"hey remember when you liked-"
"hey remember when you-"
"hey remember when-"
you know, i’m a raging lesbian and i was never distracted by what other girls in my classes were wearing in high school. this is a male problem, not an “attracted to women” problem.
This is an “inability to respect women” problem.
Which is a male problem.
I WANTED THOSE REPORTS ON MY DESK AN HOUR AGO
SUSAN HAVE YOU SEEN BRIAN HE HAS MY STAPLER.
SUSAN stop dancing. This is serious.
HEY SUSAN I’M GOING TO GET SOME LUNCH YOU WANT ANYTHING?
SUSAN STOP SCREAMING PLEASE
anewkindofsuperhero replied to your post “When cancer gives you fever, make Neulasta shots.”
Take care of yourself. My extra awesome Nena vibes (the rarest of the good vibes) are coming your way. Feel better soon.
I will take those good, rare vibes with much exuberance! Thanks doll! ^_^
So, yesterday, after running a fever in the high 99 low 100’s for a week, I decided to call my Hemonc and leave a message, figuring she’d want to put me on antibiotics. Fevers aren’t my usual norm. I get a call an hour later from a nurse saying that I need to come in for blood work, just to be safe. So I go in, sweating like crazy from the fever, get the blood drawn (3 vials) and hobble back to the room. The nurse takes my BP, oxygen and pulse rate. The machine had to take my BP three times before it realized I had a low BP (although that’s not that abnormal for me). Oxygen was low for me at 90%. Pulse rate was low at 53. Not so normal but not terribly concerning.
So the nurse sticks the thermometer in my ear and when it beeps she proudly says, “98.4” I shake my head and say, “No. It wasn’t in all the way and I’ve been running a fever.” So she goes to my other ear. It beeps. 99.7. Her face and demeanor totally change. “Dr. Chan will be with you in a minute.”
Dr Chan comes in and smirks, “What did you do to yourself?!” I smile back because she really is a great (and funny) doctor. I tell her what’s been going on. The fever. The chills. Being cranky from being too warm. But other than that I feel completely fine. She nods, listens to my breathing and chuckles, “You’re definitely clammy.” I apologize for being so sweaty (cause it’s gross). She points at my legs and the oddly shaped bruises, and simply states that I seem to be bruising again. I chuckle. “Well I sent your bloodwork to the hospital. Your CBC should be done soon. Can you wait 10 minutes.” Of course I can.
10 minutes later, “Well… your ANC looks… completely normal! It’s at a 2.” A pause, as a ‘normal’ ANC is not the norm for me, “But… your lymphocytes are starting to trend upwards again,” No biggy, those are my cancerous cells, we figured as much would happen since I’m off chemo now, “Your platelets are low,” Hence the strange bruising on my legs, “And you’re starting to peter off on your hemocrit and hemoglobin.” Not normal but I was expecting it anyways with the low pulse and oxygen. “I know you don’t like antibiotics, so we can avoid those today I think.” HALLELUJAH! “But… I’m going to want you to take a Neulasta shot.” Fuck. Seriously? “And if that doesn’t work, we need you to go on antibiotics anyways.” Well bollocks. Another pause and I know Dr. Chan well enough to know she’s not gonna like what she’s about to say, “We need to be very cautious here. There’s a chance you’re developing Neutropenic Sepsis, and well, you know how well that bodes.” Yes, I do. Extremely sick, hooked up to really intense antibiotics in the hospital, and a good chance of kicking the bucket. It’s how people with my cancer die. “This could also just be your new normal.” So death, or my new normal. Who knew five years ago that crap like this wouldn’t phase me in the slightest.
I head upstairs to the chemo ward, saying hi back to literally everyone who works in the building that sees me since they all know me by name and plop my butt down into an infusion chair. The head nurse with long greying hair and a caring smile comes out with the 16,000$ shot and warms it up in her hands. “We hadn’t seen you for awhile. Sort of hoped that we wouldn’t for a long time.” A wry chuckle as she tells me to breathe and pokes me in the belly. I ask her to slow down because the injection stings halfway through and she does. She covers it with a bandaid that I know I’ll have to change when I get home because they leave rashes on my belly for some reason. I thank her, she tells me to stay safe, and once I get into my car I decide I deserve a frosty from Wendy’s to cool off. I sleep for 16 hours and wake with achy bones but not nearly as warm as yesterday.
