The weekend started out fine, on Friday, 9/21/07, I went to work as usual and then immediately went to the hospital for my weekly Herceptin treatment. This treatment takes 1/2 an hour and has no side effects. I also began a drug called Zometa which is for bone strength. This treatment took about 15 minutes. I was feeling great. My Oncologist cleared me for travel and let me know she was on-call this weekend which made both of us more comfortable with the idea of me traveling.
Next it was off to the airport to leave for NYC. My plane was delayed so Scott and I went for a quick bite to eat, and then he dropped me off at the airport. I waited about 2 hours to board the flight, as there was air traffic control problems in NYC, and we kept getting delayed. I eventually made it to New York and took a cab to sister's place where I was promptly greeted by my brother-in-law. It was wonderful to visit with them for a while and get a tour of the new apartment...which by the way, is FABULOUS.
Around 2:00am I was awakened by the feeling of being so cold in bed I thought I was losing my mind. I began to violently shiver and could not bring myself to get out of bed for another blanket. I was so cold, it was almost paralyzing. After a couple hours of shivering, I finally fell back to sleep. I woke again at 5:00am and took my temperature which was 102.4! Knowing that 100.4 is the "magic number" that sends me to the hospital for broad-spectrum antibiotics, I was absolutely horrified. So what did I do? PANIC (which usually isn't like me)! I called my husband and then my oncologist. My doctor told me to take two Tylenol, which I did. I dealt with chills and sweats for a few hours, but when the Tylenol wore off, my temperature shot right back to 102.0, and I began vomiting. My oncologist told me to go to an urgent care for blood pressure, to find out what my oxygen levels were, and for a complete blood count (CBC). Here is the thing-Manhattan does not have urgent care. Only emergency rooms. So two hours before my sister's shower was to begin I was being lugged off to the ER.
It ends up I was admitted to the hospital because my pulse was very high, and after three bags of saline (and multiple trips to the bathroom) my pulse was not dropping. I spent 10 hours on the most uncomfortable gurney ever. The hospital which is multiple city blocks long, did not have any available beds, so I stayed in the observation unit.
It turns out that I had a rash the week prior (which was not shingles), for which I was being treated, and a combination of whatever was causing that infection along with Zometa, I spiked a high fever. So my ER experience was just a combination of bizarre things that were out of my control.
I ended up missing the baby shower, dinner, and the play I was supposed to see. However I did get to spend great quality time with Beth and Josh. They REFUSED to leave my side, and stayed with me throughout the night in shifts. I am not sure what they thought was going to happen to me in the hospital, but I was glad for the company.
On Sunday, I was supposed to return on a 3:30 flight. My knight in shining armor, Scott jumped on a 6:30am flight to come collect me up and bring me back to Ohio. Unfortunately at 3:30 when we were supposed to leave, I was still in the hospital. My electrolytes and various blood work numbers were still falling rather than stabilizing, so they wouldn't release me. Besides, I did not want to be responsible for an emergency medical landing, so I did as I was told and stayed put. Scott and I left on the last flight out of NYC on Sunday night.
In reflection, here are some thoughts to consider as a result of this surreal experience:
1. Never try a new IV treatment and leave town the same day.
2. Sisters and brother-in-laws make amazing nursemaids.
3. Getting sick can make your husband show up anywhere, anytime.
4. If you ever get the opportunity, use a wheelchair in the airport. We zipped right through the security line, and were the first ones to board the plane - and one of the first ones to deplane.
5. Always keep a camera handy, you never know what is going to happen.
6. NYC is not half as exciting when you are visiting it from a hospital bed.
7. I do not recommend using public restrooms at the hospital unless it is absolutely necessary.
8. I love bacon!
Click on the picture below for all the pictures from the weekend.