Friday, January 8, 2010

Back to the Hospital

Sammy spiked a fever over 102 degrees on Sunday night, just as he was settling in for an early night ready to go back to school after the break.  The moment he heard the reading from the thermometer, he dove under the covers and cried out that he "didn't want to go back to the hospital".  He must live in fear of that every evening! 

The doctor was called and he confirmed that we needed to go to the ER.  Sam and I packed and left all bundled up to protect us from the bitterly cold night air.  Sam was not talking to anyone, he was too upset.  I had a knot in my stomach the size of a melon, and Brian was consoling Jack who was upset Mummy was leaving. 

We had the usual night in the ER...lots of waiting around and bloodwork.  Finally we were told that we needed to be admitted to CHAM 9 to get antibiotics and to be monitored.  He had a high fever and very low counts; his ANC was less than 100 (normal is over 1500).  By 4:30am we were in a corner room up on the ninth floor and Sam had been put into isolation.  My head was spinning as his counts had been good on Thursday, just three days prior, and now we were in isolation on the Hem/Onc ward. 

Sam had continued to have fevers up until Thursday and remains in isolation (now in his own private room - 915).  He has been so brave, having extra doses of oral meds to take and having to be accessed and prodded and poked.  It is impossible to rest in a hospital!!  Naturally, I have been trying to get to the bottom of things and have spoken to Dr. Gorlick, head of the division as he has been on rounds this week.   My main concern has been this: why is Sammy in isolation, with everyone wearing masks and treating him like he's made out of china if he is expected to go to school even with very low counts.  Dr. Gorlick explained to me that the fear is of bacterial infection, not viruses.  He may get a bacterial infection form food or just from his own stomach bacteria.  These are the issues which can cause problems.  If he gets a virus, which is can do at school, he may feel yucky but it is just like being another ordinary kid without cancer...stinks but it's not dangerous!  Brian and I are rethinking all the food habits we have picked up and feel a more conservative approach would be best.  Not that we haven't been careful when we knew Sam was neutropenic, but we did tend to order in or eat out when we thought his counts were up!  Not any more!!!

Thursday, Sam's counts were so low he needed a blood transfusion.  This was a very hard day for me as I began to get seriously concerned about the fevers and low counts meaning the infection was more serious than just a common rhino virus (cold).  I always dread watching someone's blood get pumped into my little boy, waiting and hoping for no reaction.  Sam was also very low in spirits and energy today (I am not surprised, he had no cells in his blood)!!  We watched a lot of Spongebob and completed most of a Hidden Picture book - he loves doing these and is very good at them.  Judy was our day nurse and I really like the way she is on top of things.

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