One day at a time! Today has been another of rest and sleep. Although I did not run a temperature overnight I had a trouble getting much sleep once again due to the huge number of tests, checks and interruptions.
There is good news in this if you look hard – the doctors tell me that the return of the blood cells and general haematology health does not correlate to the amount of sleep you get. And their solution is “The best place to get sleep is at home!” Wise words but not so helpful when you are in here for a month or more.
So no extra platelets (current count 20) and Red Blood cells (Cound 85) with WCC 0.1 and Neutrophils 0. These are not expected to lift for another few days at least.
So given my obvious interest in planning I have been asking myself the question is it possible to plan in hospital and is it worth the effort?
Apart from the obvious step of one day at a time there are other attributes of planning that have helped me each day,
A standard thing is to set a long term goal and then break it down into small manageable chunks that can be easily tackled on a day to day basis.
My long term goal is to return to full health – simple.
But there are a number of aspects of this that I have absolutely no control over – I am totally in the hands of my medical team. So putting these things to one side, there are only a small number of things that I do have control over to help me reach my long term goal. There is absolutely no point in me worrying or spending time on the matters that are outside my direct control.
So the 4 things I have some control over are:
- My nutrition (to a point)
- My mental well-being and positive attitude
- Support from Family and Friends
- Physical wellbeing
Although I started working on the first to the best of my ability, the team found an inflamed small bowel was preventing me maintaining the right nutrition and moved me on to the IV (TPN) solution. This has removed nutrition from my control.
Mental well-being is a pretty straightforward. For me this is keeping a positive attitude at all times, no matter how down you might feel. You can always imagine someone who might be worse off than yourself and by keeping the mind active with things like this Blog, reading, listening to the ABC radio, watching the odd back episode of The House or Utopia I can keep myself occupied and positive. However these things have to be planned into each day – they don’t just happen. The whiteboard in the room is quite useful for planning these things.
Family support has been very very strong. As you know I had my complete family here for the first week and this was of tremendous benefit. Having encouraged Dougall to return to the US and Claire to Perth I now receive daily calls or messages to see how things are going. Lachy comes in most days.
Jan has been absolutely fantastic. She will be here from 8.00am to 8.00pm if needed and always comes with clean clothes and bed linen for me (I have my own doona and pillows). She is also there for every discussion and concern that I might have and is also a star at sorting through this blog and reworking the “Chemo Brain” gobbledegook prior to posting! (yes it is a joint effort here!)
And the fabulous support my friends have provided me either through texts or the blog (and the odd call when I can take them) of course makes a huge different to my mental wellbeing.
Exercise is important for any recovery program and it would be much easier to simply sit in the chair than pull the runners on and get out there. For this I have a strict plan of 4 sessions each day at 6.30/10.30/3.30/6.00pm. This is on the whiteboard for me to follow.
So in conclusion planning is important in hospital and for the very limited things I have some control over, applying good planning principles should help me achieve my long term goal.