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Sunday, April 4, 2010

Little Lioness...

Did I mention that Niki had fever when I came home from work on Monday? No? Well here's the story...

John got home before I did so he was the first between the two of us to discover that Niki was sick. He checked her temp and it was 102.3 which meant we had to take Nikiface immediately to the ER for the 7th time in the past 6 months. Yes, I'm keeping a mental tally of our ER trips.

No passing go. No collecting $200. Just go directly to jail the ER.

I called the on-call Hematologist so the ER staff in SF would be prepared for Niki. I got home at 6:30 and we arrived in the ER by 7pm. Nurse Stat and Dr. Daddy (surprisingly) weren't there. After a tiny bit of head scratching on the ER staff's part (the MD even asked the nurses if they knew how to "draw blood from that thing") they performed the usual blood culture,abx infusion, medical jargon, blah blah blah yackety schamackety. I don't blame them for the head scratching though because my Nikiface is a rare case. In fact, I still learn something new from every ER visit. I'm sure you're sick of hearing about our ER trips just as I am sick of writing about them.

But, it's all about documentation folks! Niki needs to know her story. ;)

Every ER trip is simultaneously predictable and unpredictable. John and I have learned a lot from our trips so we've blossomed into great advocates for little Niki Boom-Boom. Some of these lessons we had to learn the hard way. I used to be meek, but now I have no problem speaking up for the best interest of my Baby Bruiser.

And at this particular visit, Niki was not a happy camper.

She was burning hot so they gave her a Tylenol suppository to bring her fever down. I learned that Niki cannot tolerate oral meds when she's feeling ill. I let this be known the minute they mentioned Tylenol lest someone try to convince me to "wait and see" if she vomits. I allowed another nurse to convince me to "wait and see" a few ER visits ago and she promptly puked. Thrice.

Uh, no. I've gotten the "mother knows best thing" down packed so get thee to the suppository supply please.

Working for Kaiser has been a plus because I can throw in pertinent medical terminology AND I use the same electronic charting system at my own job. I don't come off as a know-it-all (I know my manners) but, I also no longer accept the subtle laziness that Niki has been subjected to in the past. Everything is just an order away. I suppose I give off the illusion that I know what the f*ck I'm talking about because I've been asked many a time by different ER staff if I was a nurse (or "Nars" by my Filipino counterparts lol!)

Ha, I wish.

I don't think it's relevant for them to know my occupation--I could be a prostitute for Godsakes!-- but I keep it real and tell them I'm a Medical Assistant...Extraordinaire. And more importantly that I'm an expert on my daughter and her condition. That's usually enough to stop any further inquisition. Lol!

Better yet, I think I will say "prostitute" the next time someone asks me what I do for a living.

I loved the staff that was on that night. My "Plan A" (Nurse Stat and Dr. Daddy) wasn't there, but the staff that was on that night were the best "Plan B" we've had so far. I hate being second-guessed and they didn't question us at all. Even when I told them that we wouldn't be needing them to change her clave or Hep-Lock because we could do it ourselves. They  really trusted our ability to access her line. They didn't even question why she couldn't have a catheter for her urine sample. And that my friends was awesome.

Plan B really trusted our knowledge and personal experience as parents.

Niki didn't get her Ceftriaxone (antibiotic) infusion until close to 9pm. Plan B was a bit behind on the protocol (she should have got her infusion within an hour), but it was completely understandable. I really liked Plan B because they were efficient. Niki was discharged by 11:30pm. :)

She felt like sh*t. (Pre suppository)

After the Tylenol. She was still getting her infusion during all of this...

Niki had to get her 2nd abx infusion the following day. I went to work in the morning because I need to preserve my sick time for her surgery in August. Oh the joys of being the insurance provider. Nurse Richard tried his best to get Niki an appointment at the Pediatric Infusion Center in SF because it's closer to our house, but they were fully booked. Our options were to take her to see Dr. Sweetheart in my building for a PIV or to drive to Oakland to Dr. Awesome's office for the abx infusion through her Broviac.

We opted to drive to Dr. Awesome's office since it was a no factor day and we didn't want to risk any bleeding from a PIV. John and I left work early instead. Thank GOD for FMLA.

Going to Dr. Awesome's office is like going to the Ritz Carlton. They're the most knowledgeable on "all things Niki" so her infusion went smoothly. Niki was also given 200cc of fluid to keep her hydrated. Dr. Awesome even discovered that Niki was starting to develop mouth sores from the high fever that she had the day before. So, after playing a round of peek-a-boo with Niki, off she went to order some "magic mouth wash" for my baby girl. We got there at 2:00 and finished by 3:30 -- pure awesomeness at Dr. Awesome's. :)

The view from Dr. Awesome's office...

That night, Niki was in absolute pain from her mouth sores. They were full blown, raw, and kept her up all night. My poor baby would cover her mouth and cry because they hurt so much. It was painfully adorable. The sores bled so much that we ended up giving her factor at 4am.

Fun stuff, huh?

Niki is a tough little cub though because by Wednesday evening she was feeling much better. I even had time to partake in some "paganism" by making Easter baskets for my MIL's daycare kids.

Making this one was my favorite. Can you guess why?

Niki was eating and playing again so John's sisters had to tend to her while I erupted into full "crafting crackhead" mode. I really procrastinated on making the baskets. Thank goodness my MIL didn't need them yet or we would all be screwed. Lol! Believe it or not, I also attended a class that night. So much going on and so little time to do it all. What's my next project you say?

Coordinating the final details for the Hemophilia Walk, of course. Don't forget to donate! :)

I am pleased to report that Niki's mouth sores have completely disappeared. She's as happy as can be just in time to celebrate Easter. Now, we're back to dealing with the trivial stuff like mini nose and mouth bleeds. Whatta girl! :)

Just another day in the life of my special Little Lioness. :)

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