Tuesday, April 28, 2009

11th hour scare...

When one goes to either the seventh floor or to BB's office, one gets one's vitals checked. Blood pressure (sitting and standing), heart rate, blood / oxygen (measured by a sensor placed over a fingernail -- measures the efficacy of oxygen getting into the blood stream as a % up to 100 -- pretty interesting) and the fastest measurement but a critical one, temperature.

If one is running a temperature any time the immune system has been compromised, it has to be watched closely. And somewhere between 101 and 101.5, it means a trip to the emergency room to have broad-spectrum IV antibiotics applied.

When I went to the 7th floor at 8AM yesterday, my temperature was a nice 97.4. Lovely. When I got checked at BB's office at 10:45, it was likewise 97.5 or something. Great!

When I spoke with Bonnie at around 2:45 as I was getting leave BB's office, I gave her a hug and she asked if I was running a temperature because my head felt warm. I told her I'd had a checked just a couple of hours ago and it was 97 and change. We shrugged it off.

Fast forward to me on the couch at 9:30. The temp is over 100. I call Bonnie, and she advises to take two Tylenol and call her in an hour. I call her in 45 minutes instead because the temp is now 101. She tells me to watch, and if it hits 101.5, get to the ER and cancel my flight. There were tense moments and I checked the damn thing every 10 minutes. I watched it go from 101 (it's peak) to 100.6, 100.4, 99.6 and I exhaled. I dozed off on the couch and woke up 30 minutes later -- about two and a half hours from taking the Tylenol, and I was at 98.3. THANK GOD.

I got up this morning and it's 99.6. I popped two Tylenol. I'm going home today, by hook or crook. I should say last night I also resumed taking Levaquin (my antibiotic) and Acyclovir (my antiviral) both because I might as well start getting ready for bridging therapy, and because I wanted to kill off whatever what is my body causing the fever. It's very odd, considering my CRP was normal yesterday as well. My *hope* is that this, along with the back pain, is being caused by hematopoesis (growth of blood cells). Flu-like symptoms are very common, but it's unusual to experience them this far out from having the Neupogen injections. Hmm...

Anyhow, I'm gonna blow this hot-dog stand and get back to LA pronto. Will let you know what happens (cut to: me being quarantined with suspect Swine Flu cases trying to get into Arkansas from Mexico City...let's hope that doesn't happen!). :)

4 comments:

  1. It's very common to get fevers when your stem
    cells are setting up house in your bone marrow
    again. They even call them "engraftment fevers"
    and they are not due to infection. We had to do the ER thing after Tim came home from his
    SCT because of this. All labs were normal and it resolved on its own.

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  2. Be safe Nick and have a wonderful time at HOME with your family! Enjoy . . .you deserve it!!

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  3. Thanks VERY much for the info on engraftment fevers. That's VERY reassuring to hear -- I assumed that's what it was but it's great to hear some corroborating comments. The tylenol is enough to manage them when they creep up. I could do without the night sweats, but hey, it's all part of the program.

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