I was so eager to go to school this morning and feeling so up-and-about-y that I really wanted to ignore my shortness of breath that was getting a little worse as the morning went on. Finally, realizing that I really didn’t want to be dealing with this over the weekend and remembering how low my oxygenation had been yesterday, I called my nurse.
She wasn’t in, but another nurse I really like called me back. I was wondering if I needed another thoro, a pleural drain, or oxygen for home. She checked with Dr. Campbell and got back to me in minutes with the instruction to get to the cancer center for a chest X-ray with a wet read and then to come up to their office to check my blood oxygenation.
A few phone calls to Mom, Dad, and Mark later and Dad is dropping me off at the cancer center. Mom has beaten me there.
We go through the tests and learn that my blood oxygenation isn’t low enough to require oxygen at home and that my chest X-ray shows a minimal increase in fluid from the one taken after the thoro yesterday. So, Campbell would like an echocardiogram to check my heart stat.
While The nurse is scheduling this, I overhear someone say “anemia” in the same sentence as “shortness of breath” and realize that no one has drawn my blood today. I ask the nurse if we should check for this (especially since I thought I was anemic on Tuesday) and she sends the lab back for a finger poke. I ask the lab for an arm stick instead so that we have enough blood for a type and cross if I need a transfusion.
While we wait for the lab work (the day has involved a LOT of waiting), I get an appointment for an echo tomorrow afternoon. Then, the lab comes back. My hemoglobin is at 8.5….definitely anemic and transfusion worthy. Also explains the nausea and weakness I’ve had. Transfusion scheduled for tomorrow…good thing we did enough blood for a type and cross.
We are headed home and I’m on the phone to Mark with the tedious blow by blow.
“How are you feeling now?” he asks.
“Better,” I say, “I’m not thinking about my breathing because I’m so smug.”
“Ah,” he says, “palliative smugness.”