Saturday, December 22, 2007

Notes from the Hospital

Thanks to everyone for the outpouring of love, humour, and support. I shouldn't be surprised because I try to choose my friends and colleagues carefully, but... damn. You guys are great. I want to answer you all individually, but there's only so much I can do on a thumb keyboard before I collapse from fatigue.

I believe Tamu has sent hospital contact info, but I wanted to include some important notes about gifts, food and visits.

For the most part, the issue is germs. Leukemia screws around with your immune system to begin with, and chemo, like the military and most personality cults, breaks you down before it builds you up, so everyone's immune system here is sketchy. So please take these notes seriously.
  • Please don't send flowers. I'm allergic to many pollens anyway, and they can be loaded with pesky bacteria.
  • I love fresh fruit, but unpeeled fruit (and fruit that can't be peeled, like strawberries) are also havens for bacteria.
  • Sushi is right out. (Is there no end to the cruelty?!?)Because of my dry/sticky throat, I can't eat chocolate (apparently, there is no end to the cruelty), cookies, crackers, salty foods, doughy foods or really starchy foods without trouble. I was just told they're going to try a treatment which will ultimately control the problem, but until then, these foods are just exercises in torture.
  • If you have even the slightest whiff of a cold or fever, don't come. I'll miss your company, but not your germs. Besides, I'll be here long enough that you'll have time to drop by when you're better.
  • If you're coming from out of town, I strongly suggest you have a hot shower and change of clothes before visiting. If you're coming from another country, I insist. My mother cut her trip to sunny Jamaica short, and I'm making her do the same.
And now it's time for me to take a nap. See? Exhausting. Later.

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