Friday, 13 May 2011

Waltzing with Percy...

(To the tune of Waltzing Matilda)

Waltzing with Percy, Waltzing with Percy
"You'll come a-Waltzing a Percy, with me"
And we’ll sing as we waltz to the loo and have another wee,
"You'll come a-Waltzing a Percy with me".

Those of you who have read previous posts will know that Percy is my drip stand. If I need to use the loo, I need to unplug Percy and manoeuvre him along the chemo suite, exercise a 180 degree turn, negotiate the door sill and then try to use the loo one handed. If I only needed to ‘visit’ once or twice in five hours this really would not be an issue. However the chemotherapy involves the intravenous infusion of about 1460 ml (1 litre and 460ml) over 5 hours. In addition I am expected to drink too, so add in 4 cups of tea and 5 cups of water adding an estimated 900ml of fluids. This total of more than two litres of fluid PLUS the side effect of increased urination means that I get to take Percy for a waltz quite a few times. Why waltz? Imagine, dear Reader, a length of plastic tube running from back of right hand up to a machine (this is a fancy meter measuring speed of flow of infusion, time elapsed and senses bubbles in the mix), this is then connected to six footish high metal pole, holding the bag with meds in. The pole is set into a base which has five arms with castors on the end of each. There are two sorts of base, one with shortish arms (about 20 cm) and the other has arms close to 40 cm in length. It stands fair to note that the one with longer arms is harder to ‘drive’. The first time, as a learner driver of drip stands, I ended up tied to Percy because I exercised too many rotations and twisted my tubing around his pole body. This is when I learned to waltz with Percy. I needed to work out how many graceful turns I needed to execute to free myself from his clutches. I succeeded eventually, not without ‘helpful’ comments from my fellow patients. This time, a wiser and more experienced chemo patient, I was grace personified and Percy and I waltzed with style, many times up and down the room.
Off to the loo, my darlings.