Saturday, July 25, 2009

Uh Oh...

Thursday night, Nick and his dad went to Salt Lake City to visit Brad Ludden, the founder of First Descents. Details and pictures below. He came home exhausted and felt he was running a fever. At about 9:00, it was only 100.5; by 11:00 it was up to 101.2, even with Nurse Carly putting an ice pack on the back of his neck. Time to call the on-call oncologist at Huntsman, who of course said to c'mon in. Problem is that 4th floor is full so we had to go to the U of U ER. We made it to ER about 12:30 a.m. At about 1:15, I called the 5th floor at Huntsman since this might be related to Nick's surgery and they had a bed ready for him. Unfortunately, ER wouldn't let us do that. Instead, they stuck us in a tiny room with an uncomfortable bed and chair (thankfully we had remembered to bring Nick's camo blanket and pillow from home).

They drew blood, lots of it; they took an xray; they monitored his vitals. At 4:30 a.m. they confirmed his white cell count to be at 20 so he has some infection going on, we just can't figure out where. Surgeon on call gave the ok to have Nick transferred over to Huntsman. At one point there were 3 stabbings in the trauma unit - there were more cops than doctors in the halls. Nick was sidelined. At 8:30 a.m., Dr. Le decided he wanted to see an abdomen ct scan to look for any pockets of infection. It took an additional 2 hours while Nick drank the white berry flavored chalk crap to give the ct scan contrast. Throw in a few more brain traumas by incoming emergencies, Nick was finally given the ct scan 20 minutes shy of being in the ER for 12 full hours. He had almost no sleep in in excruciating pain due to the CO bubble still pressing on his nerve affecting his shoulder. Nick's dad took over before the scan so I could go home to eat and get some sleep. Results of ct scan were just fine.

During those 12 hours, Dr. Le and his entourage of students stopped by to check on Nick. He mentioned to me that he had left a msg with pathology but didn't get a call back and reminded me it was the weekend, unfortunately. I mentioned to him that Nurse Katie was able to speak to pathology and that the lymph nodes were being tested before the weekend, fortunately. Idiot. I also asked him why the surgical report didn't include the lymph nodes; he said he personally dictated the report and there must be confusion on the report and the pathology request. Idiot. Dr. Mulvihill also stopped in and he discussed taking out Nick's drain tube and if they couldn't find the source of the infection, they would have to pull out Nick's port. Ew. I asked him about the pathology mess and he said he was personally going to be at the tumor board meeting and will be getting more information. I need to find a way to talk to Dr. M about Dr. Le; Dr. M is fantastic and I'm to the point I don't want Dr. Le even involved in Nick's care (Dr. Le is under Dr. M's supervision). To add insult to injury, Dr. Le pulled out Nick's drain tube, stating it should just hurt like a bee sting. Idiot. Nick said it hurt worse than the catheter.

Anyway, Lee, Kels and I went back to the hospital to visit Nick. His fever remained low-grade but he felt better having slept and getting something to eat. His shoulder and pancreas area are still hurting him. Todd spent the night with him and I was able to get a remarkable night's rest.

This morning some things have come to light: Dr. Le wanted to have Nick's port removed; Dr. M said no, put him on antibiotics. Whew. Nick's white cell count is up to 23 and his hemoglobin is low. Not good. His fever spiked up to 101 again, off and on through the night. Nick is still in a tremendous amount of pain in both his shoulder and pancreas, but he looks good and sounds good. We are not going to Boston right now. Hopefully, the antibiotics will get his fever and counts back to normal; he'll have to stay in hospital until he is fever-free for 24 hours.

Sheesh, what a crazy couple of days. Back to Brad Ludden; Nick also got to meet Tyler Bradt who holds the world record in going down the biggest waterfall in a kayak, 186'!!! He's a real dude! Here are the pictures (Nick & Brad followed by Nick & Tyler):

I've really spent some time venting and perhaps a bit unfairly due to worry and lack of sleep. I promise I'll find my spirit of gratitude soon. More later. Thanks to all!



Laurel said...

Sounds familiar, my sister Bethany spent a long tour in the ER waiting to get back up to 4th floor. Seems like we dealt with a Dr. Le also and there was some communication issues. It gets very frustrating to say the least. But hang in there. Keep up the good fight. Let me know if you need something. We are close to Huntsman. Brad and Laurel Wilkinson

Chris Ulvin said...

Dear Lori,
Venting is good - the Psalms are filled with venting - so you are in good company. I give thanks for moms and dads - siblings and friends - doctors and nurses - spirit and faith. May God heal Nick. Love, aunt Chris

Jay Paterson said...

Hey Skinny,
Sorry to hear about all your troubles with ER, the shoulder pain and the rest.
Nice to see you had a great visit with First Descents.
186' Waterfall? Is he nuts. Usually people go over those things by accident!

Luke and Gavin have two words they wanna say to you, "NICE HAT!"

Water temperature in Owen Sound 64F
Luke and Rachel were kayaking yesterday, Gavin can't wait to go out by himself.

Keep on truckin' kiddo.

Hey Mom! Let it out! Keepin it in is kinda the same as keeping rotten fruit in a basketful. Turns the whole thing rotten.

Lots of love from all of us up North.

Jay Luke and Gavin