Mathew is in the hospital.
The oncologist arranged for Mathew to get more blood work done at the hospital early Friday morning and for him to hang around until the results came back. She thought he might need some more blood.
We are thankful for her intuition; not only did he need blood but also platelets AND admission to the hospital.
Turns out Mathew has a fever; it was 38.5 degrees Celsius when the nurse did her usual vitals on him prior to the blood transfusion. We were both shocked that he had a fever because that is a serious matter in post-chemo patients. Mathew’s white cell counts crash about a week after chemo, which is common, but all his levels are down so he can’t fight whatever is causing the fever.
Yesterday, prior to the transfusions, Mathew’s hemoglobin was 68 and his platelets were 13. The hemoglobin was really too low for him receiving 2 units of blood on Wednesday and the on-call doctor kept asking if he has lost any blood since Wednesday. The third-year resident did a full visual check of Mathew’s body looking for any source of infection. The only major concern is Mathew’s bottom because of its rough shape so the doctor did prescribe an antibiotic cream that should give Mathew some comfort finally.
Mathew first spent the day at the day IV clinic, upstairs in the ward so he could lay down. He felt so faint and like he was going to pass out yesterday before the transfusions ~ this in spite of the 2 units of blood he got just 2 days prior. The two unit of blood were infused first followed by a bag of platelets. Then he was moved to his private room 2 doors down on the “official” oncology ward. He will be there until Monday at the earliest. Mathew’s doctor is away until then and the on-call doctor wants to keep him in until the fever is gone and he is feeling better.
At this point it is a matter of the feeding tube. I suspect that the lack of nutrients is making him sick and he sure is miserable right now. He just wasn’t feeling great at all and has not even picked up his iPad mini or Nintendo DS; he just dozes off and on and stares into space. He is receiving an intravenous antibiotic and Tylenol right now and more blood was drawn and some of it was cultured to make sure there is no bacterial infection in his blood. His mouth and tongue are sore so he doesn’t want to talk.
John stayed with him last night at the hospital because I needed sleep desperately again. Mathew wouldn’t look at me when I left because he was upset and angry I was leaving for the night. I told him that I can’t care for him properly if I am exhausted and that his Dad couldn’t wait to leave work to rush over to the hospital to stay with him.
Mathew’s blood thinner injection was cancelled yesterday because his platelets were below 50. Apparently he shouldn’t get the Fragmin when his counts drop below that magical number. How nice to know now because we continued with the Fragmin went his count dropped to 35 2 weeks ago. Why are we getting information like this so late after the fact??
Even before leaving for the hospital the wee hours of Friday weren’t much fun. Mathew had a bout of diarrhea at 1 am and that brought the family together again in the bathroom to clean him and the bathroom. Earlier in evening I walked past the dogs and noticed, to my horror, one of their pillow was covered in blood. Not a drop or two but SOAKED. Hastily I looked them over and discovered Bosco’s “thumb” claw sitting in the middle of the puddle…now how the hell did he manage to pull that out and us not hear a squeal or bark of pain? That had to be cleaned up and hopefully there won’t be any more nails dropped about the house. Those suckers BLEED when pulled out!
For now I’m going to rest a little more then start the day. I’m planning on staying the nights with Mathew and John can have today and tomorrow during the day. That way John can get some sleep before returning to work on Monday.
I am horrified I/we missed the fever. This is a medical emergency and the patient is to go straight to the ER or Oncology! I am so grateful to Dr. Burnell for requesting Mathew come in for follow up.