Still in Hospital

Highlight: Joseph is doing well, but is still in the hospital.


On Sunday night I posted about Joseph having a fever and us coming in for what looked to be less than 24 hours. It is now Tuesday evening and we are still here but hope to go home soon. What has caused the delay is the complexity of medical care for someone with leukemia. Children with low blood counts can catch a very wide range of bacterial and fungal infections, some of which are almost unknown in healthy people. To make this even more challenging, many of the normal responses to infection don’t appear the same in a child receiving chemotherapy.

So when Joseph was admitted, a whole range of tests were done to identify what was happening that would cause a fever. One of the things discovered was a drop in Joseph’s blood cell levels. It was not a huge drop but it showed that something was inhibiting the bone marrow. Joseph is also scheduled for the next phase of treatment that requires him to have a higher blood cell level than he has right now. So that adds to the complexity of his medical needs.

Monday was not an easy day for Joseph. He did not get to sleep until about 1 am on Monday morning due to the processing and tests that needed to happen on Sunday night. Then he needed to be up at 7:30 am for his early breakfast of toast as he would be fasting the rest of the day for his time in surgical theater that afternoon. Normally, I would take Joseph in the baby buggy for a long walk from 11 am till time to go to the surgery but this day it did not work out as he needed to be on the ward for IV antibiotics. So Joseph was really tired and hungry and thirsty. He spotted a cup of water in the room and pointed to it and started crying when I would not give it to him. I then tried to walk the halls with him but that did not help. He just kept pointing back to the room and crying. He became really distressed and even the nurses were getting concerned as several said “That is just not like Joseph”. Thankfully the list for surgery was not long on this Monday and we were able to go in at 2:30 pm.

As in the past I took Joseph in and set him on my knee while they start up the anaesthesia. Joseph goes to sleep in my arms and several people help me place him safely on the surgical table. I give him a kiss on the forehead and tell him I love him as I go out to wait while the lumbar puncture is done and the chemo is administered. My wait was longer than usual, very likely due to his tiredness. As one of the nurses said, “Now, he had a good wee sleep”. So when I went to recovery I had a new little boy who was sipping some water and sitting on a nurse’s knee with a smile on his face.

Though hungry, Joseph was still very picky about food. But when Marie came in to take over for the evening she had a load of healthy goodies with her and he ate well on Monday night.

On Tuesday he had a good breakfast and was literally running about in circles playing. Then in the afternoon he got a good nap in the buggy and ate really well at dinner. He was having a bit of yogurt when Marie came in to take over for the evening.

Now Joseph has been on IV antibiotics for about 48 hours and has also not had any elevated temperatures. So on Wednesday morning they will run a blood cell count test. If those results show improvement and he is otherwise healthy, we will be released to go home.

This whole episode has been a real learning experience for us as a family. We had been told to have a bag packed and ready should we need to go to the hospital quickly. We followed the advice but have been finding several things that would have been handy to have in the bag. We also are learning what it is like to be ready for sudden change. We can’t put our family life on hold so we are busy with many activities but all the while we know that we could need change our plans at any moment. It is much like waiting for Jesus’ return. We need to be about our business but also aware that at any moment all that we were so busy doing will be set aside for the great day of the Lord.


As were the days of Noah, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.
For as in those