Thursday, November 3

The Left and the Right

Something that no one sat me down and told me when I was first diagnosed with cancer was that oftentimes, in a hospital environment YOU (me) will have to be the person making sure the left hand (nurses) and the right hand (doctors) are on the same page. While you might get lucky and actually have a team that can communicate effectively, there are much, much higher odds that the more specialized your treatment gets, or the doctor gets, the more you will have to be on the ball, all the time to make sure they do what they said they would do, or that the doctor told the nurse what to do, or the nurse knows why there is a delay in your treatment.

This is often very difficult; if there is chemo involved your brain will feel like whipped potatoes. And then you are required (while not required in the traditional sense, required in the "your time and possibly life might depend on it" sense) to make sure the left and the right are working together. All told they are both working to help you, but a nurses's idea on how to help patients is a lot different than a doctor's idea on how to help patients.

This is why Wives, best friends, parents, siblings, misc person you grab are good to have around when you go to and see the doctor.

Why am I writing what amounts to a cancer PSA on my blog this morning? That's quite simple. I had a left hand/ right hand situation yesterday that if I had been a little more on top of I wouldn't have spent three hours at the hospital, mostly "enjoying" the confortable chairs they have. Three weeks ago my doctor scheduled a post-chemo follow up, my guess is to be on top of my platelet situation and get me stimulating stuff should I need it. The nurse thought I was there to potentially start chemo. I (after waiting two hours) explained to the nurse the situation as I perceived it and she said, "Oooh, that makes more sense. I'll schedule you for a blood draw and a consult with [the blood doctor] next week." And that was the end of my day at the hospital. That conversation could have happened (if I had seen her) two hours earlier in person or either over the phone (from home).

Live and learn. (heh, no kidding) I don't think I can complain too much at this point as my main focus in life right now is defeating cancer. I can do that from home or from a chair in the hospital equally well. (Option 2 just requires me to hear a very large range of people freaking out about doctors, nurses, their diagnoses, etc.)

Thanks again team!

[ Prayer request? ]


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