Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Travelling As A Chemo Patient

I had to go to the hospital on Tuesday (the same day we were supposed to fly to Florida) to check my blood levels and talk to my oncology nurse. I woke up very early that morning (I could not stay in bed anymore after 6:30 but Captain Adorable slept till 7:30 I think) and got as much stuff together to be packed once the baby was awake as I could. I drove myself to the hospital, at about 9:15 or so, thinking that I would have blood taken, discuss the levels and be home in an hour or so. I did not get out of there till 12:45 or so! It was quite the rush to the airport after that, with me feeling stressed and unhappy.

I guess I should come clean and admit that during the time after my mom left I've been feeling under the weather, sad, and stressed. Captain Obvious and I have been fighting some, and even though I do not think it has been totally my fault, I think that my emotional reactions to him have been exaggerated by my physical stress. Essentially, since Mom left I've been unhappy and more and more tired. I started seeing blood in the tissue when I blew my nose, my face still hurt, and I was starting to have some skin itching.

Good News: my blood work at the hospital showed that I am still in good health. I still have good levels on all fronts, and in some areas I am even super-healthy (like my ability to clot is really good). The numbers also showed that I was well hydrated (well duh I drink 2 liters of water plus additional drinks per day!). It did show that my liver function has begun to slow a bit, but I was in good enough shape to receive special permission to have one glass of wine with Thanksgiving dinner!

Anyhow, the travel itself was not too bad. We ended up having an empty seat between us on the plane. Captain Obvious is quite tall (6 feet 2 inches) so it was nice for him because he could have more leg room. It was also nice that Captain Adorable was sleepy and napped for most of the flight. I had brought along a crunchy snack (Veggie Booty) that he likes a lot for him to eat during take off and landing. This was the first flight without nursing, so I was worried that his ears would bother him without being able to nurse during those times. However, I think the Veggie Booty did the trick because it seemed that he experienced no discomfort.

Once in baggage claim, I was disappointed to learn that we had an hour's car ride ahead of us! I was feeling bad already (I have problems with motion sickness even without the extra queasiness of chemo) and the idea of jumping into a car for that length of time just did not do it for me! Captain Obvious' uncle picked us up and he was very happy to see us. Unfortunately, this meant he talked and talked and talked and talked and ... well you get the idea. I wanted him to just be peaceful for a minute and let my head settle down and my stomach settle down but no such luck. We stopped at a fast food place to get me a milkshake (the best thing I could come up with at the moment) to settle my stomach. Of course we had no time to stop and feed Captain Adorable (even though he needed to eat, and it was his dinner time) because we had to get to another airport to pick up the uncle's daughter. I tried to feed Captain Adorable yogurt in the car seat, and he did eat about 2/3 of it, but he was just unhappy in the chair. He began to cry and scream, and I did not have the energy to make it ok for him, nor to quell my own rising panic and unhappiness (all the while the uncle is telling me, over my baby's cries, that, "I don't mind if he cries, seriously." I responded, "well, I do mind, seriously."). Anyhow, I took him out of the seat. He stopped crying. I realize this is illegal and unsafe but for me and for my baby it was the best option I had at that moment.

Really what we should have done was drive a short way from the airport to a restaurant, give the baby some food, allow me to settle down, and then once everybody was happy, start the long ride to the house, without anyone else to pick up at another airport. Next time we are going to have to be more aware of the baby's needs and of my needs.

What did happen eventually was there was bad traffic, which delayed us and the girl's mother picked her up at the other airport. On the other hand, I was exhausted and the babe was requiring a lot of my energy to be held in my lap (yes, I did try putting him back in the chair--both buckled and unbuckled--but he was NOT having it). I had to ask the uncle to pull over because I was about to puke. He stopped and I got out and threw up the milk shake. Then suddenly I got a lot of help from Captain Obvious, who now sat in the back with the babe while I was given the front seat to relax and recover. The hotel was very very close and the uncle dropped us off there. I was pleased to find a big tub in our room and I got in to relax further. However, I took the baby in with me, so it was not as relaxing as I had planned....ah well. Captain Obvious went out and got me some satisfying food and held the baby while I ate.

Today was better. Captain Adorable slept till 6:20 this morning. We got my antibiotics prescription filled (I have to be on antibiotics for 10 more days because of my ear infection/sore face and when I get back to Maryland they are going to have a head, neck, and throat specialist look at me). We ate breakfast, and we went to an organic grocery store to get good stuff for Captain Adorable to eat and some Tofukury for me (always important but now more than ever that I get adequate protein). Then we spent the day at the relatives' house. It was nice and laid back there and I had a nice day. We did make the mistake of once again not sticking to Captain Adorable's nap routine and he did not get his first nap until 12:30. He slept only an hour because Captain Obvious accidentally set off the car alarm...oh well. However, in the afternoon he would not go to sleep until Captain Obvious finally put him into a cheap umbrella stroller he bought and took him for a walk. (We don't travel with our stroller because the carrier is so much more convenient than taking the big bulky stroller!) He only slept for maybe 20-30 minutes, but hey it was better than the crying in my arms he was doing while I was trying to put him to sleep.

I hope this post is not too complain-y but if it is, well, it is a representation of how I feel and I am not feeling 100%. I feel tired and under-the-weather and in addition I am not in my own house. I should also mention that after the uncle dropped us off, he called Captain Obvious and told him to charge a dinner for me to our room, which he is paying for. I do not want anyone to think that my wish that he would be quiet translated as any kind of animosity--he is a sweet man.

1 comment:

Mame Fati said...

Sounds like you need a big hug!!
Sorry it was rough getting to your destination, i can only imagine...
I hope your thanksgiving was a lot better and I hope getting home is easy. Always sending good thoughts your way.