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Darlene’s Journey

Diane Prather
Pipi's Pasture

To put it mildly, laughter/humor is known to have positive effects on the human body. It helps us get through stressful times. An example is a stressful situation my sister Darlene Blackford (of Rocky Ford, Colorado) and her husband, Miner, are dealing with at the present time. Miner is recovering from hip surgery, and he needs three antibiotic infusions each day to fight a bacterial infection. In order for Miner to be at home, Darlene administers the infusions.

A while back, Darlene formed a support group for persons caring for someone, and when the members talked about the values of humor, Darlene wrote the following about her own experience to share with the others.

(Please note that Darlene wrote her story in a poetry format, but I couldn’t figure out how to fit it into my column space, so I copied it as paragraphs. Otherwise, it is exactly as she wrote it.)



Darlene’s Journey Through 144 Antibiotic IV Infusions- Quite an Adventure These Past 6 Weeks

This is a typical day:



Alarm goes off at 5 a.m. Resist the impulse to throw the phone out the window. (I am NOT an early riser by nature.) Go to refrigerator and take out antibiotic ball; a cold arm helps the waking up process. Set antibiotic in with rest of infusion supplies (antibiotic has to be out of refrigerator for an hour to come to room temperature.) Go back to bed. Arm still cold—put under pillow. Set timer for one hour.

Timer goes off in one hour. Resist impulse to open door and throw phone out into the backyard.

Get grip on self and instead set timer to a nicer ring-tone like a chime or bell sound. Get up, put on slippers, go to bathroom and wash hands. Realize that there will not be hot water for a little bit in mid-

January. Cold water completes the waking up process.

Put mask on. Tell hubby to put mask on. Hubby still asleep but somehow complies.

Dry hands thoroughly; gloves will not pull on if there is even a teeny, tiny bit of moisture on hands. No deal. Wash and dry again. Get another pair of gloves. Some gloves will not pull on at all—too tight at the wrist and yet baggy at the fingers. Resolve to write to glove company and ask what could they be thinking!?

Unwrap alcohol wipe from foil packet. It’s the size of a postage stamp; unfold (with baggy gloves) to the size of two postage stamps. “Scrub the hub” is the cheery direction from the antibiotic company “for 15 seconds.” Begin counting “One thousand one…one thousand two…” but cannot remember what comes after one thousand 12.

Scrub the port! Forgot to tear plastic wrap off wrapped saline syringe; put a NEW cap on the port while fingers in baggy gloves completes that task. Scrub the port! (“One thousand one… one thousand two…”)

Take top off saline syringe and attach to port. Wonder what would happen if you plunged the plunger really fast. Would husband’s eyes bug out? Resist the impulse to find out.

Scrub the port! (“One thousand one… one thousand two…”) Unwrap alcohol wipe and get out second little postage stamp alcohol swab. Twist plastic top off antibiotic line. These are tricky. Some are easy—others have been so tight that it requires pliers (and alcohol to wipe pliers). Actually did call the company and also the nurse… who OK’d the use of pliers (wiped off with alcohol first.)

Put antibiotic ball in a glass—and take snap guard off so it will flow. (Forgot one time—had to start timer over.) Hubby still asleep. Resist impulse to throw husband out the window. Take off mask and gloves… maybe take mask off sleeping hubby if didn’t follow through with above.

Go back to bed… or make coffee… or read for 30-35 minutes. In the 122 times I’ve done this, I find the time is not the same for all the antibiotic to flow into the port. Timer goes off in 35 minutes.

There’s more, but I’m out of room. Humor… it’s wonderful! Thanks, Darlene!

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