Happy Hump Day, strangers!
I must confess, I failed the WEGO Health Blog Month Challenge. But, since I haven't written since last Friday, you already knew that. These last few days have been crazy. CrAzY.
Last Thursday I had my infusion and appointment with McDicky. Due to his
I curled up in the heated-massage chair with a blanket, while poison dripped into my superior vena cava. Any infusion patient seeing the doctor or NP that day is allowed to wait in the infusion room, even if the infusion is complete. So even though I had to wait over an hour, my feet were up, my buns toasty, and my back massaged. Not too bad of a gig.
McDicky lowered my steroid!!! I'm on a maintenance dose of 6 mg of methylprednisolone (equal to 7.5mg of prednisone), and this is the first time in almost 18 months I've been on a dose this small!
Happy happy joy joy, indeed!
On the drive home, my nose started bleeding (luckily I had napkins in the car), eventually it stopped and I forgot about it.
Early Friday morning I received a call from one of the nurses in McDicky's office; my white blood cell count was 2.6 and my absolute neutrophil count was 270. That's pretty freaking low. Like, I want to be the Boy in the Bubble so as not to catch all the nasty germs, low. I was advised to stop taking my methotrexate and imuran immediately, and repeat my blood work in another 3 weeks.
I spent pretty much all of the weekend in bed or on the couch, had a few bloody noses, but again, didn't think much of it.
Monday I went to kiss Steve goodbye when he left for work, and he had this face headed straight for his lips...
He was like, "Mar, your face!" Certainly not what you want to hear from your husband first thing in the morning. Blood all over my face.
Blood all over the sheets, comforter and pillowcase...
Cleaned up and went back to sleep for an hour or two, a call from Brie woke me up. Her husband Pete is an ER nurse, and even though I wasn't bleeding in that moment, suggested I go to an ER.
Yeah sure, just what I want to do on a Monday.
Brie was on her way down to pick something up from my house, so I grabbed a quick shower. I was sitting on my bed, when I sneezed and felt a giant clot come shooting out my nose. Within seconds, blood was pouring out my nose. I'm a little crazy (I won't post them, it looked like a scene from CSI), started snapping pictures and sent them to Pete (with a wad of tissues clamping my nose shut). I managed to get dressed and not get a drop of blood on the carpet! BOOM!
Brie came in and off to the ER we went. It slowed down on the way there, and by the time we got there, the bleeding was minimal.
I got registered, and we were taken back to the fast track area. While waiting for someone to see me, an elderly woman next to us kept everyone amused. She reminded us of Mom-Mom, well-dressed, full makeup, and sharp tongued. She had the entire room cracking up. We were sad to see her go home.
The nurse came in, placed an IV and drew some labs, then a Physician's Assistant (PA) student came in to assess me and get my health history. Brie and I, always the mature ones, could not stop laughing. Everything she asked made Brie giggle, and the poor girl used about 10 pages in her notebook to get down my entire history. She was pretty excited to hear my heart murmur, and I still wasn't bleeding at the time, so she went off to talk to the PA.
Then the flood gates opened, and blood started pouring out of my nose again. The PA came in, looked in my ears and throat, and determined the bleed was high up in my nasal passage.
For all you Sex & The City fans, remember when Steve walked in on Miranda and Robert the doctor getting it on, he smacked his face on the wall, and Robert shoved a tampon up his nose?
Yep, turns out that's basically what they do in the ER. I just didn't have the luxury of a hot, practically naked doctor doing the honors. And, while the Rhino Rocket resembled a tampon, it has plastic tubing attached to inject air into it once it's inserted. The pressure of the air against the nasal cavity walls stop the bleed.
I am happy to report that after years of being relentlessly teased for my big nose, the PA couldn't get the 2 larger sized rockets in far enough, and she had to go with the smallest size. I was thrilled! Then, I sneezed and blood managed to splatter all over the curtain 3 feet away. Everyone was impressed.
I can't begin to describe how uncomfortable this felt. So. Much. Pressure.
And when the right nostril began to drip blood, the PA decided to remove the left one, and insert packing in both bloody nostrils. That shit hurt. My eyes teared up and my head instantly began to pound.
The results of the blood tests came back, my PT/PTT were normal, my hemoglobin and hematocrit were normal (not sure how, it looked like a lost a ton of blood), and though my platelets were low, they weren't low enough to cause spontaneous bleeding. I was told to see an ear/nose/throat specialist on Wednesday to remove the packing and follow up with my hematologist to look further into the neutropenia.
I'm a walking ad for Tampax
There are no words to describe how miserable I've been, literally counting the minutes til the ENT appointment on Wednesday. Just like regular tampons can cause toxic shock syndrome, Rhino Rockets can, too, and now I'm on antibiotics for a week. I learned how much I've taken eating and drinking for granted, as it is damn near impossible when there are two giant tampons shoved up your nasal cavity tickling your frontal lobe.
Last night I was sitting on the couch, watching TV, minding my own business, when I sneezed. Don't you know those damn Rhino Rockets came shooting out my nose. Holy fuck, it hurt. Cue the tears and the panic. And with tampons dangling from my cheeks, instead of asking Steve if I was bleeding, the first thing out of my mouth was "did my nose go back to normal?!?!?!?"
It did. Phew!
Miraculously, there was no blood, but I've been so nervous making any sudden movements or doing vigorous activity will dislodge the clots, and I'll start bleeding heavily again.
I went from having no doctor's appointments this week to having 3. And that, my friends, is why I failed the WEGO Health blog challenge.
Linking up with Kathy and Shanna