Well my life as a fugitive on the run didn’t last quite as long as I hoped it would at only two nights, or around forty-three short hours. Mind you that’s still a huge improvement in spending that time in hospital, so perhaps I shouldn’t complain about that too much.
And what has made them keep me in you may be asking? Well quite a few thing’s as it turns out, let’s see if I can remember them all.
I told them how I had been feeling over last couple of days, which was mainly tired/lethargic, very nauseous, particularly after eating and periods of feeling light headed or dizzy, especially when standing up.
The doctors first thought was that I might need a blood transfusion due to becoming Anaemic, so it was the usual tests, of observations (blood pressure, temperature and heart rate) some bloods and checking blood sugar level. The obs were OK so doesn’t seem I have caught any infections. But the sugar level in my blood was pretty high. A normal person would have a level of 4 – 7, mine is currently at 20. So out they came with the insulin to try and control it. This is mainly caused by the steroid dexamethason which is part of the R-DHAP regime. This is a known and common side effect which normally doesn’t present much of a problem once the side effects of the treatment have worn off.
But don’t forget who is writing the blog here. I have a huge flashing beacon inside me somewhere that all kinds of rare and unusual side effects are hugely attracted to. So with that mind, as far as I remember there are two less common issues that can arise. The slightly less problematic one is having to take insulin regularly until all treatment is completed several months down the line. This isn’t a massive problem for me, as after my liver transplant the combination of steroids and high dose of immunospressive medication caused a similar problem and I took insulin for around six months after the transplant, no big deal. However there is an even smaller minority of patients for whom it can become a more long term problem. As I have had a similar issue in the past (albeit fourteen years ago) that was only temporary I’m not that worried about this, but at the same time with my current run of luck I would not be even a tiny bit surprised to perhaps come out of this cured of Lymphoma but with the added bonus of being a diabetic. That would not be cool as I cannot stand any kinds of diet food or juice! Although in saying that I’d glasly take that swap right now to be honest. But, back to the original question, they want to keep me in for this to monitor it and see how much it’s needs to be controlled by medication.
My neutrophil count has started to drop already, although only by a small amount so far but that’s it on the downward turn now. So that’s going to leave me increasingly open to infection and is the next reason they want to keep me in until they start to improve again to a level where they are happy to let me mingle with unwashed masses. Fortunatly however no real signs of Anaemia, so no transfusions, yet.
Finally, my liver results were a bit off. My liver function is a little lower than normal, but on the other hand the norm for me here is much higher than it should be anyway. So I’m never sure if this is something to worry about or not. The doctors don’t seem to be very concerned about it and my liver consultant is apparently keeping an eye of things and would be straight up if he were concerned. However they were a little concerned that the levels of bilirubin have increased (makes you look all jaundiced/yellow) and may indicate problems with liver function. But again they are confident they can sort this out without too much difficulty, although need to be kept in to monitor the situation and treat it.
Honestly, you come into hospital to get better and end up leaving with more problems than you come in with. But to be fair to them, most of the stuff is par for the course with chemo, especially for someone with the amount of complications that I bring on board, as a doctor again reminded me today.
I came to the conclusion during the course of the day that the standard of hospital food hasn’t actually risen very much, if it all. Now that I am feeling fairly unwell again, just the smell of the food coming around the corner seems to give the contents of my stomach the desire to make a swift exit from my body via my pie-hole. I was feeling pretty ill at lunch time and as I was not here yesterday to complete a menu there was no food taken up for me. Which was just as well as I didn’t particularly fancy any of the available choices. Instead I asked if there was a lighter option,to which the nurse said there might be some sandwiches and jelly and ice cream. Sounds good thought I and told them I’d give that a bash. Well the warm egg sandwich, and melted jelly and ice cream which had clearly been out of the cooler for fifteen minutes longer than they should have been was not very pleasant and left me feeling more sick than I had been before. Still, I ate most of it just to get some food in me. And so it was the same deal for supper, all the stodge on the menu did not get my stomach grumbling so it was fruit salad and jelly and ice cream again (I know I’m starting to sound like a bit of a kid here, but it does go down really easily!). And yet again, I felt sick as a dog after it. To try remedy this they gave me a stronger anti-sickness tablets and a little later I was able to go down to the café with my wife and eat something a little more substantial, so we will see how we get on with the hospital grool tomorrow if they keep giving me the stronger anti-sickness.
And to finish off, the sex-pest was pulling out his best chat-up lines again today. This time he was having problems pulling his trousers up, so the young (just turned 2nd year student who can’t be more than 20 years old by my reckoning) nurse offered to help and they were having some problems. She said;
“I think you need to lift your bum up a bit, your trousers are jammed on the bed“. To which he replied
“No, (laughs) really your just trying to pull my trousers further down”.
Bearing in mind this guy is in his 50’s at least, I think that line your not supposed to cross in situations such as this is quite far behind him now, fast turning into a dot. As before, I see the amusing side of it from his point of view, but the Nurse looked a little put out by the comment! Time and a place and all that. Can’t wait for his next spectacular one-liner.