Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Work, infusions, crack "ho's", and Peeps (the marshmallow kind)...

The title of the post pretty much sums this up! I returned to work today after a 5 day furlough (cut short one day by an "extra" day of make up work last week), riding the bus downtown because it appeared to be a nice, almost spring morning. I hoofed it two city blocks from my bus stop to my work building...a feat with two canes, a weak and somewhat dragging left leg, and balance like a drunk...it takes me almost as long to go two blocks as it used to take to go 2 miles.

Work went fine...minus emails back and forth to Dr. She Who Will Not Be Named and her office minions. It was decided at 9:00AM today that I would subject myself to another round of Solumedrol X 3...barely enough time to call the infusion lab, notify my employer, and prepare my schedule to accommodate the infusions and steroid side effects. My employer is being quite accommodating to my ever-changing schedule these days, which is very helpful...I imagine "they" are either thinking (or wishing?) I might drop dead any minute or eventually just resign to the MS and resign my position...neither, of which, is likely in my near future...I'm too pissed off to do the latter and not lucky enough for the first event to occur! No, I will be living with this dreadful disease for a long time to come...because I pissed off someone "somewhere"...LOL

So, I got my first infusion of three scheduled at 3:30PM today, left work at 3:00ish, and hopped the bus BACK up the hill to the infusion lab...with ANOTHER 2 city block walk from the bus stop to Club Med (can anyone spell T-A-X-I here?!?). I love my infusion nurses and they pretend to love me...because I feed them cupcakes, candy, and cookies when I am able to do a "treat" run prior to my infusions...I learned a long time ago to feed the hand that can kill you! They always treat me kindly and honor my "professional" status, which in plain English means, they don't slap my hands for tinkering with my infusion pump and messing with my IV or demanding copies of my labs for my OWN medical interpretation. :-)

Today, not unlike my last infusions, it was duly noted my veins in my arms have grown weary from being poked for 5 years...on the third stick, I insisted my nurse just "shove it in" my right hand to avoid the roaming IV nurse call...the "roaming IV nurse" is a nice enough person (I have had to encounter her on occasion and feel I can offer this "professional" opinion...LOL), but she will contort me in unholy positions to find that one, measly vein practically in my arm pit just to be able to say, "There's not a patient YET that I can't find a usable vein on!" Usable? Yes. Conveniently located and able to stay patent (open and running for three days)? No. My right hand seemed the lesser of two evils (because I am left-handed)...and that's where my beloved infusion nurse "shoved it in".

Half way through the infusion, I developed "metal mouth" and knew I was NOT receiving a placebo (I have paranoid delusions DR. SWWNBN is just ordering sugar water to shut me up)...and an hour later, I was roided up and ready to go...just in time for rush hour bus traffic!

I plodded, limped, huffed, and gimped my way BACK to the bus stop just in time for what "should" have been my bus home...I was even ten minutes early. My bus route is notoriously late and, on many occasions, NEVER ARRIVES AT ALL...sigh...public effing transit. It's great when it works and a curse when it doesn't. But, I digress.

As I stood at my faux bus stop...I call it a "faux" bus stop because the area which I catch the bus near Club Med has been plagued with drug deals/drug abusers for so long, the city simply responded to bus rider's calls from this stop by REMOVING THE COVERED BUS SHELTER AND BENCH! I realize this was done to keep heroin addicts from laying down on the bench out of the rain to shoot up, but PULEEZE! Soooo, I'm standing at my faux bus stop watching the "activity" of the area, when I note a woman across the street engaging in conversation with some tweaking addicts/dealers. And, to make a long story short, I watch them walk into traffic, cross the street, try to get the attention of a dude DEALING in daylight out of his van, cross the street AGAIN in traffic (and not at the cross walk), stop to converse (obviously "van dude" wasn't selling to them), THEN...watch one of the addicts pop the woman in the face yelling, "You try that sh!+ again on me and I'll pop you again, beauch"...while she was yelling, "You're going to jail for this!", and trying to dial her cell phone.

Drug addict #1/Mohammed Ali took off, while drug addict #2 seemed in too much of a stupor to flee. Drug addict #3 (who I fondly refer to as "Crack Ho", began looking around the street and spied me at the faux bus stop with my two canes, pasty white face, and still dangling my county badge on my sleeve (it also serves as my BUS PASS...I still NEEDED it on me!)...she crossed the street AGAIN in the middle of traffic probably thinking I'd vouch for her "version" of the story...which appeared to be a smack in the face after a drug deal had gone bad. And please don't think I'm being racist/sexist/or in any way biased about the scene...if I hadn't overheard drug addict #1 say to Crack Ho, "Yo, so and so's my man. He'll hook you up with some sh!+", I might have thought she played an innocent role! But alas...this was not my "professional" opinion.

Crack Ho, as I said, crossed the street and eyed me...I mustered up my best "you-don't want-to-approach-me-because-I-saw-the-WHOLE-thing-go-down" face accompanied by my practiced "I'm-an-officer-of-the-court" professional stare...I believe it was at that moment, she realized I HAD seen the entire scene unfold and thought better of engaging me in her plight...either that or, the two canes looked menacing. LOL

Fortunately, my bus-following-the-never-showing-up bus arrived shortly after this and I hopped/limped/gimped on it...but not soon enough for me NOT to see Crack Ho find yet ANOTHER drug addict/dealer half way down the block to score upon...all was right in my world.

Not long after I returned home, Saint EB called me to say dinner was on the horizon and she was coming to retrieve me in her saintly fashion...we had a delicious hot meal (I've been eating cold sandwiches at the hut all week, so this WAS a treat), then headed to the local one stop shop for a few items AND to buy some Easter Peeps...don't ask...they're not for me!

I have no idea what is in store for tomorrow, but if it is HALF as exciting as today, well...I may need to double up on my Klonopin to withstand the entertainment...in my "professional" opinion, that is...


Diane J Standiford said...

I took IV Sol for 6 years, 4-6x/yr, and the vein seekers always came to me! You live in same city I do, I highly recommend it.

Sara said...

never heard of someone so happy to have "metal mouth", but I guess fear of sugar-water just to appease someone can have that effect. LOL


Vein seekers....heating pad, it works nicely to 'plump' up those suckers. At least that's what my local infusion center regularly has done for me.

Just think, while you're still riding high from the recent IV round, at least you don't have to come all the way down, recover, and do it all again separately. Sorry...just tryin to be encouraging.

And you're story - pretty interesting.

Anne said...

Good luck and I hope this is the last IVSM for awhile.

When I hear the term "Metal mouth" I always associate it with IVSM. But my son associates it with the James Bond character (I forget his name - metal teeth).

Veins - they plump when you cook 'em! Warm them up!


BLOGGER'S NOTE: We smack 'em, we hot pack 'em, we pump 'em, we dangle 'em, we dig at 'em...my veins are shot, folks! sigh...but thanks for the messages of possibility and concern...


Zee said...

Yeaccchhh.... I always, always, forget about
"metal mouth" until I'm in the chair, IV in arm and I have to start drinking orange soda just to deal with it. Blech. I feel for ya, Cheese. Hopefully things will subside soon!

(And what's wrong with Marshmallow peeps?!)