Yesterday and today have certainly been a roller coaster of expectations and occurrences.
The focus on Tuesday was getting organised to leave the hospital on the “hospital in the home (HITH)” program. This took most of the day to organise and by 4.00pm I had finished my IV medications and the take home drugs had been delivered – so home to Docklands we went (again).
The interesting thing was what happened overnight. My temperature increased slowly and breached the 38 degree febrile mark by 10.30pm. The HITH nurse on duty checked with the doctor and the message was hang in there and monitor the situation again at 12.30am.
At 12.30am my temp was just over 38 but given I wasn’t feeling sick we decided to stay at home and see what the morning would bring.
Temps were just over 38 degrees at 5.30am so I threw down a couple more Panadol and waited to see what might happen. I had some very light diarrhoea but was not too concerned about this (somewhere between 5 and 6 on the stool chart!!- I am learning a lot!!).
The HITH team came fairly early around 8.30am and set about their business with observations and checks. They hooked me up to a small pump for IV drugs which were to be delivered during the middle of the day (delayed setting). The two nurses from HITH were on site for about an hour by the time they got things organised.
When they rang through to the real hospital and reported on the temps and diarrhoea and things went down hill. The Doctor at the HITH section (completely different to Ward 7A) wanted to go through my condition step by step which we did. She then consulted with the Haematology team who called for blood tests and another chest X-ray. They were worried about complications with infections showing up due to the diarrhoea or maybe a worsening of the chest infection. This process took a few hours and after the X-ray and blood tests were done they wanted us to hang around to get the results which they said they would put through in record time – less than an hour.
We went to our favourite café (The Loft) on the 7th floor of the Peter Mac building and then to the Meditative Space on the Ground Floor of the Peter Mac building and waited for a phone call.
Once summoned back to the HITH rooms at RMH we were met by Dr Zhi from the “Haem Team” who checked me out again (second thorough examination that day) with the message that due to last night’s Temps she would like me to come back in to Ward 7B overnight.
So we headed back home to pack the bags and returned to the Ward 7B by around 4.30pm where a bed had recently vacated (they are usually filled within 2 hours of someone leaving the Ward!). We were asked to see Dr Zhi again before I was admitted, she said the lead consultant was a bit more lenient and felt I could stay home! However we needed to wait for him to discuss this with us and he was in a meeting for another hour.
Luckily Jan had begun to teach me how to knit so out with the knitting and away I went to fill in the time.
Dr Ashish the lead consultant eventually turned up and talked through the situation. He was in two minds about me going home but given there was a bed in the Ward he felt it might be safer to stay in. The alternative was to present to the Emergency Department in the middle of the night if the temps increased dramatically. This would involve a 3 hour wait for admission and no guarantee of a transfer to 7B at all.
Having made that decision Dr Ashish went to advise the Nurse in Charge that I was staying only to find out that my bed had been allocated to another patient!
So we were left with no option – home it was (not such a bad option anyway)! The lead consultant was very good about this and in good humour saying plans always change around here.
So after spending the majority of the day in the hospital (despite the fact that I am actually discharged on the HITH plan) I was finally backhome by 6.30pm via peak hour traffic.
And that my friends is how my treatment goes. My motto is just ‘one day at a time’ and things change each day so go with the flow rather than try and plan too far ahead.