A Delayed Birthday Present

Birthday Coffee Mug        ©Zebra's Child
Birthday Coffee Mug: Miniature Schnauzer                     ©Zebra’s Child

A friend has the best blog title ever: “Four Camels and a Coffee to Go.” Since my nurses on the infusion unit have a sense of humor, I think I’ll ask them if I can have “4 camels to go” with my gammaglobulin infusion today. I’ll tell them it would be a delayed birthday present. They might tell me there’s only room for one, though. The infusion unit isn’t very large.

PS: I don’t have a picture of four camels. Or a picture of even one camel for that matter. So I had to put in a picture of a coffee cup with a dog on it. That’s the “coffee to go” part, obviously. The mug was a birthday present from my mom, by the way, so it fits right in. Hope you don’t mind.

PPS: As you may have read yesterday, my immune system is having something of a Work Stoppage and has decided to go out on strike for awhile. The bottom of my left foot looks something like the boils of Job, and the heel of my right foot has a fissure that is looking more and more like the Grand Canyon every day. I would very much appreciate any words of encouragement, good thoughts, prayers or even funny jokes that you might send my way throughout the day today. Many thanks.


10 thoughts on “A Delayed Birthday Present”

  1. Oh my goodness Hannah, I love the 4 camels under your name. You did manage to get them to go! I hope the nurses can find you a camel somewhere on the unit today. I don’t know too much about immune systems but I did used to get gammaglobulin needles in the butt right before every international trip I ever took… it really made flying that bit more stressful since sitting down was pretty painful. Thank goodness those needles don’t exist anymore and new vaccines have been developed since. I hope your’s are not “butt” ones as well. I don’t think I can be too funny at 4AM this morning so I will send a prayer and lots of good thoughts and hugs your way instead. You deserve to have a good birthday week (yes they are not just days at our ages… they become something to celebrate for the whole week). I will be thinking of you today and wishing that your feet respond well to the infusion and that the Grand Canyon takes a vacation…. far away from your feet this time. Take care Hannah and hope all improves.

    1. Thank you! I get my infusions through an IV line that goes into my vein. How quickly or slowly it goes into my vein depends both on the medication and my body’s reaction to it. Different medications have different speeds of delivery. The line goes from the bottle of liquid medication through a machine (a “pump”) that can be set to whatever speed of delivery a patient needs and then the line is attached to a very small needle that goes into my vein. The gamma globulin that my body needs is filtered from thousands of blood donors, then processed in a pharmaceutical company, and then sent to pharmacies. A doctor writes a prescription for the patient, it’s delivered to the infusion unit and then here we are. Rest assured that the needle goes into my hand or arm, and not my butt! If it did, I’d have to lie on my stomach all day, and that would be awful! Thanks so much for your good thoughts today!

      1. It sounds like a huge procedure from beginning to end but I hope that you made out okay today. Yes, that would be a long day, particularly on your stomach if that was the case 🙂 Can you read or listen to music or watch tv during the process?

      2. Yes, I can do any and all of those things during an infusion. I choose not to watch tv – they would be all the daytime shows, which I’m not fond of – but most people on the unit have their tvs on. It’s hard when I’m next to someone who’s deaf, because they turn the sound up very loud, and i can’t drown it out. There are thin walls separating us, but just hospital curtains that we can close (or not) over the front. The “rooms” are arranged around a nursing station. I usually keep my curtain open so I can see my nurses and what’s going on generally. I feel more connected to people that way, and I hate feeling isolated. I have to take pretty strong “pre-meds” over the course of the 7-8 hour treatment to help with the side effects, so I can only read pretty simple stuff, like the newspaper. (i.e., no plot I have to keep track of.) I usually rest or read or work on my computer. And yes, it is a very complicated process to take whole blood from donors and run it through all the steps to arrive at gamma globulin. That’s why it’s so horribly expensive. It costs, give or take, around $6,000 per treatment. There is no possible way anyone can afford it without health insurance. Fortunately, Kaiser has figured out that it costs far more to treat the constant illnesses, and eventual death of a patient than it does to provide the IVIG, so I pay nothing. I would have died 7 years ago without treatment.

      3. Thank goodness then for the inconvenience of the treatment! And that you have health insurance. A very time consuming, elaborate and costly treatment but worth every second and cent then to have it done. I guess reading a newspaper or computer would at least allow the time to pass and I would be like you…not wanting to be isolated and would want to watch others. Hope you are feeling somewhat better today. Take care Hannah.

  2. Oh, my dear, sadly I don’t know what to say to make you laugh but know that my thoughts and prayers reach out to you today. May the Peaceful Light brighten your day. ((HUGS)) and much love to you!

  3. I`m thinking of you, I did it the whole day. What is happening with your skin and leggs reminds me of a surrarealistic picture. You are so courageous.

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