Last night around 8:00 Alisa told me to turn the heater down. She was feeling hot. I complied and then she asked me to take her temperature. It was 100.4. I am not clear on all the reasons but when they discharge us from the hospital they are very clear that a fever is a serious condition when someone has undergone chemotherapy. Alisa debated calling the on-call doctor at Huntsman and we decided to wait until this morning. She gave me clear instructions to "watch her temperature throughout the night."
So we did. She was 99.5, 100.7, 101.0, etc. This morning we read the discharge instructions that explained we should call with any fever over 100.5. I pretty much keep my mouth shut during this because my gut reaction is to just "tough it out" like with any cold or flu or anything. I do realize this is different, hence the silence.
Alisa called and I talked (because she kept dozing off trying to explain the situation). The doctor decided we should go to the emergency room so they could take some blood samples/cultures to check for infection. I told Alisa we needed to go to the American Fork emergency room. She said she would rather go to IMC (Murray) because it is closer to Huntsman in case she has to be admitted.
We arrived and we had a pretty good emergency room visit.
- We had the same doctor we saw back on New Years Eve a year ago when Alisa had a horrible reaction to IPI. He seemed to remember us, but maybe he is just always nice.
- We had some great entertainment. The guy across from us kept yelling things I couldn't understand, but I did understand the nurse when she commented "I am not going back in there just to be punched in the face again."
- We watched a pretty good basketball game between Louisville and North Carolina
- The did a CT scan of her abdomen/chest and noticed fluid in her right lung. The same lung that was drained 10 days ago.
- They gave us the option to be admitted to the hospital and have them drained, or to get them drained and then go home. We chose the go-home option. We waited for the procedure.
- The blood work came back and showed her INR was 2.2. I don't know what that stands for but it indicates how well her blood is clotting like it is supposed to. Anything above 2 means they can't do the thoracentesis, because of the bleeding risk (high INR number means the blood is not clotting like it should.)
- They were confused about why her INR would be high, because she is not on any blood thinners.
- They were also confused about the fever because there was no sign of anything causing the fever. Nothing near her incision, nothing on the CT scans.
- The ER Doc spoke with Doctor Grossmann and decided that the best thing was to admit her to Huntsman so they could watch her and try and make some decisions about what to do.
- We laughed. Maybe it was just me laughing, but what else can you do. I guess 2 nights break from the hospital is better than none.
One more thing happened that I can only call the small mercies of our Lord. Alisa was pretty hungry and thirsty by this time and so we hit the Chik-fil-a for a little dinner. For the most part I can contain my emotions (at some level it is probably unhealthy pride) but as we pulled up to pay, I handed the guy my credit card and he said "You don't have to pay sir, that person in front of you paid for your dinner." I didn't exactly break down sobbing, but it was obvious I was touched by the gesture. A few minutes later the manager came up and gave us 2 free meals certificates and said "Sorry about the long wait, enjoy a couple of free meals." I don't know if he was doing that for everyone, the wait might have been a little bit long for Chik-fil-a, but I was impressed (and actually held myself together this time). So thanks to the person driving a car with a USU Aggies license plate for buying our dinner, I doubt you knew the small kindness you paid us today. And thanks to Chik-fil-a and their employees for being just as considerate and kind.