This past week, my spleen once again mutinied and my platelets tanked. As a result, I was invited back to the fabulous Virginia Hospital Center. Unlike last time, I didn’t have to ride up to my room in a wheelchair and a backless gown, and was even allowed to go home and feed the cat and pack a bag before I checked in. So as you can see, it truly was like a mini vacation.

Seriously, check out the view:

I was admitted to a unit named after a Robert E. Lee  but probably not THE Robert E. Lee.  After getting settled in, the nurse came by to ask me about five billion questions (I’m pretty sure we’re going steady now). Including the standard “Do you smoke?” and “How much do you drink?” When she got to the “Have you had thoughts of harming yourself or others?” I asked if anyone was ever like “Well, actually…..” She said no.

That night they started the transfusions that were going to get my platelets up. Which means I sat there for about four hours with an IV hooked up to one arm and a blood pressure cuff hooked up to another. Let me tell you, it’s fascinating to have your blood pressure taken every 15 minutes (and I’m not being sarcastic). You start to realize exactly what raises it. Let’s just say I got an email and two minutes later when the cuff went off, my blood pressure went from 118 over something to 147 over something.

The next day, the doctor came to visit me and my platelets still weren’t up to where they wanted them, so they planned to do another infusion that night. Also, the surgeon who is going to remove my spleen in a few weeks (yes, it’s come to this, the “last resort” – which for the record I thought should have been the second resort) came to visit, and he wanted me to get a CT scan while I was there.

When the time came for the CT scan, I drank my berry flavored barium cocktail and was ready to go! I walked out of my room thinking “great! I’ll walk down to where they do the CT scans. It’ll be nice to walk somewhere!” And that’s when I come face to face with the gurney sitting outside my door. Yep, they wheeled me down for my scan on a gurney. I thought being wheeled through the hospital in a gown holding my bag on my lap was bad? No, being wheeled through the hospital on a gurney is now THE most ridiculous thing I’ve ever experienced. After my scan, when a different orderly was wheeling me back to my room I made that comment, and he said “You could have come down in a wheelchair.” Well, where were you 45 minutes ago my friend? Wheelchair was not an option I was given!

I thought I was going to have to stay in the hospital through Thursday (I had just started practicing my Army crawl to get past the nurses station), but my platelets were up to acceptable levels by Wednesday, so I high-fived my spleen and we prepared to leave (I know he’s getting the boot in a few weeks, but there’s no reason we can’t be friends now).

I’m hoping this is my last stay in the hospital for a while (other than the time I’m there to get my spleen removed). Mostly because I do not agree with their rationing of beverages. Below is a picture of the diet soda and water I received with my dinner as compared to a pack of gum:

Also, next time you order a stack of pancakes at IHOP and think you’re OK as long as you don’t get the two eggs, two slices of bacon, two sausages and coronary on the side, keep in mind that this is what the hospital considers a single serving of pancakes: