Posted by Steph in
Chemo Round 6 & Transplant, Counts, Family, Hospital Stay, Infection, on Thursday, March 22. 2007 at
Day 9 post stem cell infusion
I used to just think the difference between night nurses was how quiet some were and how loud others were. Now I know the real difference are the ones that just hang and run meds and the ones that care.
Asher got a nurse tonight that has never taken care of Asher. There aren't too many nurses left here at PCH 2nd floor in that situation, but we got one tonight. That fact doesn't bother me, but I found it odd she never asked anything about Asher or what she could do for him tonight or anything prior to him going to sleep.
This nurse doesn't check one diaper. Curious why she wasn't warned that he had C.diff and fills a diaper every 1-2 hours. She hangs her med and leaves. She has no intention of checking Asher or his diaper at that time either because she comes in without a yellow gown and gloves on. So, already two times tonight I watched her come in, start a med, and leave. I get up, Asher's diaper is so full it has overflowed to the chuck (pad on his bed) so I change his diaper and the chuck. The third time two pumps were beeping for 10 minutes before I got up, shut them off, and then changed another diaper. Seconds later she came in, "Sorry I let them beep." Then she said, "The last stool had blood in it." Yeah, I know...I changed his diaper....oh well....
In situations like this, I prefer to just stay up all night and take care of Asher because I want someone who isn't afraid to change a diaper or afraid to touch his head to see if a fever is starting....so that's me tonight.
And, the moral of the story....I am really amazed and thankful for the night nurses that are willing to stand by a kid and take care of them when a mother or father is tired and needs some sleep at night! Asher and I have been quite blessed with a few wonderful night nurses the past 9 days, one in particular....she had Asher 3 nights last week and 3 nights this week. Whenever I would wake up, she was always there with Asher. She stayed by him during vomitting, she changed all his diapers at night, she mixed a special cream-powder for his butt to protect it from all the diahrea, she carefully lifted him to weigh him at 6am, he even took Tylenol from her so I could sleep, and she bought him a special Elmo twirly flashing light toy and gave it to him the other night. She's great and she's making such a huge difference! Hope she's back next week so I can tell her just that.
The good news, for tonight, is his temp has been 36.8-37 since 9pm! Yeah Asher!
PTT Time 14.3
Thrombin Time 15.3
weight 17.6kg I think at 5:30am this morning - the transplant staff said this is okay, but hey, his diapers are barely fitting and we're talking about 3 1/2 lbs extra on him right now
They are stopping the anti-fungal medicine and the neupogen with his ANC over 10,000. They got the bacteria sensitivities back; the bacteria in his blood (Enterococci) is resistant to Vancomycin so he is getting a different one as of this morning (Linezolid) and he has to get it for 10 days so his hospital stay is for sure another 10 days. They will slowly take other things away too, the morphine, the TPN, etc. He hasn't had a fever since 4pm yesterday. He hasn't thrown up since morning yesterday, I think. His stools are still pretty big/heavy, and he's averaging 8 a day they said (sure seems like more than that to me, but every now and again he will have a urine only diaper).
Asher's skin started peeling yesterday from the Thiotepa chemo skin burns/Paliferim skin rashes. His head and elbow were the first things and now I see his armpits are next. His elbow was really bothering him and he kept rubbing off the dead skin onto his pillow last night.
Asher is up and looking really good. Not as tired anymore and more himself! He's on the couch playing game boy now (I had gone to the shower and he said he wanted to sleep there but I put game boy in his lap just in case and sure enough, when I got back he was playing Curious George). He said to me, "I like you sitting by me." He's too cute.
Asher has started getting nosebleeds. They aren't too severe yet. They started as pink tinged mucus that he just blew out but this morning the other nostril has blood that just runs. So, we'll keep an eye on it today.
So, I asked Asher if he wanted to call his sister to say happy birthday. Asher said, "No. It's my birthday. Cuz I need it more. It's not Lexa's birthday yet. Cuz it's mine." Earlier this morning he said, "I don't know how to make a cake." That came from our conversation on stem cell collection day (when he thought as soon as he got his stem cells he could go home....he was quite upset when I said it would be a few weeks yet) when I told Asher when he was bigger and stronger we'd go home and celebrate Alexa's birthday, make her a cake, and celebrate Easter too, and look for Easter Eggs. So, he remembered that. Anyway, Happy 3rd Birthday, Alexa Belle! Mommy and Asher will celebrate with you soon!
