Home again. That alone is cause for celebration. But the “clean out the blood” journey is far from over. For once in my adult life (OK, maybe 2-3 times), I need to become a disciplined person.

The only long-term discipline I ever showed in the last 30-40 years was the willpower to get up every day, get cleaned up and ready for work, make the commute in time for first company meetings, deal with people and problems for the next 10-ish hours, then make the reverse commute home. Some years you could add an air flight or two to that day. I did this every day, without fail, for about 40 years.

But I developed a lifestyle wherein when I was away from work, anything goes. Food, wine, sophomoric evenings spent with drinking buddies, golf days…the pressure valve was off. Party time, and then back to the work discipline for five days.

That lifestyle eventually caught up with me and my changing metabolism. Since retiring from full time employment, I’ve struggled to find a new, better cadence for my days. Turns out I’m going to have to learn to be a daily disciplined person for the first time, fast.

My days for the next three weeks are highly regimented. A detailed 15 minute process for self-administering IV antibiotics is the framework. At 6am, 2pm, and 10pm, I have to go through this process. That means it’s the last thing I do before bedtime and the first thing I do upon rising. With a bonus round at 2pm.

The other part of the discipline impacts the 23 hours per day I’m not self-medicating. No exercise, nothing that will make me sweat and muck up the IV site attached to my arm (a midline, in RN terms). No alcohol. No swimming. No air travel with the midline. And because I can’t exercise, I’m going to need to eat a calorie-restricted diet – otherwise, I’ll trade a bacteria problem for an almost as bad weight/diabetes problem.

On one hand, it’s only three weeks. After that I go to once a day antibiotic pills. On the other hand, it’s an extreme lifestyle change and imposed discipline that starts now. No easing into this. Wish me luck.