Leukemia is a trip.
Yes. He was barley.
We could make soups with him or ferment him and make beer.
"hey remember when you liked-"
"hey remember when you-"
"hey remember when-"
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO:
- Stay with us and keep calm.
The last thing we need when we’re panicking, is to have someone else panicking with us.
- Offer medicine if we usually take it during an attack.
You might have to ask whether or not we take medicine- heck, some might not; but please, ask. It really helps.
- Move us to a quiet place.
We need time to think, to breathe. Being surrounded by people isn’t going to help.
- Don’t make assumptions about what we need. Ask.
We’ll tell you what we need. Sometimes; you may have to ask- but never assume.
- Speak to us in short, simple sentences.
- Be predictable. Avoid surprises.
- Help slow our breathing by breathing us or by counting slowly to 10.
As odd as it sounds, it works.WHAT YOU SHOULDN’T DO:
1. Say, “You have nothing to be panicked about.”
We know. We know. We know. And because we know we have nothing to be panicked about, we panic even more. When I realize that my anxiety is unfounded, I panic even more because then I feel like I’m not in touch with reality. It’s unsettling. Scary.
Most of the time, a panic attack is irrational. Sometimes they stem from circumstances — a certain couch triggers a bad memory or being on an airplane makes you claustrophobic or a break up causes you to flip your lid — but mostly, the reasons I’m panicking are complex, hard to articulate or simply, unknown. I could tell myself all day that I have no reason to be having a panic attack and I would still be panicking. Sometimes, because I’m a perfectionist, I become even more overwhelmed when I think my behaviour is “unacceptable” (as I often believe it is when I’m panicking). I know it’s all in my mind, but my mind can be a pretty dark and scary place when it gets going.
Alternate suggestion: Say, “I understand you’re upset. It is okay. You have a right to be upset and I am here to help.”
2. Say, “Calm down.”
This reminds me of a MadTV sketch where Bob Newhart plays a therapist who tells his patients to simply “Stop it!” whenever they express anxiety or fear. As a sketch, it’s funny. In real life, it’s one of the worst things you can do to someone having a panic attack. When someone tells me to “stop panicking” or to “calm down,” I just think, “Oh, okay. I haven’t tried that one. Hold on, let me get out a pen and paper and jot that down, you jerk.”
Instead of taking action so that they do relax, simply telling a panicking person to “calm down” or “stop it” does nothing. No-thing.
Alternate suggestion: The best thing to do is to listen and support. In order to calm them down without the generalities, counting helps.
3. Say, “I’m just going to leave you alone for a minute.”
Being left alone while panicking makes my heart race even harder. The last thing I want is to be left by myself with my troubled brain. Many of my panic attacks spark from over-thinking and it’s helpful to have another person with me, not only for medical reasons (in case I pass out or need water) but also it’s helpful to have another person around to force me to think about something other than the noise in my head.
Alternate suggestion: It sometimes helps me if the person I’m with distracts me by telling me a story or sings to me. I need to get out of my own head and think about something other than my own panic.
4. Say, “You’re overreacting.”
Here’s the thing: I’m not. Panic attacks might be in my head, but I’m in actual physical pain. If you’d cut open your leg, no one would be telling you you’re overreacting. It’s a common trope in mental health to diminish the feelings or experience of someone suffering from anxiety or panic because there’s no visible physical ailment and because there’s no discernible reason for the person to be having such a strong fear reaction.
The worst thing you can tell someone who is panicking is that they are overreacting.
Alternate suggestion: Treat a panic attack like any other medical emergency. Listen to what the person is telling you. Get them water if they need it. It helps me if someone rubs my back a little. If you’re in over your head, don’t hesitate to call 911 (or whatever the emergency services number is where you are). But please, take the person seriously. Mental health deserves the same respect as physical health.