Thursday, September 24, 2009

Mythic Proportions

My eyelash is driving me crazy. My one eyelash. Yes, I only have one, which every day falls out into my eye causing me blurry discomfort. Overnight, the eyelash grows back, only to fall into my eye once more.

Remember Prometheus? The god who was punished for giving fire to humans by having his liver torn out each day, only to have it grow back to be torn out the next? That was my first thought. But let's face it, I'm no Titan.

My second thought was more down to earth. Remember Wooly Willy? Mr. Willy was hairless. You used a magnetic wand to give him hair, a beard, a mustache, whatever you wanted. With no hair on my head, one eyelash, and formerly bushy eyebrows growing more sparse each day, I could use some of that black magic.

In the meantime, I accept my fate.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The First Forty Five

It's been forty five days since my transplant. That's not a magic number or anything, just a point of reference for where I was and where I am.

Physically speaking, I'm a different person than the one who (barely) walked out of the hospital. Those first days home had me wondering why on earth our toilets were so low to the ground. It took me a while to realize that in the hospital, there are safety bars all over the place, and you become used to using them. I am happy to report that as my legs have become stronger, toilet height is no longer a focal point.

Nausea remains an ongoing problem. Six days out of seven I wake up in the morning feeling queasy, an unpleasant way to start the day. First I take the under-the-tongue nausea medicine, then munch on some Ritz crackers, keeping the emesis basin close by. I can always pop an ativan, which is the only drug that really seems to work for me for nausea. Unfortunately, its anti-anxiety properties induce a mild state of catatonia which leaves me no choice but to take a nap.

I don't want this to be a litany of my symptoms. On the wellness side of the scale, I feel stronger and I'm trying to do the occasional household task, even though I'd rather not. I've probably used up my daily quota of cognitive energy writing this post. So be it. You, my dear readers are worth it.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Remarkable State of Being

There was a moment this morning in which I realized I felt normal. I'd had a good night's sleep, no early morning nausea, and a successful breakfast followed by the usual mound of pills.

It didn't hit me right away, though. I didn't recognize what wellness feels like. It feels good. To take advantage of this remarkable state of being, I did a few things around the house, went for a walk with Marty and Turbo, and wrote some emails. I even did some on-line banking.

Maybe I overdid it a bit because now the post-transplant haze is thickening and I'm looking forward to a post-prandial nap. Tomorrow I go to Boston for my weekly clinic visit. I'm hoping my counts are stabilizing and that I won't need any "products."

In the meantime, I'll be monitoring myself for signs of wellness.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Changing Blood Types

Yesterday we spent 7 hours at the clinic. My red blood cells are a little pokey, so I needed 2 units of blood. This is apparently normal when your donor is a different blood type than you are. I'm 0+ and he's A+, and the difference makes for extra drama on the counts front. Eventually, I will convert to A+, but in the meantime I must patiently wait for Mr. Donor to start churning out more A's.

I'm getting stronger every day, but that's not enough for me. I want to be well NOW. Especially annoying is that I seem to have misplaced my joie de vivre. Everything seems like a chore, and I find myself staring at the boob tube because it requires no thinking, decision making, or even much cognitive functioning.

Today I hope to make it to my son's cross country race. The risk will be minimal because we'll be outdoors and I can easily avoid crowds. Who knows? Maybe I'll find a piece of my joie de vivre watching a hundred runners thunder across a grassy field.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Plogging Along

Slowly slowly slowly I improve. What keeps me from posting more often is a slight weakness in my right hand, related to my rotator cuff issue. The days pass quickly and involve swallowing copious amounts of pills and hoping they don't hurtle back up. Nausea haunts me.

Eating is a job, not a pleasure. I don't have much of an appetite but eat I must. I nap a lot.

I'm getting a little more exercise each day. I shuffle up and down the street, looking and feeling like an octogenerian, and not a very spry one at that.

I went to the clinic yesterday and it seems all is well. My blood counts are holding steady, and the doctors are pleased with my progress.

Sickness comes on horseback but departs on foot.
~Dutch Proverb, sometimes attributed to William C. Hazlitt