Uncomfortableness, thy name is hospital chairs.
In January, my boyfriend became very sick. In one day he went from going to the doctor about not feeling very well to being hospitalized and sent from Red Deer to Edmonton.
The reason for this swift hospitalization was that blood tests had shown his hemoglobin, platelets and white blood cells to be dangerously low. In fact, the nurses were surprised that he was able to walk to the emergency room with hemoglobin levels as low as his were.
Edmonton hematologists completed test after test in an attempt to find out why his blood counts were so low. At first they thought he had aplastic anaemia because he had it ten years ago. Unfortunately the bone marrow biopsy they did came back negative for aplastic.
After a week, they had found out the root cause of his blood problems. He had Myelodysplastic Syndrome which is more commonly known as MDS and is basically a fancy way of saying that his bone marrow was creating abnormal blood cells. It was also a nice way of saying that without a bone marrow transplant he would get acute Myelogenous Leukemia within a year.
The good news was that once the disease was found, treatment could begin and my boyfriend was released from hospital. The catch was that for 7 days a month, we needed to go to Edmonton so that he could get Vidaza treatment.
On top of that, when were weren’t going to Edmonton, he needed to get blood work done at the Central Alberta Cancer Center 3 times a week. And at least once a week he was getting red cells (which takes around 2 1/2 hours) and platelets (which takes about 35-45 minutes).
During all of this testing, treatment and blood work, I got very intimate with hospital chairs. I have sat in them and held my boyfriend’s hand while we waited for test results. I curled up in them and tried to read while my boyfriend napped through blood transfusions. I have even slept in them while he was kept in the emergency room because they didn’t want to release him with his white cell count below normal.
And, let me tell you, at no point did I comment on how comfortable hospital chairs were. In fact, they are quite the opposite. It is extremely difficult to sit in hospital chairs and not change position in the hope that this new position will somehow be more comfortable.
So, when we found out that they had found a 10/10 match for unrelated bone marrow, I was extremely excited. I saw the end of hours spent in hospital chairs.
Well, his transplant was on May 9th and I still have not gotten out of the hospital chairs. Yes, he is doing a lot better than expected and has been released from hospital. But, we still need to go back at least 3 times a week for blood tests and fluid. As well, we need to keep a close watch in case he gets Graft Vs Host Disease because that could mean even more hospital visits.
Hopefully by this time next year I will be done with those horribly uncomfortable hospital chairs.
By the way, if you are reading this post, please donate blood, sign up for a bone marrow registry, agree to donate organs or donate comfortable chairs to your local hospital. You never know how many lives you could save and how much stress you can relieve by giving a little.