Here is the 6th installment of the serialized version of a section of my memoir, Souvenirs from My heart; The Patient Patient Advocate. Paul’s trip to the ER eventually leads to an appointment with an oncologist…
A reader pointed out a good reason to have links to the earlier posts at the beginning, instead of the end. If you are new to the Postcards, you might want to read starting from Postcard One. None are very long, less than 600 words each, I believe.
Postcard 1 here.
Postcard 2 here.
Postcards 3 & 4 here.
Postcard 5 here.
Postcard 6 here.
cont. medical history document…
(March 2007, cont…)
In the ER, they filled Paul with IV fluids & antibiotics. He came back out of his unresponsive “trance” and seemed better. He didn’t remember anything since sitting in the clinic waiting room. After 5-6 hours, they let me take him home, with a vague diagnosis of unknown sepsis, and an RX for antibiotics. Paul recovered quickly once home, and was back to normal in a few days.
We followed up with his PCP the next week and a lot of lab work was done. The only thing found was mild anemia, which the doctor thought was odd…why did Paul keep showing anemia in blood tests? The doctor was still unsure of why Paul continued having fevers/chills, arm cramps and fatigue. Finally, he gave Paul a referral to see an oncologist. (This is when a secret fear began to gnaw at me. I was so in love with that man, the life we had, and the future plans we were making. For all that Paul told me, he was not having the same fear. Paul was 11 years older than me, but he was actually in better health than me. Another irony.)
Dr. Oncologist was booked and couldn’t see Paul until four months later. Then Paul began having regular blood draws and consultations with Dr. O. for eight months, the last visit was March 2008, when we were told that all was okay; he did not have to come back for a year. Dr. O. mentioned sending Paul for a bone marrow biopsy during one consultation, but the next lab report was normal, so it was not done. During another consultation Dr. O. also mentioned leukemia, but neither Paul nor I could ever remember the context.
Paul had been healthy during the next year (March 2007 to March 2008); with the exception of cramping arms, fatigue and heart burn. He had no fevers or chills since the year before, when he ended up in the ER.
July 2008 (4 months after oncology appointments end, 14 months since ER incident.) Paul has seasonal allergies and takes OTC (over-the-counter) pills regularly. However, during the first couple of weeks in July he was worse than usual and tried different OTC remedies, with no relief at all. He had no energy, very watery eyes, and was so stuffed up that he could only breathe out of his mouth. He was beginning to get the fevers and chills again at night, but not as severe as before. His teeth and gums had been bothering him and we thought maybe an infection there might be causing the sinus problems, so he made an appointment for a dental check up.
This postcard asks you to go back through the scenes above and see at which points we might have gone further or done something different. Again, I ask that you take notice and action when strange health things are happening, with no answers in sight. Should we have waited four months to see the oncologist? No! Would it have mattered? We’ll never know for sure, because not one medical professional has ever been willing to say that these issues had anything to do with leukemia.
I took the day off from gardening, at least physically; my mind is still designing away:>) I decided to post another installment to help ground me. I have so much writing bubbling up that I’m dizzy:>) There is an incredible amount of inspiration out there in blog land. There are writing prompts that bring up so many stories, and the real life stories of a variety of wonderful people. I have to try and keep some kind of focus if I ever plan on publishing though. The prompts are fun, but I’ve never needed a prompt to come up with ideas; stories are everywhere! It is especially fun when you are writing within a group of talented and funny writers. Back to the old grind stone for me:>)
Thanks for hanging in there, and your comments are especially appreciated.