Sunday, February 2, 2014

ER Update

Watts had a low-grade temperature most of the day yesterday. This is not abnormal for him when he has low counts but I was still keeping a pretty close eye on him thoughout the day and checking in with the on-call doctor periodically. At around 3:30am this morning, we found that his temperature was close to 102. Although that this could still be caused simply by his counts being so low, there is no way to know that and meant a trek to Brenner.

Side note: A fever with neutropenia is an automatic admit. here at Brenner. With neutropenia, the doctors want to catch a virus or infection at the very, very beginning stages before it becomes something potentially dangerous. While Watts' immune system is trying to recover from the last round of chemo, he is particularly vulnerable...even a brief fever could indicate that a full-blown staph infection or virus is brewing. Until his ANC recovers, he has no real way to fight back and his doctors want to take every do we.

By the time Watts and I got to the ER, his temperature was back down to around 100.5. They accessed his port, sent off blood for a plethora of tests, and did a weird xray of his lungs [Unlike all the ones he's had before where he sits in a funny seat, this time they put him into weird open tube with his arms strapped over his head and rolled him around to different positions while they took the xrays. He yelled like a banchee and I sang songs to him from behind the protective screen. Fun times.] They confirmed that his ANC was still at zero, he needed no transfusions, and they started an antibiotic (Ceftazidime). By the time that they came and got us for the dreaded wheelchair ride upstairs, Watts had perked back up and spent the masked ride waving at the random doctors and nurses and making grunting sounds to try and get the nurse to push us faster. 

Since our ride upstairs, Watts has remained in good spirits. Although we are "on contact" (meaning Watts can't leave the room and everyone has to mask and gown up to come in), Watts only has to be hooked up for 30 minutes every 8 hours to get his antiobiotics. The rest of the time he can run around the room, climb on the couch and wndow sills, and be his normal active self. 

We've just gotten the results back that he does not have pnemonia or the flu (wohoo!) but only has a Corona virus (a type of common cold). This virus could be weeks and weeks old and still test positive (which I think it is due to a lingering cough and nasal discharge), so there is no way to know if that is what caused the fever or not. Tomorrow morning (Monday) we will get the first round of results from the blood cultures to test for blood stream infections.

So, what happens now is that we will stay inpatient until four things happen: 1) He has to stay fever-free; 2) he has to have negative cultures (the Corona virus doesn't matter or delay things at all); 3) he has to appear well; and 4) his counts have to recover. His counts could recover tomorrow morning or possibly days from now... until then we will stay here just to be safe. 

Although we would much rather be home right now with our kiddos, we are thankful that Watts "looks so good," as everyone seems to say, and that his fevers have already subsided. Our cup overfloweth.


  1. So good to hear things are looking good... well, as good as they can anyway.

    Interesting about the chest xray - the only type D has had at Baptist is the tube/arms over the head kind that you just had, but at Randolph they do a saddle seat thing. I figured it was just a difference in hospitals...


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