Saturday, December 8, 2012

In search of peppermint............

Today was just an ordinary day in the hospital. The walls are starting to close in on both of us and I've had a chance to go out for an hour here and there, so I can only imagine how Zack feels. We both woke up around 8:30 am, with very little sleep. Zack because of all the checks and amounts of times he had to visit "mother nature" due to the high volume of fluids being pumped into him and me just because I'm not in my own bed. (told you princess....) My mattress' sit right under the air vent, so I constantly have recirculated air, either hot or cold blowing on me all night. Whine Whine..... Big Deal!

I headed out in search of peppermint oil for Zack. The Aromatherapy group here in the hospital brought some to him the first month to help alleviate his nausea. They put a cotton ball in a container and the oil on top of it. Though they continue to bring it to him each time he is admitted,  I have been in search of it ever since. All the stores in my town didn't have anything, finally yesterday Brian (our day nurse) told me to check out the Co Op up the street from the Hospital. I was in luck and found it immediately. My friends also posted on FB several other ideas, some which we have tried and some locations we haven't looked before. 

Frank stayed home today, he worked part of the morning and since the project he is working on requires him to be there after hours and on the weekend, we decided it was better for him to stay home and not come visit. We are all learning on how to conserve our energy. It wasn't that long ago that he was sick for three weeks and unable to work. He is just now getting his strength back. In the winter we have to put clear plastic on all our window to help insulate them even more. Luckily, Frank was doing that today, so the house will be winterized when we get home. Check... another thing off our list!!

I went to get my hair cut, my usual routine now every time we are in the hospital. This time a young lady was there. I never know who is going to be there from one time to another. At this point I really don't care. I don't have much time to spend thinking about what I look like. I make sure I'm dressed decently and as long as my hair is short and clean, I'm good to go. She did a decent job, a bit choppy in areas, but like I said.... I decided to take a few extra minutes and see if I could find a new flowing skirt. Karen was the inspiration. I went to a store just around the corner from the hairdresser and after trying on three items, left without anything totally disgusted. I have put on so much weight, I can blame it on the stress, hospital food, boredom, the moon, it doesn't matter why, what matters is what I will do about it. Right now, today, I'm disgusted, exhausted and feel defeated in every area of my life.  

I return with lunch and settle in for the rest of the day with bookkeeping from Franks business. Zack is doing rather well. His leg is hurting a bit and when I check the burns they are healing beautifully. There is one new area that doesn't look so good, but I'm sure treating it with the cream, it will be just as good as the others. Zack has been resting, watching movies and doing his school work. I took some time to do research online and look for gifts for the nursing and office staff at the clinic. Everyone over there is involved in Zack's care and I wanted to make sure I had everyone covered. I found the cutest little coin purse / key chains with a monogram sewn on. Since I have the list of each staff members names, it was so easy to personalize it even more. I went back to doing bookkeeping and all of a sudden find myself asleep and waking up an hour later with my hands still on the keyboard. Zack looks at me and says "good morning sunshine."  Of course by this time it is a little after 5 pm.

I see that Rhonda had emailed me and said she wanted to bring dinner again. (She has been spoiling us this week)  Zack stated that he wanted to go ahead and take a shower tonight, so  knowing the shift change at 7 pm would make it impossible  to get help for an hour or so, we ask the day nurse to wrap up and unhook him from the IV fluids. Once finished, Zack and I wrap up his burns and show the one area to the nurse and he says "that's really not my area of expertise, but I will make sure the wound care specialists look at it tomorrow." Translation? "my shift is over soon and I really don't want to start on another thing right now." Okay, we're fine with that, we have taken care of his wounds up to this point and it probably won't cost us $1,000 for bandages and tape. 

Rhonda calls around 6:00 pm, she had a person walk up to the door at the last minute and being the great employee she is, took care of business. She had me order at the local Greek restaurant (which really serves Italian food???) and before we know it, the three of us are sitting down enjoying yet another great meal. She shares her day with us and I see how tired she is, yet she still takes the time to come and see us, bring us meals and visit for awhile. Our relationship hasn't always been the best, we have certainly had our ups and downs and yet as I sit here and listen to her, I am so pleased that we were able to work out our differences. She is really such an important part of our lives again. I did miss my sister!

Once Rhonda begins to leave we look at the clock and realize that Zack's fluids have been off for about an hour and a half. I call to the night nurse to get him hooked back up and ask when chemo is to begin. This is a new nurse to us, Amber is her name and she usually works the day shifty. She is a petite blonde with a ton of energy.  Once she left the room, Zack looked at me and said "she needs to lay off the coffee" She would come back in and explain everything she was doing. Zack would motion to be as if to say "why???" I explained that this wasn't our first rodeo and she was thrilled that we knew what was going on. She had four patients and he specialty is oncology. We are learning that the nurses that care for him all have their specialties in this field. That's why we usually have the same people each time we come.

It is now 10:30 pm and he is on the second part of the chemo treatment. Zack has started to taste that "weird" metallic taste. He grabs something sweet to help counteract the bad taste. It works for a little while. The senses are so different with this treatment. His sense of smell is very sensitive  and tastes have changed as well. Things he used to enjoy bring different reactions now. As we wrap up the last day in the hospital and prepare to go back home tomorrow, we are grateful for another "successful" stay. I don't like counting what is done or what is ahead, that is something I have realized only recently. I choose to live for what life will bring us today and think about tomorrow when it comes...... At least that's how I feel today. 

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