The Bad Day

Last Wednesday was a bad day. Everyone has them. A day when nothing goes right, or worse – everything goes wrong. A day when you screw something up or get screwed; a day of perpetual bad news bombs going off, one after the other. I’m not sure if I would classify last Wednesday as that bad, but it still kind of sucked.

I started out at a local cancer center for my blood treatment. It was a new location, but the other one was booked up and I needed to be seen sooner. My treatment usually takes ninety minutes, two hours if something goes wrong. I was there for nearly four hours. The nurse who was doing my treatment was very nice and friendly, and by the time I left, I completed my treatment… but only after two blown veins, incredible discomfort and pain, and an arm that was bruised and unusable in places that should not have been affected. I’m not blaming her… I was not as hydrated as I usually am because the appointment was early in the morning instead of my normal time in the early afternoon. But when I think about going back to this new location for a second time I’m nervous because I do question if she is the right nurse for me. She only gets to work with one arm (my other arm has a fistula) and I’m skinny with delicate, rolling veins – so my body doesn’t exactly make it easy, but that just means I need that much more of an experienced or nuanced nurse.

Having it take so long kind of messed up the rest of our day. We (my husband and I) didn’t get to eat lunch and were not able to go back home between that appointment and my appointment with my kidney doctor later that day. We had to go right from one to the other. My kidney doctor is great and I enjoy seeing him (he is by far my favorite doctor) but he had some not-so-great things to tell me. They’re not terrible; more like potentially-terrible, but it makes me worry. So, I can’t say that made my day any better. (I’m still digesting those not-so-great things, so that’s all I’ll say for now.)

After that we went to a store for the deaf and hard of hearing. My audiologist, who we said hello to earlier in the day because she is in the same complex as the cancer center, called it: The Show Room. The place was really great and the people there were so friendly. I haven’t been able to use the phone for three years, and they had an old model of a phone that translated what people said into text I could see. So, I might be able to use the phone again! 🙂 I’m really excited about that. We bought a thermos (it’s red, naturally!) and a game to help us begin to learn sign language, before jumping into activities with deaf people. We learned the hard way – it’s a little too intimidating. I know you’re probably expecting me to tell you how this experience went south, but it didn’t. It was the one untainted, completely bright spot of my day – and it’s important to recognize the good moments in an otherwise awful day.

I’m grateful to my husband who found this place and made it a point to go. And I’m glad that I kept an open mind. In the past, Roy (my husband) has encouraged me to go to deaf dinners or activities and they usually backfire. I’m between the world of the deaf (I am deaf to about 60%-80% of pitches/sounds no matter how loud, and everything else needs to be over 110 decibels for me to hear it) and the world of the hearing – not really fitting in with either. But at this store I felt welcome and like I did fit in, as they covered the whole hearing spectrum. I also saw what’s all out there to bring back some normalcy to my life (like the phones where you can see what people are saying) and as well as things to look forward to in the future (like the remote that I carry on my person that tells me when the baby monitor is going off – we both really want kids and this has been one thing I have worried about – me not hearing my own child crying). It was a wonderful experience and I know we’ll be back.

Before heading home from a very long day, we decided to stop and get some coffee since we were hardly ever in the area and love trying out new places. We settled on a coffee house and tried it out. The barista was nice and seemed very knowledgeable. I asked for a cup of water to go with out to-go order and he said it was no problem. I was feeling dehydrated. Part of my blood treatments involve them taking out massive amounts of blood (okay just around one unit [450ml] but I’m only 115 pounds so this is more than 10% of the total blood in my body) so if I was going to have coffee, I needed some water to go along with it.

We paid for our order ($10) and gave the barista a $2 tip and waited. He gave us our coffee, but forgot the water. So I waited a few minutes until he finished with his new customers. He apologized and gave me a glass mug of water. He went to help some more customers and we waited again. Our order was to go, and I doubt he wanted me to take the glass mug with me. When he was done, we politely asked for a “to go” cup, and he was not so nice back, “We don’t do that. If you want some water to go, you’ll have to buy it.”

Was he serious? I was angry, but also exhausted and just wanted to get home. Had I felt more like myself I would have pointed out that a bottle of water cost less than the amount I tipped him, so he should feel free to take it out of his tip. If he still wouldn’t budge I would demand a full refund, letting him keep our coffee and refunding everything. I couldn’t believe he was so worried about the cost of a plastic cup. It probably cost more to wash the glass mug he gave me. So, really what was the point – other than irritating us and tainting our first experience at the coffee place that up until that time was going so well?

We left, and I never did get to enjoy my coffee, because it was an iced drink and without water, I knew it would be a mistake to drink it until we got home. With traffic, it took fifty minutes to get home and by then the ice had melted and it didn’t taste right watered down.

When we got home and took the bandages off my arm from the treatment I saw that my arm was bruised in large areas and bulged out where both needles had gone – this is not normal. Even more disappointing, I didn’t feel any better after my treatment. Usually I feel better within an hour, at most a few hours. But the entire day was gone, and I still felt crappy. And the next day and the day after – no change. Which probably means I need to go back in for a second treatment sooner rather than later.

So, it wasn’t a completely horrible day, but it definitely was up there. I didn’t post anything on social media because I like being funny or witty or in rare instances thoughtful… and saying I had a crap day or complaining just isn’t my style. I don’t want to put that out there. I’m hoping to figure out ways to help me feel better until the next treatment and not worry about the news from my other doctor’s appointment that day, so that I can be back to that place of fun and frivolousness. Until then, I am just chalking it all up to a single bad day. Everyone has them. No big deal.

-DMW

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