Ongoing struggles recovering from my second stem cell transplant in six months make it easy to write compelling posts. But enough already! I was admitted to our local Baptist hospital last night after an emergency room visit that revealed I had pneumonia that was getting worse by the hour.
Of course Pattie had to drag me in to the emergency room kicking and screaming. I had fought off the 104 degree fever that spiked five hours after my Kyprolis infusion on Monday. By Tuesday afternoon my temp was normal. Me? A trip to the emergency room?
I have one of those home pulse oximeters. My oxygen level? 75%.
What I’d learn later: my platelets had crashed down to 16. That’s as low as they dropped during my stem cell adventures this summer and fall.
OK. It was late afternoon, but I called my oncology clinic and they were kind enough double check the level: 79%. Dr. Luke was still there and he gave me a quick going over. Pneumonia he predicted. Staff gave me a 15 minute hit of oxygen, then shipped me off to the emergency room. Glad Pattie was with me; so much easier than it was by myself in Iowa City.
The ER at Baptist Hospital was packed. But Dr. Luke had called ahead. Because of my medical history, I wasn’t forced to wait to see a doctor out in the hallway. I got the last available room.
Chest X rays and a V/Q scan confirmed Dr. Luke’s suspicions: an advancing case of pneumonia.
3 am and I’m still in the ER. They’re so busy here that there wasn’t a room available upstairs. These hospitals are getting to be like the airlines; no empty seats anymore. The same thing happened in Iowa City this past December. They were forced to keep me an extra 12 hours in the ICU while waiting for a room to open up.
Not that I’m complaining. No bathroom, but comfortable enough. And the staff is great.
It’s now 7 am. Believe it or not, they are having trouble matching my screwed up blood type to give me a platelet infusion. Guess all that chemo and a pair of stem cell transplants can do that. Hope they get it figured out. I really need it; my platelet count has dropped again to 11.0. I’ll admit its freaking me out.
How many times have I whined, “Having cancer is so darn inconvenient?”
My back and chest are sore, but no fever and I feel OK. Oxygen can be amazing stuff.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat