Tuesday 27 October 2009

P. S. ....waiting in vein (not a typo!) Cycle 5, Day 8

Some two and a half hours after we arrived at hospital this morning, Steve's test results came back from the lab. Everything in order, other obs fine and he was cleared for treatment.  Due to staff shortages, it then took another one and a half hours before a chemo nurse became free to administer the Velcade.  

In the meantime, one of the ward nurses tried to insert a cannula in Steve's right arm without any success - she couldn't find a good vein. Chemo nurse No 1 then went hunting in his left arm, but gave up after a couple of failed attempts. By this time, both arms were dotted with little wads of cotton wool and sticky tape. Finally chemo nurse No 2 managed to get a line in on her second attempt.  Well done, Rowena - we were beginning to get a bit worried!

Steve's supply of anti-nausea tablets had not arrived from the pharmacy by the time today's treatment was over. All being well, he should have just about enough to tide him over until the next visit on Friday.  Fingers crossed!  As we made our escape after the best part of a day on the ward, we bumped into Charlie, the staff nurse who normally looks after Steve. Her tips when waiting in vain for a vein to be found are (a) drink plenty of water the day before and on the morning of the hospital visit, (b) hang the arm below heart level and let gravity help, and (c) warm up the arm to stimulate blood flow.  

OK, Steve. No excuses.  You know now what you must do on Thursday and Friday morning to avoid this happening again, while I'm away training in Birmingham.....and don't walk out of the hospital without picking up the supply of anti-sickness pills.  I won't be there to remind you!

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