Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hospital Beauty

Got up early this morning to take Little Warrior to the hospital for her 6-day inpatient. Minivan loaded to the brim, three-dozen chocolate malt cupcakes on ice. Pouring down rain, tons of traffic, making the 1.25 hour commute a 1.75 hour commute.

On the way, I issued a challenge to myself:
This is not actually that bad. There's fun that you can find in this, and unexpected benefits popping up. So, LE, you need to spend the rest of today looking for beauty, wherever you can find it.

Parked down in the garage and rode the first elevator up to the third floor, where we got off and went to get our pre-hospitalization coffee/bagel (me) and chocolate milk/donuts (LW). She chose a pink frosted and a chocolate frosted, no sprinkles. She doesn't like sprinkles on donuts, she informed me. "But I like sprinkles on ... cupcakes, and ice cream, and cookies," she said to me, sing-song.

And I appreciated the beauty of that.

We go on the second elevator and went up the 14th floor, which is actually the 13th floor, but you know, 13 plus it's the Children's Cancer Clinic. I don't blame them.

Signed in, then LW wanted to look at the pictures of the art cows on the wall. We talked about all the different kinds.

And I appreciated the beauty of that.

The nurse came and got us and took us to the little room where she accesses LW's port. As she was cleaning and getting ready for the poke, I began telling Little Warrior a story about her shoes (which are completely adorable and have a mouse face on each one), and how last night, they scurried from room to room, looking for her (she slept in her brother's room last night), and she was so interested in the story, she said "Ouch" with the poke, but that was it.

And I appreciated the beauty of that.

And I'm afraid that was the last of my beauty-appreciation for the day.

Right after being accessed, LW yanked off her hat, saying it made her head itch. Said head was covered with what looked like mosquito bites. As soon as that detail registered in my head, the "bites" were popping up all over -- belly, arms, privates ... uh-oh.

Nurse called Nurse Practioner. Allergic reaction, but to what? This has happened before, but she didn't get anything this time. Just a flush with saline and heparin.

I know, I know, you've heard heparin in the news. Well, that stuff isn't applicable, but ... an allergy to heparin? Wait! Maybe the preservative in the heparin!

Nurse Practitioner goes and speaks to the pharmacists. Nuh-uh. They only use preservative-free hep. Oncologist is consulted. He's never heard of this.

(Side note: I'm getting tired of playing Stump the Oncologist. We keep winning.)

So, it's a mystery. They gave her benadryl, and the hives gradually disappeared. Okay, so when do we get a room and get this chemo-party started.

And then ... it's happened to others, but never to us ...

"I'm sorry ... but her ANC is too low for chemo. Go home and come back Friday."

I'll work on beauty again tomorrow.


ms. kitty said...

Shit. I'm sorry, LE and LW. Friday it will be, I hope.

Rivka said...

I'm so sorry. Thinking of you and LW.

jbgrinch said...

good vibs comming your way Ill keep you both in my prayers.