Monday, April 07, 2008

Manda's Sick - Chapter 2: Room 419

So Saturday night at 11:30 or so we got settled in to our new environs, the Progressive Telemetry Unit.

I came home briefly to feed the cats, but when I got back, Amanda was on her second bag of blood and had just consulted with the first (of 3) hematologist. The woman was very intrigued with Amanda's symptoms, and thought there was somewhat consistent evidence of Leukemia, but that some things didn't really add up.

I stayed with Amanda until nearly 2am before heading home for the night.

By Sunday morning her hemoglobin count was only up to 5, and shortly after I arrived I was told by her nurse that "Neutropenic Precautions" needed to be taken: anyone entering the room would need to wear a gown, gloves, and mask. Her white blood cell count was also very low, and the risk (to her) of infection was too great.

Sadly, I was the only one to wear the space-alien get-up, because Hematologist #2 came in about an hour later and rescinded that order: only thorough hand-washing would be necessary.

He told us that Amanda needed a bone-marrow biopsy, to be scheduled for Monday, along with an echocardiogram, blood-cultures to rule out virus, and a visit from an eye doctor. He told us that he felt her bone marrow was not functioning: no deficiencies (B-12, iron, etc) were causing the blood issues, it simply wasn't being produced. Either the marrow was suppressed, diseased, or had died. He actually (pre-diagnosis) began discussing chemotherapy and transplant considerations.

He also felt that the PTU was not the right place for a patient with Neutropenic issues, so he had her shipped upstairs, to ONCOLOGY. Oh, yeah: that's the kind of thing that helps you sleep at night...

Her nurse was very sad to see her go. Apparently Amanda's a very good patient.

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