Saturday, June 6, 2015

Our first ER visit

Callum's been fighting a cold for some time, and I guess it finally got the best of him this morning.

He woke up early, coughing quite a bit (usual for us these days).  After a little bit of video games, he came into our room and climbed into our bed, complaining he was cold.  I could tell he was a little off, and as he started slipping in and out of sleep, I knew it wasn't good.  Sure enough, he also felt warm to the touch.  :(   He was asking for his Gatorade and was complaining of nausea too.

So, I quickly got the Gatorade, gave him some Zofran, then took his temp.  Of course, it was all over the board which was frustrating.  His highest register was in his mouth at 101.7 (not good at all).  He had varying (and lower) temps under his arms, but he seemed to be getting warmer as the clock ticked, so I called the on-call oncologist to see what we should do.

She agreed it didn't sound great, and asked us to head to the nearest ER.  She was going to call ahead giving them instructions on what to do, while we got everything ready and shipped out.

The last time we visited this ER was a little over a year ago, when we weren't sure why Callum was in such excruciating pain, but knew something was wrong.  Roughly one week later, he was diagnosed with leukemia.

Last time, they rushed us right into the back of the ER and saw us immediately.  This time, however, was different.  There were a handful of others in the waiting area but, to be honest, no one looked at all like they were in critical shape or injured or anything of the sort.  I started to wonder if they were all visitors.

When the triage nurse FINALLY came out to the window so that I could speak to him and tell him we needed to be seen IMMEDIATELY, he said yeah ok - check into the kiosk and sit down to wait.  There's a couple of other people ahead of you.

Ummmm.  Ok, I'll try to be patient for about 5 minutes while my moaning son who's limp in my arms continues to get hotter and hotter.

The security guard was way more helpful and actually followed me to the kiosk and helped me enter in our info since my hands (arms) were full.  Thank goodness for him!

We then sat and waited.  Callum was feeling more and more miserable by the minute and I was getting more and more irritable by the minute.  I started urgently texting Jon to get on the phone with the on-call Dr I spoke to, to make sure she had called... and basically find out what the fuck was going on.

He got a hold of her and she said she'd call in again.  At that point we were pulled back into triage, thank goodness.  Callum's temp registered at 103.8.  :(

While the nurse was filling out our paperwork he got a call.

"Yeah, I'm seeing him now.  Ok."


Then a couple of minutes later, a nurse from the back came up:

"Where's Callum?  Is this Callum?

Yep, we're finishing up here.

I'll take it from here."

She grabbed his labels, wrist band, and whisked us away.  Thank goodness for that.

I hope our on-call Dr had given them an earful, so I'm going to have to thank her when I speak to her again.  :)

The ER nurse said they'd need to get an IV in him pretty quickly.  I relayed that he had a port.  She said ok cool - what size?

Uhhhhh.  I have no idea!

Thank goodness I had brought our emergency port pack - which I handed to her.  I had actually grabbed it from our clinic during our last visit, in prep for our upcoming vacation.  The bag has the correct size needles, and everything else (including instructions!) an ER nurse would need to access him, since apparently not all ERs (or nurses) are equipped to access a port.  I sure was glad I had brought it!

Our emergency port pack

After blood draws and cultures were taken, they did an EKG and a chest X-ray (since his cough was sounding pretty crappy).  They also tested his urine and swabbed his nose for the flu.

Callum was not happy that I was taking pictures

After all of that, they (finally!) got him some Tylenol and started up a big dose of fluids.

You could see he was feeling better shortly after they started the meds/fluids, which was a relief.

Happy to have his iPad and feeling better already!

He spent some time playing on his iPad and then ate about half a granola bar and finished off the rest of his juice bottle before finally crashing.  Even sleeping, he seemed sooooo much better!
Ahhh, rest.

Results came back and everything looked fantastic.  His EKG and X-ray were fine (no signs of pneumonia).  His flu swab came back negative.  And most importantly, his numbers looked great.  His ANC is actually quite high - which I'll talk to our primary care team about when we see them later this week.  But, not neutropenic!!  So, that meant we could get discharged and go home.  Wow!!

I helped the nurse by removing his dressing (the nurse seemed flustered and busy and was going to try and remove it without any adhesive removers which I said just wasn't going to work, so another tech helped find some for me and then he and I slowly rubbed everything off while Callum half snoozed through it - the best possible outcome, by the way!).

We got home and Callum scarfed down a big cheeseburger and more of his favorite Gatorade.  I'm supposed to continue monitoring him and report back to our primary team if any sign of the fever comes back (especially within the next 24 hours).  So far, so good.  :)

Not exactly the way I had wanted to spend the majority of my Saturday (and sadly, Callum and I had to miss the get together with our new neighbors because of it too).  But, just happy it ended the way it did and we are back home! :)

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