Come along ‘lil doggy

meet my companion of the last couple of days. Without a serious, organized plan, it goes with me everywhere.

In the middle of the night –

multiple channels that can be increased

But he really shines in the day

just maintenance at the moment

One of the nurses who floats has been working here for 30 years. She sticks with the night shift. We talked about the old days when nurses actually had to be able to calculate, pick the correct combination of tubing and chambers, then set the whole thing up and count drips. Medication compatibility was a key area of knowledge. Mixing, diluting and drawing up meds was routine. Now the pharmacy sends just about everything up ready to hang. Instead of calculating how many drops/min from the micro chamber the electronic unit is programed with solution, desired rate and which channel for which solution. If you don’t have enough control boxes, you keep adding them to the side.

Now, for the non-medical types this may be ho-hum. But for those of us who always worried about getting things exactly right and avoiding medication errors, the mechanics and  safety measures can be built in. More time to spend with patients (really, the VA is on an electric bar code. Rather than write – I took vitals and they were – you scan the patients ID band. Scan your own as the person doing them and the vitals go in electronically as well.

May they not have a power failure.

Otherwise, various medical, nursing, pharmacy, and volunteer types stopped through. I’m keeping quiet, both that pesky tumor is aching and I’m running a fever again.  I think I am going to put the games, knitting and email aside and just curl up with an audio book. I don’t have an infection, so this is how I know the immunotherapy (which I will probably just call chemo from here on in) is starting to take effect. Of note, this med doesn’t cause hair loss….

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About Holly

fiber person - knitter, spinner, weaver who spent 33 years being a military officer to fund the above. And home. And family. Sewing and quilting projects are also in the stash. After living again in Heidelberg after retiring (finally) from the U.S. Army May 2011, we moved to the US ~ Dec 2015. Something about being over 65 and access to health care. It also might have had to do with finding a buyer for our house. Allegedly this will provide me a home base in the same country as our four adult children, all of whom I adore, so that I can drive them totally insane. Considerations of time to knit down the stash…(right, and if you believe that…) and spin and .... There is now actually enough time to do a bit of consulting, editing. Even more amazing - we have only one household again. As long as everyone understands that I still, 40 years into our marriage, don't do kitchens or bathrooms. For that matter, not being a golden retriever, I don't do slippers or newspapers either. I don’t miss either the military or full-time clinical practice. Limiting my public health/travel med/consulting and lecturing to “when I feel like it” has let me happily spend my pension cruising, stash enhancing (oops), arguing with the DH about where we are going to travel next and book buying. Life is good!
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20 Responses to Come along ‘lil doggy

  1. Isobel says:

    Thanks for the update. As you say, beginning to take effect.

  2. Mark says:

    What a lovely glow. ;-). They should have enough auxiliary power. Maybe they have solar.
    Otherwise, how are you doing?
    We’re having about 15+ folks over for our annual Hanukkah party. We will be peeling potatoes for a while. Nothing like fresh fried latkes.

    • Holly says:

      Gee – we are doing Latkes on the 25th rather than the traditional Movie + Chinese. Maus arrives from NYC that day. I’ve asked for traditional, traditional with onion AND sweet potato…..

  3. Steven says:

    Quite the adventure you’re having.

    Keep up the good patient work, Kid.

  4. Dominik says:

    Your companion needs a personalized scarf or something. Looking a lil naked, he does.

    Having medical knowledge make some things easier and harder at the same time. Like knowing when what symptome is a good or not so good sign. I wont say the cheesy “you are so brave” thingy unless you want me to. Hang out with your doggy and curl up as nicely as it is needed not to feel to miserable.

    • Holly Doyne says:

      I asked. Yes, a bow or scarf would be fine. I’m thinking fluffy tied in a nice bow at the joining of the upper rod. Fashionable without being gaudy. Prevention as well? If I knit such a thing maybe I won’t ever be back to use it!

  5. Margo says:

    Had to laugh a little at your ‘companion of the last couple of days’ – gee, it annoyed me to carry a catheter bag on my walks up and down the hospital corridors, but I realise that that was nothing compared to this fancy set-up! Very impressive.

    I very much hope that you are ‘cruising’ along as comfortably as can be expected.

    Will be thinking of you and hoping that you continue to receive great care and that you are keeping your spirits up.

    • Holly says:

      But an IV pole, even one with (at one time it had four bags running) is not terribly personal. It just is. Waiting to trip you up if you don’t fasten the cord properly and potentially rattling along to draw attention to itself. I took it for a walk about 0400. It was quiet. The nigh house staff had ordered in Indian. And they failed to invite me…..

  6. Ruth says:

    Oy. Double oy! You need chicken soup. If I were in SF, I’d visit, but instead can only send virtual hugs, soup, and cheer. Go nap and let the chemo do its number. It’s good you’re in the hospital where they can monitor those machines and make you comfortable.

    It’s snowing here. Well, it was. Now we have that disgusting thing known as a wintry mix. I can here the mix crinkle as it comes down. Ice. Feh. I’m not leaving my house until spring.

  7. April says:

    Alll the bells and whistles, still right there in my memory. So your description well…. If you cannot sleep, I am right there with you.

  8. donna says:

    Blessings…sure hope you don’t get ill. You are already thin enough

  9. Bill R says:

    Thank you for sharing your situation in a humorous way. Because when I am in gratitude life is better. It is so easy to start whining, eh? Get well and please keep up the posts.

  10. Zandra says:

    I was worried about your beautiful hair – good to know!

    • Holly says:

      That was one of my worries. Somehow I just couldn’t picture myself as bald. And wags take effort (this is from the woman who has been doing wash and drip hair styles for decades…

  11. Miriam says:

    Oh! Not only is your name tag pink – it’s also the worst font in existence. Who chose Comic Sands?

  12. Jo says:

    Can’t say I like your nightlight. One thing that always stayed with me regarding my hospital stays is the sound of the nurses shoes squeaking their way into my dreams.

  13. Holly says:

    You really think the person in charge of making the sign even thought about the font? I am sure they just wanted large, readable and not using up the max of printer ink. I find the Comic part actually good. Smiles are good!

    besides only someone like my talented off spring here would be able to recognize the particular font…

  14. April says:

    sort of like identifying you like a baby lol.

  15. Rebecca says:

    So, does this mean that the Pharmacy has taken over duties that used to be filled by the nurses? Still room for human error, just moved from the hectic floor of the patient care area down to the relative calm of the pharmacy area? And using the nurses as a check on the pharmacists’ programming, which may be easier than the calculations themselves?

    • Holly says:

      Absolutely. It used to be that a lot of medications were mixed and hung on the wards. It all depended on the nurses to insure both that the meds were placed in the correct solutions and run at the correct rates.
      Now, in most places, the meds are all mixed in the pharmacy under what are obviously much cleaner, safer and controlled conditions. They are mixed by those who handle them every day and can double check not just the dilution solutions, but all the medication compatibilities. Less chance of contamination, less hurry, less exposure risk to staff for those things (chemo agents) which are toxic to those handling them.

      And full employment for Pharmacists everywhere. It is one of the reasons that Pharmacy is no longer a 5 year undergrad program but has gone to a full PharmD program.

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