Friday, November 27, 2015
As much as we want to be in our own beds, there is some comfort in the hospital, and it actually does feel like home sometimes. Probably due to my 'creature of habit' nature, I guess.
Ruby has been working a runny nose for the last week. She got two new teeth just before her latest round of chemo started and I'm pretty sure another one came through this last week. Since she's not had a fever at all, and the product has been clear, we have not been overly concerned. Unfortunately, sometime yesterday afternoon she did start coughing also. While it sounded horrible, she has sounded that way many many many times in her previous always-congested days, and the doctors have never found her to have anything more than the congestion causing the cough (no lung issues or deeper infection). So even though it raises a red flag, I'm also aware that it's not out of the ordinary for her to sound that bad when she's congested.
Ruby woke up happy today and ate a great breakfast, even with some coughing. We planned to go as a family to get our Christmas tree; I was determined to get it all set up as a family of five. And even though Ruby was in good spirits on the drive to the tree farm, her cough and occasional cuddliness throughout the morning was enough to convince me that I would call the doctor when we got home, just to be sure we didn't need to come in to be checked out.
Unfortunately, when you are in count recovery from chemo, like Ruby is this week to two weeks, any fever is a bad thing and involves a hospital stay. When a patient like Ruby heats up like this, they worry about a bacterial infection, so they draw blood and wait for cultures to grow or not grow. That process takes at least 24 hours, and once a fever is present (and the patent's blood counts are down), the patient has to stay in the hospital until they are 48-hours with a negative blood culture. So even if Ruby's cultures never grow (a positive), she will have to stay for 48 hours.
So here we are, back in the room we were in a few weeks ago for chemo, rockin' the fluids pole and hospital food. Ruby's friend, Claire, checked in a few hours ahead of us for her scheduled chemo, so at least we are in good company. Ruby didn't miss a beat, waving to all of her beloved nurses and techs as they wheeled us onto the unit tonight....she doesn't see being here as a bad thing at all.
I'm so thankful that her fever went down on the first try. I'm so thankful that she had five days with Grandma and Grandpa before this happened. I'm so thankful for an amazing husband who helped Ruby and I get checked in and then went home and packed up overnight stuff for us, AND brought us dinner. And even as crazy as it sounds (and feels to say!), after a crazy few hours of my girl being so not herself, I'm thankful to be in a hospital where I actually feel safe, and kind of at home.