Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day 16: Speed bump

Well, damn. Hit a little speedbump on the road out of here that will delay discharge for a couple of days: a case of the sniffles! I was out walking around the halls with the nurse, Imelda, yesterday morning, when she noticed that I was sniffling. She asked if my nose was running, I said yes, and when we’d finished our walk she took a couple of samples and sent them off to the lab. Preliminary results came in this morning: negative. Dr. Andersson and his team came in a while later and said that I could still leave the hospital if I wanted to. But it didn’t feel like the right thing to do, much as I want to get out of here: if I were over at Rotary House right now instead of here in the hospital room, Anna and I would be anxiously listening to every sound and worrying about whether to call the clinic, go to the Emergency Room, etc., etc. Not healthy! So I decided the best thing would be to stay here and let the professionals help us for a couple more days. Naturally we’re disappointed—we’d been so looking forward to expanding our horizons! But it’s just a couple more days—probably till Sunday, though no one’s come out and said that. But Dr. Andersson had said earlier that he doesn’t like to discharge people when the first follow-up trip to the clinic would fall on a weekend; that was why he had been focusing on Thursday rather than Friday.

It’s weird, though. My blood counts were great this morning: hemoglobin 9.1 (still below normal, but heading upward), platelets were 125 (ditto), and the all-important white count was 4.9, actually within the normal range! And the symptoms I have are just the kind of thing I’d have brushed off as allergies a year and a half ago. And it might indeed be allergies: there’s been a change in the weather here (what a way to find out!), as one of the doctors said, so who knows what allergens have made their way past the air filtration system up here. But this is a whole new world, this post-transplant thing: Dr. Andersson explained that even though my counts are great, my immune system is still barely functional. It’ll take a while to adjust my thinking and train my intuition; this seems like a good place to practice.


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