Day One June 1, 2009

My first day actually started on may 31, 2009, as I work from 5pm to 1:30 am. Since I had to be in Northbrook by 8:30 and DID NOT want to deal with the hassles of big city traffic, I decided to go grocery shopping after work, (grocery store right next door to work. Convenient.) then go home and pack and rest then leave at 4:00 am. I was able to do everything but rest. Didn’t realize how long it would take to pack.

So I left home at 4 am and headed toward Northbrook, hoping to stop at the oasis and grab a cup of Starbucks Café Mocha. Mmmm, yummy. I figured since the oasis was open all night, they would be too. Low blow of low blows. They were not. I had to settle for McDonald’s Mocha, which although less expensive, tastes inferior. Once I had my coffee, I left, giving the Starbucks stand a forlorn look as I passed it.

It was raining the whole drive down to Northbrook, but I don’t mind driving in the rain. Keeps me alert. I arrive at the hotel at 6 am, and as they were not busy, I was able to check in. I unpacked, then made lunch for the rest of the week. Due to the steroids they give me, I have to have a low sodium diet. Really easy to do if I cook for myself. I usually forget to add salt when I cook from scratch. (not when I bake though.) I made myself a large pot of pasta, cooled it down then added red and yellow peppers and tomatoes, seasoned it all up with Mrs. Dash Italian herbs, oil and balsamic vinegar. Tasty. When that was done, I went to the free American Breakfast they serve at the motel. By the time I was done with breakfast, I had just enough time to get ready and leave for Dr. Wynn’s office.

By now, I had been up since 2 pm the day before. I was tired and all I wanted to do was sleep. The nurses nicely pushed me around: telling me where to go in the nicest of voices. I like the staff here; good people dedicated to their jobs, with kind voices and quick smiles.

Cathy is the head nurse; she’s in charge of the research patients. Every day when I arrive, she’s going to do the same things: take my blood pressure and pulse, make sure I’m not pregnant, give me pills, (for headache, possible fever, antihistamines), and check my blood sugar. Then she gets Andy, another nurse, who feels the veins in my arms and decides where to poke me. She’s really good; I hardly felt a thing. They hook me up to the steroid drip and leave me alone until it is done. Takes about 1 ½ hours.

Cathy made sure I was comfortable, and let me fall asleep. I was so tired by then, I needed a nap desperately. I’m writing this on Tuesday, and I know it has only been 24 hours, but I have no idea if I slept at that point.

When the steroids were done, Cathy checked all my vitals, including blood sugar. (steroids can raise sugar, so they have to keep on eye on it). Once I was all hooked up, Cathy turned down the lights and I fell asleep. I woke up halfway through the IV process needing very badly to pee. I have to drink a lot of water while taking the drugs. It is not fun having to first ask a nurse for help in getting to the bathroom and the trying to maneuver around a bathroom still hooked up to an IV. Suffice it to say, I wouldn’t recommend it.

The rest of the day went pretty much the same way. Just stayed hooked up all day and rested, played Bloody Fun Day on to zone out. (neat game. You’re the Grim Reaper and you have to kill cute animals) I was done with the meds and out the door by 4 pm. All I wanted to do was sleep, but I didn’t have dinner food. I went to the nearby grocery store and bought steak and chicken for the week, then went to the motel and waited until I was hungry enough to eat. I marinated the steak when I arrived at the motel room in Olive oil and Mrs. Dash Italian herb. Threw the steak into a small pan, turned up the heat and let it fry. Turned it once, covered and then let it cook while I finished chopping up red and yellow peppers. When the steak was done, (all nice and pink on the inside, I’m so proud of myself. I can’t cook steak usually) I threw the peppers into the pan and let those cook. I had a really nice dinner.

I did the dishes after dinner, or rather, I put everything in the dishwasher and let it go while I was trying not to fall asleep. I ended up napping on the couch for half an hour. After the dishes were done, I gave up and went to bed. It was eight in the evening. I haven’t been to bed that early in a LONG time.

So that’s the end of day 1. Stay posted for more. Or not. Up to you.

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