This morning, I woke with a headache which I almost never do and it didn't go away. It wasn't terrible so I just ignored it, figuring it was part of the whole AML experience or maybe that I needed a cup of coffee. I did a quick neuro exam in the mirror and everything was symmetrical, my vision was fine, my neck was supple so I figured it was unlikely to be anything too bad and did the sudoku, drank coffee, etc. At 8:30, Tommie came over to take me for labs and on the way home, I just felt terrible: nauseous, weak, headache was worse, exhausted. Tommie suggested I call Dr Hill's office and their secretary took a message and told me, Elise, Dr. Hill's crackerjack nurse would call me back. As an aside, their secretaries are well trained. The first words out of her mouth after I told her I was not feeling well were "do you have a fever?" I was impressed.
I went home and lay on the couch while Tommie got me a blanket. You can tell I'm sick if I'm willing to let someone wait on me like that! I slept for about an hour and Elise called to check on me and tell me my labs: hgb 6.2, plts 0, ANC 0. I was impressed. I think she was too. She told me that she thought I shouldn't wait until tomorrow for a transfusion and could I please come in now. We discussed where to go: CMC ED (where it would be easy to get a head CT if needed, but I'd be exposed to lots o germs), Norris Cotton (fewer germs, but harder to get access to what might be needed for working me up). We started driving and figured she'd call us and tell us which way to go before we got there. About five minutes shy of Manchester, she called and said that they just happened to have a unit of platelets that would be a match for me in Lebanon and did I mind driving up there instead? We did not and headed up. Previously when we have needed platelets, it has taken over eight hours to match them and get them to me so this was a very nice surprise. Then, Elise mentioned that the Red Cross called my donor today to ask them to come and donate more just to be safe. I just cannot get over that there is a person out there somewhere who is "my donor." I am so grateful to them.
Drive, drive, drive, got there safely, into the clinic, access the port. The port accessing nurses were quite impressed with my labs too. They repeated them in Lebanon and by their counters I had 2 platelets, 1 neutrophil and my hgb was 6.7--all within the difference you would expect between machines and four hours and all showing that I am at my nadir. They had the nurse practitioner see me because of the headache and she agreed that it was likely just my brain saying "please, I'd like a little oxygen." I got one unit of platelets which raised my count to 40 and 1 unit of red cells which made my head ache go away and made me feel so much more energetic. Hooray for blood products!
Then there was the drive home; Tommie had come over to hang out with Ellie so homework, dinner, etc. were done and it was off to bed for the littlest of the family and now off to bed for the anemic-est of the family.
I've been feeling anemic since Thursday or so and really except for the ride home from Manch and the headache, didn't feel worse than I have since then. In the hospital, when I dropped below 7, my knees were tired and sore in a very particular way, but not this time. It is odd how I cannot always track my labs by my symptoms. Terry thinks there is pretty consistently a couple days' lag between when I say "I think I'm anemic" and when my labs show it. At any rate, the nurse practitioner was impressed enough by how far I dropped since Thursday that she is having me get labs on Wed. The good news is tomorrow at least will not have any medical appointments in it.
My wish for myself is that I will feel well enough tomorrow to enjoy my new red cells. In all likelihood, that is not a wish that works for you so, for you, I wish you are able to enjoy something simple and wonderful tomorrow.