We’ve talked between ourselves a lot about what it will be like when our house goes back to a “normal” that includes kids actually getting “normal” sick, where we try and pretend like everything is “normal.”
So there I was, reading the morning news and Desiree says that Leo’s temperature is above the threshold where we have to bring him in.
The thermometer has gotten a lot of use over the last week. Peter started it with a cold and accompanying temperature, Judah was next with cutting four teeth through his gums, and then Leo, who has apparently caught something “normal.” Unfortunately, we aren’t at normal yet and so the temperature required us to go to the hospital.
I loaded two days of supplies into my bags, school work, diversion, snack foods, and Desiree loaded his bags with changes of clothes and a Batman costume. You know… the essentials, with the help of his Kids pastor Tara. We got on the road at the same time as about six thousand other people who wanted to do something else with their lives other than be in traffic. A few of them were on business so important, in fact, that the lives of the people around them did not matter as much. Either that or the texting conversations they were having on their phones were just that life changing.
So after an hour of traffic reminiscent of Oahu, we arrived with our minds securely focused on surviving two days of hospital.
The ER staff was very kind.
The ER nurses who accessed his port were very nervous.
It wasn’t great. But it was passable.
So we settled in and waited to be taken to in-patient. About an hour later, when I asked a nurse what was going on, she indicated that a doctor was coming by to let us know that everything was “normal.”
Golly, I know she meant well.
The doctor came in and told me that Leo’s ANC (the number that essentially outlines his immune system) was three times higher (and therefore stronger) than the upper limit of what the oncology team was trying to maintain. That’s good and bad. It’s good because it means that he’s not susceptible to infection. It’s bad because they have to keep his ANC number down to prevent any leftover leukemia cells from multiplying along with healthy cells. It’s not super bad. The chemo brings that number back down. Since his ANC was so high, we were going to discharge.
It’s weird because I had mentally prepped myself and Leo to survive two days in the hospital and now neither one of us knew how to leave. He had a movie he wanted to finish. I had school work I was reading. They came in and ripped the sticker off of his port-access tape and removed the access needle. The poor nurse doing the removal tried really hard to hide her shaking hands while she went through the discharge instructions. I took the pen to sign and made eye contact and let her know she had done a good job.
I don’t know how you do the job you do.
Now Johanna is running a fever. And now she’s not. Leo’s temp is still fluctuating enough that we might have to go back in again for another boost of antibiotics.
The next drive will be with less traffic, so we can pretend like we live in Texas.