running my mouth 

  • Drew Dotson

Day +7: The sky's the limit

Whew. Today has been up pretty high on the “hard” scale. A trip to the bathroom at 4:00 a.m. yielded a small battle scene. Ramón’s PICC (a long-term IV running to a large vein in his chest) got tangled up in his IV pole and managed to escape his arm entirely. Because his platelet count was so low and his blood was slow to clot, this resulted in three nurses cleaning up while a literal sandbag was placed on his arm to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. Then he got a unit of platelets. Rise and shine.

Ramón’s throat pain is still quite severe, and that has been our biggest challenge. Hiccups who? We’re still working to make him comfortable, but his symptoms will likely last until his white blood cell count starts to recover, enabling him to heal. It’s brutal to watch the torture he experiences merely swallowing water. Please let the healing come as quickly as possible.

Through his pain, Ramón and I managed to walk 32 laps together – about three miles. Around lap 13 or 14, we passed the nurses’ station and saw them looking at a menu, picking out lunch. Barely audible due to his throat, Ramón tapped me and said, “We should pay for their lunch.” After a moment of processing, I realized that, even during one of the toughest days of his life, his kindness prevailed. So, we ended up spending $177 on sandwiches. Although Ramón hasn’t eaten lunch since April 5, his thoughtfulness filled the stomachs and hearts of some very hardworking people.

Since today had us feeling defeated and depleted, I’ve been eager for it to end so we can start anew tomorrow. All day I told myself that, if the sunset was beautiful tonight, we’d be in good shape for tomorrow. We dozed off watching some TV, and I woke up panicked that I missed the sunset. I hurried over to the window, and what I saw left me speechless. Actually, that’s a lie because I was obnoxiously yelling for Ramón to come look. This heart in the sky let me know that things will get better. They will indeed.

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