October 17th, 2010. Oh what a night!   7 comments

Last night’s sleep wasn’t so restful.  Here is a not-so-quick recap of our evening.
Saturday night, Charlotte woke up crying about 11:30 and felt warm.  So we took her temperature and she was running a fever-about 100.9.  Per the hospitals instructions, we waited another 15 minutes and it was even higher-101.7.  So we called the hospital and they told us we had to come into the ER to have her blood work looked at and cultures run to determine if she had a bacteria infection.  Then they would probably give her some tylenol to bring the fever down and give a quick IV antibiotic to cover her for 24 hours just in case it happened to be bacterial.  So our little Pumpkin had to go through the port access needle poke again.  But the good news could be that it could be a quick visit and we could be heading home in just a short while.  We were told that they had called the ER ahead of time so it should be a pretty quick process to get her in and looked at and out again.
But this was still an emergency room.  And that sort of “quick response” stuff just doesn’t happen.  We left our house for the UW ER at 12:15 and got there right about 1am.  We got into a triage room and a our own ER room within about 25 minutes, but had to wait another 40 minutes before we saw a nurse who explained to us what they were likely going to do while she was there.  We known all of it already because the hematology/oncologist on-call Dr had informed us over the phone that this is why we would need to come in.  But the nurse spent about 5 minutes telling us the process, and also mentioned there was no pediatric or hem/onc doctor on call in the ER so we would just be getting the regular plain old ER doctor to come have a look.


Charlotte and Mommy watching Scooby Doo at 2:30am


He showed up about 2:15am (we had been there for two hours now), and took a quick look at Charlotte and didn’t seem too concerned about her condition and verified the twice-already-spelled-out-treatment-process for the night.  Then he left and we sat on our asses for another 45 minutes until the nurse showed up with the port access needle and supplies somewhere around 3am.  So in he middle of the night, while we should all be wrapped up in our beds, Mommy and I went through the heartbreaking process of holding down our screaming and crying precious little two year old for the 4th time in less than a week while the nurse poked the needle into her chest then tried unsuccessfully to draw out blood.  She then spent another minute repositioning the needle within her port to try to find the magic spot while Charlotte just screamed bloody murder.  After almost a minute, the nurse looked at us and asked if we knew what size port Charlotte had!  We had never even known there was more than a single size-I was horrified that she may have put in the incorrect needle and would need to start alll over again.  But she soon found the right angle and depth for the needle and was able to draw some blood and send it to the lab.  We noticed that she had brought no tylenol with her and asked her to get it.  Our Charlotte was now going on three and a half hours of a fever and a heart rate over 170 without any sort of pain relief.  She was still being a little brave soldier and when the nurse left the room, she cuddled into Mommy and tried to get some rest.  The tylenol was soon to arrive and we were left alone for another extremely stupid length of time.

Somewhere around 4ish the doctor arrived and told us that her lab results were in.  Her white blood cell count had dropped a bit, but her neutrophil count went from 770 on Friday morning to 1360 early Sunday am.  So he was not very worried about Charlotte being in too bad of a condition since her count was so high.  She was probably not in danger of pneumonia or those other rotten illnesses.  We did ask him about the antibiotics and he said they would be coming soon and then we would probably be going home.

The antibiotics arrived about 4:40 and she would be off of them by 5:10.  Then a quick flush and a temperature check and she should be out the door.  But her temperature was still 100 degrees, only two hours after her tylenol…so Mommy and I were still worried.  Our magic number to call the hospital was 100.5.  Were they really releasing us to drive almost an hour home to come back if she went half a degree higher??  Mommy was not about to let them pull her needle out if we thought we might have to come back right away.  We were not going to put her through that if we had any choice at all.  So we checked with the nurse, and she checked with the charge nurse, and then they checked with the doctor.  He said he was really not too concerned, and that we should just monitor her temperature and eating, drinking, activity level, etc…we could give her tylenol every 4 hours and ibuprofen every 6, and call back if it got above 101.  So we held her down again while the needle was pulled and got the hell out of dodge around 5:30.
We got home around 6:15am and went back to bed.

The rest of Sunday was spent trying to get some food into her and monitoring her temperature throughout the day.  She had a nice long nap of course and stayed active for most of the day.  We were told that they would call us back if something had shown up in her blood cultures because that would mean we get readmitted right away.  We are hoping that call doesn’t come.  Amy and I feel that it could be related to the dose of cytarabine (chemo) she received in her spine Friday during the bone marrow biopsy.  A similar thing happened our second night in the hospital a month ago and they thought it might be due to the chemo.  So she received tylenol every four hours when she was on her 10 day cytarabine cycle.

All told, we spent four and a half hours in the ER and another hour and a half on the road.  Last month, the entire process- including blood culture draws, antibiotic, and tylenol, took 15 minutes…I don’t want to say that I miss the old days in the hospital, but there has got to be a better option than this…

Posted October 17, 2010 by L. Elske in Uncategorized

7 responses to “October 17th, 2010. Oh what a night!

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  1. patience, patience, patience,and then wait for the results. Sounds like the wait was worth it, but why so long? Glad you are doing so well

  2. Ah, Scooby Doo at 2am – those are the moments 😉 I am sorry it took so long though =(

  3. Hugs and kisses, love and patience. Last night was awful, but Charlotte got to come home again! Yay for small victories amidst even the rough times!

  4. Hopefully your wait in the ER wasn’t as a result of them tending to Badger fans who had been tailgating since 8am! 🙂 Sorry you didn’t have a great night, but you are all phenomenal for being as patient as you could be!!! Hugs!

  5. Hi there. Sorry to hear of such a rough night for you all. Understand the “almost wishing” that it was like it was back in hospital without the wishing to be in hospital thing. Hope that today brings WONDERFUL news for you all!


  6. I think you are learning alot about what to do and what not. But the sad part is Charlotte having to go thru it again.
    You both are learning more of the medical systemed but it can take a toll. So take care we are praying for better days.

    Joe & Sue Kaminski
  7. Yikes, sorry to hear about your horrible night! ER visits are never enjoyable, especially late at night. I hope you got some good rest on Sunday.

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