Friday, October 16, 2009

The Cast of Characters

Since medical personnel will be a large part of my blogging experience, I thought I would give a brief introduction of the new cast of characters on my blog. Names have been changed or abbreviated.

Dr L - my transplant doctor in Michigan. Funny guy, good sense of humor, I feel very comfortable in his care, which is one of the reasons we decided to stay in Michigan for this go around

Dr A - my transplant doctor in Boston, did my first transplant. Very blunt and tells you exactly what he thinks, so I was very pleased when he was positive about my treatment options and didn't tell me to put my affairs in order (which he would have, if he thought that was the only viable option out there).

Dawn - the nurse practitioner who works with Dr L. She probably won't be part of the story until I get back in for transplant in a few months.

Penny - my primary nurse. She is hilarious, really gets what it's like to be locked up in here, and has lots of funny stories. For example, today she told me that one time some teenage guy who was stuck in the hospital called in an escort to visit him and told everyone it was his aunt! I'm not that desperate yet, but ask me again in a couple of weeks and I may resort to tricks to amuse myself.

Gabrielle - my other primary nurse, super sweet, and bought me maple sugar candy when she was in Canada today! (remember, Canada is about an hour from my house. not a big deal to go there. well, it wasn't before they started requiring passports, I think it's more annoying now.)

Gordon - the fellow who is in charge of me while I'm in the care of the hematology/oncology team (hem/onc). The chemo that I'm currently getting is being supervised by the hem/onc team, not the transplant team, which made things a bit more complicated because I'm being seen by the pediatric service (more on that another time) and the pediatric hem/onc residents aren't allowed to deal with patients over 24. I clock in at 25, just barely too old. So Gordon volunteered to be my "case manager" or something. Anyway, he's really nice, pretty cute, but very married. Oy.

Adam - the medical student who is in charge of me. Because of the "no resident" deal, Gordon is getting helped by a medical student. It gets weirder. A very dear friend came over a couple of days ago to help me put pictures and postcards up on my wall to brighten up the place a little, including a picture of us. Adam recognized her and said she had been in his precalc class. Yes, Adam apparently went to the same high school as me and graduated a year after I did. Weird, right? It gets weirder. According to my parents his family are also members at our synagogue, and I guess his dad had a transplant for lymphoma when he was much younger. He seems very nice, very concerned, and I think he has the makings of a good doctor. It's just a little weird that we have all of these connections.

There are many other nurses and doctors who are in and out of here who may end up in the entries as well, but these guys are the main ones.

Things here are okay. I am finishing the 5 day chemotherapy protocol today (because they had some problems in the pharmacy my first bag wasn't ready to go until 8:30 so I can't get the last one until 12:20 AM. Annoying). I have an excellent anti nausea drug called Anzamet so I am doing okay with nausea. Seriously guys, if you ever know someone else dealing with cancer, get them on Anzamet, it is a miracle drug. Other than feeling tired, I'm doing okay.


Rose said...

I love your expression of overwhelmed frustration: oy. It's adorable.
Everything comes full circle...people come into our lives for a reason. I'm certain of it.
Thank you for the introduction. I am ready to continue reading now.

Leesa said...

Hi Mir...

Wow! Sounds like you are surrounded by a great staff/team! People who know what they're doing and how to give good care to people...
Thanks for introducing these VIPs to us... I feel like you are in good and competent hands...
I am also happy to hear that the anti-nausea drug is effective.. that's a GOOD thing, I know!!
Keep us posted... Hugsssssss, Leese

Mary Community Farm Kitchen said...

Hahaha about your med student. I know you're using pseudonyms here so I'll have to talk to you in person about WHO this is (though I think I know, and if it IS him, I think he's quite nice and very good at math). Anyhow, no real surprise that people we know are involved in your treatment--that's Ann Arbor for you.

Mary Community Farm Kitchen said...

ps. I just told Margaret about your med student and she, i think, better appreciated your predicament, because she immediately made a face and the "awkward turtle" hand gesture--"AWKWARD!" (very funny, I'll have to show you when I come in next). :-)

Barbara said...

Bonjour Mira,

It really sounds like you have some fantastic staff behind you. Now if that isn't the greatest to have people who can laugh with you?

Latch on to those laughs and their smiles !
It's a lovely sunny Sunday here near Paris.But on the chilly side.

Stay positive

Leah said...

Mira, I'm just catching up with blogs and came across this post and your last one. Just wanted to say I'm glad you're feeling ok surrounded by positive people and anti-nausea miracle drugs! Big hugs from Rennes!!

au soleil levant said...

Rose - I can't run too far away from my Jewish roots, the oy will always come out in the end! Point taken, more interesting stories coming soon.

Leesa - thanks, yeah, I have some really good care takers on my case, and they are very happy to get me more anzamet!

Mary - "Adam" was just in here checking on me, he does indeed seem quite nice, and he definitely brought up a bunch of old Huron folks. Weird. I'm trying to be normal about the fact that we move in the same circles, but it is pretty awkward when he has to examine me and feel my liver :P

Barbara - you're right, it's great to have people here with a sense of humor, otherwise it would be a very long hospital stay! Thanks for the encouragement.

Leah - thanks for the kind words and good thoughts! Maybe you will update your blog now?

Animesh said...

So, how long till you get your med student chap to break his "professional ethics"?


74WIXYgrad said...

Hi Mira,

Leesa told me about you via email this past week, and I let those who read my blog aware and several are now praying for you.

God Bless,

Zhu said...

Looks like you are in good hands! Love your description.

I think I'd like the blunt doctor (doctor House ?!). I hate being lied to and manipulated and that's how I would feel with someone who keeps me out of the loop. It's also really good that he is positive.

I didn't realize you were only an hour away from Canada - we definitely have to meet one day! I'll bring you maple treats ;-)

au soleil levant said...

Animesh - there will be no ethical lapses. Period.

Cliff, thanks for your prayers and good wishes, they are appreciated.

Zhu - yeah, I just live an hour from the Detroit-Windsor Tunnel, have made many trips over border!

It's an interesting problem with doctors being either too negative or too positive, it's very hard to strike a happy medium. A blog post for another day, perhaps.

Amanda said...

Just wanted to send good wishes your way! Sorry I've been out of touch for a bit (I broke my foot right before going back to France). Today, I see that the Assistantship Program application is finally up, so this made me think of you! :-) Hang in there! Hugs and love from Maine (where it snowed yesterday, blugho)! Don't hesitate to lemme know if you need anything. :-)

au soleil levant said...

Thanks Amanda, I really appreciate it. My dad and I watched a little bit of the Patriots game in the snow yesterday, it was crazy!