Day +3

Well, sure enough, as soon as I declare boredom with my routine, things change. This afternoon my throat was so damn dry and sore (a totally normal symptom of the near-total absence of my old immune system) that, aided by Kate’s presence, concern, and support, I finally did the sensible thing. I asked my doctor and nurse to help me out, and they were more than happy to do so, with a painkiller (which turns out to be Dilaudid), some throat lozenges, and a switch in my diet to something a whole lot easier to swallow (literally): protein shakes, “magic” ice cream cups, or some other cold, sweet things along those lines. They’re also going to get IV versions of the anti-rejection and antibiotic pills I’d been taking so that those will be administered painlessly; even a small sip of water is an effort right now.

I will admit that I’d been feeling rather proud of my surprising lack of mouth sores and my good appetite; the word “tough” had even been used in my connection (a first, as far as I can recall), but there was no denying that lunch had been a major chore to gulp down and that I needed to ask for some help. Even talking is something of an ordeal at the moment, and those who know me can guess how unusual a state of affairs that is. Fortunately, the Dilaudid didn’t make me too woozy to do my usual stint on the exercise bike, though it did make my large institutionalized-plastic La-Z-Boy knock-off feel awfully comfortable for an hour or so.

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