I.D. bracelets

hat2When I was in the hospital giving birth to Widget and then, later, Little Bear, I was so excited to check in.  WonderDaddy and I went to the registration desk, filled out the paperwork, and got a small white identification bracelet to put around my wrist for the duration of my stay.  You know which one I mean — if you gave birth in a hospital, you got one too.  Then, when the baby was born (at last!), he got a tiny one to match, or maybe two, one around each foot, and it was a source of endless amusement, the tiny identification bracelet with bar code, as if he were a sack of potatoes that we’d just picked up at the market, and then the delight when we compared ours and his and confirmed that they matched.

Of course the bracelets are not a phenomenon of childbirth.  Every week when I went for chemo I got one too.  Not as exciting, somehow, the yellow striped bracelets that were double-checked when I checked in, when I was given the first bag of premeds, and when I was given the chemo infusion.  Every week, as we left through the heavy double doors, I paused for a moment and ripped off my hospital bracelet, tearing it to shreds, and stuffing it deep into a pocket of my jeans for destruction at home.

I thought I was done with them for a while.

But today I went down to the hospital for last-minute preop tests (you’d think they’d tell you about that before the actual last-minute) and scans, and what did they do first?  You guessed it; I got yet another hospital I.D. bracelet.  But this one I didn’t mind so much.  I left it on during the blood draw (Yes, I fainted.  But you might too if the first two draws didn’t produce any blood that flowed, and the third one, on your wrist, had to be coaxed to get enough blood to flow out and into the tube).  I left it on during the chest x-ray.  I left it on when I walked out of the hospital, and I left it on on the ride home on the Metro. 

I have to admit, it’s still on my wrist, five hours later.  It doesn’t chafe me as much as the chemo bracelets did, somehow.  I suspect that I’m tolerating it much better because of the DATE on the bracelet: 1/22/08.  The date of surgery.  They’ll give me a new one when I arrive at the hospital on Tuesday morning, but for now, I’m leaving this one on.  It reminds me that I’m going in for surgery in FIVE DAYS, and then all this suspense will be over.  Or at least lessened.  They will cut the cancer out of me and I can move on with my life (after I get the path report and after we do radiation, but who’s quibbling?).

Reason #5 to look forward to surgery?  No more bracelets, and my Thursdays will NOT be my chemo days.  They will be just another day, like any day, and I resolve to live them to the fullest.



28 Responses to I.D. bracelets

  1. canape says:

    Thursdays could be something else. Like, cupcake day.

  2. Thursdays can be just that: Thursdays.

    I’m holding you in my thoughts, Susan.

  3. Stimey says:

    I know this is a silly comment for your very serious post, but you know how they put the little lo-jack on babies at some hospitals that set off alarms if you leave with one? For one of my kids (I can’t remember which; how terrible is that) the thing slipped off his ankle during baby pictures so the photographer just put it right back on. Made me feel very safe. Quite a security device.

    You. Are. So. Close!

  4. mcgearstella says:

    I agree with canape, Thursdays should be cupcake day!

    Thinking of you! So close!!

  5. Bon says:

    i could get into celebrating cupcake day in your honour.

    but Thursdays being Thursdays…a fine thing. and i hope all your future bracelets are beautiful jewelry.

  6. Colleen says:

    I agree with Bon… a future bracelet should be in the planning. A reminder of all you’ve accomplish.

    And, I could also jump onboard with cupcake Thursdays!

  7. giftofgreen says:

    Ditto on the cupcake day.

  8. Joanna says:

    WM, this is such an interesting look at a small token, one that is sometimes cherished, other times dreaded, and often not-much-considered. How interesting that this little thing has meant different things to you in your life, and how now, it represents your future and the positive feeling you derive from it. I am the same way as you, and I think I’d also have taken a moment to ponder the symbolism. I love this post. As always, your attitude shines. Five days. FIVE. Do something nice for yourself this weekend. You deserve it. Hugs –

  9. Dawn says:

    cupcake day! man, we’re all into the sugar today!

  10. Oooh… Cupcakes AND candy bracelets… I could SERIOUSLY get into Thursdays!!

    It won’t be long now… Counting the days, right along with you!!

    xo CGF

  11. You do live every day to the fullest. You have consistently amazed me with all your energy – Christmas stuff packed away early, thank yous all done, blog redesigned, updates out, and going to chemo and writing and keeping up professionally and being a super mom and wife? YOU are amazing and I can’t wait to see what you do when you’re recovered from all this. It’s so exciting to see you so excited about surgery! Yay for you.

  12. mummycha says:

    Eating a cupcake while reading your post. I really like this blog!


  13. Alice C says:

    You are so close to the end of the second leg of your personal triathalon. We are all standing and waving and cheering you on.
    Go WhyMommy Go!

    (and now I need a sugar rush so am off to raid the kitchen for the closest thing to a cupcake that I can find)

  14. Jenn says:

    I have a pink bracelet that says “Believe” on it.

    I haven’t worn it in years, since Little A finally came home, but I keep it on the shelf in my medicine cabinet, where I can see it every day.

    I’m putting it back on today. And I’m believing for you.

  15. Trish says:

    I will hold you in my thought and prayers – believe , hope pray one day at a time … may blissful days follow any dark ones

  16. juliepippert says:

    To clean margins and Thursdays just being Thursdays.

  17. magpie says:

    Candy bracelets on Thursday, and a good result this coming Tuesday. Thinking of you.

  18. Awesome, amazing perspective again, on something most of us would never think of…its one of the reasons I love this blog.

    FIVE DAYS! The count down continues…thoughts and prayers coming your way!

  19. whymommy says:

    Mmmmm … cupcakes.

  20. kristina says:

    Hi — Kim over at BabyCenter shared you story, and I wanted to let you know that I’m thinking the kindest thoughts for you and your family. Take care, Kristina

  21. Veronica says:

    Cupcakes are a must. With fluffy bright pink frosting and sprinkles. Um, yeah…I’m a total cupcake freak.


  22. You go, woman. My thoughts and prayers!!

  23. Sending you nothing but good thoughts.

  24. imstell says:

    Do ALL the Drs do surgery on Tuesdays? Mine was a Tuesday also. 😉 Enjoy your 3 day weekend. And enjoy your morphine drip. Love, love LOVE that little happy button!

  25. Ally says:

    Wow, it’s only a few days away now. So exciting! You have so much to look forward to. My thoughts and prayers are with you tonight as always.

  26. Jessica says:

    By the way, I’m so excited that Thursdays are no longer chemo days any more here too… In fact, I just made a playdate for a thursday and I did have to pause a second before scheduling it… It almost doesn’t seem real sometimes. It’s really over.

  27. […] a pink and silver beaded bracelet from Cheryl, who hopes that I’ll get to wear beautiful ones instead of hospital bracelets now.  Funky and fun hooded towels for my kids from Yikestwins (I’m not sure who sent them), […]

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