Sunday, September 26, 2010

954. Handicapped bathroom

Yesterday, as planned, I spent part of the day with old friends at a place where a nurse could not come to give me the second Neupogen shot. One of these friends, whom I hadn't seen in about 25 years, was a doctor, and she agreed to supervise as I self-injected.

Soon as I arrived, we headed into the women's handicapped-accessible bathroom. "Wow, I can't believe it's been so long!" I said, and then pulled down my pants and began to laugh. It was, by any stretch of the imagination, a ridiculous situation. My friend, very serious back in the 80s and, I soon discovered, even more so now, didn't find it funny at all, which made me laugh even more. I quickly composed myself and laid all the injection paraphernalia atop the toilet tank.

I was able to fill the needle with medicine, but was very grateful for her presence—I didn't realize that you have to keep pushing and depressing the plunger to get the air at the top to disappear. The first shot was easy, but halfway through the second I had a moment of panic that that the needle was going was too far into my thigh, and froze. Very eager to leave the bathroom ("People might get the wrong idea!"), she pushed my hand away and finished pressing. She was already gone by the time I pulled the needle out. (She did eventually laugh about the whole thing later that afternoon.)

I felt just fine afterwards—tired, a few twinges in my legs. Woke up this morning without any pain. A chatty and pleasant visiting nurse arrived at 9AM to give me day three injections, along with a story of the famous bone marrow donor she visited a few weeks ago who got both their photos in the paper. My lower back, legs, and right shoulder did begin to hurt a few hours later, as if I had slept funny or overdone it at the gym. It was impossible to find a comfortable way to sit on the couch, but the floor was just fine. And the pain went away entirely after two extra-strength Tylenol. Now I'm kind of stiff, and glad I don't have to take any long walks.

Tomorrow, lots of distracting work and then I have to write a note to give to the recipient. And download some movies to my iPad. And then I show up at the hospital Tuesday morning at 8, bringing layers of clothing because I'll probably get cold during the donation. (But how will I put on a sweater if I have IVs in both arms?)


Laura said...

I am sending you healing energy as you recover from your "donation" experience. And may the woman who receives your precious life giving bone marrow wake very soon to refuah shelema. I hope you are not in too much pain and that your recovery will be quick. You have done such an amazing mitzvah. Yasher koach!

alto artist said...


Thank you so much! It was not hard at all--I know that's because you and other friends sent so many prayers and wishes for healing my way. And I know those prayers will keep going until they reach the recipient, too. More of the story to follow soon!