Saturday, March 12, 2011

Emergency Room

I am writing from the emergency room at Stanford.  It's pretty cushy, as ERs go, with a huge Apple computer for patients and parents.  So, with nothing better to do, I blog.


We took Scarlett for her scheduled clinic visit and outpatient chemo this morning.  She was doing well the last two days: no vomiting, appetite coming back, all good things.  We saw the doctor, who thought she was looking great.  Scarlett smiled, cooed, and was in good spirits.  As soon as the doctor left, the little lady decided to barf all over the room; that projectile, uncontrollable kind of gastronomic event that only exorcists and parents have faced one-on-one.  We tried to clean up the baby, the wall, the bench, the chair, the floor and Chris' clothes with the single burp cloth I brought from home and the automatically dispensed paper towels in the room.  As I was frantically waving my hand in front of the paper towel machine, the nurse came in to help clean up and go on with the blood draw and chemo. All went to plan, and since she was still gagging, we gave her additional nausea medications and headed home.  


We got a call a short time later telling us that her neutrophil count, which tells us the stability of her immune system, was low, and she was considered neutropenic.  This essentially means that she is very susceptible to getting sick, and any fever would be considered an emergency worthy of hospital admission.  While we knew this was coming (it is basically the point of chemo, to kill off the current blood cells along with the cancer), it marks a new phase of her treatment, where she is dangerously close to a whole new level of sick; even minor viruses or bacteria could run rampant in her compromised system and leave her in bad shape.  However, no fevers so far.  


She slept most of the evening, so I tried to get more milk into her before we went to bed.  She ate eagerly, but gagged, so she got more medication.  Just as I finished that dose, I gasped at the sight of the top of her head completely sunken in, like a crater surrounded by mountains of bone.  After the shock wore off, we remembered that this was a pretty indicative sign of dehydration, and we called the on-call doctor for advice.  He recommended we bring her in for IV fluids before the dehydration made the nausea even worse.  As we packed her up for the trip, she again let loose and threw up all over the kitchen...and Chris.  Definitely needed to get to the doctor, so a quick costume change and we were off.


Now it is 12:30am and we are sitting in the emergency room. We've been here a solid few hours so far while the ER doctors assess her and try to figure out all of her charts, medications and possible issues.  This is my first big test of needing to know what medications she is on, what doses, when things were administered and what procedures we were told to follow.  So far, it all seems to be going well.  She is getting IV fluids while she sleeps on the hospital bed with Chris, who was up at 2 am for work this morning.  We are hoping to go home in the next hour, as long as her latest blood work comes back ok.  Not sure what will happen tomorrow...

28 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hopefully she gets better soon, and you can all go home and get some sleep! I think about your family everyday, and pray for Scarlett! The two of you are doing a wonderful job taking care of her!

Anonymous said...

I suggest carrying an index card with you at all times that lists what medications are given at what dose and and what times. Also put a couple of notes as to what each med is for and any other little info.

Anonymous said...

God bless her little soul..your doing a great Job mom...

Jamie said...

You are such a good mommy to little Scarlet. I can only imagine how hard all of this must be but you are being so brave. I am praying that she gets better soon and can continue on with her little life with as few interruptions as possible. Always remember how much God loves her, more than you do Momma. He created her and he will see her through.

Anonymous said...

Prayers for all of you!

Sheila said...

Awww how sad. Poor Scarlett, I hope that she feels better soon. Hang in there!

Emily said...

Praying for you today!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you everday, Scarlett.

Anonymous said...

You all hang in there! Hope she feels better soon!

"And when it rains on your parade, look up rather than down. Without the rain, there would be no rainbow."

Jen D said...

Thinking of you all. You guys are troopers.

Anonymous said...

Praying for your family. Hope Scarlett feels much better SOON! Sending much love and hugs! :)

Sandy said...

What a lousy way to start the weekend. So sorry for this new phase. One step at a time.

Brianna Kush said...

Thinking about you guys!! Hope she feels better soon. For some reason I remember a while back you guys were talking about breast milk for cancer. Have you ever checked out the China study? Perhaps a diet change in mamma and then breast milk might help too? Not sure that helped but it was a thought that ran through my head the other day! Hope all is well! Still praying for Scarlett!

Ashley said...

Just found this blog and am completely heartbroken. You are a strong mama, and I am sure your husband is just as brave.

Lindsey said...

I hope she starts to feel better soon. Hang in there Mama

katy said...

Hang in there, everyone. Thinking of you!

Maddy said...

I have no cliches for you guys. Just the hope that your baby girl gets better again as quickly and thoroughly as possible.

Melissa said...

So sorry you are going through this. I think about your family and check your blog daily to cheer sweet little Scarlett on. I hope she gets better soon!

mamacarlson09 said...

I hope she feels better soon!

Kathleen said...

I hope Scarlett is feeling better, poor lamb, and you all were able to get some sleep today. As always, sending prayers & hugs!

crystal said...

Hope Scarlett feels better soon and that you all are able to get some sleep. Praying for you all!!

It's June! said...

You have enormous strength to go through this dally 'whatever comes my way' journey. Blessings on you two as parents and of course blessings on Scarlett to have to endure so much physically.

The Chung Family said...

I'm sure you already know about this, but there are little "bracelets" that you can buy that is actually a memory stick thingy (I'm technologically challenged currently). Anyways, you can load up from your computer all of her meds and the time she takes them and then when/if you need to go to a new doctor or emergency room, they can just take the bracelet and plug it into a computer with USB. It's a lot easier than having to keep rewriting all of her meds as I'm assuming they will keep changing. It is something like this: http://www.amazon.com/Medical-Alert-Flash-Silicone-Bracelet/dp/B0044YQ6K6/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=hpc&qid=1299996908&sr=1-5

Praying Scarlett gets feeling better and for you & Chris.

Becca said...

Hope she gets to feeling better. Praying for her and thinking of her often.

Irene K said...

Good thoughts for that little fighter of yours! THank you for sharing xoxo Love from Austin Tx

foxy said...

You are one rock star mommy! Sending lots of strength to you and the family.

Anonymous said...

God Bless that little beauty and please keep her safe.
God please Bless and watch over her parents Brandi and Chris.

You are all in our prayers in Boston, MA

-Noelle
Cafemom
July 2010

Anonymous said...

Poor Chris! hope Scarlett feels better soon and the projectile vomiting is a scary thing my son had it when he was a baby i don't miss it at all! Praying for you all!!!! Get Well soon Scarlett