IT GOT ME! Just like Dr. Hall said… day 10 of vyxeos I landed in the E.R. with a neutropenic fever.
What do they do when you come in with a neutropenic fever? Well, they get you through the E.R. in a flash, and start looking for signs of infection. With an immune system that isn’t working, this can be tricky… there can actually be less signs of infection, and false negative test results. The next step is broad spectrum antibiotics of a few varieties, a chest x ray, samples, and all kinds of cultures. The cultures sit for a few days and are then checked to see what’s growing. Here in Madison people are very environmentally conscious, so they reuse empty tabasco sauce bottles for the blood cultures.
The most terrible part was getting a swab for influenza up my nose. Thankfully it was only a few seconds, but that swab went way further up my nose than anything ever should. Real pain. I don’t recommend the experience to anyone.
After all that, I got set up in a room on the bone marrow transplant floor, where the nurses are fantastic and the air is dry. I continue to get antibiotics around the clock as well as anti fungal and anti viral medicine. My husband and I spent some time relaxing, chatting, watching a movie… well, part of a movie (we were a little disappointed in the Wrinkle in Time… we so enjoyed reading the book to the kids back in Cameroon, the movie didn’t stand a chance). He left in the afternoon to go spend time with the kids.
I also got more platelets and red blood cells today. When I came in last night they had dropped to 6.6 g/dL hemoglobin, and my platelets were at 6 K/uL. My neutrophils are at 10 /uL.
The best part of being in the hospital is that it frees me up to talk to friends. There’s so much joy in getting to connect with others during this time… even though it means I’m away from my kids.