Tuesday, November 3, 2009

A long few weeks

It has been a long few weeks. Will started having high fevers and trouble breathing and went into the hospital two Tuesdays ago. He was treated with antibiotics (still on them) and, of course, the fluconazole continues. He got sent home on Saturday, and we were hopeful that things would start to look up, but it seemed like immediately on getting home his oxygen requirement started to go up and by last Monday we had the oxygen concentrator turned up to its maximum setting and were still having a hard time.

Then, last Tuesday he had some wacky lab results including a crazy high potassium level that resulted in the transplant clinic tracking me down at work to tell me that I had to go get Will immediately and take him to a local emergency room to recheck the blood labs and get stabilizing care. They emphasized that it would be too dangerous to take him all the way to the Seattle hospital (it's about 90 minutes away) in this condition. Except, after all that, it turned out that on rechecking it seemed like his potassium level wasn't quite so crazy high after all. In one recheck it was normal, in another it was a little high, but didn't need treatment. At any rate, considering that he was becoming more and more short of breath no matter how much the supplemental oxygen was turned up, they wanted to admit him again anyway. So, he went back into the hospital, was started on anti-viral treatment for a possible CMV infection (on top of everything else) and sent home on Friday.

That's the Readers Digest version. I'll spare you the details of which medications, the arguments and difficulties with the doctors over which tests to do. (Bronchoscopy or not? Did they really need one to know what to treat, I still think no. Ganciclovier or not, is it really an active CMV infection, we're still not sure. Overdose of GCSF and crazy high wbc count. . .again? Three iv medications, 1 every 8 hours, 1 every 12 hours, and 1 every 24 hours. . .really?) So, I guess, on reflection, I'm feeling pretty good that today is Tuesday again and we're all three -- Will, Liam and me -- tucked away cozy at home.

Will has been quite short of breath since coming home from the hospital, even on 4 liters of supplemental oxygen. It's not clear exactly what this is about. His O2 saturation is okay, but he gets really out of breath with any activity. For the first day or so home he stayed upstairs, pretty much in bed, all day. This was different and upsetting. Even when Will has felt his worst, towards the end of chemotherapy for example, he always would get out of bed and come downstairs during the day. He is feeling better today and yesterday. Able to come downstairs in the afternoon and to walk around the house a little. We're hoping for continued improvement. It all feels really fragile though. And I feel so sad and unhappy for Will, because it's not nice to be this sick and have to go through all this stuff. As awful as it is to be the one worrying about all the hospital stuff, I imagine that it is worse, much worse, to be the one in the hospital actually experiencing it. We've taken Liam out of school for now, in an effort to reduce germ transmittal.

I'll post separately about Liam's Halloween and try to be better about updating. Thank you, all for your kind good wishes and thoughts. It does help; really it does.

2 comments:

mekate said...

Sending love and good wishes and healing thoughts and easier breathing and gosh darn E, I wish it were easier in every way for every one.

So very glad you are home together.

Thinking of you
love,
Kate

IVF 40+ said...

Elizabeth, so sorry you guys are struggling with this. I'm also sending love and good wishes.
EB