Found myself very dehydrated again on Wedesday last week. Went to the oncology centre for my second last radiation treatment. My last treatment was not quite a celebration. On the way home I said to my boyfriend I think I need to be in hospital. He was not thrilled by the idea but knew I was right.
I was a wreck. I could not stand for more than a minute at a time. I was pale and had no energy. Still not being able to eat or drink anything. Hadn’t done either in days as nothing stays down. Something sets off a gag reflex and I just bring anything up, filled with mucous.
So I was admitted on Wedneday afternoon by my oncologist. It is now a week later and am still here in hospital. Yes, I spent Christmas in hospital. And it’s not nearly as much fun as you think.
It turns out my system had not recovered from the chemo from a week before and my white blood count was extremely low. I was isolated in a private ward with all people having to mask up Etc before entering.
My blood count is now acceptable but still dealing with the food and drink issue.
This is where doctors don’t listen. When I say I can’t eat or drink, I mean I can’t eat or drink. It’s not me not wanting to do either. It is a matter of life or death. Their solution is to have a meal replacement shake and they keep pushing me to drink these – when I can’t even drink water.
The little water I can sip must be no more that 2ml at a time. And the chances are I’m going to gag and throw it up and a lot of mucous.
Everyone pushing me to eat and drink. But very difficult trying to explain to people I can’t. At some point yesterday I was convinced that maybe I had a disorder or sorts. A mind over matter issue. You know when you body goes on guard to protect you and perhaps I can’t eat or drink as all my body remembers is gagging and throwing up – which is very tiring when you doing it all day long.
So I did quite a bit of research last night. Searched gagging reflex and how to improve it etc. Nothing seemed to identify with my symptoms though. I thought perhaps I had some form of dysphagia. Perhaps I needed to see my ENT specialist.
The reality though is that I can’t eat or drink. And I have a HUGE amount of mucous I’m spitting out all the time. So where is the problem and why can no one help.
I have to live with the mucous for now. It comes with the territory and will go away on its own in time. How long nobody knows. I’ve heard weeks to years so let’s hope mine is weeks.
Today has been better. I have been able to take in small amounts of food and drink today. Not enough to survive off of but definitely and improvement. My dietician popped in to see me this morning and apparently she had a chat to her husband who is also a surgeon. His comment was that there is no fix. Everything is swollen and inflamed and this is why I cannot digest anything. Time heals all wounds. And I think he is right.
My arms are black and blue from the various drip locations. Collapsed veins not fun dealing with. My feet are not much different with them taking blood samples daily from them.
I have been better today so I hope I am now finally on a recovery course. I honestly never thought this treatment would be so hard. And this coming from a strong determined woman who deals with anything in her stride. It is HARD.
And not only on me but also those close to me. We had a great Christmas planned and a well needed break with friends and family after a hard year. Our plans had to change and our expectations altered.
I hope I will not see in the New Year from my hospital bed. I hope to be laying on a blanket under the stars at our beautiful home in SWAZILAND taking in the fresh air and remembering what’s important in life.