So Asher was up from about 9am-1:30pm. He sat on the couch with me the entire time and after a shower and dressing change he napped till around 3:30pm. I tried to sneak a little one in there too.
Asher's eyelashes and eyebrows are about gone now, with some just hanging on. I notice his left eyelid isn't opening all the way.
At a "typical lunch time" hour Asher asked for pizza! I was thrilled. He is asking for food. I didn't expect this meant he would eat anything, but I ordered it anyway. While waiting for it (it takes about 45 minutes to get it from room service) he said he wanted mushrooms on it. I tried to tell him the hospital didn't have mushroom pizzas but when we get outta here I'll be sure to get one from Pizza Hut for him. He cried (he is a bit emotional/moody/irritable today, like yesterday, although better today). Anyway, I had ordered cantelope and pizza and potato chips and a chocolate chip cookie. He took a bite of cantelope. He held it in his mouth for a bit and then started to chew it and then whined. He wanted to spit it out. I expected this. But, I'm thrilled that he put it in his mouth! He didn't drink anything today at all. I think I forgot to metion the last two days he had drank a bunch of water, although usually threw it up after.
Asher looks to be back to his almost old self already, schedule wise. Although, he is napping again now, but will probably wake up when Scott gets here.
I talked to the transplant NP around 4:30, during and after she played with Asher and his frog and lizard. She said he is looking great (although she just noticed his runny nose and is talking about swabbing him now, although, she wants to wait to see what his platelets are at because of his nose bleed). She said if Asher is only on the one drug for the Enterococcus, he could go home on it, but it will still probably take about seven days to get him ready to go home. So I told her I want the calories on the TPN cut back. They wouldn't want to cut back on the electrolytes, which makes sense, but in the past we have learned that Asher just won't eat if he is getting TPN or NG tube feedings. So, at least I threw it out there now. Also, Asher's morphine will go to 0.1 continuous tomorrow and we'll see how he does with that. I think he will do okay. We really only push the button when I shower him now because of the bone/skin pain. Oh, I also talked to the NP about cutting back on the antinausea meds, starting with the Ativan, going back to 0.5 if he is still at 1.0 (and she said 0.25 if he is at 0.5 now but I don't think he was yet). I also told her I want the hydroxyzin stopped. She mentioned if he remains fever free (forgot for how long) she will remove one of the other antibiotics too.
In any case, we're on the road to bringing our boy home. It's been an emotional week. When it gets too quiet in this room, with Asher napping, I am brought to tears at just the thought of one part of how this past week was for him, for me, how the past 10 months has been for him. I am sure the pregnancy hormones don't help my emotions right now, but I have decided it is time for a break. After crying several times last night, trying to get some sleep, trying to make sure Asher stayed dry with his diapers, I just need a 3-day weekend. I need to see the girls and just get some fresh air. Hopefully the house isn't too torn apart from the warranty repairs that have reeked havoc there this week. Scott will be here soon and I'll head home. Be back Monday morning or Sunday night I guess.
Oh, and I forgot....
Last night Asher asked to pick from the "prize box" after his dressing change. He just brought it up out of the blue. He used to have only one dressing change a week and get a toy from a prize box while he was in the hospital, but in transplant he gets one every day and has never been offered a "prize." But, the nurse held up the toys outside the window to his room and when Asher picked, she washed them down and brought them to him. So today Asher wanted another prize. However, it isn't safe for Asher to get those toys yet. So, the child life specialist came in with a piggy bank with Asher's name painted on it and she said Asher would get a ticket for each dressing change. I talked to Asher and we agreed after five tickets we will call the child life gal and he will get to pick a prize worth five tickets. At first the said, "No, I get five tickets," he meant for today's dressing change. I reminded him he gets one ticket each dressing change and after he has five (so Monday) he will get to pick a special prize (one that is set aside for transplant kids - mainly that it is brand new).