One is the loneliest number that you'll ever do. Two can be as bad as one, it's the loneliest number since the number one.
-- "One" by Three Dog Night
Last January, with a temperature of 103.4 and a low white blood cell count, Atia's hospital admission was inevitable. The doctors speculated that she had a virus, but to be safe a nasal swab and several blood cultures were ordered and she began receiving IV antibiotics immediately.
Because she was neutrapenic, Atia was placed in an isolation room. It had two doors and people had to close the first door, scrub clean and don protective gear before entering through the second door. The purpose was to ensure that only clean, filtered air entered the room. Airborne germs were a huge concern because H1N1 was running rampant. Needless to say, it was not a quick entry into or exit out of her room.
Unfortunately that morning, Steve started feeling sick and was forced to wear a mask. He had to avoid all contact with Atia. That made the separation of duties easy. I cared for Atia; he cared for Asher.
Around noon, we settled into Atia's room and immediately crashed. We were so exhausted. It had been seven hours since arriving at the clinic. While we slept, Atia's fever broke.
That night, since we didn't bring Asher's pack 'n play, Steve took Asher home. Poor Steve was getting sicker by the minute. They couldn't stay and Icouldn't wouldn't leave Atia. It was Steve's first night home alone with Asher. I wondered how they'd do.
After they left, Atia and I got ready for bed. It was then she told me that she wanted to sleep in the bed alone. What?!? We'd always slept together in the hospital bed -- remember the days of "Squished. I was SO SQUISHED!"? It was Atia's first time EVER sleeping in a "big girl bed" all by herself. I was really proud of her.
Atia slept very well; me, not so much. I spent the night tossing and turning on my rock hard, makeshift bed otherwise known as the couch. And as if that wasn't bad enough, I woke up every time a nurse came in to take Atia's vitals. I mean, seriously!?!
The next day, her blood counts were still low, but had slightly increased and her temperature was still stable - both very good signs. I was looking forward to Steve and Asher's return; however, after a brief phone call it was decided that they should stay home. Unlike Atia, Steve was getting worse and worse.
I was bummed that Atia and I were on our own. I felt very ALONE... and sad.
Unfortunately, that day also happened to be the one year anniversary of my father's unexpected passing. He suffered a fatal, massive heart attack at the younge age of 58. He went to work one day and never came home.
I longed for my mom, sister and husband, but none of them could be with me. So, I spent most of that day on Facebook writing back and forth with my sister sharing various memories and crying a lot...
In loving memory of my dad, Gregory R. Bobek.
Filed under: Maintenance Phase
Tags: ALL, ALL leukemia, blood cultures, chemotherapy treatment, Comer Children's Hospital, death, Facebook, Fever, H1N1, heart attack, Hospital, hospital stay, isolation, isolation room, IV antibiotics, Leukemia, nasal swab, neutrapenic, Sick, social networking, U of C, University of Chicago, University of Chicago's Comer Children's Hospital, white blood cell counts