Friday, August 3, 2012

The IV

Dr. Digre wanted me to start the three-day dose of steroids ASAP. Problem was, it was a weekend. Her receptionist arranged to have the medication kit delivered and to have an infusion company assign a nurse to come to my home to insert the IV into my arm.
The nurse’s name was Stephen.  He seemed a little a little gruff on the phone, but softened when he asked me about the veins in my arms. “I have great veins,” I told him. He replied, “I love you already.”
He was a military man; he made home nurse visits as a side job. I mentioned that I was planning to play a Symphony concert at Deer Valley tonight and asked if he could place the stint in the middle of my arm where I could hide it under a long-sleeved white shirt and it wouldn’t bother me too much. He exclaimed, “You’re planning to what?” We laughed about the possible psychosis the steroids could bring on and the strange reactions I might experience at the concert -- like suddenly standing up on my chair and offering up my own rendition of Orange Blossom Special or something.  I was a little nervous about how I would react to this stuff.
First dose went in smoothly. Burned a little, but nothing I couldn’t handle. Experienced a nasty bitter metallic taste in my mouth, but that was all. 
The IV itself was an amazing little contraption. Instead of hanging a bag on a stand and having to be stationary until it empties, the medication is screwed into the stint and then I can just stick it in my pocket and go about my normal activities. It empties on its own in about an hour, we unscrew it, flush the stint with saline and then insert heparin to prevent the blood from clogging. It is quite a slick process.
The symphony concert went well and no one was the wiser. Amazing that I could execute the difficult passages with clarity and increased speed. I smiled to myself about this aspect. I think Jack Ashton, my stand partner sensed something, because he kept turning the stand my direction. Maybe he was just being his usual kind and thoughtful self.

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