Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Monday, August 15, 2005

Be Anxious For Nothing

Miss Tara checking for a good vein

We overslept this morning. My fault, I carefully set the alarm for 6:30 am, but neglected to actually turn the alarm on and I closed the drapes, a double whammy.

I woke up at 8:10 am (6:10 California time), 20 minutes prior to Steven's first appointment, so true to form, we threw on some clothes and arrived late for our first day in the hospital.

Steven's favorite assessment/triage nurse, Miss Tara, weighed him and since he needed blood drawn, offered to insert his I.V. since he needed an IV for his MRI later in the day, and this way he only gets stuck once.

Miss Tara hasn't ever inserted an IV for Steven, and he wasn't ready for it. Despite his anxiety, he held still and didn't say anything, because he likes her so much.

But the tears started flowing and when we asked him why, he finally said, "Elomax". Elomax is a creme that numbs the skin and they usually apply it to all the prospective needle sites half an hour before sticking him.

So we decided to go to his clinic and get the Elomax. After we were out of Miss Tara's presence, he told me he wanted Miss Leslie to put his IV in, she's the one who normally does it and trust with needles is something that doesn't come easy for Steven.

Testing his lungs

Next was pulmonary testing, followed by an EKG, as the chemotherapy drugs that Steven took during treatment can cause damage to his lungs and heart.

After the tests were finished, we visited Miss Leslie and she put Elomax patches on both hands and we went to lunch while the Elomax numbed his skin.

Miss Leslie showing off her IV insertion skills

After lunch, we went back to see Miss Leslie the nurse and Miss Angie the child life specialist. Miss Angie always makes ocean sounds and the seagull calls to calm Steven's nerves. Steven told her she sounded like a crow on our last visit, so Angie studied up on how seagulls sound during her recent honeymoon so she could make authentic birdcalls for Steven this time.

Miss Leslie got it in the first time, cementing her untarnished record. And Steven got through the procedure without ativan and without six people holding him down, a first for him, just a few tears. After he calmed down, he was quite relieved, he's been worried about this IV for a month.

Then the cognitive testing, where Steven sits in a room with a psychologist for six hours and answers questions. They used to do it all in one day, now they break it up into two 3-hour sessions on different days. This is where they try to measure what all that radiation did to his poor brain.

The brain MRI was our last appointment of the day. Our favorite MRI tech Mike did the scan.

No results yet, we'll hear tomorrow.

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Phillipians 4: 6-7

- Kathleen

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