Tuesday, August 19, 2008

This is a chemotherapy day.

It starts at 5:30 and ends at about 5:30, too. Charles has another driver today, so I won't be attending.

He and his driver will arrive in Jackson at about nine. After having a breakfast of biscuits and sausage here they were on the road at seven.

At the hospital, they'll claim one of the wheelchairs and set Charles aside in the lobby while Brian parks. Charles can walk with a walker now, but hospital corridors tire a healthy person. Then it's off to the blood lab for an extraction done by some of the best stickers you'll ever see. Take a ticket and wait in line. A number and a set of labels come to you. Poke, label and done. Then to check-in for the cancer clinic.

At check-in they confirm the patient identity and take vitals: temperature, blood pressure and weight.

Then to the clinic lobby where they'll wait to see a doctor. In two trips, I could see that it was a familiar place. The receptionist has ongoing conversations with the patients she knows.

After about four hours at the hospital, treatment will start, which takes about an hour and a half. The chemotherapy nurse (the last one was a man who spent about half an hour slowly injecting a red drug into the the IV tube close to the port), then the IV drugs will start.

Last time it took about an hour and 45 minutes. Then there's lunch in Jackson, then the drive home.

It's a long day.

And it's a good hospital, if slow. I like the doctors and the nurses and the helpful people in the halls.

I was a little confused when I took Charles to the hospital the first time, when they kept him. The doctor had given me a card, so I emailed him. I had an answer within an hour and a half, signed with his first name.

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