Fevers, Antibiotics, and Nutrition, oh my
It was a late night getting admitted to Pediatrics after Christina and Auntie Elisabeth took Emily to the emergency room. There was an Auntie swap, and Aunt Gaby took over, spending the night with momma and Emily in the new double hospital room on the 7th floor.
We got clarification that, despite sharing her room with another patient, Emily is still actually in isolation. Due to her previous MRSA-positive test, Emily will always be considered a possible carrier. However, MRSA is only spread through touch so, while she doesn’t have to stay in a negative pressure room, she is not going to be allowed to leave her room. No play room, no hall-walking. When Emily was immobile this would have been challenge enough, but now that she’s finally regaining some physical strength and enthusiasm, this is going to be an even greater difficulty for our playful Stitch.
Despite the fact that Emily’s temperature had gone down by the time she was checked in at the E.R., Emily was put on on a general antibiotic last night. A second antibiotic, Vancomyacin, was begun this morning just in case the fever was caused by MRSA. Tomorrow, an ethanol lock will be started on her Broviac lumen to flush any possible bacteria out and ensure the lumen is infection free. We don’t mess around when Emily has no immune system of her own!
If Emily’s temperature remains normal and her cultures come back negative, she could be released after 48 hours (tomorrow night). However, in the meantime some of Emily’s other physical conditions have come to the doctors’ attention and raised concerns.
Emily has been eating and drinking less but has had persistent diarrhea. With her low protein levels, sustained facial puffiness, and some vomiting today, the dietician has been consulted and there is discussion of keeping Emily hospitalized while they boost her nutrition intravenously or look at other dietary options. She was given morphine for pain (possibly as a result of her chemotherapy on Tuesday) and Zofran for nausea, in the meantime. Hopefully these will help Emily feel well enough to eat on her own.
Emily received two blood transfusions this morning as scheduled. Getting healthy blood always perks Emily up and visitors today got to see a playful, happy girl. However, it also means that Emily needs more distraction than her restrictive environment allows. If you’re thinking about visiting Emily and Christina this weekend, give Chrissie a call first just to make sure they are still actually there!
Please pray specifically for Emily’s physical body today. The chemotherapy has done a number on all of her systems and the nutritional concerns are really just a small part of that problem. Please pray that her body stays strong, that she’s able to get the nutrition that she desperately needs, and that she be able to get it at home rather than staying in the hospital!
*** The previous post was updated to reflect that Emily’s temperature going into the hospital was 100.5 (not 105). Apparently, 105 would have been a pretty big emergency. This is one of those reasons that having the Auntie without children write the blog might be a bad idea!