First, the not-so-firsts — As can be seen by these pictures, Emily was admitted to the hospital last night. Again. She’s been feeling puny all week. Lot of bruising. Eyes puffy. Low platelets, which remained on the low side in spite of a couple of platelet transfusions. Hemoglobin was also low, so she’s had a couple of blood transfusions. She started running temps in the 100’s on Tuesday afternoon – and Chrissie began thinking – a nice word for worrying – that Emily might have to be hospitalized. Her temp, however, on Wednesday morning was 98.2 so we all hoped that just this once, maybe the fast track to the hospital would be reversed. Unfortunately, Emily woke up from her afternoon nap with a temp of 100.1. The rule is if she has three temps in the 100’s in a 24H period or one temp over 101.4, then Chrissie has to call the Oncologist. That’s what Chrissie did and the verdict was that she bring Emily to the ER – now. Even though the hospital is a good thing for Emily’s care, it does feel like a verdict to a Momma who has to put her life and plans on hold – find child care – and take her sick daughter to the hospital for who knows how many days.
The scramble began. One Grandma – Rebecca, Jason’s Mom – bless her! – drove to the house at a moment’s notice to watch the other four kids until Jason got home from work. Auntie Gaby drove to the ER after work to bring rescue chips to a hungry Emily, who was now feeling MUCH better after getting a good dose of spiked tylenol! Emily had arrived at the ER with a temp of 101.1 – and apparently had been feeling so bad that after the tylenol dose, she came alive! Very alive! And one other Grammie – Genie, Chrissie’s Mom – packed up an overnight bag and drove to the hospital to give a hand, and some company, to a very tired and sad Chrissie (see further down for explanation).
Emily got to the ER about 7:00 pm and we were able to be moved to a room on the Peds floor a little after midnight. Emily has to have an isolation room, so sometimes they have to scramble to get one for her. Her temp went up to 102.7 during the night – then down with Tylenol- then up again to 100.8 during the afternoon. The spiked tylenol (our term – it really is just tylenol) again did the trick and she felt much better for a while, but she is slowly getting warm again, so this could be a roller-coaster night.
Now, for the exciting First! — Emily got her very first Big Girl bed! In the hospital, of course, but you have to start somewhere! Up until now, she has had a crib when hospitalized, which she never slept in, so the hospital staff thought that since she’s two she would do well in a bed, and they had one all set up for her this time. Chrissie is really really happy about this because now she can sleep with Emily in a bed, which is a ton more comfortable than a bed-chair. And the rest of us are really really happy because that means we can sleep in the bed-chair, which is a ton more comfortable than a camping mat on the floor. Yea!
Now, for the rest of the story — Chrissie tries to do special things for her other kids, as any mom does, but she especially wants to do it because Emily’s brothers and sister are always having to give up outings and movies and family times when Emily has these sudden hospitalizations. And having Mommy there when they wake up. That is a huge thing. This time, Adam, who is nine, had done all of his chore chart – and so Chrissie had promised him that she would take him out for an evening at Starbucks and watching a movie on a laptop. Chrissie had made a special trip to pick up Auntie Elisabeth’s laptop – and Adam was home, taking a bath, with his clothes laid out for his special date night. Chrissie had called the Oncologist’s nurse before she left the house about Emily’s rising temps and had gotten the call while gone that Emily needed to be brought in to the ER – now. Chrissie called me/Grammie, crying because she was going to have to go home and tell Adam that their date night wasn’t going to happen. When she did, introverted Adam locked himself in the bathroom and cried and cried. And Chrissie cried and cried on the way in to the ER. Much discussion was done among Chrissie, Auntie Gaby and Grammie and the plan evolved that Grammie would stay with Emily while Chrissie left to wake up Adam and surprise him. So, after we got up to the room and settled, Chrissie left the hospital at 1:15 am. She drove home – woke up Adam and had him change into cozy pajamas – and drove a very excited and very smiley Adam to a 24H Denny’s in Elk Grove. She apologized to Adam that they wouldn’t have time to watch a movie on the laptop – but he just smiled and said no problem, he would tell the movie to her.
So he proceeded to spend an hour reciting Madagascar 3 – scene-by-scene – over hot chocolate, with whipped cream(!) and pizza. Followed by an oreo cookie milkshake! Truly a little boy’s heaven — And Chrissie got back to the hospital about 4:00 am, a very tired but much more peaceful Mommy.