Sunday, October 14, 2012

How long is eternity?

This has to be one of the longest stays in history for us, or so it feels that way. Of course Zack more so than Frank or I, who have had a chance to work, drive to a restaurant, the store and basically get out for a few hours of "down time". With one day of double blood transfusions and five days of chemo down, now there is less than 24 hours before he can be discharged. 

This morning Zack woke up, ate breakfast (his eating is better this time around) used the restroom and all of a sudden screamed in pain. When he went to stand up his left knee dislocated out of the kneecap. He was finally able to stand up after a few minutes and make it to the chair just outside the door. His eyes filled with water, the pain was excruciating. Not long after, he started to black out again and had problems breathing. I immediately call in the nurse, who then calls in the Doctor. A chest x-ray is ordered (to make sure there is no blockage which could be the cause of the dizzy spells), they put him on oxygen for a few minutes until they determine what actually happened. It appears that the shortness of breath was from the knee pain, he was able to put the knee back in place (something that also happened a few weeks ago). they took him off the oxygen, took his vitals and once the doctor checked him out,told him the if he didn't "behave" he would not let him go home tomorrow. Of course this is Dr. B. who has a wonderful sense of humor and loves to tease the kids. Zack throws it right back at him and says "try and stop me at the door."

 We are picked up by a nurse with a wheelchair, Zack is told to put on his mask because we will be going into the main part of the hospital for his x-rays. We are taken downstairs through to the staff elevator, around several corners, down several halls into radiology. It takes all of ten minutes and we are again headed upstairs. Once we are back at the room Zack says he is ready to go for a walk. His knee is feeling better and the Doctor advised us to walk around to loosen it up a bit more. He showed Zack some exercises to do to tighten up the thigh muscles, he said it's not uncommon for that area to become weak when staying in the hospital bed for so many days. That is also the leg he will be having the radiation in, though he doesn't think it will be affected because that is not such a tender area.

As we walk around Zack stops at the carnival mirrors. He decides to make faces and try them out for fun. This is the first time I've seen him try and have some fun in days. We get a good laugh for a few minutes, he poses for pictures and then says "okay, lets get back to the room, I'm getting tired." The chemo does tend to zap his energy, so it was nice walking around even if just a couple of times.

We get back to the room and order lunch from Papa John's, They are one of the two places that deliver to the Hospital. Eating out is getting expensive, but the hospital food is less than desirable and when he would rather not eat then eat some of the meals they offer,  we do what we must to accommodate. I just found out that Nancy has fixed yet another awesome home cooked meal for us to have when we return home. This has become her routine. She makes sure that we have a nice meal so we don't have to jump right in and cook as soon as we are back home. Tonight I can go home, eat a quick dinner and crawl into bed ready for the new week.

We get the x-ray results back and everything is clear. The port is in the right location and there are no signs of trouble. This is a relief, even though I felt that was the case. Any of us that have been in extreme pain know how it can literally take our breath away. I see that the longer we are here, the more sensitive Zack is to his body and what is going on. His patience is also getting shorter and shorter, and who can blame him. 

As he finishes his last day of treatment for the week, I prepare the things I'm to bring home. Zack tells me to take as much as possible, he says "you know we'll forget something and there isn't anything we need tonight." So four bags later, I sit here waiting for Frank to take over the night shift. He calls and asks what Zack would like for dinner. Zack is sound asleep from the treatment and benedryl, so Frank and I decide a burger and fries is about the right touch. 

Though it will be nice to be back home again, it's not the same without both my "boys" there with me. Tomorrow can't come soon enough for any of us. Until then, I will go home, slip into bed and watch my shows that have been recording since being in here. Not the best way to fall asleep, but certainly the easiest way to "forget", even if just for an hour or so. 

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