For two crazy reasons, one late last night, and one this morning, there was a need to sound the alarm, or dial 911 or at least buzz the nurses’ station.
CRAZY REASON #1:
At 10:30ish last night it was time to take my nightly medication. Well, if you remember, yesterday, I had taken a picture of my pill box and posted it on my blog to indicate the increase in the amount of meds that I’m be prescribed since we’ve entered the chemo phase of the treatment. When I took that pic, I had the lids open to the box. When I was done, I closed the lids and placed them back on my bedside table. What I didn’t know was that the lids were not completely snapped shut and when I transferred them to the other side of the room, I tilted the box and all of the pills ran into the same section. I had done all of that hours before it was time to take the meds and before a day long of chemo. In the dark, I opened the appropriate lid, start downing all of the pills, and I get to the last one, and as soon as I swallowed it, I realized that I had taken way more pills than I remembered having to take. So, I run to my phone to look at the pic of the box, and, sure enough, there were 6 pills in each section (I took 12). When I realized that I had taken a double dose of everything, I instantly rang the nurses’ station and in the 20 seconds that it took them to get there, my life flashed before my eyes and I had visions of them having to pump my stomach out. I was convinced that it was going to get really ugly, really fast. Two nurses arrived and I had to explain/charade what had happened. One of the nurses did know a little English, so that was helpful. They had to call the doctor at home, to ask him what he would like me to do, all the while, I’m thinking, “Hurry, hurry, hurry, I’m ingesting this stuff!!” They put Dr. Fedorenko on the phone with me and he explained that it was perfectly okay, that they were ½ doses of prophylactic meds and that there would be no harm done. The nurses recommended drinking extra water, which I did. The English-speaking nurse, picked up the “Symptoms List” which is in both English and Russian so that you can point and indicate what you are feeling. She pointed to “Nausea”. I shook my head “No”. I took my phone out and used the Google Translate to ask her if there was a word for “Studipidity” on that list, and then pointed to myself. She got quite a chuckle out of that encounter. Dear God, Brooke…wake up!!!!
CRAZY REASON #2:
I woke up at around 3:00 a.m. (that’s become my norm), head to the bathroom, and noticed that the dexterity in one of the fingers of my right hand that has been losing mobility since last summer, is suddenly, no longer immobile. I wiggled it around a bit, made a fist, shook it out, and thought, hmmm. I’ll check it out in the morning. I wake up at 6:00 a.m. this morning and while still in bed, notice that the finger is still functioning well. I’m like, cool. I decide it’s time to get moving and head to the bathroom for a shower, and notice that the foot that I usually drag along across the floor wherever I go, is actually lifting itself up and clearing the floor (I have been wearing a brace to help that foot clear the floor for over a year). Ummm…okay. Given my discovery, I decide to take a stroll around my room to see what’s going on. The foot consistently tries to lift up. I decide to keep calm and get my shower. While showering, I discovered that the leg that I always have to lift with my hands to maneuver is lifting upon command, by itself. Alrighty, then. If you think this is good, it’s about to get better. I get all shined up. Heck, I even put some lipstick on, and decide that I’m going to take a walk up and down the halls to see what other little buds of improvement/change I might see. First, I realize that it was much easier to maneuver out of my door. It usually takes a twist and a pivot and a turn. I get into the long corridor and notice that my right foot, which over the last two years has turned outward to accommodate a swing-gate that I acquired in addition to lifting my hip to have my foot clear the floor, has turned forward (the correct position) and the front of my foot (mid-foot to the tip of the toes) is lifting and clearing the floor without any effort on my part. Mind you, it is still not the normal height that a person’s foot would clear the floor, but for me, and inch or ½ inch means the difference between and brace and no brace!! Of course, I had to keep testing it, and before you know it, the muscles in my knee were starting to get strained. Why? Because they haven’t been utilized in that way for over two years.
Over the past two days of chemo, Dr. Fedorenko has asked me if I had seen any changes, to which my response was “No”. Honestly, I really didn’t think that you would start seeing anything until after the transplantation. It turns out I was wrong. The chemo is already beginning to kill the T-cells that have been attacking my brain and spine, and it’s giving my body a chance to see if there’s anything left in the engine.
After all of these discoveries, I could not wait for my morning meeting with Dr. F. I had a list and I made it in such a way that my improvements were on the bottom of the list. It turns out that my internet went down right after all of this happened and I was crushed because I wanted to share the news with the world that miracles were happening here. So, I went through my list with him and last on the list was “Internet down”. I told him that I could not connect to the net and that today it was absolutely crucial to be able to reach everyone. He asked why, and I proceeded to tell him that I needed to let everyone know that I’m seeing improvement in my functioning. His eyes lit up and sparkled with curiosity. I started tearing up and he thought something was wrong. I told him they were happy tears and this was the best day ever. We shared a hug and we went over all of the improvements. He gave me his usual “Bea-u-ti-ful!” and headed off to see if one of his techy friends could fix my net. I was able to get it going myself, and here I am, telling you, hope lives in Russia. These may seem like really, really small things to you, but they are absolutely, potentially, life changing improvements for someone living with MS. This is just the beginning.
Peace and Love…