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Weird title, isn’t it?

Mathew is receiving 2 more units of blood today and it reminded me of something I wanted to share with you. That is, how the blood moves around the hospital.

No walking blood products from floor to floor or door to door by people in our hospital! There is a snazzy chute system, which transfers the blood from the inventory room wherever that is (I got the impression it is in the basement of the hospital) to its destination. It gets sucked up and zipped along tubing to the right “door”. Of course, this is a simplified version of the process ~ it is much more complicated than that! Forms must be sent back and forth by a computer programme before the blood product is released for use. If the right paperwork isn’t immediately sent back then every other blood product lined up behind the one in question is frozen. NOTHING moves until the problem is fixed. The person who screwed up gets all sweaty and and nervous until the paperwork is straightened out. That’s a lot of blood products that back up throughout the entire hospital!

That is so cool! It demonstrates my belief that although processes look simple on the outside there is often many steps and procedures going on behind the scenes that make it happen smoothly for the outside viewer (or user).

Mathew was chatty all day yesterday, took his pills and Ensure without any problem. Today however he slept or dozed until he went downstairs for his radiation treatment at 3:15 pm. He got down 1/2 a bottle of Ensure and 2 sips of water. I am taking the bolus feed extension back to the hospital with me and will just bolus feed him if there is any balking later tonight or tomorrow. He is down a pound on the Radiation scales. He needs adequate calories for all the activities going on in his body right now.

There is no word on where Mathew’s infection might be. Although his G-tube area looks infected the swab came back fine (C-Diff is a pooping problem, Susan, not a feeding tube issue! Just read one of your comments). He is changing rooms tomorrow and I suspect we’ll be put into one of double bunk rooms. Even that isn’t so bad except the washroom is still shared between 4 beds… 2 beds per room with a wall between them but a common bathroom!! Everyone up on the Oncology ward is compromised… did Infection Control ever wonder how bugs travel between patients so fast up there? Have them share a freaking bathroom for starters! It is also hard when 4 patients share a bathroom while undergoing chemotherapy and the iv flush starts. It can be a wait for the bathroom to free up.

Ah well, I’m grateful for any time Mathew gets a private room. I think all the patients need one there. The room Mathew is in is that one specially equipped for radiation patients; the one with the internal radiation treatment. The room has the lead-lined walls and the weirdest contraption made of iron or steel or something that are also shields. They are stored between the counter and the bed and usually hidden behind the curtain. They look to be mobile shields that can be moved around to shield a bed or patient, etc. Man, they hurt like the dickens whenever an elbow or toe hits one of them!

Mathew is getting more sleep because he is on a steady iv drip but not a chemo treatment so it isn’t flushing through his system at a great rate. He’s going about 2-3 hours between bathroom breaks which is great for some shut-eye. I still feel human…

It feels like sooooo long since anything was last normal for us. It seems ages since I last worked. I’ve actually taken to watching the CBSA Border show on tv as corny as it is ~ and hey, guys… I’ve learned more about the tricks of the officers’ trade watching that than working at the local office for 5 years! I miss chatting with everyone and catching up on what their lives, etc. Some days it doesn’t seem like this will ever end. This phase of treatment will be over in March or April… and then Mathew will move to the next step, which will be what I don’t know right now. It just seems like we are spending more and more time at the hospital and barely any time at home. This process is so disruptive on family life or just life in general. I repeatedly read that an Ewing’s Sarcoma patient puts his/her life on hold for approximately one year while undergoing treatment. It isn’t only the patient folks.

It isn’t only the patient.