Tuesday, July 31, 2007

2.5 Hours of Sleep (Late Post)

Day +61 (D 199)

Sorry for the late post. This should have been posted last night, instead of this morning.

Starting off with Ann's counts for the day (7/30/07)...

WBC 10.4 K/uL
RBC 3.14 K/uL
HGB 10.6 G/DL
PLT 294 K/uL
ANC 6.24 K/uL

That looks pretty good and the RBC and HGB numbers are a definite improvement. However, RBC production doesn't seem to be extremely consistent so I wouldn't be surprised if there is a small drop in those numbers.

The real news of the day was Ann's temperature. For the last two days her temperature has been erratic. At times it's normal and then it will jump up into the 99F range. When this happens I usually measure her will a second thermometer, in case of a false reading and then follow the measurement up in 15 minutes. On previous occasions her temperature has always dropped back down to normal.

However, last night was the exception. After getting out of clinic and throughout the day Ann's temperature showed a constant increasing tend. Around 9PM last night it hit 100F and based on the rate of increase I figured that she would be over the threshold temperature of 101.5F that MDA uses to define a fever, soon.

When a patient crosses the 101.5F line you are supposed to take them MDA's emergency center. Now Ann wasn't over that limit yesterday, but we where playing it safe. So after sitting in the EC waiting room for an hour to be triaged, wouldn't you know that Ann's temperature registered 98.7F. Of course once your in the EC and have been triaged there is no turning back. So despite the normal temperature reading we had to sit and wait for what was coming to us.

Which included blood tests, urine tests and lots and lots of waiting. It's a lot like getting stuck in the gear teeth of a large machine. Most of the staffs effort is focused on people who have real emergencies and since you don't they tend to side line you to deal with later. Unfortunately that "later" also includes things like getting your discharge papers so you can exit the EC properly.

Long and short of the story is that of all the tests they did all came back negative. The likely explanation for the fluctuations in Ann's temperature is probably hormonal and not infection. It also took the better part of 6 hours to get out of the EC, so both of us are operating on 2.5 hours of sleep so we could make our clinic appointments in the morning.

I have apologized to Ann about 50 times already for insisting on getting her temperature checked out. I had no idea it would turn into the ordeal that it ultimately became. No good deed goes un-punished I suppose.

The nurses have jokingly accused me of being overprotective and fretful when it comes to Ann. I don't think thats the case. This is what a Husband is supposed to do and I love her.


amy t. said...

Bravo to you Chris! You are a wonderful patient advocate for Ann! So many problems could be avoided if more people were as vigilant as you. Keep up the great work.

Susan Carrier said...

You don't know me, but I'm also an
MCL patient who follows Ann's progress.

Sometimes life isn't as predictable as the algorithms, Excel spreadsheets and line graphs would have us believe. (I was extremely impressed with those WBC line charts.) You made an intelligent decision based on the algorithm, but, thank God, you were wrong. There are far worse things than getting 2.5 hours of sleep.


Anonymous said...

good for you, chris. there's nothing to feel bad about. ann is lucky to have someone that cares so much about her.
- paige