Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Good Patient

Please permit me to brag for a moment.

One thing that I've learned about myself is that I'm a good patient. By that I mean that I turn my frequent visits to City of Hope into opportunities for interesting social encounters and fun experiences. But I'm not unique. Most of the other patients and almost all of the staff I meet take the same attitude.

I went in on Monday for a dab of chemo and ended up being there for 11 hours, from 8 am to 7 pm. The infusion/transfusion nurses encouraged me to take one of the private rooms where I'd have a bed instead of a reclining chair. I panicked at the thought of being isolated instead of "among the people," but decided a semi-private bathroom would be a good idea. Since I needed four hours of IV hydration, I knew I'd be hopping up for frequent bathroom breaks.

I at least got to select the most high-traffic room, close to the door, where I could observe all of the comings and goings. And I left my curtains open so that I could feel like I was a part of the action.

I spotted my nurse coordinator and got to have a long chat with her. "Disco George" from the ETC stopped in to give his regards. And I was surprised to realize how many patients know me by name. One couple I met in the harvest room walked by and squealed, "There's Susan!" The wife has forever endeared herself to me because she gave me a foot massage while I was collecting stem cells. When I saw her, I immediately ripped the blankets off my feet and wiggled my toes.

But, wouldn't you know it. By the time they made their way back from the blood draw, I was in a Benadryl-induced slumber and never got my foot massage.


Barbara Roth said...

I will give you a foot rub next time I see you, I promise. Keep up the good work. Barbara

Lilli said...

And what good-looking toes they are! Did you choose that coral color knowing you'd be photographing your toes?