Monday, February 11, 2013

SCT Day 13 - SLOW IT DOWN!



I was discharged yesterday (Sunday) afternoon.  I was given my instructions (what not to eat, meds I had to take, etc.)  I said my goodbyes and headed home in a taxi.  My kids had gone to a neighbors house to play and my wife and I were going to pick them up, as a surprise, in a short while.  The kids had made me a great coming home sign, complete with lights.  Lil convinced them to hang it now for when I get home (they had no idea I would be home that day.)  We then walked to Starbucks to get coffee beans as we were out and would head by the neighbor’s house after to pick up the kids.

Pause

I am on the younger side of the patients visiting Mt Sinai for this type of treatment.  I’m also a bit more fit than the others that are there under the same circumstance.  I’m not tooting my own horn as the baseline is really not difficult to out perform!  But therein lies the issue.  I don’t believe the doctor’s or nurses have a discussion regarding physical exertion due to the sheer fact that most patients, upon departure, move from a hospital bed to a personal bed, or couch and then don’t do much else.  Physical activity was not their strong point. 

I had my eyes opened quite large yesterday, to the point where I felt bad surprising the kids as I truly looked like shit!  Hammered shit!  I entered the hospital on 28 January and until yesterday, I had walked around the hospital ward approximately 4 times – total.  One day I did touch my toes and balancing on one foot – one day.  From 28 January till 10 February, I had become the literal vegetable.  Still, compared to others in the hospital I was the picture of vim and vigor – and walking around the block and then meeting the kids had me doubled over, almost wheezing. 

For the first time in my life, I was VERY scared that I was about to die.  I knew I wouldn’t but I was still scared!  It never dawned on me how dilapidated I would become.  This is the map of where I walked.  Literally a block and a half.  And by the time we got up to the neighbor's apartment I just started feeling short of breath and coughing - while wearing the damn mask!  

Of course, the kids (Dilyn) were scared and Lil was scared.  I just told them I needed to get home.  But literally, I was hands on knees on the corner of 22nd/2nd Avenue and while going up the elevator.  I sat down and watched the rugby 7s and just relaxed.  Lil wanted to call someone and I said no – I was going to relax and I’m going to be fine and I’m NOT going back to that hell hole (hospital, sorry).  Later I had a bit of a temperature, which is something they warned about.  The in-ear thermometer had me at 100 and change.  The in-mouth had me at 98.7, 99.6 and 99.9 over three tries.  Unless I was close to 101 I wasn’t going to call anyone and opted to go to bed.

In the middle of the night my temperature was down and thus far this morning and today my temperature has been fine.  I am finding that any bit of exertion is taxing.  If you’re a runner then you’ll understand the feeling.  When you really push yourself and there’s a burning in the back of your throat that turns to an itch, forcing you to cough – that’s the feeling I get.  This coughing of course scares Lil and she immediately thinks I’ve got something from the kids.

Bottom line, I’m good – sleeping in my own bed was unbelievable.  I didn’t sleep straight through as I had potty breaks and just needed to get up and move around but I was in bed by 9p last night and didn’t get out till about 630a.  I did take a nap and then a long shower and cleaned up my shaven head and messy beard!  Time for me to take a walk, all the way down the block and back – that’s all!  If I do that every day for a week I’ll hopefully be back in normal ‘shape’!  It’s great to be home – now I need to focus on staying there! 

4 comments:

nursemommy0728 said...

So glad you're home! Do take it easy though :)

Lorna A said...

You really shouldn't be so hard on yourself. You've been down a long way and your body needs time to recover.

Mike said...

Hi Bill, I know how hard it is to sit still, but from my experience you will do well to rest properly for 14 days or so to let your lungs heal from the Malphalan. You have been ripped apart inside by that stuff and it will be nicer walking when the healing is done. Well done for being out so soon by the way, It took me 17 days and then a couple of weeks before I could walk the block.

Anonymous said...

Glad to hear that you are outta there and home. I wish you the best in your recovery, it is a long road, but from the sounds of things you are young and physically fit..you have that on your side. My hubby has had 2 autogulous SCT. His doctors and nurses had him walk 2 miles everyday beginning with the day after each transplant. Their motto was "walk or die"....due to pneumonia setting in. He would walk a mile in the morning and a mile at night, in the transplant ward (was very small)...he must have done 500 turns for each mile.
Be well and God Bless.