By Christopher Cudworth
So the sliver that tried to kill me may be gone, but its entry point into my system brought with it some funky microbe that remains unidentified and must be treated with utmost caution.
The doctors only know they want to kill it. That means 3 hours a day of antibiotic infusions, done by me at home with a couple bags, a bunch of plastic cable and some plastic syringes. Every day. So far.
My house looks like a lab from Breaking Bad.
But I’m following instructions the best way I know how because infections of any sort are not to be messed with.
Still, when the call from a nurse at the infection clinic came, my jaw dropped.
“Your antibiotic counts are at 6.7,” she tells me. They need to be at 12.
“You’re too healthy,” she says. “Your kidneys work too well.”
She’s telling me this? I’ve been shitting my butt out for 5 days straight and she’s telling me my kidneys are too good? What else is working well?
“How often are you doing your infusions?” she asks me.
I sigh. “Once a day for three hours,” I tell her. “I’m doing my best.”
“We might need you to do two infusions a day, every 12 hours to get you to where we need you to be.”
Me. Silence. “What?”
“You’re working now, right?”
“Yes,” I tell her. “I have to work. For a living. I like working.”
“Hmmm,” she responds. “That’s a problem.”
“I could get up at 4:00 a.m. and do it until 7:00 a.m., I suppose. But that doesn’t leave me much time to sleep. Or do anything else for 3 solid weeks.”
“You could do that?”
“I didn’t say I could do that,” I answer. “It was mostly hyperbole. I was joking.”
“Well, I’ll talk to the doctor,” she says.
“Perfect,” I say.
Nurse calls back in 5 minutes.
“Okay,” she tells me. “You’ll be done with the drug that takes 2 hours to infuse. We’re going to inject a different drug instead.”
“How’s that work?”
“Well,” she says. “We have to do the first injection here. At the clinic.”
I’ve always hated the word clinic. Suggests some sort of social disease. But I must admit the sliver pretty much fucked me over. So perhaps it still holds true.
“Then do I inject the drug at home from now on?”
“Yes. It’s really easy. The syringe looks a lot like the one you do the saline with. Only it’s bigger.”
“Bigger?” I burst out laughing. “It’s bigger? You say that like it’s positive. But I have to tell you, most people don’t associate bigger syringes with happy circumstances.”
The nurse starts laughing now too. Then I laugh more. Pretty much we’re not talking at all any more. Just laughing as we hear the other person laugh. Glad I could make someone else’s day. And my own while I’m at it.
Fuck it, I think to myself. It’s a FRIDAY. We both deserve to laugh.
Because getting well from a random infected sliver disease is so insane, it’s almost perfect. Like a Reality Show.
Chris Gets Over It. What a happy ending.
But I’m going for a run tomorrow with barely any clothes so I won’t sweat and mess up the pick line bandage. Then I might ride half naked to keep even more sweat off me. A week is too long to knock off. Cold turkey.
Blood pressure 129/78. HR 54. I’m calm. I really am.