I only wish this could be a funny. Sadly, it is not!
Yesterday, Danny clearly wasn't feeling too well. The city was totally closed down because of some freezing rain. (If you are from anywhere north of the Mason-Dixon line, quit giggling.) I let him sleep until he woke up, which was around noon. He came downstairs, curled up on the couch with a blanket, and went back to sleep.
He felt a little warm to me, but I decided to wait a little while and not wake him up. So about an hour later, I checked him - still warm - and took his temp. 102.6°. Oooooookay. I called the pager number to reach the oncologist on call. She called me back promptly, and informed me that I would have to take Danny to the ER because the clinic had been closed due to the freezing rain. Really? Really? Freezing rain? Ok, my northeastern US roots are showing.
So, I frantically dealt with the dog and cat, knowing they were condemned to be without fresh food, water, or litter, for a very long time, packed a bag, forced Danny to get dressed, and somehow managed to get us in the car. He was pretty pitiful.
I hate ERs. One reason is how unbelievably slow they are to get anything done. I can only assume that, when there is a case of trauma, they are not slow, but in any other circumstance, they seem to feel that there is no particular reason to hurry.
The last time Danny spiked a fever from chemo, we went to the clinic. They drew blood, sent it off for testing, started an IV, and sent us straight to the ward as soon as a room was ready. This time, we got to the ER around 4:30, and made it to the ward at 11:30. What did we do for seven hours? Good question. We did an awful lot of waiting, although I will say that they got him into an exam room quickly, so as to get him away from all the germy people in the waiting area. He was very, very low in one type of white blood cell, which was the whole reason he spiked the fever in the first place.
They insisted on many, many more tests than they do in the clinic - had to draw blood from two sites instead of just one. They added in x-rays. They did an EKG. We jumped through lots of hoops.
In addition, there was one obnoxious nurse who insisted that Danny take liquid grape-flavored Tylenol to bring the fever down. Danny HATES grape-flavored liquid Tylenol. I blame myself, though. I am normally not afraid to be assertive with people, but this nurse intimidated me and I kept quiet. Next time, I will speak up for sure. But this time, Danny swallowed the Tylenol...and promptly threw it up.
After Danny was on the ward, at midnight, I had to drive home to take care of my dog - a half-hour drive each way. I was not too thrilled about that, either. But I'm glad I did. My poor little dog needed to go out very badly! Today I took her to the kennel. The cat can handle being alone for long periods with food, water, and litter. The dog needs a bit more attention.
And Danny is safely on the ward, still feverish, still tired, but in pretty good spirits. His oncologist says to expect him to be there for at least as long as he was the last time this happened (which was six days) and maybe more. His bone marrow is pretty well wiped out from all the chemo, and it will take a long, long time for it to recover.
At least he can still smile! His attitude puts mine to shame, alas.