me remembering what two plus two equals. Who knows? Next week, I will be one crazy party animal who washes.

There is a reason I feel like this and it is the lesser of two evils.

For now, I will just rest easy in my bed knowing that I just changed my knickers.

EJB x

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Friday Nights

Today due to a slight miscalculation on my part, I did not end up taking my steroids until this afternoon, that means one and one thing only. I am awake.

Being awake, gives one amazing stamina to stay out on a Friday night, in fact, this particular cancer sufferer has been out of their house for 15 hours today. I am aware that this a good thing, regardless of the time it resulted in me taking my drugs. I have to try and live, I guess. I don’t guess. I have to try and live.

The problem with good things and ‘living’, is that they always remind me of what I am missing. And try as I might, I am missing a lot. I am not living the life I want to live. That’s the long and short of it. I live a crazy existence where I put on a brave face everyday, and I strongly believe that this is the best way for me to exist, you can see it in my eyes and I am sure the person who told me that, never intended for me to take it this far. The problem is, we all know that my existence is far from ideal. I don’t want you sympathy. I don’t want people telling me they understand, because I don’t think you do. You may empathise, you may have myeloma, but you don’t know what this is like for me.

I am 28 years old and it is a Friday night. Correction, I am an interesting 28 year old and I am narcissistic enough to admit that I was once pretty fun. My predicament makes me unique and I know that because the Medically Trained People told me so. Many times. A year ago, I would have enjoyed the Kronebergs so much, that I would be in a long deep sleep by now, awaiting the embarrassment upon waking on Saturday morning. I don’t get embarrassed now, because that sort of thing is superficial and all I want to do is live. I can say the most ridiculous of ridiculous things and it is okay, I brush it off because I have to deal with the myeloma everyday. Other people may make me anxious, but I don’t make me anxious. I want to get to a point where I can do what I want, and that seems so far away from me. There are days I think, I’ll never get it back. I try, but it won’t come back. I feel beyond middle aged and I am not ready. I will never taste that two day hangover exaggerated by whatever I had done when I am drunk. Now, as late as I stay out, I am still the girl who comes home with her month’s supply of drugs safely contained in their double bag and who takes her Thalidomide and Fragmin when she gets home. I want to irresponsible. I want to have drunk so much that tomorrow all I can drink is Lucozade and on Sunday, I abuse my pesky body with carbohydrates. I want to have lost something, maybe a red hat, I don’t know. I want to go crazy, but I can’t do that. I want to chain smoke, and I mean chain smoke so much that I cough up tar. I want to eat Smash and corned beef. I want to fall asleep with my make up on in the clothes I wore the night before. But I can’t do that.

I enjoy a Friday night. I still enjoy a Friday night. Locking myself away when I have amazing people in my life is not an option, and tonight has been yet another example of those amazing people. Not collectively. The problem with enjoyment is that it always reminds me what I am not experiencing and what I cannot do and what I cannot have. It’s a different level of commitment, trying to prolong your life. There is one thing and one thing only I want to do this weekend, but I am sensible and sensible says that I need to relax, in Dalston, take my drugs and eat fibre. I want to go so crazy that I flash my breasts in public and I have never done that, those bad boys are barely out of a bra in front of another person, occasionally, they may fall into the arm shelf in my kitchen. I want to be ashamed that I used the word ‘fingered’ in a conversation this evening. I want to feel guilty about my indiscretions. I want to stay up all night and I want the reason for that to be my amazing stamina on canned beer, I do not want it to be induced by prescription medication. I don’t want to worry about how I am going to buy my milk in the morning. I want to be me.

My Myeloma, as much as I fight it, has changed my life. It will probably take my life. I know this, because I close my eyes and this is all I hear; it is all I have heard for ten days. There was so much to do, and now I don’t know if it can be done. I can pretend as much as I like and live in the land of make believe, but I live in the constant shadow of death. I cannot be free of that, my transplant offered me some freedom, some respite, but now that option has gone away. I don’t want to know my current paraprotein level, because the future seems so unattainable and I don’t want to get my hopes up again. I believe other people think this too, I know this, because my insomnia tells me that too. This is why I am trying so hard to be seen, because, I constantly fear it is all going to come tumbling down. I am going to come tumbling down and nobody will acknowledge he much I like Kate Bush.

This is my situation and I deal with it as best I can, I just, everyday, at least once, wish that I didn’t have to. It’s so slow and there is no sign of a resolution. People want to know why I cannot sleep, in addition to the drugs, and the obvious answer to the question I do not want to be asked, is try carrying this around with you everyday and taking it to bed every night. Does nobody want to tell me that my aspirations can only be realised in my sleep? Do they think what I think too? Are they humouring me? Who is taking pity on me, some of you are, you told me? Who is put off by it? Is this it?

How was your Friday night?

If my Friday night has taught me anything, apart from the power of solidarity, predictably is safe and it is comfort and in this I find some comfort. Maybe not for the reasons you expect, but I do. There may be a time when spontaneity wipes me off my feet, but not now. For now, I will take my Friday because that is all I can do. Except it is now Saturday. The birds are singing.

EJB x

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Shy Veins

Today, I am suffering from Shy Veins. It is a most frustrating affliction.

Shy Veins, for those of you fortunate not to have had a lot of poison pass through your body, is, believe it or not, when the Medically Trained People struggle to locate a vein to either get my blood or but a cannula in my arm. Today, I needed both. And for those smarty pants out there, I know one can get blood from a cannula, but it is still faster being poked twice here, and thus, to get it out the way, I prefer being poked twice. I am a slut.

My first stop was the Lower Ground Floor for my full blood count and my, did they make a pig’s ear of it today. There was much prodding going on, and repositioning of the needle whilst in one of my veins. The blood trickled into the tube, but impatience is not a virtue, as I discovered, when the lady taking my blood dislodged the needle by flicking it with her finger, causing my blood to flow down my arm. That was nice. It looked nice. She then managed to get cotton wool in the wound. Again, that looked nice, especially when it dried. I know that bad boy is going to bruise, in fact, it already has.

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Next stop was Daycare, where I was given the cannula. My nurse today was scary, she was a Matron with a capital M. Although pleasant, I do not think her manner was going to encourage my veins to come out and play. Sure, she was stroking me and vigorously rubbing my arm in a downwards motion, but that did not encourage them to rise. The next option was a device new to the second floor and that was a heated pad. I looked like Robocop with that thing wrapped round me. At least I imagine I looked like Robocop if I had in fact seen Robocop.

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So the high tech medical device assisted the matron greatly, but again, that needle had to dig deep to find my vein.

A little bit to the right, a little bit to the left, faster, back to the right, a bit deeper, deeper to the right, extract a little, before going back in deep, slowly. And then you see it, a beautiful explosion of bodily fluids. Blood. Blood in plastic. That bad boy was in and I could relax.

And then I was ready for my treatment. Ah the trauma.

EJB x

I shall leave you with an image, because of the shy veins, the cannula was in my left wrist, which restricts the bending of the arm. So, with my cannula in, not moving my arm, attached to a drip, pushing the trolley holding my drip, I attempted to go to the toilet. That is all. Have a good weekend.

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