Things have gone south since I last wrote. On Friday or so, Dear Son began running a fever. He ran a fever for over 24 hours and yet they were unable to determine the source of the fever. They did some blood tests and a blood culture however no bacteria grew so the good news, if any, was that we didn't have a bacterial pneumonia. They did however start an antibiotic for 48 hours to cover it.
Ped Neuro Doc felt however that based on his conversations with these physicians it was something that needed to be done. I reluctantly agreed to let them do it however I did not feel great about that decision.
Late last night, they began deep suctioning. I didn't watch the first one but remained in the room. During the second deep suctioning, just two hours later, I stood up to see and was horrified at the amount of blood that was suctioned. In addition, Dear Son bled for an hour later and some 90 minutes later, this is what his face looked like. I requested to speak with Attending Doc but got on a Fellow. I stopped the deep suctioning. Dear Son looked like a boxer had smashed him in the face. I felt good about stopping that.
Right before I left the room today, I asked the nurse to give me a minute or two to say good-bye to Dear Son. He left the room and I kissed Dear Son and told him I loved him. I told him that I was sorry I had to leave but that I didn't agree with them putting the tube up his nose and that they think it will make him better. I said his Daddy will be here with him. As I turned around I saw the door to our room was left open and the nurse was standing right outside the door. I was really angry. I have sat in that room for three weeks now with tight infection control procedures and the door was never allowed to be open for more than a few seconds to go in/out and here this nurse couldn't have the courtesy to give me a few private moments with my son. Outrageous.
I left the hospital today and was beside myself. I have spent the last eighteen years taking good care of Dear Son and looking out for him. I never dreamed that as things get down to the wire that I couldn't be there. I just can't stomach the fact that he can be hurting. Being your child's best advocate isn't always pretty and it can be uncomfortable at times but you have to do it.
After I left, I called Dad several times to see how things were going. After Ped Neuro's Doc pleas to me for deep suctioning, not once in the last ten hours have they asked about deep suctioning Dear Son.
This has really been a nasty hospitalization. I doubt we will ever come here again should he survive this. The conditions here have also made it challenging. The room is extremely hot at night, freezing in the morning, there is no air circulation and it's noisy. The pressurized bed is loud and blows dust around the room. With the infection control procedures, I am not allowed to go anywhere but the bathroom. So I can't buy any meals in the cafeteria or restaurant nor can I use the microwave or even heat up a cup of water for a cup of tea. It's like being in an airplane for three weeks. If that weren't enough, the public bathroom and shower are about a quarter of a mile down the hall. There are only two public bathrooms on the ICU floor and when you try to take a shower, people knock on the door for you to hurry up. I am not showering very much.
I guess I am also a bit angry. We were scheduled to get the swine flu vaccine and they ran out. Had Dear Son had the vaccine, the Section Chief of Infectious Diseases said he'd most likely be home with a cold and not here. It's really hard when I worked so hard to get him that vaccine (I was able to get the seasonal and pneumonia vaccine though.) and then to have this type of hospitalization. Missing the Make a Wish trip just bothers me to no end-I so wanted to see him happy. We went from planning the best birthday ever to him having the worst birthday ever and being on a ventilator. You wonder sometimes in the big scheme of things, why the hospitalization couldn't have happened after the trip. This is our 60th hospitalization. People have fun every day and you wonder sometimes why it couldn't happen for Dear Son.
In addition, my sister's birthday is tomorrow. She died from colon cancer on March 1st of this year. My mother had colon cancer and was cancer free for six years and now they think it's back. My aunt died from her second bout of colon cancer two years ago. As a result, my mother's physician wants all of us siblings to go for genetic testing. I told my mother that I wasn't interested since I have enough on my plate right now.
At this point, I just want to bring my son home. If there is nothing more they can do, then I'd like to take him home and love and care for him until it's time.
Note: Dear Son is eighteen years old and suffers from intractable seizures, dystonia and severe mental retardation as a result of a mutation of the ARX gene. He also suffers from a progressive neurological disease.