A day in the life....

Some of you may know that Courtney was diagnosed with Chron's disease last July. While we weren't thrilled with the diagnoses, we feel like we have great doctors and that everything that can be done, is being done.

One of the things we are doing right now is every 2 months she goes in for treatment. It is a long day with the drive up to Swedish first thing in the morning and then our 5ish hours of treatment, then the drive home in rush hour traffic. I don't think either of us look forward to it. This last one was her 4th, so to spice it up and add a little fun to the mix, I told her we were going to document the day in pictures. I was only allowed to use about half the pictures, but these are the ones that made the cut.

Here is the parking garage below Swedish. It's nice not having to track through the rain to get inside the hospital. Plus, since it is several levels below ground, it is always quiet (insulated) and warm. Love Courtney's enthusiasm!

We always seem to forget what floor we park on, so we needed a picture of our reminder. D is for Deer... so we are on the "D" floor. Unfortunately it changes each time. Thanks for your interpretation of a deer Courtney.

We were going up in the elevator when I reminded Courtney of the previews of that freaky movie that is out. Where several people get caught in an elevator and someone/something starts randomly attacking them. This is her reaction. She wanted to know if we could take the stairs... NOT.

This is the check in desk where they double check your insurance and send you to the proper floor... which we know is always East tower... 9th floor.

Which brings us to this check in station... where they pretty much L O V E us. Except for the fact Courtney has a fear of IVs.

Usually we go straight down the hall behind Courtney, but this time we were taking to the right of the station. Our old room had a bed and was private, this one has two seats.

Next comes the weigh in to ensure she is gaining weight and is healthy.

Then comes the blood pressure cuff. She dislikes this too, although I will say she is getting better at it. The first few times she thought it got to tight. She would never buy into my comment "it is just a nice little hug for your arm". I think she is getting pretty buff, so this is a blood pressure/see my muscles shot.

Getting and IV is not one of our favorite things. So the nurses devised a way to make it easier. First the heart rate monitor that glows on the tip of her finger... and Courtney's impression of ET.

Then the mask... "LUKE.. I AM YOUR FATHER." She is given a little nitrous to relax her a little while they insert the IV. She has veins that don't like to be poked and often collapse after getting the IV in. So it isn't uncommon for her get up to 5 shots.

The first time she was given nitrous, the nurses wanted to know how it felt so they could tell younger patients what to expect. She said that everyone was like cardboard cutouts and she felt like a cut on someone's arm. But she said it was dreamlike and relaxing. So here we have success! IV is in and life is good.

At the beginning of her treatment, they give her some steriods in case she has a reaction to the medicine. We joke that she ends up with roid rage. So this what it looks like to take out your aggressions on a pillow. Better it than me.

And then the meds start flowing.

She can only have clear liquids for the first 2 hours of treatment (once the meds start). That means she can't eat solids until around 2:30 or later. So here she is sampling some of that tastey, delicious hospital chicken broth.

She wanted to know why she couldn't just suck the medicine through the IV and be done with it. I think that even if it tasted horrible, she would do it in a heart beat.

And then the waiting begins.....

And we waited...

and waited...

And then it was time for lunch!

Here is the lunch room on the bottom floor where I go down and get food for the famished patient. I think I can find this place with a blind fold on. Except then I would be in an elevator by myself with the strange creature that attacks people.

One thing we love about Swedish is the BIG cookie. It is almost as big as your face. There is sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter and some raisin oatmeal concoction.

And then when your daughter asks for a sip of your drink, then licks her finger and sticks it in, there is just something unappetizing about it and you just let her keep it. (supposedly she was trying to get something out of it... uh huh)

And then when the adminstration of the meds is finished, and the blood pressure is okay, and we take one last look out our view of the city, it is time to bid farewell to our nurses until next time.

I hope you enoyed the picture documentation of our day as much as we did.


Tiffanee said...

Courtney is amazing and inspiring to all!! Thanks for sharing your strength and humor!!

cathy said...

So sorry to hear about this going on. But, so happy to see that you are taking charge and helping others. You are both amazing...