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(The Doors reference)

“I told you so!” 08/01/08 (Part 3):

In the old days, say five, six years ago, if you had a blood clot like the one I had (have) in my left leg, they would put you in the hospital. I was told this by DeliveranceDoc (formerly known as ERDoc). The one in my right leg was described diagnostically as isolated. Small, I suppose. It had never impacted me to my knowledge, which is why I asked New Love why she was even bothering (unless of course, she was trying to seduce me).

Of course, as you will recall, that is part of procedure.

The right leg clot was of little immediate concern to them, except that it showed a pattern, probably. The left leg clot, on the other hand, apparently roused them. It extended, as it turned out (have I already told you this, and if so, why I am doing it again?) from way above my knee to quite a ways below it. There was some concern, for sure.

I learned that a clot of that sort, if it breaks loose (?) and heads north, will kill you, given the chance. It will invade your lungs and cause a stroke, if I remember correctly. Kill you. Maybe go to your heart. Kill you.

Oh, so THAT is why they, including my wife, were so worried. I get it now.

In the old days, as I mentioned, they would have carried me off to a bed of my own in the hospital proper, so that I could receive IV infusion of heparin. Heparin, it seems, can only be administered intravenously. Therefore, you go to lockup until they cure you.

Lovenox, and more particularly, perhaps, Cumadin (sp?) help you, help me, to avoid being locked up in a room for an extended period of time. And that is great news, wonderful news.

The down side is that you either have to come in daily for your Lovenox shot, or have someone give it to you, or give it to yourself. None of those options are attractive, of course. I am, by now, puncturephobic, after all. But all of them are much more attractive than lying in a bed all day in someone else’s ‘house’, just to get some heparin.

And so it is that my wife and I were advised about how I should get these shots, (the nurse who stuck me BAD being the model, which worried me immensely and ticked off my wife who was ego-bruised by my insinuation that since she does not dispense shots as part of her job she might not be more qualified than me), and I got to go home.

And, thus, the fun begins.

First, be advised that we only take the Lovenox shots until the Coumadin is into the system sufficiently. Be further advised that these drugs can apparently cause you to bleed to death if you are not careful, from something as simply as a cut on the arm, a nose bleed, bleeding from the gums. And so they monitor you. They have Coumadin clinics, in fact, one of which I will be going to on Monday, if I wake up in time.

My wife was bound and determined to get back up to the DC area where her grandson somehow needed her, where her daughter somehow needed her, where her son and son-in-law needed her, while I survived, best word I know to describe it, on my own, with blood clots and shots to be taken.

I do not blame her. She interrupted her vacation of taking care of them to come home and make sure I was taking care of myself. She is an admirable lady, who left me during the Deliverance episode, and was now leaving me again, during Midnight Express.

Let me say this: when we had our own children we were pretty much on our own until AFTER the fact. There was no party at the hospital. It was me in there with her, or me walking the hall and wearing out the carpet with my pacing, after which my family, her family, got involved. Enough of that. I am being selfish. Again.

Am I going to give myself a shot in the stomach? Get real.

Friday night, she shot me. With the needle, I mean. The other way might have been kinder.

She puckered up some stomach flab, such as there is, and jabbed me. Stabbed me. Have you ever seen those movies where someone is dying of some poison and they stick them HARD in the chest with a big needle? It was something like that. Only the needle was small, a little less than an inch. And the entire apparatus was small, about three inches. And she didn’t aim at my heart (this time) but rather at the ‘pinch’ of flab as she called it. And she hit it. And it didn’t hurt.

Still, watching someone STAB you, even if it doesn’t hurt, decides for you, if you are a wimp like me, that you are NOT going to be able to do that to yourself. I am, I remind you again, allergic to pain.

And I know, as well, that I cannot go slowly. It will hurt even more, I suspect.

(Excuse me, I have to go to the bathroom. Nothing back there has been right since DeliveranceDoc had his way with me.)

I’m back. And I am reminded that kids with diabetes routinely stab themselves with needles. Daily! Twice daily perhaps! I doubt they ever saw my wife stab me, though.

Okay, I am a wimp. And my wife left early in the morning for the DC area, and I was fairly convinced that today’s shot was not going to get done, and, after all, what could missing one day, maybe two, hurt in the long run?

I was really just hanging out and trying to figure out how I was going to stab myself when our friend Laurie came by, ostensibly to drop off some wedding junk that we had loaned out to the bride and her mom at some wedding I didn’t go to, although I offered to marry the OTHER daughter, who is FINE, while they were picking up the stuff the other night, only to be politely turned down, at least for the moment.

(And my wife DID remind me later that I was not available. Damned chemo brain again!)

Laurie showed up just about in time for my daily shot, the one I was contemplating. She has some sugar-related issues and so sticks herself at least once daily. Nice support.

I explained to her that the whole stabbing ritual was not on my agenda (knowing that she arrived right on time, per my wife’s schedule, of course), and she advised that if I didn’t go TOO slow, I could simply stick it in and it would be fine, as long as I pinched. Everyone seems to agree that you have to pinch, by the way, raise up some flab.

And so, with her there, knowing she would do it if I failed, I got the works going, grabbed some flab, and stuck that puppy in.

It didn’t hurt. I plunged the plunger, I pulled it out. I put the nasty old works in a plastic jar provided by DeliveranceDoc’s people. No problem Another thing, like bungee jumping, I would guess, that once you have done it once, it is not so bad. Easy, in fact.

I AM a wimp. I felt pretty good about this. I asked Laurie to rub some gel on my leg. Just joking!!!

I am glad to have her as a friend, and that is no joke.

In the meantime, my wife called me from northern VA, to let me know that she was alright, and that everyone was fine, and, probably, to confirm the reports of her spy (Laurie) that I had done myself with the shot and was fine. In the background, I heard Scooter. He was raging against the machine, screaming for all he was worth. Powerful set of lungs, like his grandpa, and like his mom, who was a decent singer too, although we forget that from time to time because of her athletic ability and her intelligence.

He was raging.  I said, Mrs. Soccerfreaks, put him on the phone, and after hesitating, she said she was putting the phone up to Scooter’s ear…and I spoke to him, and it got quiet. It really got quiet.

She took the phone away, of course, and he started screaming again, but he knows who his grandpa is, and we will soon be desperados, waiting for a train, probably inside of an ice cream store somewhere.

In the short term, though, I will be giving myself these injections. Ain’t nothing but a thing.