Friday, September 09, 2005

Here we go again

Here we go again: sometime later this afternoon or early this evening I’ll be going back to the Day Recovery unit at St. David’s for a transfusion—two units of platelets and one of good red blood.  No surprises here. I had a CBC (Complete Blood Count) on Wednesday afternoon, and the counts were coming down: hemoglobin at 10.6 (down from 12.7 on Friday), neutrophylls at 1.0 (down from 2.6), and platelets were at 52 (not sure what they were on Friday, but a week earlier the platelets had been at something 250,000, well above normal).   Today, of course, they were all lower: hemoglobin at 9.6, neutrophylls at .7, platelets down to 11. Penny, the triage nurse, read me the numbers and then went off to talk to Dr. Tucker and find out what he wanted to do, and off we go.  We’ve already been over to St. David’s, this time carrying written orders for both the Admissions desk and the nurses in Day Recovery, and we just got a call from Day Recovery to tell us that the Blood Bank is now processing the order for blood, and they’ll call me as soon as they know the blood and platelets are on the way to the hospital.  So far, so good—much smoother than it was back in August. But who knows when the blood will actually get there? Apparently I have an antibody in my blood, an enzyme or something called “E” (catchy name), which I gather is unusual enough to make it a bit harder to find a correct match.  And then, once they find the right stuff, they have to irradiate the blood to make sure it doesn’t contain anything that might cause an infection.  So it takes a while. I figure I’ll be lucky if they get the drip started by 6:00, which means I probably won’t get out of there till 11:00 or 12:00. And something the guy said on the phone just now raised the possibility that they might check me into a room upstairs instead, presumably because if the blood arrives too late the Day Recovery people will have gone home—I learned last time that it’s one thing for them   to stay late to finish something up late in the evening, and something else again to start a procedure. So I may be headed upstairs.  

Meanwhile, Anna and I had a good lunch over at Hyde Park and now I’m home, resting and waiting for The Call. Meanwhile, rescue and recovery continue in New Orleans and along the Gulf coast, and thousands of evacuees, here in Austin and elsewhere, are trying to find family members and organize new lives for themselves.  Anna just told me that Michael Brown has been pulled off the recovery effort and sent back to his office in Washington. Hopefully they’ll have pulled his phone and Internet access, but spanking him and sending him to his room without supper won’t begin to make up for the damage he’s done.


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