Sunday, October 31, 2010

Day 4

Today has almost been the best day yet, considering the circumstances. I scheduled my injections for 9:30 am every day. I really could schedule them for any time I wanted, but I chose that time because I could still get to my church meetings, which start at 10:20. Plus, it's not too early or too late. Things went so smoothly at the hospital, I could tell it was a Sunday. Meaning there must have been some divine intervention. I actually got to church 10 minutes early (which never happens!) and Jon-Michael pulled up with the kids at the exact same time! Hmm, it could be that I'm the reason we're barely on-time/late every week...ok, it's just true.

The nurse, a new one yet again, was super nice today. She did a great job with my injections, and she even told me in so many words that my stomach looked good for having two kids. Well that just made my day! (Even though it's not true...I'm not blind to the changes pregnancies force on my body.) It was still nice to hear though. She warmed up my shots and did them slowly enough that it felt just fine. And she was very pleasant to visit with. Actually, three of the four nurses I've seen have complimented me on something! I got a few comments on jewelry, and I got another one on my shoes today. I think the nurses are all just super nice. Although, the nice-but-not nurse from Day 2 didn't compliment me at all....but I'm not bitter about it or anything. Ha!

So I was expecting hard core pain today, especially after yesterday afternoon. From Day 2 to Day 3, the frequency and intensity of achiness (is that word?) was pretty significant, and I expected it to be the same from Day 3 to 4. Yet it was not. Hallelujah! First of all, even though I did have the anticipated stomach pain right after the injections, it felt like nothing compared to the other days. And I was not looking forward to dealing with the discomfort as I sat for 3 hours through church. I figured it was one of those tender mercies that, for the most part, I was completely unaffected during church. I did have a couple of flare-ups, but I could totally handle it.

I did notice aches in more places, like my knee (only one so far) and my one shin, well actually, just my whole left leg. But not all at the same time. My hips and lower back still hurt, but today it was more reminiscent of menstrual cramps. Seriously, if that's the worst of it, bring it on. I mean, I get that every month, and I haven't died yet. The only thing that was worse from last night and today is my hip sockets. Sometimes when I'm about to stand up, it feels like they're out of place, which of course, they're not, but I have to sit back down and brace myself to actually stand up. It's a very strange feeling. But it's fleeting. Honestly, I kept waiting all day for this killer pain to set in, but it wasn't even as bad as yesterday. Or maybe I'm just used to it now. Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, my lower back is mildly uncomfortable, and I just felt something in my left femur. I really doubt that the pain is lessening, so it must not have been that bad to begin with because I can mostly ignore it now. How's that for a selling point? It hurts less the longer you do it!

Ok, that's not completely fair to say. I feel really lucky to feel as well as I do. I talked to the director today and I was pleased to report how good I felt. She's been keeping tabs on me since I started receiving the injections, which is really nice. And I've been told countless times that if the pain became unbearable, I could call her or the hospital and get a prescription for something stronger. It must feel worse for some people, because Tylenol, which I generally find ineffective, has worked fine. Part of the daily questions I'm asked for the study are about various, and sometimes rare, symptoms. I have no rashes, no nausea, I'm sleeping great, my appetite is normal, my digestive system is functional, no vomiting, no bruising...I think those are all the weird things they ask me. Like I said, I feel great, considering.

Yesterday a friend of my commented that she wouldn't be able to be a donor because of her health, which made me wonder what sort of health restrictions they have. I mean, I have been taking an anti-depressant for, let's see, 12 years now, and they had zero problems with that. Plus, I'm a bit anemic and have low blood pressure. (Maybe that explains all those fainting spells...and if you haven't heard of any, I'll dedicate a post to those stories in the future!) Anyway, I was going to ask the nurse about that today, and I forgot, being so flattered because I have such a nice looking stomach and all. I figured they would have something on the website, and they do! Here's the link:

I have determined by reading through it that most people are probably eligible. Of course, there are no guarantees that you'll ever get contacted. Some people never get contacted. Recently I watched the movie "Seven Pounds." (If you haven't seen it, and want to, skip to the next paragraph, because I don't want to spoil it with what it made me think of!) Because I was already in the middle of this process, donations were on my mind and I totally figured out the movie not to far into it. Maybe I'm not that clever, but I never figure out movies, so I was impressed with myself. Because of what I know, it also made the movie completely unrealistic in a lot of ways, though I did enjoy the story. I thought a lot about what I'm willing to give. I think it's really easy to forget that people are dying every day because they never get a compatible donor for whatever it is they need. A lot of donations require someone to die, so (with the exception of this movie) getting a match is out of anyone's control. I just remembered I saw the end of "John Q" on tv a while ago, and that had a different, but related story. From what I saw, John Q took some doctors and nurses hostage and wanted them to transplant his heart into his son's body because a suitable match couldn't be found. Of course, that's not how it works, you don't kill yourself to save someone else.

My thoughts are directed to the Savior. He sacrificed himself to save another. You, in fact. It's not at all likely that I will ever be in a position where I have to choose my life or someone else's. But would I do it? For someone I don't know? For someone I do know? For someone I love? For my own child? But, really, would it matter who they are? I think of the scripture in John 15:13. "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends."

Please don't misunderstand me. I don't mean to compare myself to the Savior in any way. Really, it's worse to have the stomach flu than what I've experienced thus far. I can think of lots physical pains that are worse than this whole ordeal. Not to mention emotional or mental or spiritual pain. These are just thoughts that come to my mind as I contemplate the significance of sacrifice and what that really means. I don't feel like I'm sacrificing, because 24 hours from now, I'll be almost completely back to normal. My body will be able to recover lost cells with a few weeks, if it even takes that long. I haven't had to change anything over the last few days, except for the time I've spent. (I'm even getting reimbursed for the miles I'm driving!!) I feel like I'm gaining a lot more than I'm giving up. It's almost like it's a bonus that someone could live because of what I'm doing. It's so easy. I'm so glad I've been able to experience this.

And tomorrow is the big day. I have plans to read and watch movies in bed and sweats. I'm positive I could name 10 people right this second who love that! It's a pretty sweet gig. Plus I get to order whatever I want from the hospital cafeteria! (Hey, it's free, and someone else made it...sounds great!) I can't wait!

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