9/22/09 – Tuesday

What a DAY I had yesterday. I left here at 7:45 to be at the appointment for my iron infusion at 8:30. I got there about five minutes early, sat in the waiting room and read until they called me back. They checked all the usual vital signs, took some blood for more blood tests, … Continue reading “9/22/09 – Tuesday”

What a DAY I had yesterday.

I left here at 7:45 to be at the appointment for my iron infusion at 8:30. I got there about five minutes early, sat in the waiting room and read until they called me back. They checked all the usual vital signs, took some blood for more blood tests, and then took me back to the chemo room. I sat and waited for about ten minutes (the nurse was having a hard time getting an IV in a patient who arrived before me), and then the nurse came to talk to me.

As it turns out, I had been scheduled to have five days of one-hour bags of Venofer, one each day Monday through Friday. But Blue Cr0ss apparently decreed over the weekend that unless the patient receiving the iron infusion had kidney damage (I do not), they’d get INFeD instead.

The difference is that INFeD is given through one four-hour bag, once. The up side was that I’d only have to be there that one day and wouldn’t have to go back Tuesday through Friday. The down side was that when all was said and done, I’d have to be there for about six hours.

Would my schedule allow me to have it done, or did I need them to reschedule me for another day? the nurse asked.

I thought for a moment, shrugged, and told her I didn’t have anything pressing, that I wouldn’t mind getting it over with, and let’s go for it.

So she went off to do the paperwork, I went to the bathroom, and chose a recliner to spend the next six hours in. She came with the IV kit and poked around on the underside of my arm for a few minutes, looking for a good vein. She thought she’d found one, and put the needle in, but the vein was being tricky and she ended up having to pull the needle back out.

(She apologized profusely, and when I said it was okay, she said “No it’s not!” and I said “Well, it’s not like you were doing it on PURPOSE” and she laughed.)

She ended up putting the IV in the back of my hand, and then she gave me Benadryl through the IV. I know she told me why I needed to have the Benadryl, but I don’t really remember. She warned me that it was a large dose, and it would likely just about knock me out.

It’s Benadryl, I thought skeptically. How bad could it really be?

She slowly pushed the dose of Benadryl into my IV, and I thought Oh, come on. I don’t feel that at all.

And then it hit me. That was one big fucking dose of Benadryl and I was high as a kite.

She set the timer on my IV for 15 minutes and then went off while I sat in a daze in my chair and stared off into space and then dozed off.

The timer went off after 15 minutes, and she came back with a test dose of the iron. What they do (and some of you even told me this last week, and you were right!) is give you a test dose of the iron, wait an hour in case there’s an allergic reaction, and then put the rest of it in your IV bag. She told me all the symptoms to watch for, and then slowly pushed the test dose into my IV while I stared at the wall.

“I can see you’re concentrating really hard!” she said after a few minutes.

I laughed. “No, I’m just sitting here being high!”

I had no immediate reaction to the iron (she said that if you’re going to have a reaction, it’ll usually happen immediately, that it’s very rare for an allergic reaction to show up during that hour wait, but they still have to do it just to be safe), and she set the timer on my IV for an hour and went off.

For the next hour, I dozed, woke up briefly to look around, then dozed some more. When the hour was up, she put the rest of the iron in my IV bag, offered me something to drink, and then told me where the drinks and snacks were, and if I needed to go to the rest room, I could just unplug my pump and wheel my IV stand with me.

For another couple of hours I dozed, stared at the wall, and dozed some more. Finally, around noon I was awake enough that I decided to get up, go to the bathroom, and get something to eat since I hadn’t eaten anything at all earlier.

(Had I realized I was going to be spending six hours there, I would have brought more than a bottle of water and a book with me. I would have brought TWO bottles of water, some magazines, and probably my iPod.)

The last three hours of sitting there went by slowwwwwly. I finished my book and then went back to re-read the parts I’d skimmed, I went to the bathroom and got more cheddar crackers (I’ve never been a fan, but when you’re starving, they’re pretty damn good!), I eavesdropped on the conversations around me, I dozed a little. FINALLY the bag was empty, the alarm went off, and the nurse came and took the IV out.

She told me that I might feel a “boost” from the iron today (so far, I do not), but that I wouldn’t really feel the full effects for a few (she might have said “several”) weeks. She said I might feel achy today (my right arm is aching, but otherwise I feel fine), and then she showed me to the door.

I stopped at McDonald’s to get a cheeseburger (DON’T JUDGE ME, I WAS STARVING), and while I was waiting in line at the drive-thru, Fred called to make sure I was still alive.

“I have a surprise for you when you get home,” he said. “And I think you’ll like it a lot.”

“Is it food?” I said, being very very hungry.

He laughed. “Well, I guess in some countries you could eat it…”

Which is when I HIGHLY suspected that it was a kitten, and if not a kitten, then something living. Maybe a duck or a chicken.

I got home, and Fred met me at the door.

