" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Monday, April 14, 2008

Back On The Air

Since I've been radio silent all weekend (sorry, that's CIA talk) I thought I'd better post a brief message lest anyone think I'd entered my eternal rest. I had a simple sore throat (nothing fancy, just your garden variety burn- when- swallowing type) that morphed pretty quickly into a sinus infection. I woke up in the wee hours of the night on Sunday morning sweating badly and having a hard time taking a full breath, and convinced that my lungs were filling up with fluid like a sunken canoe (they weren't). So I calmed myself down and told myself, "self, calm down. You'll go to the doctor in the morning and they'll put you on anti- biotics and you'll be fine". This stern talking- to (and a Tylenol PM)seemed to do the trick and at 8:45 on Sunday morning I went in to the After Hours Clinic at Kaiser. As soon as I told the doctor I was a chemo patient she reached straight for a box of masks and put one on forthwith. It is funny to see how people react when they know you have cancer (not that I am criticizing her reaction- I had actually snagged a few of those disposable face masks myself before she came into the room. You never know when you night need em. ) She was very thorough but seemed perhaps shocked at my having waited several days before doing something about this sore throat; I felt a little defensive. How can I make people appreciate the new position I find myself in now? You must know, in my pre-cancer life I rarely got sick. In 5 years of teaching I had used up about 8 sick days at my old position, the rest I blew on pilgrimages to Medjugorje or Rome that they couldn't justify refusing me since I had such great attendance. I was never one to worry about germs; I thought little kids with runny noses were endearing. To be a person with a near invincible immune system to overnight becoming someone who should be worrying about every sniffle or the changing color of their snot is very new to me... not quite sure how to go about it. And it still hasn't sunk in that I can't rely on my immune system right now. So this was a good wake- up call. She put me on antibiotics for an upper respiratory infection and an inhaler to open the lungs. And gave me a stern warning not to let these things go next time. She was very nice at the end; I think she felt uncomfortable making any kind of call regarding a cancer patient without an oncologist to advise her (I can understand her hesitation).

On a sad note, while in the waiting room a rather weathered woman in her 50's or so came in and demanded to speak to her doctor. She gave a name of her doctor; the staff said there was no such doctor there. She then proceeded to demand Vicoden and Oxycodone for her back pain, though she had no prescription or doctor reference. She said her ex- husband stole all her pain medication and she had a right to more even without any paperwork. The staff continued to refuse (of course) and she left very angry. I felt really bad for her- the whole thing was just so pathetic. Also a good reminder that prescription drugs are no joke.


Anonymous said...

When I read your post, I thought you were saying that the nurse used a mask to avoid catching something from you, but now I think she must have been protecting you from any germs she may have been carrying. -Trinka

Kasia said...

Thanks for the explanation Trinka, I didn't get it either.