Late last night, Emily was discharged from U.C. Davis after her final dose of antibiotics. She remains neutropenic (extremely weak immune system), but the doctors believe she will recover better in the comfort of her home.
In the last few hours, the nurses carefully monitored Emily’s vital signs and temperature to ensure it would be safe for her to return home. Her blood pressure, which has been high throughout the past week, finally returned to a normal level. However, her temperature has been hovering around 99-100 degrees. If once at home Emily registers three or more fevers of 100.4 or higher, or one fever over 101, she would immediately have to return to the E.R. For this reason, we prayed any fevers would present before her discharge rather than back at home so we could avoid another quick turnaround and re-admittance.
Emily has been stuck in her isolated room for eleven days. She was only allowed out of the room twice when kind nurses helped stage jail-breaks! The volunteers on the floor have been great in bringing Emily toys and arranging for craft and music time just for Emily and mom. On Monday of this past week, Emily’s siblings were able to come and enjoy a hospital-sponsored pancake breakfast. It was the only visit the older Love children were able to make and everyone had a great time! Emily has continued to enjoy the amazing gifts of dolls, stuffed animals, cards, and pictures that bring a smile to her face. She also greatly enjoyed little microwave pizzas brought by Auntie Gaby and for several days has refused to eat anything but the cheesy pizza!
On Emily’s last day, her demeanor took a turn for the worse. She spent the day in a languor preferring to lie in bed watching her favorite Piglet movie and occasionally throwing raging fits that literally scared one nurse out of the room! She looks a bit grumpy in pictures taken just before she left the hospital, but she was glad to be going home. As Christina prepared Emily for the trip home, Emily said, “okay” to everything Christina asked – even taking her last oral medication. She would do anything if it meant she could feel fresh air again!
The Love children woke to the surprise of Momma and Emmie back at home today. They enjoyed snuggle time before going to spend the day with friends. Christina and Emily spent a little time sitting in the front yard to get some much needed sunshine before getting their first visit from the Home Health Nurse who will come twice a week to check Emily’s vitals and draw blood before each chemotherapy treatment. The good news from todays labs is that Emily’s ANC is 196, the highest it has been since she was admitted over a week ago and up from zero yesterday! It is still too low for Emily to have visitors or leave home, but we are thankful that she seems to be doing well in her first 24 hours out of the hospital!
Please pray that Emily’s Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) continues to rise steadily so she can enjoy a slightly more normal life at home. Please pray that she stays well, with no fevers anytime soon. And please pray for Christina and Jason as they readjust to a life at home with all five kids, Little League practice, homeschooling, and now a very sick little girl.
Please praise God for this second return home and that the Loves are all back together again!