Living in Interesting Times
With Eric, Eric, Eric the ‘Arf a Fish
Last week I acquired a new constant companion. The front end looks like a fish, I’ve never seen the rear end; it could like a horse, a toaster oven, or maybe a fish. It only swims backwards from left to right. I call it Eric… Eric the ‘alf a fish. The part I’ve seen has two mouths, but that’s ok… it doesn’t bite. On the other hand, it does have some odd behaviour. It eats words. If there’s a page of text, it eats the right half, then works its way left to leave only a few letters on each line.
Eric is there if I close my left eye. Eric is there if I close my right eye. Eric is there is I close both eyes. (hence my use of the term ‘constant’ when describing what kind of companion Eric is…)
Eric, Eric, Eric the ‘arf a Fish…
Thirty-eight point six is a magic number: if my temperature reaches this high while on chemotherapy, I am supposed to go directly to the emergency room (do not pass go, do not collect $200). It hits thirty-nine. This indicates I have an infection that my torn and bloodied immune system cannot manage. Also, I have a tendency to fall down every time I stand up (more than this actually) and that strikes me as out of the ordinary also.
For the first time in my life, I am wheeled through Emergency without any waiting whatsoever, and straight into an isolation room. Interesting. I make a point of not thinking about how scary this could be to some people. Doctors and mean girls with needles examine me for a couple of hours. I have an infection, they take a swab but they never determine what it is. Turns out my haemoglobin is now 42… that’s right… the answer to life the universe and everything… 42… a happy cheerful amusing number, except that it’s supposed to be about 160. One nurse observes that she’s never had a conversation with someone whose haemoglobin was 42 before… also, my white blood count is way down (well, my immune system is in collapse). They give me 6 units of blood (Redpacks… thanks to all you donors out there) some platelets, and enough antibiotics to choke a rhinoceros. Oh and hey… they gave Eric a name: patrichial haemorrhages
Eric, Eric, Eric the patrichial haemorrhages
Eric should go away as soon as my infection clears up and my immune system recovers.
I also have patricial haemorrhages in my nose/mouth but they don’t smell/taste fishy, so that’s alright.
For a few weeks I may be able to write, but I wont’ be able to read. This may mean that what I write will not meet my usual standards…
Well, the last few weeks… maybe the last couple of months, have been interesting (in the sense of the Chinese Curse, “may you live in interesting time”. I’ve been withdrawn from my last chemotherapy protocol (I suppose that’s a good idea since it was killing me what with dropping my haemoglobin to 42 and crushing my immune system). My lump-doctor broke up with me…she sees no need to see me any more. No matter what we call him… Eric is still with me, although he has evolved into a general blur. But then, one cannot complain about that sort of thing; I’ve realised for some time now that everything is evolving into a blur .