Date: November 25, 2009
Patient: Lupian Lab Rat
Current Medications: Completed 4 cycles of chemo by IV. Daily: 400 mg Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate (Plaquenil), 15 mg of Prednisone (weaned from 60 mg), 100 mg Dapsone (for lung/infection protection), 2000 IU Vitamin D (to make up for loss due to chemo), 2500 mg of Calcium (for bone protection), Aviane (for ovary protection). Weekly: 70 mg Alendronic Acid (for bone protection).
General Instructions: Go to blood lab. Take number. Wait. Look at blood order. Try to remember what “sedimentation rate” is and why it’s important. Give up on remembering what “sedimentation rate” is and why it’s important. Hear number called. Sit in chair. Take sweater off/roll up sleeves. Watch as lab tech person wraps smelly blue strap around upper arm. Close fist before lab tech tells you to. Watch as lab tech taps arm. Close eyes. Open eyes slightly to see lab tech poking around inside a vein. Breathe. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Other arm. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. Go back to other arm if needed. Press down on gauze once needle is out. Watch as lab tech puts medical tape over gauze. Frown as lab tech puts medical tape over arm hair. Take sterilized container to bathroom. Open container. Wonder if it’s actually sterilized. Pee a little. Place container in area where pee just came out. Sigh as pee goes on hand. Wipe hand and container. Close container. Look at contents of container. Feel guilty that there is pee on the outside of the container. Wonder if the lab techs testing the pee wear gloves. Wash hands. Drop container in “pee mailbox.”
Go home. Pick up The Lupus Book: A Guide for Patients and Families off dining room table. Find folded note stuck to inside cover with medical tape. Open. Read:
Laugh at last line. Stare at note. Show note to Dad. Listen to description of forgotten hospital events. Frown. Reread last line. Smile. Refold note. Close book.
Follow-up Instructions: Go to rheumatologist appointment at 12:15 pm, Friday, November 27, 2009.*
*IMPORTANT: Definitive reasons or answers to anything are not guaranteed.