Stem Cell Transplant – plumbing

All wrapped and nowhere to go.

Wednesday 9th June was marked in the diary a while back as the planned date for fixing the plumbing – Kip’s double-Hickman central line and venerable old vascuport were scheduled to be taken out in what, to us at least, seemed like a momentous step forward in Kip’s recovery.

Everything was going to plan as well. Until Monday, when Kip spiked a temperature and we had to go in to the emergency department (again), have bloods taken (again) and have The Daddy of Antibiotics infused for 48 hours minimum (again) and get admitted to the ward (again). We’re getting very good at this, just at the stage where we’d be hoping to never need to access that wisdom anymore.

I was astonished just how busy the emergency department was; apparently nobody can get to their GP so every cough and sneeze is turning up in a confined space to share bugs. The poor staff are quite overwhelmed right now, but still were diligently caring for Kip.

We got a room on Ward 18 fairly quickly and Kip was settled in bed and fast asleep by 10:30pm. First things first, I unpacked and made sure we had decent WiFi, got the Amazon Firestick hooked up ready for the next day and got myself off to sleep in – ahem – A REAL BED! which had somehow missed the Cull On Comfort that left almost everyone else with a Chair That Is Not A Bed. Given the circumstances I managed to sleep very well indeed.

Tuesday was very good overall, despite persistent fever through much of the day. Kip got multiple visits from his favourite nurse and favourite teacher throughout the day. The doctors confirmed that, despite his temperature and the lack of explanation for it, we could go ahead with the planned surgery.

That happened in the late morning today; after fasting from 3am, Kip virtually ran across the entire hospital site to the theatre, then sat on my lap for the anaesthetic. Once firmly asleep, I escaped the building for a bit to enjoy the weather. Kip and I got back to the ward only a minute or so apart, and he immediately wanted ALL the Rice Krispies in the world. He snacked all afternoon on whatever I could find. Late afternoon saw the unwelcome return of a fever, and now that’s the headache.

Sarah took over from me just after tea time, and I look forward to a night in my own bed.

We don’t know when we’ll get home. Taking blood samples is now much more complicated as Kip doesn’t have any of the handy plumbing in him anymore, just a cannula in his right hand that’s good for giving but not drawing blood. We need to understand and get on top of this fever (which could easily be just a mild virus) before we can think about h***. We hope he’s not subjected to too much more antibiotics for the sake of his gut.

Oh well, onwards and upwards I suppose!


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