Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Six Hundred Ninety Three

At the very front of Rudi's binder is a laminated page clearly marked "Paediatric Oncology Fever Card". It is basically a pass to move him to the front of the line at any hospital emergency department in the event he runs a fever. If that happens, no matter where we might be, we simply walk into an emergency room and present the card.  Absolutely everything going on there is then put on hold, and whatever staff resources are needed to begin Rudi's assessment and treatment are devoted to him... Cut your thumb dicing tomatoes, and you are fourth in line?  Sorry, you are now bumped to fifth!  Broke your arm falling off your bike and you are next to be seen?  That's a shame, you get to wait an extra twenty minutes!

So Rudi was not feeling well after dinner, and Katherine took his temperature, high thirty sevens.  According to protocol, a second reading in that range in a twenty four hour period and we would have to run him into Kitchener.  He went to lie down, so over the next few hours checked him a couple of times, once under, and once over the threshold. He appeared under the weather, and had a headache and the sniffles, more than likely suffering from the common cold.

An hour later, with a temperature in the thirty eights, we phoned London to reach the Oncologist on call, to let them know we would head in to Kitchener.  As Kitchener has an Oncology day clinic and a Paediatric unit, we wanted to know if we should go to Emerg, or bypass it straight to the Paediatric unit. After an hour of phone tag between us, two docs in London, and the Kitchener staff, who had a bed, didn't have one, and had one again, we were sent straight to the inpatient Paediatric unit, where we would be expected.

We were buzzed in after arriving, and met by two nurses, and eventually the Doctor, and over the next hour Rudi had bloodwork taken, and a whole bunch of questions asked about how he was feeling, in addition to vitals done. Because the Paediatric unit in Kitchener is not an Oncology unit, and the Doctor not an Oncologist, his Doctor in Kitchener had to conference with the Oncologist in London to go through all the results and confirm treatment.

About five hours later, with bloodwork showing he was not neutropenic (still had some immune system left) and his fever falling, he was given two Tylenols and we were allowed to go home.  It was two-thirty in the morning, and he slept all the way back to Tavistock.