Friday, May 6, 2011

Friday, May 6, 2011

Sometimes boring is good. Not everything in life needs to be exciting.

Take, for instance, airplane flights. Uneventful is desirable. Flights which are eventful are memorable for the wrong reasons. I remember the Aeroflot flight from Odessa to Moscow because white smoke started pouring into the cabin. The stewardesses (they weren’t called “flight attendants” in 1977) came barreling down the aisle, shouting, “Stay calm,” which was a little difficult to do with them waving their arms around our ears. We never did find out what happened, but we had gotten used to living without explanations as students in the Soviet Union. After the smoke cleared and the stewardesses settled down, they passed out stale hard candies from a basket, telling us the candy was to help take our minds off of whatever it was that happened. I passed on the candy, and decided we were probably better off not knowing.

So another thing that is good to be boring is a Rituxan infusion. Before you have it for the first time, the nurse hands you a print-out setting forth all the scary potential side effects, not just after it kicks in, but also pointing out all the great and wonderful things that can happen in the first ten minutes. I’d already read all about that from medical journal articles, so I’d had some mental preparation. Thinking positively, I figured if I didn’t go into anaphylactic shock right away, I’d be okay.

After the first uneventful infusion, I assumed Rituxan and I were going to get along as well as could be hoped for. But then I started hearing stories about patients who developed some issue later in their treatments – maybe we build up some intolerance. And today, after dealing with distasteful issues at work, I came home to this New York Times article about one nurse’s hair-raising day caring for a patient getting Rituxan: Grreeaatt.

Good thing I have a little get away before the next treatment. So I’m wishing myself, and any of you traveling these days, nicely boring flights and «Счастливого пути

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