So it’s been a week of Plasmapheresis treatments (3 in total). A Monday, Wednesday and Friday of treatments, sparing a day in between for recovery of my veins and psychological sane state of mind.Overall it’s been a difficult week that slowly progressed alongside a pessimistic attitude. My gloomy mental state was due to the unfamiliar and subdued air of the hospital’s Apheresis Unit. I cringed at avery unpleasant sight of the poking of needles and was saddened by the reminder of my misfortune. However these feelings were only temporary during each visit and were soon replaced with emotions of sorrow not for myself but for the others in the same room. I was the fortunate one in most cases. Plasmapheresis is a therapeutic blood treatment for many autoimmune illnesses but other blood treatments were done in the unit as well. Patients that had stem cell and blood donor treatments done were also in chairs beside me. And I couldn’t help thinking that their lives were in a much more delicate and fearful state. My heart went out to these co-patients next to me and I kept thinking how unfair life can be. How we pass people on the street and don’t realize that some carry a heavy life threatening burden on their shoulders. How we take things for granted, don’t appreciate people and what they do for us and forget that they can just slip away from us without much warning.
It’s a place of desperation and yet it’s the place of chance and opportunity. Where we can get fixed and retained, held by the hand and assured we’re in good hands. I explored new feeling while I laid strapped to the blood filtering apparatus for three hours at each visit. I felt grief and sadness for my state, anger towards my disease of Myasthenia Gravis, concern for others who were next to me, grateful for my health care and compassion from nurses and staff. It’s a time to think. And it’s not easy to sit for a few hours and have few distractions from your thoughts. But it’s good to give your mind some battleground time and work through your emotions.
At each visit I felt relieved that it was over. Each one flew by even quicker than the previous visit and I found it healing not only physically but also mentally. I can’t express my gratitude for my healthcare givers, they were so kind- they make the most unpleasant experience not only bearable but somewhat fun. You find yourself having a little chuckle here and there from the warmth and care that they provide. And that helps too as they say… laughter is the best medicine.
Now that the week is over I feel amazing. Today was the first day in almost two years that I felt “normal” – symptom free. I have my strength back, depression gone, I feel healthy, good and positive. So much so that I made the family pack up for a hike and canoe ride in our local Conservation park today. What a great day. I just want many many more like this one.
I’ve learned that it’s normal to be uneasy and nervous about a treatment but you need to let go and put your trust in the health care system. I am exceptionally grateful – with apologies to my non Canadian friends – to have completely free health care from OHIP here in Canada. I can’t imagine dealing with an illness and not having the financial comfort of health care.
I am back to being hopeful about my treatment and the possibility of a cure. I realized that good old ‘hope’ is the way to go. It helps us to remain intact and far away from the edge of despair. I wish for everyone going through a difficult situation to stay hopeful and positive – even one day can change your perspective! Hope you get your day soon!
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