Day 9 was a Friday. What happened Friday is a blur, but I do remember vividly the early morning routine. I was not needing I.V. meds much anymore, but did still need a 15-min. infusion of an antibiotic on Friday evening. My night nurse, C., chatted w/me about her family, and we commiserated about what it is like to have children who are learning to drive (For The Record: Terrifying on Every Level).
When 5:00 AM rolled around, C. came back to draw labs, and the twenty-billion other things that were now so routine that I gave none of them any thought (lift your arm for the blood pressure cuff, hold out the opposite hand for the O2 gizmo...next the stethoscope...blood draws via the H.catheter...). When it came time to provide a daily urine sample (one of the mortifications of life in the hospital), I dutifully donned my slippers, grabbed the ever-present I.V. pole, and shuffled my way to the bathroom, which was about ten steps from my bed.
It was only as I stood at the sink washing up that I realized: I wasn't connected to the I.V. pole! Sometime during the night, C. must've disconnected me without my knowledge. I was so used to dragging that pole around with me, it was now my habit.
I laughed like a lunatic as I threw open the bathroom door, and shoved the pole out ahead of me, letting it roll into the room on its own.
Me: < laughing > Do you know what I just did?!?
Nurse C: Oh my gosh! < doubled over, laughing > I thought I forgot to disconnect you!
Me: That is really pathetic.
Nurse C: < howling > Oh, I can't stand it! Don't worry, I won't tell anyone. <nabs first nurse to walk past in the hallway, then tells her the whole story.>
Me: That's right, kick a patient when she's down. I see how it is...it's O.K. I can take it...
I was happy for the laughter, because the neupogen shots I'd been getting each night (to wake up my bone marrow) had started to hurt quite a lot. Laughter made me forget the pain for a while.
I texted one of my friends a shortened version of the story.
Me: Just brought the I.V. pole to the restroom, even though I wasn't connected.
Friend: Maybe you should give that thing a name, if it's going to be hanging around so much.
Me: Yeah...something onerous. Like...Mephistopheles. Ha! That's it.
So, from that day forward, my I.V. pole was known as Mephistopheles, or "Meph" for short.
I had been listening to "Beethoven's Last Night," a rock-opera by Trans-Siberian Orchestra (TSO). Here's a written version of the story. Mephistopheles is the devil, who tries to trick Beethoven into surrendering all of his music.
On Friday, my ANC reached 330, up from 90 the previous day, and 10 the day prior to that. Things were moving in the right direction.