Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Keeping Things Interesting

Spencer went into the clinic this afternoon for his monthly routine check-up and infusion of preventative antibiotics (Pentamidine).   They weighed him (64.7 kg.), measured him (still 5'9"), and then took him back to the blood draw room to insert his IV.   

That's where the routine appointment lost a little of the routineness.  They had sent me to the exam room to wait for him while they were inserting it, where I expected it would take 5 minutes or so.  Twenty minutes later, after starting to get a little nervous,  a nurse ran and got me to let me know that Spence had had a bad reaction to getting the IV.   I walked into the blood draw room and found him with his head between his knees,  pale as a ghost, and covered in a cold drenching sweat.   No one knows exactly why he reacted that way, but after they forced him to eat, drink, and rest he seemed okay when he walked back to the exam room. 

Eventually we got to the appointment where our pediatric oncologist (Dr. Shankar) examined him and let us know that his bloodwork was almost totally back to normal (WBC:  3.35,  HGB:  15.9, ANC:  1520, Platelets:  138).    Only his platelets were low by a miniscule amount. 

She then sent us back to the infusion room where he could receive his hour-long IV infusion of antibiotics, after which we could go home.   He had totally recovered from the IV insertion and  was just biding his time listening to music, glaring at his mom,  and using his iPad.   It was all routine again....
...until his arm started breaking out into hives and the flushed face and cold sweat returned.   The doctor came quickly and prescribed him some Benadryl to be administered through his IV.    Thankfully the Benadryl did the trick and hives never spread past that one arm.  Although it seemed like an allergic reaction, the doctors believe that he'll actually be fine with future doses as long as Benadryl is given preemptively before the antibiotic is administered.  Since he's already allergic to penicillin and sulfa antibiotics, we're grateful that we don't have to cross yet another one off the list. 

It was a long, stressful afternoon (more than 3-1/2 hours beginning to end), but since it  was accompanied with the news of another month of clean blood work, we are definitely not complaining! 


K said...

How can you be allergic to an IV? was there anything in it? Odd. Poor kid. So, he may also be allergic to the antibiotics? Crazy!

denise said...

ack! who knew routine could be so wonderful?

glad he's feeling better!

Steve-Rosanna said...

Wow, he's up over 21 lbs in the past 5-6 weeks. We can conclude that hospital food causes weight loss. ;o)

We love you Spence!

The McArthur Family said...

He's looking healthy and more filled-out. I'm so glad to hear the good news about this most recent round of blood work, even if it was a little more of an adventure than you or Spencer would have liked! It was wonderful to hear Spencer in church on Sunday. Wow!

shannon said...

Yay for routine. And double yay for clean blood work! Here's to many, many more!

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