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Brien Lee > Blog > BMT > Three Months in the Hospital and Five Months of Assisted Living… when’s “Home Alone”?

Three Months in the Hospital and Five Months of Assisted Living… when’s “Home Alone”?


I spent nearly three months in the hospital getting a bone marrow transplant for my blood disease, and have now spent five months post-hospital in recuperation with home care.

I lived with my sister and her husband for two months (she has no stairs at her ranch house and beautiful large property with broad horizons and roaming deer). My favorite is the front porch, where I can do this writing. It was often cold, but now it’s summer-like.

My ex-wife flew out from the midwest to help me for a month, and this was in my own home with three stories of staircases and a lovely pool which we won’t be opening this year because of my condition. Then my brother and his wife spent three weeks with me, and now I’ve returned to my sisters for a test week of handling many things like my medications before I’m released into the wild.

The real issue no longer is whether I can handle walking, climbing the stairs, bathing, taking my pills, or driving. I can do all that. Driving may take a bit of practice; I still rely on my sister for twice-weekly trips to the hospital (one hour and 15 minutes away).

@melpaul199 via Twenty20

The real challenge is getting the latest medication list every hospital visit and placing the pills in the pillbox for the next 3 or 4 days of ingestion. I take multiple combos of 14 pills; the doses are spread over four times of day, and it is easy to screw up.

My sister developed a system that’s easy to follow, but one change to the pill mix can change the order of things. Some weeks back, my heart medications didn’t make it to the list because of an internal error, and my brother and I had a hell of a time figuring that one out (in fact, we didn’t — my sister did).

So wish me luck — my next and greatest test is Tuesday when we come back from the cancer center. And that’s after 2.5 hours in the car, plus perhaps a blood transfusion.

Oh, boy.


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