SCT Day 8 – Achieving Balance!

When you get on a seesaw there needs to be two – that’s just the laws of physics.  As a kid that was readily apparent and your ability to outweigh and thus control (once you pass that ripe old age of 7 or 8) the seesaw and wreak havoc on your buddy was the advantage you sought.  But prior to that, when bouncing up and down, asynchronously, continuously, with purpose was truly enjoyable, without balance it just wouldn’t work.  Now we didn’t choose our friends based upon their weight in comparison to yours but if the two of you were within 3-5 pounds then riding a seesaw was great fun and could last for hours.

Chinese philosophy also talks of balance, Yin and Yang working together and when out of balance your Chi becomes unstable leading to issues that you can’t seem to figure out.  You may not realize it but things usually get better once you achieve that sense of balance.  That balance could be work and home; kids and wife; fun and religion (saturday night vs sunday morning!)  Balance is balance and it’s not more recognized that here in the hospital.  And like any good mathematician, the focus is on the numbers.  Like any experiment there are very specific, defined parameters – known and controlled.  And rarely is there something that upsets the seesaw.  Unless, of course, you’re Bill, aka LiquidMan, bladder boy, whatever!

If you’re on an IV drip then there is a very specific amount of liquid being placed into your system throughout the day and evening.  Your body will process and get rid of what it doesn’t use.  And in the case of a saline drip, you’re keeping hydrated but not necessarily holding on to that water.  So if I’m getting 100ml/hour then I’ve geting 2400 ml per day.  Initially that was in the 175ml/hour level.  Bottom line, 3k in there should be 3k out.

I had 10k out!  Yes, 10k out!

I threw the control – EXTERNAL FACTORS – screwing the equations, messing with the doctor’s heads.  At that point I needed to introduce them to LiquidMan!  At work, on a normal day, I will drink a minimum of 4 liters of water.   I have four bottles at my desk that I maintain and refill.  At home I will go through at least one other bottle, if not two.  that’s 6 liters of water in a day.  Arriving here, I knew this was going to be a wreck on my system so I stocked up – 3 bottles of gatorade in the fist two days.  My brother brought 12 liters of Smart Water, I brought four.  My brother has restocked me twice now.  He’s done the math as to what I’ve been through – I just know it’s a lot.  And it threw the doctors off course for a short while.  At first they thought I might be stressing my kidneys, pushing through that much liquid.  However, I pointed out that this is a normal occurrence.  They finally bought into my thought process and agreed this is fine as long as my electrolytes stay up.  Another reason why i’m doing the SmartWater (added electrolytes).

This process makes everything taste bad, even water, but I’ve kept at it and believe it’s not a bad thing.  For those monitoring me as they (or loved ones) get ready for this, please just realize it is to each their own.  I drink a lot of water to start with.  I believe flushing the system is important and helps overall.  I think the electrolytes and important as well and I just cant do the gatorade any longer.  But back to balance…

Once they realized the discrepancy for my input/output ratio they cut back on the IV which helped relieve the number of times I visited the restroom.  I did ask them to increase the amount a little as I found the hydration helped, somewhat, with dry mouth and everything else.  But again, I digress, it’s the balance that I came to discuss.  Hopefully my point is clear – they monitor the ins and outs so that they can assume that ‘balance’ exists, the Yin/Yang is in equilibrium.  Unfortunately, you monitor both the ins and the outs and that’s where things get nasty!  Especially when one of the side effects of the chemo kick in and you have to “track” the output!

There has got to be a better way! :)