Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow

Cabin fever is starting to set in. Not because of boredom, but because outside looks so bright and sunny, and I'm stuck in here.

It doesn't help that a few patients here aren't doing so well, so sometimes the air is pierced by their cries of anguish. Hearing their family members crying isn't encouraging either. I often think about the fact that I got the good news about my biopsy around the same time one woman got the news that her mother's rare form of cancer was untreatable.

Anyway, there are a few obstacles to returning home, and they're starting to fall away. First is the neutropenia; my neutrophils remained at 0.0 until last night, when they went up to 0.1. A count of 0.5 for two days straight is required for discharge. We're told that once the levels start moving, the rate of recovery can vary considerably. I may hit 0.5 tomorrow, or I may hit it Friday.

Second is my switch to nasally applied DDAVP, which keeps the effects of the diabetes insipidus in check. It's taken a few days, but it looks like we've finally hit upon the right dose.

Third is an issue that, for the longest time, wasn't an issue. For the first time in weeks, I had a low-grade fever last night—so low-grade no one would have noticed it if the thermometer hadn't registered it. The fever didn't last more than an hour or two, but I can't be released until I've spent 48 hours fever-free.

So although the docs would like to see me go, I'm stuck here for at least a few days. (One theory is that the nurses are fiddling with the results so I don't leave. None have denied this as a possibility.)

In other news, my hair is fleeing my skull at an ever-increasing rate. I've noticed that I wake up each morning more clean-shaven than the last. Vicky and I figure I should be completely bald by the end of the week. So far it looks like my eyebrows and eyelashes are unaffected. So far.

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