Tuesday, June 7, 2011

more pointless grumblings

February 4, 2011 at 7:02pm
So, I find out on Monday if I'm dying or just paranoid.  See, the bleeding has slowed down significantly.  And by significantly, I mean to a trickle rather than, say, Niagra Falls.  This should be a good thing!  This should be fabulous news. This should herald the entry of a new phase of a happier life.  A life where my primary thought process is no longer focused on calculating how far I am from a ladies room.  There's only one teeny tiny problem.  My hemoglobin is still dropping.  And by dropping I mean that for the first time I am actually feeling the effects of the drop.  Even when I was around a 6 I wasn't this tired, this sore, this... winded.  So.  If I'm not bleeding but my hemoglobin is still crashing... there are two possibilities.  Either I am bleeding - but it's an internal bleed... or my little hemoglobin factories are no longer working.  Either way it doesn't look good.  In the first case, I'd have to be opened up again - which, as anyone who has been following this saga will understand, is not a good situation.  In fact, it is a situation that would require a team of at least 6 surgeons and an operation lasting 6 to 8 hours.  And that's just to clear out the scar tissue adhesions.  Who knows how much longer it would take to locate and stop the bleed.  And considering my doctor told me flat out that "no one in their right mind" would agree to have themselves opened up again in my condition... yeah.  The term "I'm screwed" comes to mind.  The shutdown of hemoglobin creation invites an entire new host of issues - the least of which is an immune system "reboot" where the docs use something akin to chemo to shut down (read "kill") my current setup, then do a transplant of good bits that will hopefully take and replicate and get my system running correctly once more.

Herein lies the problem.  First, I have very clear lines of what are acceptable measures and what are extreme measures when it comes to my body and the procedures used upon it.  6-8 hour surgery falls into the extreme range.  Immune system reboot - falls WAY into the extreme range.  Second, I cannot go on having blood transfusion after blood transfusion just to keep me going.  Every time I am hooked up to those little red pouches increases the associated risks.

One well-meaning friend suggested that I might lessen those risks by donating the blood myself.  I had my first genuine health-related chuckle from that one.  Yes, that works for healthy people who are planning to undergo surgical procedures.  It does not work for fixing deficiencies in one's own blood.

Finally, I am tired.  I am weary to my bones.  And although it may be true that "someone my age shouldn't have to go through this" - I am going through it.  And with every breath (inhaled through the nose to the count of three and slowly released) -- with every heartbeat (rapid today, average in an hour, through the roof when at rest, sluggish later on) -- with every pill and every inhaler and every spray into my nose -- with every screaming joint and every frozen bone -- with every random bruise and every clump of lost hair -- with every teardrop, mostly shed in private unless I slip and lose control of myself -- with every frustration of having to read and re-read a passage over and over to make myself understand things that used to come with lightning fast cognition -- with the agony of eyes that ache and head that throbs -- with all of this... "it" is winning.

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