“This is the rash I got…” he said, holding out his rash-covered arms. “From the sticky bushes…” He led me inside. “Where I found these.” He opened a box, and there were four small kittens. Four little faces turned up to look at me, and all four of them hissed and spat at me.

(I suspect they didn’t get the memo that there’s nothing cuter and LESS threatening than a hissing kitten.)

Someone who works with Fred had spotted these four kittens under a bush near the window of his office. He watched them for the better part of the day, and then just as Fred was going to leave work for the day, this guy thought “Now, who do I know who has the word SUCKAH written on his forehead when it comes to cats? Hmm, who who who?”

And Fred rode to the rescue.

“I hate you,” I said to Fred. “And I hate your coworker and I wonder why the universe is insistent that we have another set of fosters in our lives?”

(Remember Ike?)

So I looked them over and then weighed one of them and then set them up in a cage with some soft blankets and a place to hide, and a litter box. I called the Challenger’s House manager and blamed it all on Fred, and told her we’d foster them, and she agreed that they could be Challenger’s House kittens.

(One of the women who works at the office near where the kittens were found has already said that she wants the little gray one.)

I think they’re about a month old, given that they weigh around a pound. They’re in really good shape, very clean, and I didn’t see any fleas on them at all. And most telling of all, their eyes are not goopy in the slightest.

It’s my very strong suspicion that they were dumped there, and that likely they weren’t there for long because they’re in such good condition.

So we tried putting some canned food on a plate in the cage, and they were uninterested. Then we tried bottle feeding them last night, and they were uninterested (though if they got some formula in their mouths, they’d swallow it). There’s one friendly calico and one hissy-spitty calico, the little gray one spits at Fred, but this morning he clung to the front of my shirt and let me pet him for a long time. The black one is hissy-spitty, but s/he’s not hissing and spitting like s/he means it.

We know the calicos are girls, but aren’t sure what the black and gray ones are. Fred’s the one with the kitten-sexing skills in this household, and he glanced and couldn’t tell what they were, but he’ll look more seriously tonight.

This morning we tried giving them bottles again, and they chewed on the nipples and swallowed the formula that came out, but didn’t really latch on and suck. We got some formula into them, though, and I wiped each of them with a paper towel to make them urinate, but later on one of them used the little litter box I’d put in the cage.

The gray one, as I mentioned, latched onto my shirt and let me pet him/ her for a long time (even purred a little!). Then I got out a jar of chicken baby food and tried smearing some around his mouth. I ended up getting him to lick some off my fingers, but none of the others were interested.

So, they’re cute, and they’ll be here for at least another month. We haven’t named them yet, but I’m sure once we figure out what the gray one and the black one are, Fred will come up with names for them.

This one has a few white spots, and has a kind of “frosted” look.

This one’s spoken for – and the biggest of the bunch.

The hissy-spitty calico. She’s all “UNHAND ME, SIR!”

The friendly calico.


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Eyelip count: Hoyt’s left eyelip came off yesterday, and Lafayette’s got one that’s hanging on (I think it’s actually still attached by some tissue, which is why I haven’t snipped it off). This means that Sookie and Terry have both (all four?) of their eyelips still (and they’re looking good!), Lafayette has one and a half, and Sam’s left eyelip is hanging on for dear life – it’s not even pretending to want to come off.

After I said on Sunday that we’d probably start letting the True Bloods out into the house “later this week”, Fred came upstairs while I was with them, and they all crowded around the temporary door and looked up at him with hopeful eyes, and he said “Come on, let’s just let them out!”, so we did.

So far, everyone’s behaving. Kara’s had to put the smack down a few times, and the True Bloods respond by immediately going docile, because they’re no dummies. Mostly, they run around and play with each other, and explore the house. Yesterday, they discovered the toilet paper and pulled it all off the roll. (They were QUITE proud of themselves.)

I haven’t gotten any pictures of them out and about, but I will, I promise!

Sam shows that rope just who the boss is.

Terry (before surgery), hanging out on the upside-down cat basket.

Four of the six.

Six of the six!

Bath time: so annoying!

Sleepy Sam.

Hoyt, stretching and trying to decide whether to go wake up Sookie.

Jake’s all “This is FOOD and thus it is MINE” and the True Bloods are all “Think so? ‘Cause we don’t see it that way.”

Sweet Sam.


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Miz Poo, up close.


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2008: “Shit!” he exclaimed. “We forgot to check Nick for toots!”
2007: No entry.
2006: If I were manic-depressive (wait. Do they call it bipolar now? I haven’t kept up on my psychiatrically politically correct terms lately), I think I would have been considered to be in a manic state yesterday.
2005: Never-ending.
2004: If you had any idea how much time I spent backspacing and retyping words when I write my entries, you’d burst into tears of sympathy.
2003: Who the fuck are Nikki and Paris Hilton, and why would I give a good goddamn what they’re wearing or doing or driving or fucking?
2002: No entry.
2001: You know you’re getting old when you have to ask a 12 year-old girl who’s on the TV.
2000: No entry.