Today, I’m really excited to share with you what our average clinic day looks like! (yes, it’s picture sharing day here on EFAMILY…)
When we first get to the hospital, we report to the Hematology/Oncology floor for check-in and vitals.
Chase taking his chances with the germs while waiting in the Hem/Onc play area
After this, Chase goes to a clinic room where they draw the labs and he meets with his Oncology team for a dialogue session and a chemo “push” (a short chemo that can be given in a matter of minutes as opposed to his infusions which are given IV over hours/days). I have no pictures from our time in the clinic room this week, but I can tell you that despite six adults (four of whom were medical staff and two of whom were supposedly responsible parents) in direct intervention capacity, Chase did try and climb off the clinic table by himself and did fall backwards…you know…directly on his back…the area where he was about to get his spinal tap. [picture me with my head in my hands at this point] He was 100% fine. I think he just wanted to give his Onc team a small taste of “Life with Chase”. [head in my hands again]
From clinic, we procede to surgery for his spinal tap. They classify the tap as a surgical procedure because he has to be sedated. Apparently, a 2 1/2 year old boy can’t always lay perfectly still with a large needle in his back for a long time…who knew? [sarcasm implicit]
In pre-op, taking his own temperature
In preparation for his procedure, Chase is given a small sedation to make seperating from us easier (as we can’t go back with him). This week, as the drug hit his system, he just wanted to “beep” my nose until they wheeled him out. “Mellow Chase” is fun. A sedated procedure is what we call his “Nap With the Doctor“, and as he’s wheeled out for his “Nap“, we always tell him that we love him and we’ll see him when he wakes up. He often tells me to take a nap too (which usually makes me laugh and cry).
Bob on a conference call in the surgical waiting room
When Chase is in his procedure, we go to the waiting room, which reminds me to highlight the above picture. My incredible husband has worked diligently with his company to allow him to work from the hospital so that he can always be present with us. This can be hilariously confusing to medical staff meeting with us for the first time — I had an oncologist turn to me during a conference this week and say “But, we didn’t record the session. What session are you talking about?” One of those moments when I needed to explain that my husband was speaking to someone in Tempe, Arizona and not to the doctor. Communication hilarity aside, Bob’s professional sacrifice for us is amazing and I wanted to highlight that here. What a guy.
After Chase’s procedure, he’s taken to post-op and recovery to be monitored for a while. During his “Nap With the Doctor“, he usually receives chemo in his spine and has maintenance things done -like changing his dressings- that are much easier to do when your patient isn’t going ninja on you. (a hypothetical scenario, of course…)
Chase, attached to all his monitors, sleeping off his anesthesia in recovery (with Bob -still on a conference call- in the background)
Chase -about 30 minutes later- in a different stage of post-op recovery (different room; same hard-working Dad)
FYI: That chair Bob is sitting in (in this last picture) is really comfortable and Bob always beats me to it. He beats me to it so regularly that the one week he didn’t come back to post-op recovery with me, Chase woke up and lectured me about not sitting in “Daddy’s chair”. [thinking about hanging my head in my hands again]
After Chase is recovered enough to be cleared (awake, talking, swallowing, etc), we are discharged! …and if we’re really lucky, it’s before rush hour traffic!
And then, all that is left is the ride home …
Chase and his vomit bucket resting after a long clinic day
And that’s an average clinic day for us…
Moment by moment.
The heart of man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps. Proverbs 16:9
**A note: In all of these pictures, there is a prominent bruise on Chase’s forehead. Don’t worry, that’s not from falling off the exam table. That is what happens when Chase’s platelets are low. He bumps or even taps against something and his body -in it’s compromised state- cannot bruise or clot properly. For the record, his head looks much better after his second platelet transfusion on Friday.**