Thursday, December 18, 2008

ER background and update

Steve felt more tired than usual yesterday. His left side started weakening. He napped longer than usual after work.

Before bed he had a fever of 100.2, which is equivalent to about 102 (the steroids he takes masks a fever).

We called Dr. M, who advised him to take Tylenol and wait to be examined until morning. (He was scheduled for his second dose of chemotherapy at 9 a.m. today.)

He slept poorly and continued to lose control of his left arm. At 5 a.m., his fever was 103 -- the equivalent of 105.

We talked with Dr. M again, who advised us to call an ambulance so he could be seen immediately.

We were able to request transport to St. Paul -- a huge victory. The nearest major hospital is Plano Presbyterian, which is a fine hospital but not part of the UT-SW system. We wanted him here so that records would be available and so that we would be able to see Dr. M and her team.

The kids were still sleeping when the ambulance and fire truck arrived. We are thankful that they didn't have to see the bright lights, which looked frightening in the foggy dark sky.

I called Steve's parents and asked them to be at St. Paul to meet him. Layne came over to help me with the kids, who woke earlier than usual. Layne took Cooper to his house and then to the Bassen house, and he arrived at school in plenty of time and with good spirits, sources say.

I took Katie to Andy and Zita's. Zita cared for her and dressed her for the Christmas program and party at preschool.

Andy drove with me in the dark fog, and we arrived at St. Paul in time to relieve Jim and Betty, who attended Katie's program.

Steve has been in an uncomfortable ER bed since he arrived -- the bed is much too short for his 6-foot-1-inch frame.

The staff took a chest X-ray, which came back clear. They took blood samples; results will take 24 hours.

His temperature is lower, though it has fluctuated and he is experiencing chills right now.

The problem could be an infection at the port site in his chest. The skin isn't swollen, red, warm or painful, though. He could have a random virus.

We are waiting for a room to open upstairs. He'll be officially admitted then and will stay at least overnight.

There is no possibility that he'll receive his chemo treatment today. There is a slight chance he'll receive it Friday. Saturday and Sunday aren't options (the oncology clinic is closed). We desperately pray that he'll receive it by Monday. We're not comfortable waiting, giving the tumor room to grow, but we also understand the importance of waiting until his body can better handle the powerful drugs.

He is so tired and so weak. Some of that may be because he didn't take his normal morning medications until 1 p.m. -- the steroids, Diamox and Provigil are essential.

He napped some this morning and appears to be sleeping right now.

1. Steve's high fever required quick attention.
2. Blood test results should give us a better idea of the source of the infection.
3. He will spend at least tonight at St. Paul.

Of course, we welcome your prayers for his health and strength and for wisdom for the medical team.


Natalie Willis said...

Hugs, love and lots and lots of prayers!

LeighH said...

Chris and I are praying for you, your family, and the medical team.
Take care,

Anonymous said...

Praying for a simple resolution (like antibiotics) for this latest bump in the road.

Take care,
Jennifer W