Monday, March 9, 2009

First Trip back to the Emergency Department after Diagnosis

On Saturday, we noticed that Gabriel's abdomen bruise that started this journey with Leukemia began to turn an odd bright red colour. On Sunday evening, as I was bathing Gabriel I discovered that his bruise had increased in size and colour. I contacted the on-call Paediatric Oncologist to determine whether this change was a concern. The doctor indicated she could not assess over the phone and with the peculiar change we were to go to the hospital immediately. Gabriel being in the first stage of chemo called induction makes everything more urgent. We were nervous as we all jumped in the car as to what this would mean for our family. Once at the hospital, we were moved into isolation through the back doors to prevent a walk through of where everyone who is sick waits "somewhat"patiently to be seen. A whole different life attending the emergency department when you have a child with Leukemia. We felt horrible knowing there were so many families waiting for a doctor to see their sick child. The nurses indicated that this night seemed to be exceptionally busy. There were 25 people in the waiting room and all the beds were already full. We are blessed to be in Canada with our health care system, but there still needs to be some improvement when families cannot get a bed in emergency or even on the floors when they are admitted.

Many different people came in to see Gabriel. It gets frustrating because Gabriel has to be checked by so many new faces who tend to all do the same thing over and over. The seventh floor paediatric unit came down to emergency department to access Gabriel's port-a-cathe. The nurses in the emergency department are not trained to do this procedure. They took blood for three different tests to determine the problem. The wait began to drag on after his blood work was completed and I began to get concerned. I approached the nurse at the front desk to inquire as to why the wait for the results was taking 1.5 hours. She stated she would call to find out. After the phone call, she stated they had to double check the results as there was something they were not certain about. Hearing such words does not put your mind at ease, but quite the opposite. I was not expecting this news. I, shockingly, walked back to our isolation room to report this news to Mike. We were both troubled. Mike went to seek further information as he was confused. At this time, I began reciting Psalms 138:8 over Gabriel as I awaited the results. This passage says "The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me; thy mercy, O Lord, endureth for ever: forsake not the works of thine own hands. The first set of news began to come back. We were happily shocked to hear the following. Gabriel's blood count numbers are as follows: white blood cells 3.3 (normal is between 5-10), hemoglobin is 122 (normal), Platelets 225 (excellent and has increased from 158 to 225 in a matter of two days and his Neutrophils are at 2.2. He is no longer considered neutropenic and can fight infections. These numbers will go up and down throughout chemo, but it is a good sign for us at this stage. Thank you heavenly father for your loving hands upon our family. We sat there a little longer waiting for the final test that would determine whether we would be inpatients once again that evening. I continued to recite this passage and soon thereafter the doctor came back with our news. She reported "EVERYTHING IS FINE, YOU CAN GO HOME." Mike and I were so happy. Every trip to the emergency for us will be one that will be filled with anxiety, but at the same time with hope and peace that our Father in heaven is taking care of us. We are not sure what they were double checking and the concern, but we were just so ecstatic to know everything was fine. Today, I have to take Gabriel to the outpatient for the on-call doctor from last night to look at his bruise as she still thinks it is somewhat strange. I am just thankful for the results last night. Our journey continues...

1 comment:

  1. Praise the Lord Tina that is a great post. We are still cotinuing to pray for Gabriel and your family. He will not leave you nor forsake you! Love ya's Amanda