Thursday, May 29, 2014

Owning the battle

    I am sitting in the infusion room with an IV in my arm. I only have to do this every four months. I come here alone. Usually it is because Mandy is working. Today she had the day off and wanted to keep me company during my infusion. I told her that I didn't want her here. I don't know if she understood and to be honest I don't know if I understand why but today as I write I will be attempting to define my emotions surrounding the infusion room as it pertains to my wife
   I am just now beginning to understand the way this disease impacts the ones we love. We call them caregivers. Prior to cancer we may have called them are soulmate. I used to share everything with Mandy. This is an aspect of the disease that I refuse to share. In the infusion room cancer becomes real. In some ways I think maybe I am attempting to protect Mandy. Cancer takes it's toll on the ones we love. We don't have to share everything. Maybe I'm wrong but I do feel the need to shelter my bride. She worries enough. Even as I write this I just now had to give her a call. The nurse hung my IV bag but hadn't hooked it up. I have been sitting in this chair for an hour and 45 minutes. They just now started the drip I had to let her know that I was going to be late and not to worry. She was livid. She has worked in a clinic for 16 years said that she would never treat a patient that way. She said there is no excuse for that. This post istaeted off to be one thing but is now something entirely different. I'm sitting in the corner by myself. There is only one other patients in the infusion room. There is a head nurse and three medical assistants walking around bullshitting with each other as I sat in this chair for an hour and a half without anything being done. An infusion that should've taken an hour will now take a minimum of three. My employer pays Kaiser Permanente $20,000 year for my health insurance. $20,000 a year to be set in a corner and ignored. No one talks to me. No one checks on me. I will sit here by myself until the alarm goes off. I am completely pissed off at the moment. I worked a 12 hour graveyard shift last night. I got four hours sleep. I had Amanda wake me at noon in order for me to be at my appointment on time. I'm tired and I'm grouchy. The company I work for is in the middle of bargaining a new contract with the union that represents us. It is the company's intent to no longer offer Kaiser Permanente as a health insurance option. At this point I really hope they get what they want. I'm getting really sick and tired of the take a number and wait in line health care mentality. I'm getting really sick and tired of the lack of personal care. Sometimes I feel the patients of Kaiser Permanente are treated no better than cattle herded through the Feed lot. My butt hurts and I want to go home. I am so thankful that I only have to go through this procedure once every four months. The bag is almost empty soon they will just be able to flush the line was saline. With any kind of luck I will be out of here in another hour. The sun is shining.  I want to be on the lake or hiking in the woods. I want to be anywhere but here. 
    I am very thankful that Amanda's not here right now. And in saying that this blog post has come full circle. We can shelter those we love from this disease. Not all of it of course but definitely from some of the day to day things that serve to remind them that we have a terminal disease. Thank all of you for reading and God bless. Todd