Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Nurse BP

My first night at Hotel Hackensack was memorable to say the least. I didn't "check in" till almost 6:30, after a very long consult with the transplant team, hospital admission procedures, and waiting for my recently vacated room to be cleaned. By the time I ate dinner and unpacked, I was pretty beat. I took an Ambien to help me sleep (I've been a little stressed out lately), and by 9:30 I was barely able to stand up.

The night nurse came in at about 10:00 to do a full assessment of my medical history. As I remember it, there had to have been hundreds of questions. I nodded off at least 5 times and the nurse -- I'll call her Nurse BP for reasons that will soon become clear -- kept nudging me awake. No, I don't have a pacemaker. No, I don't have removable teeth. No, no one is beating me at home....

Finally, the assessment was over, and I could sleep. Then she took my blood pressure. It was 80 something over 50 something. This was very disturbing to Nurse BP. She took my blood pressure 3 more times. Same results. She just kept staring at the machine. She sat me up and took it again. No change. By this time, I felt like a wet noodle. "It's because of the Ambien. And my blood pressure always runs low. It's no big deal," I tried to explain. Then she wanted me to stand for a minute, have another reading, lie down, have another reading, stand again, and so on. No freakin way. "Tomorrow!" I begged. She finally left at 11:15.

At 3:30 a lab technician barged in and threw on the overhead lights so that he could draw my blood. I thought I'd been dropped in a baseball stadium. That would have been the time to take my blood pressure. Instead, just when I had fallen to sleep again, the nurse's assistant came in at 4:30 for, you guessed it, more blood pressure readings.

With the exception of a rather frustrating night, things are going well. I'm in a very nice room, on a newer, pretty fancy floor with "In Room Dining" service, complete with delivery staff dressed like restaurant servers. I had all my tests and pre-chemo procedures today, and I will start treatment tomorrow. The side effects and toxicity levels remain to be seen, but I've been through it before. I can take it.

I have a new appreciation for Greenday's song, Wake Me Up When September Ends. Unfortunately, no amount of Ambien will allow for such a luxury at Hotel Hackensack.




  1. My first post vanished when I hit send.. so I'll say it again... "You give Nurse BP hell Kit... I'm luvn you and sening all my positive vibes and energy to you.. wrapped in a tight hug".

  2. Kathy, I am so glad that your sense of humor remains intact. Stay as positive as you have always been. You are in my prayers. God Bless, All my Love,


  3. Well at least you could answer "No" to the removable teeth and beating at home questions... Keep on keeping on my friend. arf.

  4. Dang! I haven't checked in on your blog since the suitcase one so I was shocked to find you back in the hospital. Please keep your spirit up..i know it's hard right now. My BIL has been fighting advanced kidney cancer for 5 yrs. now with numerous surgeries and treatments and a fighting spirit that is an inspiration to many. You are also such an inspiration, to me and I'm sure countless others! You'll be in my prayers tonight..peace be with you :)


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