HSCT Journals

March 2nd: Arrival Home

by | Mar 8, 2022 | Blog Posts, HSCT Journals | 2 comments

Our flights on the 1st went as well as planned, although long and arduous. I drugged myself up as much as possible, and when the drugs wouldn’t shut down my overwhelming symptoms, I ordered tequila. (Yeah, yeah, I know not the best idea, but I was desperate for sleep).

It worked and I slept. When it wore off, I did more of the same. I caught maybe 3-4 hours of sleep over the course of 11 hours of flights/transfer/etc. In my defense, I have to add here that I rarely – if ever – got more than 6.5 hours of sleep a night for each night I was in MX. I was in serious sleep deprivation.

We were due to arrive in Vancouver at 10pm local time (12am Monterrey time). Lisa shook me awake to prepare for our exit. However, it was all in vain as another passenger had passed out during the flight and we had to wait until the paramedics came in. I could have slept another hour, but well, how did we know?! (The guy was OK in case you were wondering).

As a handicapped person, I am the last person off the plane, waiting for my scooter to come up from the hold, making the night even longer. I know, be patient JBug, but when you’re sick, and exhausted, patience doesn’t exist. I was fit to be tied.

We get through Customs within two minutes. Dude didn’t ask for any of the required entry documentation, nor the reason for our trip abroad (so much for all that ridiculous screening we had to do).

I am so glad we had a hotel booked for the night as I couldn’t fathom getting in a car for the 2.5-3 hour drive to home.

I had been to the restroom perhaps 20x (??) during the trip, felt filthy from all those public restrooms, wanted to have a hot bath and wash up before crawling into bed. Silly me, it turned out to be a lethal combination: physical exhaustion, mixing drugs/alcohol to sleep, the heat from the bath (MS + heat = neurological failure). So at this point I have to use Lisa’s description of what happened next…..

Apparently I went silent in the bathroom. Lisa heard a clang and a bonk, and given my disabilities, she came into the bathroom to ‘sus’ it out. Apparently my water bottle had tipped over. The lid wasn’t on so water was pouring out, and worse, I was sort of slumped over (hmm, musta been quite the scene). I do recollect struggling to get my legs into the appropriate leg of my jammies, but as many of you pwMS know, the feet don’t always cooperate and go into the right leg. **Sigh**

Lisa said I kept passing out, was telling me to wake up, and somehow dragged me into bed. Apparently, once there I flipped on my back and started snoring (oops, bad roommate huh?!). She stopped worrying about me at that point, thinking with all that noise, she’s alive and well 😉

By 10:30 am the next morning, Lisa’s partner, Ian was at our door to chauffeur us up north and home. What a bunch of champs they both were for looking after me so well. I can’t thank them enough 💜.

All in all, it was approximately 29 hours from when I left Monterrey to when I got inside my home.

Ian dumped my luggage inside out as per my request, did as much as he could and left me to rest. I flopped on my bed and thought, what the fork has just gone down these last 4.5 weeks….? My gosh, my head was spinning from everything. Like, EVERYTHING.

Sometime around 8:30pm my toes were really hurting. I looked down saw and that it was because they were really swollen and my toe rings were cutting off circulation. Aghast, I realized my feet were just as swollen, as were my legs, body and up to my shoulders. I have never seen such extreme swelling of my abdomen (and no, I didn’t have a bowel back-up this time). I can’t even post a picture of it, it was so sickly. I got on the scale and had gained about 8.5% of my body weight in fluid.

I thought OK, my body was dealing with some kidney issues and/or cytokine release from the Rituximab infusion (click here for cytokine release syndrome). I reflected on whether or not I call 911, then thought, nope that’ll mean another IV so I figured I’d wait until the morning to see if it resolves……

It was a good decision. Once again, that ‘Golden Hand’ on my shoulder was still working it’s magic and the swelling had begun to resolve.

All I can say (once again) is, how grateful I am for everything, somehow working out ❤️


  1. Graeme

    I think I was pretty exhausted after reading this post….what a trip!!

    Keep at it JBug!!!

  2. Jim Horner

    Welcome home Jenny, Call if you need anything.


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