Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You Can Check Out But You Can Never Leave

Just like that old Eagles song, we are singing our famous refrain cos we're checking back into CHLA. Pablo has a fever of 100.4 - the low threshold for admission into the revered halls of 4 West, CHLA's exclusive cancer ward. Fever, and the potential for it to be coupled with infection, is the single worst scenario for a little boy in Pablo's compromised position.

I'm writing this from the Emergency Department, our temporary home until a bed is ready upstairs. I just returned from running up to 4 West to check on our bed. The first order of business was to be sure there is a bed available. There is a single, solitary bed opening this afternoon. Luckily, a little boy is going home in a few minutes. Lucky him, lucky Pablo. I don't know what would happen if there were no beds. I'm sure it would be a lot like getting to the Ritz-Carlton and finding out that your rez was for yesterday. Except, in this story, to punch up the scene, you'd have cancer, too.

Pablo's port was just accessed. He was totally asleep in Jo Ann's arms. Now he is awake and screaming cos his tummy hurts. His gut is still filled with poop and gas. I mean, everyone's is. But Pablo's gut is filled like the arrivals hall at Ellis Island in the spring of 1907. There's no room in there. No matter what he does, the pressure inside him pushes back. It hurts. And that's what causes his moans and screams.

Ironically, his special stool softener, Colase, just arrived at the CHLA Walgreens branch. This stuff will help. We need help. Because of the pain in his gut, and feeling full, P has eaten like a bird, and vomited like a first-week college student since Saturday. He has lost a kilo (about two pounds) since last week. Yesterday morning, Pablo sat on my lap and I could feel his tailbone on my thigh. I know this will all get better.

The blood labs from yesterday show a white blood count of less than 0.10. The clinical term for this is Neutropenia. He has bruises all over his body, including on the bridge of his nose. We think that one is from P scratching an itch. The weight loss, the porcelain white skin, the bruises-all this stuff reads 'sick' like nothing else.

I will check in lots more as things develop. Right now, we're waiting for our suite in 4 West, and for the mobile x-ray machine to get here to shoot Pablo's chest.

See you soon.


Unknown said...

be well pablo, thinking about you all.

MKPatrick said...

We love you guys.
The Patrix

Unknown said...

Lots of love and support from the Westside
xxx Lynn Bruce Claire Colin

Anonymous said...

stay strong. sending love and light

Anonymous said...

I am holding Pablo (and his Mom & Dad)in contant prayer

Dawn: said...

I really hope he starts feeling better soon. Love to all of you.

Charlotte said...

We love you guys. You are so strong!
Steph and fam