Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Just a simple shot today.... Yeah Right!!!

Zack had woken up this morning with extreme pain in his left arm. We decide to tell the Doctor as soon as we arrive at the clinic, one hour away. We are simply scheduled to go the the clinic for his Neulasta shot. We walk in, immediately Zack throws up. His color is gone so they decide to get some fluids in him. Angie (such a sweetie) connects to his port and stars IV fluids. THAT should have been my first clue!  We tell Angie about the arm, she checks it and sees that the color and shape is different from the right arm. Dr. S. comes in and checks in the location where the pain is coming from. He then checks the other arm. He does notice a difference and feels a harder area on his left arm. He has decided to order an ultra sound to make sure there is not a blockage (blood clot). They give Zack more fluids and Kytril (sp) for the nausea. Karen comes in and talks with us a bit to see how we are doing. She is an amazing Social worker and is in tune with our every need. I'm not sure how she makes us feel like we are the only people she is caring for, she just has a way about her. Zack calls it "Karen being Karen", which is the highest of compliments. Out ultra sound is scheduled for 1 pm. It is now 11:30 am, so I call Frank to let him know what is going on, then call Mom and Rhonda. Rhonda immediately offers to bring us lunch which we accept (we were not prepared for an entire day). Once lunch arrives we gulp it down, hug everyone and say goodbye with the understanding that we are to wait for the results of the US as we will then be advised on our next step.

We arrive at Reuter Ultra Sound and Imaging. We are told to follow the purple ribbon to the back room (this is primarily pediatrics), we are then shown through another entrance, the walls are bright yellow, purple, green. The chairs are soft materials in red and yellow (not the best color for a children's unit as they were filthy, yes I noticed) We sit in a tiny waiting area where a large flat screen tv is showing "Lady and the Tramp", Zack looks at me and we both begin to laugh. I see one of our patients there with her tiny baby, her doctor ordered an ultra sound of the babies hips because he was breach. I remind her that we work on babies at the office, and she says "oh, I remember" As we go inside, I tell them to give me a call if they ever want our service. Zack teases me and says "Mom are you EVER OFF WORK??", "NOPE, if I know they need help, it's up to me to educated them" is my only response.

Zack has decided that he wants to go in alone. The rooms are so small there is barely room for him and the technician let alone me too. About a half hour later she comes out to get me, the doctor wants to explain what is going on. Again my heart sinks. I look at the images on the screen, take a picture of them, but it means nothing to me. Zack tells me that he was joking about "finding a baby on the image" and she firmly says, "we do MUCH more than that you know." He just figured she probably has heard that a bunch of times and has no sense of humor about it. The doctor comes in and says "he does have a blood clot", this can happen near the port and can be treated with blood thinner. She says it is not life threatening but could be if nothing is done.  Again with the life threatening shit!! We are told to return to the clinic and they will further instruct us. So.......

We are back at the clinic. Doctor S comes in and shows us a drawing of what is actually going on. He says that this could be part hereditary and asked if anyone in our families has problems with clotting. Zack laughs and says "yea pretty much anyone on my Dad's side has crappy veins", they tease and say "oh you can blame it on your father". I'm not ready to joke yet, as a matter of fact I am choking down the tears. I don't want him to see me scared or upset. He looks at me, Karen is sitting on the bed with him and says "let your Mom handle it her way and you handle it your way". I simply tell him that I wish this was easier for him and don't want him going through a bunch of more shit. (yes my son hears me swear quite a bit). He looks at me and says "Mom, you're allowed to loose it, this is all bullshit and I'm tired of it too". Karen has found a place ABCCM (Asheville Buncombe County Christian Ministries) that has a clinic and pharmacy. They can get us the shots he needs. He will have these at 9 am and 9 pm until further notice. Since our insurance doesn't kick in until September (and this is not always covered by insurance) and this is very expensive stuff (remember the Kytril, 7 pills $200.00) they have offered enough for the rest of the month.

Angela comes in with the "dummy" doll and is ready to show us how to give the shots. Zack STILL hates needles, and he is willing to learn to give himself the shot. I tell him I can do it, I'm not squeamish anymore, I tell him "this is my new Navitat", he says "you're not jumping off some tree with a needle to give me a shot!!" we laugh. He knows that when I was tired of my fear of heights, I went Zip Lining with my sister in laws and now have no more fear of heights. I conquer my fears and this is just another hurdle.Dr. S comes in and offers to give Zack his first shot in the morning, but I tell him as much as we love the staff, we don't want to see them, we don't want to see them again until Friday. We are told to wait an hour and then head over there, we decide to get out and head to Habitat store. Zack has some things that he wants to sell, and since his numbers are good we head over there. We decide to head over the ABCCM and collect the shots. Since this is a clinic I tell Zack to stay in the car. Even if his count is up, we don't need to subject him to sickness. I enter the building and can tell how many people they help. The place is a quarter of the way filled but the chairs are all touching each other, even in hallways, there is barely room to walk. I let them know I'm there, fill out a couple of pieces of paper and then am asked to wait in the lobby. A woman approaches me and asks if I have the flu or a cold, I say, no I am just here for medicine for my son, she says Oh ok, then I will sit next to you, I don't need anything making me sick. Zack texts me a couple of times,  he wants to go home, he is hurting, thirsty and getting tired. I tell him "doing the best I can", this is not a regular pharmacy, there are about a dozen people waiting for their medicine and one pharmacist. I remind Zack how lucky we are that they are willing to help us, and if it means waiting an hour (which it ended up being) then we do what we have to. I do see the difference. When you have the money or insurance, you are not treated any better, these people were amazing, you do not have as many people in line though. This group is really helping a lot of people and when we are out of this situation, I will not forget them. I get the medicine and we head home.

The minute we are home, Zack asks to go and see Drake who lives just up the road. Wanting him to have some normal part of today, we tell him he can go for a little while. All of a sudden out of the blue, Frank and I are talking about Zack, then politics ( a BIG NO NO in our relationship) and I'm yelling at him about EVERYTHING!!!! I guess I was so fed up with the entire day, tired and angry he was the perfect target. As bad as I felt after, it felt so good to get out the anger. Was it fair? absolutely NOT! Was it needed? Yup. I tell him if this continues this way, he is going to have to pick up the slack at home. He is going to have to figure out when the laundry needs to be done, trash, etc... We no longer have the luxury to come home from work and sit and relax, not every day anyway. He said "just give me a list and I'll do it", My response? "NO, YOU figure out what needs to be done, I have enough in my head". So, we go our separate ways for about thirty minutes.  I get calm, go on the porch and tell him "THAT woman, went back to the mother ship, she won't be back for awhile", his response "are you sure? she was kind of scary" we both laugh and he tells me he is here for us, he just doesn't see what I do when it comes to what needs to be done. I do agree as it is a male / female thing. But tell him to work on it, he immediately goes in fixes up dinner I picked up at the BBQ place, puts a couple of loads in the laundry and THEN falls asleep on the couch.

I spend the rest of the evening putting up shelves in Zack's room, hang up his artwork and fix his door which didn't want to close. Zack shows me his car shows. I have to laugh, I am the only one pushing to get things done and as Frank and Zack say "you need to figure out if you REALLY need this or that done NOW". or can it wait. I know the answer, but being a stubborn Taurus, I'm not ready to give in.

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