Nov. 25.

A Shot and a Draw

My Status: Tired
Mood: Fair to Middlin’

Today started off with an appointment to have a shot in my eye. Yes, you read that right. I had shot #3 in the right eye to help reduce a condition of macular edema. And the shot entails a vision test, then dilating the eye, followed by another eye test which uses bright lights and red lasers that play tag while you have to keep your eye on the center. Next a gel to numb the eye and an extremely bright light which is then muted slightly by a colored lens. Finally and apparatus is shoved into your eye to hold it open… and the doctor tells you to keep the other eye open.

HA! By this point, the left eye, having heard all the squeals and pleas for help from the right eye, is tightly closed, using turtle theory—if no one knows I’m here, they’ll pass by and leave me in peace. The shot doesn’t hurt, and in a weird, twisted way it’s kinda cool, but I am NOT a fan of the thing to hold the eye open. Also, the whole dilate one eye and not the other thing leaves me feeling unbalanced.

And I went directly from having the shot in my eye to having my blood drawn for my weekly labs. They need to keep a watch on the blood values to determine whether the chemo is doing what it is expected to do or not. And in my case … the jury is out. My doc isn’t in on Monday mornings—she sees patients Monday afternoons at the office where I go for the blood work, so she wasn’t there. The technician had a question about the blood values and asked the back up doc … you know, the one who forgot to date the sleeping pill prescription … to make a determination. Apparently my platelets are low, as in very low, and the question had to do with whether I was still in some sort of “window” where the low platelet values would be within the “norm” for my condition and length of time since chemo.

How do I know this??? Because Doogie (yes, he’s only behaved like an adolescent pretending to be a doctor, so Doogie it is) discussed the situation with the technician in the middle of the hall outside my open door. And though he said her repeatedly and not my name, I knew they were discussing my case because I was the only female patient in the office at the moment who had just had blood work done. He even stopped in the middle of the discussion to tell the technician a joke. Doogie had better hope that he never does have to see me because he is completely ill-prepared to handle a patient like me. He asked the technician twice to ensure that a copy of the report be left on my doc’s desk.

While I appreciate the fact that my report will have been reviewed by my doctor once she arrived to the office, let me share with you how it feels from the patient perspective. Like Doogie decided he was not competent to make a determination based on my chart, which I’m actually okay with, but if you’re that unsure, perhaps a phone call to confer??? Also it felt as if he was passing the buck, not willing to trust his own judgement in the case. Of course, I shouldn’t have known because it never should have been discussed in the hallway. I may need to chat with my doc the next time I see her and let her know, no matter what the results, I would like an accounting of the findings and what they mean. Brief is fine. But more than, “You’re fine. Ummmm, no need for an injection.” Especially since I wasn’t expecting an injection.

At a guess, I’d say that the results showed that the Neulasta wasn’t doing what they had expected, because the technician questioned whether I had the shot or not. The doc had double-checked that last Monday as well, so while my side effects from the shot have been minimal, it may need a kick in the pants this next time.

I always feel tired on the days when I have the shot in the eye. Partly because after all the poking, prodding, and bright lights, my eye is D—O—N—E! It honestly begs me to crawl in bed and just keep it closed so no one else can torture it. So I won’t be doing any writing tonight. It’s getting close to sign off time so I can relax for a bit and get some good sleep. BUT I was able to get a scene done yesterday that I’ve been trying to get on the page the right way for two weeks. So very stoked about that.

How am I feeling about the low platelet thing? I promised not to pull punches or to pretend things are great if I’m not feeling it, and I will keep my promise. I’m a bit ambivalent about the blood results today. Or lack thereof. I went in hoping to hear I’m doing great because I feel as if things are going well, but instead hear that I don’t need an injection I didn’t know they might do. And the don’t felt a little weak and uncertain. So glad I didn’t need the injection, but a little upside down on not doing a ninja impression on the cancer yet.

The picture for this post immediately grabbed me because I saw it and my first thought was Can’t see the forest for the trees. What is pictured above is the reflection of a larger piece showing a forest. I loved the upside down aspect of the reflection and the overall murkiness of it. It fits today perfectly.

By Liana Gardner | Posted in Meh | Post a comment or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

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  • Amanda Peake says:
    November 25, 2013 at 11:24 PM - Reply

    I swear after all that eye stuff you deserve a calm and peaceful day, not Doogie doctors breaking Hippa laws. What a mess! Glad you seem in okay spirits about it all. You’re one tough cookie.

    • With the shot in the eye, I still have 3 more times, so I’m resigned. And as far as Doogie is concerned, his rooster strut and self-impressment will slip a notch or three by the time I’m done tearing the strip off if he ever does “treat” me. Maybe that should happen so he learns that being a doctor means more than sashaying around the halls so people can notice your little-white coat.

  • Awww man – the eyes again. *shudders* My eyes are so sensitive that they are watering just reading this.

    And what’s up with Doogie?!? I get so annoyed with doctors and medical professionals in general who seem to think that the only person who doesn’t need an explanation is the patient! You have a right to be informed about what is going on with YOUR body.

    It’s so simple to just say “hey, here’s what’s going on – here are the options we have and I’m going to check with your regular doc to see how he recommends we proceed.” Easy-peasy.

    Hang in there my friend. As I understand it wonky blood counts aren’t all that uncommon – even when treatment is going fairly well. Also don’t be afraid to call your doctor and ask the questions and definitely mention the issues with Doogie. You shouldn’t have to go through that. *hugs*

    • Yeah, the eye thing… I WISH one shot could have fixed the problem or someone had created something revolutionary, like a pill for the ill, but my eyesight has improved a line with each injection so far and the gray splotches are not quite so opaque, so the treatment is working.

      My regular doc is one who loves to explain everything. He enjoys whipping out his iPad and bringing up illustrations or additional information to help explain. He truly wants the patient to understand the condition because then it is a team effort to deal with it. My oncologist doesn’t explain quite as much, but will readily discuss based on questions, etc. I’m just glad Doogie is not my doc. Maybe he is better with his actual patients, but I haven’t observed him doing much beyond struttin’ his stuff.

      And I am hanging in there. Wonky results, or not. 😉

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