Friday, November 28, 2008

Humor in the sorrow

Understandably, I have had lots of emotions in the last two days. Moments of tears, moments of fear, moments of anxiety (which Ativan is the perfect cure) and laughter. Each time we meet a new nurse, I introduce myself and Brett, and tell her we are all about being positive, with some smart ass sass. Everyone has been wonderful here.

I have this large IV poll next to my bed, and sometimes have three lines going into my central line. Earlier tonight I told Brett, "I was thinking about getting a pole (i.e. stripper pole) in our bedroom, but this is not what I had in mind!" Brett has been wonderful, and he has not left my side. He told me it is worse for him when he's alone because he can't handle his emotions. My parents arrived this afternoon, and Brett will stay here through Sunday, and Mom will start staying with me on Sunday night. That is the plan for now.

I had the absolute best ambulance ride up the 405 to UCLA around 3pm on Thanksgiving. My transport guys were wonderful; a really tall black guy who played basketball at Kansas was my driver, and a really large guy sat next to me in the back cracking jokes as we people watched in traffic. The two had never transported anyone to UCLA, and with the hospital being new, we got lost on the way. My doctor at Hoag said I had to be in my bed at UCLA by 5pm, or I would not get to start my chemo. We left at 3:30 and hit traffic, but these two knights were determined to get me in bed by 5:00.

We hit bumper to bumper traffic at LAX, and they were told not to use the sirens. As we inched close to the Wilshire exit, my driver said, "We have 15 minutes, I'm going Code 3" - next thing I knew, sirens were blaring and we were running lights and driving down the wrong side of Wilshire. Because these guys didn't know where the "new" hospital ER was, they turned on Le Conte to drive past the old one. At this point we realized we were lost. We drove up Hilgard, past the Tri Delta house and sorority row, then took a small road down the center of campus. Still not sign of the ER. And of course, it being Thanksgiving, the campus was deserted. When we did find a lone man walking down the road, the drive tooted the sirens and yelled, "Where's the ER?" Startled and possibly in need of new underwear, the guy pointed up the street and off we went.

When they got me to my floor, they took me to my new room. Wouldn't you know it, the floor had just been waxed, so they had to find a new room. These guys were adamant about getting me in bed by 5pm. I overheard the nurse say, "Room 11 is open", so I looked at my guys and said, "11 is my lucky number!" My driver shouted, "This woman needs room 11 right now!" and they swiftly carried me to my new home. When I transferred myself onto the bed, the three of us looked at the clock - 4:59 p.m.

High fives and fist bumps went around the room, and my paramedic knights bid me good luck and farewell. So, my entrance to UCLA had flare no doubt. And we were laughing all the way.

I miss the kids, especially Jenelle. They have been staying with Brett's parents. Tonight, I spoke to Jenelle, and Grandma said she gave me the biggest smile. Brett's parents are bringing them tomorrow for a brief visit. I am looking forward to it. Jack misses me, but knows I am sick. He will be OK.


Laura said...

What a GREAT and funny story. I can only imagine how funny that was to have an ambulance with sirens stop to ask for directions. AT least they asked! Some men would be inclined to drive around for hours lost.

Brooke (CrazyRN) said...

Whoohoo!! WTG Drivers! (BTW...I'm totally thinking it's b/c he's from Kansas! Everyone from KS is kick ass! LOL!)

I'm so happy you have internet access, I'd go crazy if I couldn't get updates like these from you!

Keep stayin' positive! We're all here for you!!


Me said...

This was awesome! I just laughed at the ambulance having to ask a stranger where the ER is! LOL.

Timestep said...

Laura was right, that was a great visual! Then again, they were smart enough not to tell dispatch they were lost -- they'd never live that one down!

Can Brett ask to speak to the clergy on staff at UCLA? This way he can talk to someone but not have to leave you to do it?

I'm sure there is a cancer support group that will meet, but I'm not sure that's his style. But, a member of the clergy just might.

Unfortunately, no-one will think to offer, so you will have to ask.


Anonymous said...

Kate here from the Jan '00 board.
I am thinking about you... I love your positive outlook and sense of humour!!!! The ride to the hospital had me laughing!
Many prayers and positive thoughts.

Fantastagirl said...

LOL at the ambulance drivers. I'm so glad they got you there on time!

Anonymous said...

Kelly I love the visual of your ambulance ride. It sounds like a scene straight out of the movies. Good vibes headed your way.

Yolie Valdivia-Nungaray

Kim said...

I loved this cute story! I would have been flirting with the cute emt's as well... did you say they were cute? I am assuming they were ;)
You're all in my prayers

Anonymous said...

Your description of the ride to UCLA was fantastic! I'm with's totally because the guy was from Kansas! Praying for you guys!

Anonymous said...

You are positively amazing! My heart aches for you, and for Brett, but I smile because I know how strong you are. Hang in there and please, please, please ask for anything. Tell Brett to ask, too.
Jennifer Wilson

Bonnie sayers said...

Sounds like another wild ride through the streets of Los Angeles. Glad you got room 11. I would be looking for Room 3 as that is my fav number.

I am going to google to find out where this new Hospital is. I am near downtown and drive city streets and not freeway, but sure it would not be an hour drive to get there for a visit.

I have loads of magazines I get in the mail and books, I will compile a list and send DM thru twitter or post here, whichever way is easier for you to get and respond to if possible.

Bonnie (autismfamily) on twitter

Vajana said...

wish i loved closer to send you something. You are in my prayers! love the great attitude, keep it up!!

Rebecca said...

The attitude is so important to have! Tell us what you like. What sorts of books? Any goodies we can sneak in through a care package? Kelly, we are thinkin of you and would like to do what we can from afar. Can you post a room number and address to send stuff to? Have you read the Twilight Books? We are thinkin of ya!

Anonymous said...

Kelly! Just got your new news and catching up on it all...quite a lot to undertake for you..all of you. Thanks for sharing Jenelles sight and keeping us posted. Lots of hugs and certainly prayers over you and your family! xoxo Randlyn (EAOC)

Tonie Auer said...

Girly, you will find the fun in anything, won't you? I'm glad. Hang in there. You are most certainly in my prayers - as is Brett and the kids. I know this is hard on all four of you. Thankfully you have family in the area to help out with the children. Let everyone help you!

Bogart said...

What a great ride...and that story will be a great one to your grandkids!

Anonymous said...

Whoa! Kelly! Post-Thanksgiving thanks for wifi in the hospital!

Prayers for your family beginning today and continuing through your (temporary) illness.

The rest of us will really benefit from your journaling through this experience - hoping it works to benefit you, too - you know, in a therapeutic way.

My heart and understanding go out to Brett. My Hubby says that the hardest time of our lives was when I was sick and bedbound for 10 weeks, 15 years ago.

The children will be fine, I predict. You have an attitude going-in that will benefit you all. I will continue to look for and read your blog (as well as pray for you). I hope you will draw strength from the comments left here.

Sincere best wishes for more knights, and a few angels, on your journey at UCLA. Barbara

Billie said...

Oh my goodness... You (and your family) are in my thoughts.