Today was so F’d up.
I went to the Cancer Clinic to have my port flushed (it has to be flushed with saline every 3 weeks to keep everything clean and healthy). I got there at 10:55 for my 11am appointment and by 11:25 they still hadn’t got to me. I went and asked the girls (my two fav receptionists) if I should call down and let radiation know I would be late or just go do radiation and come back for my flush.
Go do your radiation.
So I went downstairs and signed in, took off my clothes and waited. Normally you only have to wait 5-10 minutes. They run the radiation ward like a McDonalds but today I had to wait almost 25 minutes before I got radiated.
Ok. Fine. Did my radiation. Got dressed again. Go back upstairs. Let them know I’m here to get flushed. Sit and wait. Again … and about 15 minutes later the nurse I don’t like comes walking frantically down the hall.
It’s not that I don’t like her – I’m sure she’s a lovely person but I’ve had a LOT of different nurses over the last 6 months and she sticks out as the worst because she’s so frantic and it comes off as incompetent. Getting chemo or radiation is stressful enough but then having a nurse work on your body while they’re energy is frantic just makes everything icky.
When I saw her I almost got up and asked the front desk if I could have a different nurse but I was so DONE with being in the clinic.
What normally is a 30 minute appointment was turning into a 2 hour drag and Fergus was waiting for me in the car so I just sucked it up and went into the clinic with her to have my port flushed.
Here’s why I don’t like her: There is a certain protocol you have to do with my port. A certain way of cleaning. It’s VERY important that it’s done this way otherwise I can get a blood infection. I’ve had this done enough times by enough different nurses to know that EVERY single nurse does it differently but the protocol is basically the same.
Not this lady. She cleans me all weird and is flying around in a tizzy like an annoying wasp buzzing your face.
#1. She’s frantic because of this that and the other thing. HEY LADY! I don’t care that you were having trouble with a patient before me. I don’t need to hear your bitching. Please FOCUS on me because you’re about to stick me with a needle. FOCUS.
#2. She doesn’t clean me the way everyone else does and when I tried to say something to her about how she didn’t seem to be following protocol she stuck me with the needle and just did the flush and then said “Oh what? What were you saying?” She wasn’t listening to a word I said.
I left the clinic feeling sick. I took Fergus to the beach and tried to walk off the feeling. I felt like I did after my first radiation. Sick, dizzy, disoriented and like I was going to die. Then I remembered … Oh yeah. This is PTSD. I was just back in the chemo ward and even though I didn’t notice all the sounds, smells and triggers … they were all there. Of course I was feeling this way.
So on the walk back to the car I promised myself that I will find out the name of that nurse so I can make sure she never touches me again.
And the next time I have to go back to the chemo ward I will go with the intention of being more aware of the triggers and not become so overwhelmed that I don’t take care of myself and ask for what I need to be comfortable.
I came home and got under the covers and stayed there until 4pm when my friend Kimmee came over for a visit and got me out of my head.
I’ve had panic attacks before … I know what they feel like and I know what to do when I have them but this intense feeling of dying/sick is so weirdly different.
I’m calling my therapist right now.