Saturday 2 August 2014

One step forward, two steps back

Weeks like these feel like we're on a hamster wheel.

No sooner had Dom yanked his NG tube and started eating than he spiked a fever bad enough we had to take him to Medicine Hat Hospital.

We've been through this before, but without any symptoms other than the fever and just generally being grumpy, the visit was more of a precaution.

Then we saw the results of his recent blood tests. His white blood cell counts are down to almost nothing, and his platelets and hemoglobin levels are trending the wrong way too.

Off to Calgary.

But this time, the trip wasn't as simple as packing up the car and driving. Oh, no. The doctor in Medicine Hat - I have no clue what his name is - was adament that Dominic be flown to Calgary, that this was some type of life-and-death emergency.

Well sure, he's not feeling well and his counts are low, but we've been through this before and it's not as though he's going to stop breathing in the next three hours.

The doctor kept pushing. We eventually threw up our hands as if to say 'fine, whatever.' But then a nearby thunderstorm prevented the flying option so Trish and Dom wound up in an ambulance.

He practically smiled the whole way. Right, what an emergency. Brilliant use of resources there. We need to learn to take a more hard-line stance. Ultimately they can't force the ambulance on us and we shouldn't have let them.

The worst part was that because the doctor in Medicine Hat has no clue how to deal with a patient like Dominic, he had him sent to the emergency room in Calgary. Not the oncology unit, where we walk in every other time with these sort of symptoms and are given a room. Instead Trish had to wait in the emergency room for hours and was eventually transferred to Unit 1 anyhow. At one point while waiting he sprung a leak in his diaper. Without a room or any available supplies there was literally urine dripping on to the floor. That's what it took for Dominic to get a room Thursday night.

I drove in on Friday with a car load of supplies and clothes so that Trish and Dom could stay at least a week. But I have to go back to work on Monday. We'll now be driving back Sunday so that Trish can then take our second car and drive right back to Calgary. Again, thanks so much for the ambulance ride.

To say this is all frustrating is an understatement. He needed a blood transfusion - his first red blood transfusion in months - and his weight is dropping because he hasn't wanted to eat much during this latest drama.

Now we wait and see what the lab work on his bodily fluids tells us this time. Last time it was the urinary tract infection. Spin the wheel, throw some more drugs at him, hopefully he can come home again soon.

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