Monday, February 23, 2009

Straight for the jugular

Day -18 Health Score 83
Every institution has its own style. University hospitals move at a certain pace because of their size and hierarchical complexity. Private hospitals tend to market their flexibility and efficiency. Kaiser has superior integration and collegiality. The VA moves by the weight of it own inertia carrying a gravitational field relative to the behemoth that it is. The Mayo Clinic is unique in its ability to fast track a diagnostic work up while greeting you with a sport coat, tie and smile at every visit. What is not unique is the caliber of physicians and nurses at each of these institutions. There are great doctors everywhere (just as there are those with poor bed-side manners equally distributed) One should not judge the quality of medical care by how long you wait or whether the front desk just sees you as another warm body.
We waited a lot today. But that's OK.
I picked up my mom at 4:00 AM to drive to Stanford.
I received my first Neupogen shot this morning and then went to the ATP (Ambulatory Treatment and Procedures) Once finally in the fluoroscopy room, the nurse asked what style of music I wanted. He programmed Coldplay into Then he gave me some wonderful chemicals Fentanyl and Versed. I felt just fine as they tunneled the 12 French Hickman catheter over my right clavicle and into the internal jugular vein. The doctor had a little trouble getting into the inferior vena cava due to the distortion of the anatomy where my donated heart is connected to my native IVC. But, alas, the 0.035 angled glide wire with the 'magic' Terumo tip one again saves the day. (This is what I rely on to get past obstructed stones in the ureter). Also, I am so happy when MD's buffer their lidocaine with sodium bicarb. It doesn't burn so much. Now I have this catheter hanging out of me for the next few months (Banned from the hot tub).

I am staying at yet another Residence Inn here in Mountain View. They have experience with BMT patients and their strict precautions. Overall, today went fine; I am just left with a sore stiff neck. (No longer hard-hearted, now just stiff-necked).


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