I have just had my first shower in two days and that's only because I have been pooed on quite violently. Having spent Sunday suffering from a completely unrelated stomach bug, the symptoms of which Emma now exhibits with great abandon, I spent Monday afternoon, still nauseas, having a Bone Marrow Biopsy. The second of my life but the first I planned to sleep through.
I had barely sat down before I was tagged and a cannula was in my arm. Just over six months on from finishing my chemo it was time to see whether or not the effort had all been worthwhile. The cannula felt so normal; an almost welcome addition to my arm. Thoughts of all the other injections, lines, scans, jabs, pills I have had came flooding back. It has only been six months but it feels as though we have been going through this for years.
The procedure was to be done in the 'Day Room' where oh so many months ago I had been given my chemo. It was relatively quiet in there with only one patient on a drip. A small bed was prepared in the corner and as the time got close a small screen was erected so as not to add to everyone else's woes by having to see me drop my jeans and curl up, arse out, on the bed.
The process is relatively simple: having cleaned a small area on the back of my hip a large, very hard needle is inserted through the skin and flesh and into the bone. This is used to take some
On the advice of pretty much everyone I spoke to about it I had this done under a general anaesthetic. I do not remember my last BMB being particularly painful as such but I do recall a lot of swearing and it being very, very uncomfortable. And so it was that, staring at the wall, I was given first a pain killer which made my eyesight go blurry and then another jab to put me out. One I am pretty sure was not working as I continued to stare at the wall listening to people clattering behind me as 'the area' was swabbed.
I was about to point out that I was still awake when all of a sudden I was sitting up on the bed and everyone had gone. Only my wife and one of the nurses remained. There was a dull ache in my back. I do not know how long I sat there and I cannot remember whether I was fully dressed. For some time after, hours even, I kept asking the same questions and telling people the same things I had told them only minutes before.
Apparently during the procedure I had wriggled, kicked my legs, and moaned about how painful and uncomfortable it all was. I recall none of this even now. I am not so sure if the anasthetic did not so much make me unaware of what was going on but just made me instantly forget everything the instant that it happened.
Memories of the journey home are still patchy and the only evidence I had to show of the ordeal was a tiny bloodied dressing that had to stay on and stay dry for 48 hours. Having to wash at a sink rather than shower brought back memories of washing in my isolation room and this morning we attempted an "upside down shower" where I hung over the edge of the bath and my wife helped wash everything above the dressing which was, in that position, now below the dressing. There was simply no way I could go to work in this heat without something bordering on a proper shower.
My memory is back to normal - just averagely bad - and the affects of the stomach bug have pretty much passed. It has reaffirmed my idea that any day is a good day if it starts with a shower. My only regret is that I didn't have my Blackberry in my pocket when Emma let loose. At least then I could get a new one.