Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Wednesday, February 27, Update

The night was calm for both Zack and I. With Benedryl in his system he was able to sleep most of the night, and therefor so was I. I woke up around 8 am and keeping everything dark and quiet enabled him to continue sleeping. He wasn't able to eat or drink due to the Bronchoscopy, so the longer he sleeps the better (for everyone). 

I managed to balance our personal checking account and complete Franks business bookkeeping as well. It's always great to get things caught up when stuck here, at least I feel like I am doing something with my time. I also managed to get a call in to Mellissa at the insurance company and thankfully, she says she hasn't even received the dates of service that we were billed the $9,000+ . She said for me not to worry, there would be no reason why everything would not be covered at 100%. Once I get the breakdown from the hospital, I am to call her and we will review it together.  As previously explained, Melissa is a nurse with an outside agency. She reviews the claims as they come in to make sure they are in keeping with his particular protocol (or treatment) and then forwards them back to the insurance company for processing of payments. She and I talk once or twice a month and it puts a personal face to the insurance company. We discussed Zack's current situation. She says he is one tough cookie if because he has not been in the hospital as a "sick" patient before now. She explained the procedure he was having and explained that from this they should be able to determine what type of fungal infection it is and treat it accordingly. I said I was concerned about continuing with the chemo treatment next week after his body has already been through all of this. She went on to explain that we are walking a very dangerous thin line. They must get him healthy as chemo will reduce his white blood cells again, but they must also follow the treatment protocol as closely as possible to ensure success. In my heart I trust the Pediatric Oncologists. They have not steered us wrong yet and we really have no choice but to question, get answers and trust. 

We have a "new" nurse today. Her name is Crawford and she usually works in Peds ICU. Zack is not thrilled as she likes to go by the book, he likes to make up the rules as he goes along and after so many trips here, he could pretty much write the rule book. I tell him that everyone deserves a chance and just because she is new to us, doesn't mean we can't love her as much as we do all the others. After he growls, he gives me the thumbs up. It is now 10:15 am and we are getting ready to head down the hall for the procedure. There is a knock on the door and there stands Rhonda and Peter (my nephew) with yet another ottoman! They are here to be with us and keep me company while Zack is having the procedure. I don't have the heart to tell her that I'm better not having anyone here, as I tend to ( ok I DO!!!) become a bitch (OK even MORE of a bitch) as my anxiety level increases. I tend to snap at people and have little patience with anyone around. She managed to make it through relatively unscathed. We all walk (even Zack) down the pediatric hall into another world, the world of adults and nurses who are following the steps.. Step one.. change into a gown.... oh too small... here is another one. Step two... sign all the release forms and tell me your life's health history.. Step three, lets see how many wires and tubes we can put on and into you, Step Four.. NOW you get to meet the really important Doctors that are going to tell you enough shit to make you want to run out into the street screaming "Save me, Save me!" Step Five..."we have a few questions"... "do you suffer from sleep apnea?" NO, "maybe you have sleep apnea?" NO, "Do you have bad breath?" NO, "because sleep apnea causes bad breath!" YOU DO REALIZE WHAT WE ARE HERE FOR DON'T YOU?.... "Oh yes, but I have a Masters in this and that and the other and I'm really important and need to tell you just how important I am." the rest is more of less cover my ass, cover my ass, cover my ass.......! Step Six... NOW you get to meet the pulmonologist, who scares you even more with "you shouldn't do this and should have done that, and this could happen and that could happen, but in the worst case this could happen" So you again run out into the street screaming "NO their coming to get me again!!!" 

Don't get me wrong. Each person has their own specialty and I'm glad we are being so well taken care of, but for once I wish "they" would realize how terrifying some of this is to my kid (and us). He may be large in stature, but he is still a young 17 year old. Just give the basics and get on with it. Stop trying to cover your ass all the time!!

Zack is wheeled back and within 30 minutes the Doctors are in to say everything went very well. Zack did have a twenty minute coughing spell, which was to be expected after having the tube down his throat and everything stirred up in his lungs. They were able to get good samples and sent those off to the lab.We should know something within the next day or so. We do need to watch for unusually high fever later tonight as the test "stirred up" stuff. Rhonda, Peter and I head into recovery and Zack is sitting up, still a bit groggy, but thirsty and ready to head back to his room.  R & P head out and Zack and I are now waiting for transportation to push his gurney back to his room. Since it is right around lunchtime, we wait about an hour and two very nice ladies come to get us. One is wheezing and I think for my first time, I actually witness what someone with Asthma goes through. How frightening it must be for them. The woman must sit for a couple of minutes and rests. She can hardly breath and yet, here she is working so hard, pushing people in gurney's, hospital beds and wheel chairs all around the hospital! On the way back to the room we are talking about fishing (due to Zacks fishing hat and hooks adorning it). When all is said and done, they each share how they love to fish, clean fish and then eat fish. We tell them we will announce over PA when our next fish fry is and they gladly accept the invitation. 

Dr. O.B. comes in and tells us the results should be in tomorrow morning. He says that Zack's lungs sound good and evened out a bit more, which means it is moving around and hopefully out of his system. He knows the risk of high fever tonight and has alerted the staff to be prepared with Tylonol should this occur. I share our experience with the two Doctors and he simply says, there are so many questions that are required now, he even had to go through them all when he recently had surgery. I let the Doctor know that Frank will be here tonight and tomorrow and I will be returning Thursday after work. We tease about changing of the guard! While we are talking Zack starts to eat Nachos and Dr. O.B. is amazed! He told Zack when he had his tests he couldn't eat or drink for a day or so. Once again, Zack proves that he is the exception to the rule!

Zack asks me to fix him some hot wings (which I purchased frozen at the store). He has already drunk two green teas, a water and a Fanta grape. He continually breathes in the spirometer to strengthen his lungs and hopefully clear them up a bit more. (A spirometer is used in hospitals with patients after surgery. ... Hand-held portable spirometers are most commonly used in doctor's offices ... It can be used both as a diagnostic tool and as a mode of treatment to improve the lungs' overall function. ... if you have lung problems to help improve lung function.) 

The plans for the rest of the day are to continue to rest and monitor his vitals. Frank will be here after work and I will then head to the office to make sure everything is ready for tomorrow. Once done there, I will head home and sleep in my own bed for the first time since Saturday night. Thursday will be an amazingly normal day of work and seeing my awesome patients and the Docs. (Not to mention my BFF Nancy). I will then return to the Hospital for the balance of the week / weekend. 

I will post as soon as I have information from Frank and how tonight goes. Even if just a short note, everyone will be kept up to date. Again, Thank you for everything!!! You are all an amazing blessing in our lives!!!

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