Thursday, July 08, 2004

Count the Dracula Days

Well, Dad got told that his haemoglobin levels were so low that he had a choice. Transfuse or Die. Except the Doctor was more euphemistic and described the second option as "hitting a crisis in 3 to 4 weeks".

The famous, $750.00 a shot, yet common-as-muck Eprex, just wasn't working. It's supposed to encourage the production of red blood cells. Eprex is a bit controversial at the moment in how it is administered, to its primary markets, namely Chronic Renal Failure patients. Apparently when administered subcutaneously, it can cause more harm than good to these patients. Eprex is also heavily prescribed to cancer patients suffering from anaemia. Prostate cancer metastasis (metastasis means migration from the origin to another part of the body) into the bones of course ends up affecting the marrow and red blood cell production. So your body can just wither away or internally asphyxiate.

Transfuse he did, and it went smoothly yesterday. I have to be thankful again for summer and sunshine. It made a hospital cheerful that in March was a grim concrete Reaper.

And so the first of the Dracula Days has been done. I am exhausted. His quality of life seems pretty poor to me already, yet the nurses seem to indicate that he is doing very well compared to their other home-care patients. He can actually sit up, stand up, and he can more or less enjoy his food. Despite the fact that he can only do this with morphine, canned oxygen, blood transfusions, nausea tablets, and resting in bed over 90% of the day.

What is the point of civilisation if it takes Christian principles and modern technology to these extremes where people are kept alive in modes of suffering that defy the need for Visions of Hell in the Afterlife?

One man's civilisation, is another man's barbarism.

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