Yesterday, I went out into the world—to dinner and to a tiki bar, where I could not, alas, have any delicious tiki drinks. But it was nice to be out in civilization for a bit. I laughed so much, my cheeks ached.
Today, my bones ache instead. I am angry and cranky. I have two raised, red bumps that look like blood clots.
Oh, I’m sorry: phlebitis. I have been corrected.
I called the doctor on call about the bumps to see if they wanted to schedule an ultrasound to confirm. He doesn’t think they’re clots and told me that he’d pass along the information to my regular doctor tomorrow.
I had to go in today to have my blood checked. The doctors don’t want my platelets to drop below 20, but today they were down from Friday’s 35 to 8, so I got a yellow bag full of platelets.
I wasn’t going to bring up my superficial clots to the nurse, but my boyfriend said I should. I asked her if the platelets would affect my clots. I wish I hadn’t. She asked me why I thought they were clots, and I said because they were exactly like the clots I had in my other arm. She asked me if I’d had an ultrasound. No. She shook her head at me. I showed my new painful, red, raised bumps to her, and my old clotted arm that still feels like I have straws embedded in my arm but is no longer swollen.
“That was phlebitis?” she asked.
Yes. I guess. All I know is that it made me miserable for weeks. I couldn’t move my arm. Sometimes, it felt like a tiny fire was inside. It hurt. A lot. Almost the time.
“It’s not the same thing as a clot,” she said.
That’s fine. Phebitis. I was being nice, despite my pain, and she went out of her way to try to make me feel stupid. I’m not sure what she perceived about my attitude. I has asked a simple question.
Still, my usual response would be to tell someone to phlebite me, but I don’t like to mess with people who have access to my bloodstream, even if they’re being condescending. That didn’t improve my mood. I feel like no one’s taking me seriously and that I’m being dismissed.
I’m not saying I know everything…or anything, for that matter. I’m saying that whatever happened to in my right arm that caused it to hurt and swell for weeks is happening in my other arm on my belly and I would prefer that it not.
I’d hoped my new platelets would make me happier, but I’m still a big jerk today. My boyfriend is out exchanging some Henley shirts for me, so I can wear them tomorrow for my stem cell collection. (Another alarming thing: one of my catheter lumens isn’t working. The nurse just said they “would do what they had to do” tomorrow and didn’t say any more.)
I am trying to get nicer in the meantime. I am wearing some pain patches. I’ve rubbed the cat’s soft belly. I might nap.
I am not taking my oxycodone. I would sell it for extra cash if I had no scruples, but I’ve recently seen a lot of news pieces on the heroin epidemic, so I’m not going to turn into a small-time Walter White. I’m also terrified to take it now, on top of my usual wariness of pain meds.
My big comfort today is the cheesefest that’s going to occur, since I have to eat a lot of dairy before my stem cell collection. For lunch, I had saag paneer, with cheese and spinach, both high calcium. For dinner, we’re having an assortment of cheeses. Cheese, at least, makes me happy.
Today’s just one of those bad days, when I want this to be over. Naptime, then hopefully I awake a new woman.