Thursday, October 17, 2013

Ups and Downs, Highs and Lows

So.... yeah. OK. We checked into the hospital last week on Tuesday -- October 7 -- and then we just decided to stay here, apparently. On Friday, I was with Adi during the day. Guy and the kids were going to come later on -- I thought it would be nice if we were all together for shabbat.

Adi had been pretty quiet during the day, mostly sleepy. At around 1pm, a couple of volunteers came into the room, and I asked them to watch Adi while I ran down to get a cup of coffee. As I left the room, the blood pressure guy was wheeling his cart in.

When I got back, I saw the blood pressure guy, and asked about Adi's BP. "Um, the doctor is with him," he said, not looking me in the eye. I got to Adi's room to find two doctors and three nurses, a huge bloodstain on the sheets, and a lot of action.

"I had to put in a peripheral line before you got here. I'm sorry," explained one of the doctors. "We had to close his port."

"I... what?"

"He has bacteria in his blood," the other doctor said. "So we have to close his port to see if that's the source of the infection."

He was on a blood pressure monitor, I noticed, and they said that his BP was low, so they'd need to keep an eye on it. He had a fever, and they were sending cultures to the lab. He was on antibiotics, and we'd be watching him closely.

"He needs a second peripheral line," one doctor said, and she tried very hard to put one in, but after 7 or 8 tries -- none of which Adi even flinched at -- she gave up, and the other doctor came to try. He also struggled, but he got the line in after a few minutes.

A bit later, one of the nurses was in the room. "I just went for coffee," I said. "And there were so many people here when I came back."

"Septic shock is scary," she said. "That's why everybody was here. But we know how to treat it." I started to cry, because until that very second, I didn't know he was in septic shock. I didn't know that the combination of low BP, high fever, retaining fluids, and infection meant septic shock. I didn't realize that it could have killed him. I didn't know, and I'm his mother. And I went for coffee.

The new nurse came on shift then, a lovely, lovely nurse, who sat with me and listened to me cry and patiently, so patiently explained things over and over. They moved us to a room opposite the nurses' station and hooked us up on monitors that rang at their station to keep a close watch on Adi, and Guy and the kids came, but I couldn't make myself leave the room, so Guy got the kids set up at the guest house where I'd sleep with them, and he set up the food for shabbat, and I sat and watched Adi.

Guy took the boys downstairs to shul. He made kiddush for Adi in the room and took the kids to eat dinner. Then he came back and sat with me until I was ready to leave and go back to the other kids.

The next day, I was back in the hospital -- with Amit -- at 7am. Guy took Amit back to the guest house and stayed there with the other kids until it was time to eat. We ate in the room at the hospital -- we had the room to ourselves at that point, so we set up tables and tried to pretend that it was totally normal. And then Guy went back with the kids and I sat next to Adi and watched him. Because on Friday, I went for coffee.

We've been watching Adi's fevers and BP since then. He's spiked fevers and thrown low BPs every day, but we've avoided the 80/30 that we saw on Friday. Today, he briefly -- very briefly, like for 30 minutes -- had a fever of 38 degrees, and his BP was around 109/67, so we're hopefully on the right track.

We've been here 10 days, and I'm pretty sure Adi will be here for Shabbat. This time, though, I'll stay home with the kids, and Guy will stay here with Adi. I'm here tonight -- at Adi's request. And he is sleeping now, worn out from a day that started with ice cream and ended with a hamburger.


Crystal T. said...

I know that feeling of stepping away and having horrible things happen! It's taken me a LONG time to not have rolling anxiety attacks when Jack was out of my site. It seemed like every time I was away from him, something happened. Even now if he gets sick and stays home from school or something, I am the first to volunteer to take care of him (we are a blended family, so there are four parents). It just feels so wrong to be away when he's sick.

Also...I just found out like TWO days ago what the story is behind one of the medications Jack takes. I had no idea it was as serious as it was and if not managed could lead to brain damage. No one had taken the time to explain it to me and I have always been too afraid to read about cancer-related things because it's always just a rabbit hole of horror stories. So...don't feel bad that you didn't know what was going on OR that you stepped away to take care of yourself - that's why you have doctors and specialists and you guys were in the perfect place to get it all dealt with.

Hang in there. I know those ups and downs are absolutely nerve-wracking. I know you've probably heard a million times that your son is so brave but I hope you know that you are so very brave, as well.

Unknown said...

okay Abbi- you did it again: I'm really crying now. May Hashem keep sending you many many lovely and patient nurses, competent and compassionate doctors and only happy news until all this is over! with much admiration for the way you are somehow getting through this- Chana