Saturday, May 19, 2012

One step forward, two steps back

Kevin again. 

As it turns out, Michael spent less than a day at home. We got him home Thursday afternoon, and he and Jen settled in for a restful evening of mac & cheese and TV watching. He was running a fever, but that's not unusual for someone who's had four surgeries in the past two weeks and whose immune response has been knocked down by chemotherapy and kidney issues. Jen called in, and they removed the cap on his perc neph. 

The real problem started about 3am Friday morning, when Michael woke up with problems breathing. He asked Jen to turn up the flow rate on his oxygen, but could not catch his breath, even with the maximum 5 liters/minute that his home unit can deliver. So off to the ER they went, to spend a couple of hours being monitored. Tests showed an elevated white blood cell count, consistent with the mild infection issues noted above, which confirms that suspicion. 

After a couple of hours, things cleared up,  and Michael felt okay again, so they went back home... and about 11am, it happened again, after Michael took a nap. So, back to the ER, where he spent the afternoon, before being checked in for observation. So he's back at Abbott, on the oncology observation ward. We're hoping it's just for the weekend, and that we can figure out what's up. 

We don't know what's wrong.  I guess in a general sense, we do -- he has cancer -- but what's triggering these specific episodes is a mystery. Mom thinks he's having an allergic reaction to his dog, Jen thinks it might be related to the fact that he was actually sleeping on his back and the fluid in his lungs may be pooling differently (in 16 days of hospital time, aside from never getting a full night's sleep, he also had never laid fully flat, due to the nature of the hospital bed. I have no theories, but I think Jen's sounds good. And I think it's worth getting a good air filter and doing a deep cleaning on his house to get rid of pet hair and the like, because even if he's not having an allergic reaction, having lots of particulate matter in the air is bad for people with breathing issues. 

Have I mentioned that Jen is the most amazing person I think I've ever met? I am so very glad that Michael and she found one another - true love is a rare and precious thing. 

- Kevin


Deborah in MN said...

oh, no! But better in the hospital where they can keep a close eye on so many things and react quickly than home where things could get worse without anyone knowing. It's too late to visit tonight but we'll make it over tomorrow.

I agree with your comments about Jen. She is a treasure.

Eclector2 said...

A balanced delivery of a complex problem. Thanks, Kevin.

I totally agree about Jen, she amazes and pleases me constantly. Not only is Michael blessed to have her in his life but so are we. She makes me and, more importantly, Michael very happy.

BTW: Rachel is doing a deep cleaning on the house tomorrow and we will bring over the air filter and the wedge pillow for sleeping, so the shock to Michael system will be reduced.

Kelly McCullough said...

Blargle. That's all I got besides good wishes and a liberal sprinkling of hugs for all involved.

R said...

Jen rules. And Michael rules. And Kevin rules. And Marilyn rules. The love has been strong and witnessing it has carried me. Thank you!

Post a Comment