After spending 45 out of 48 days at Primary Children’s Hospital, Ashtyn and I know the routine. Attending, fellow, and resident doctors, nurse practitioners, registered nurses, child life specialists, anesthesiologists, pharmacists, house keepers, dietitians, physical and occupational therapists, techs, volunteers, psychologists, integrated medicine specialists, and parents of other patients are becoming familiar and conversations are developing with our new friends. A parent of another patient went to Walmart and picked me up some Propel. Our morning nurse woke us up with hot chocolate. The night nurse brought us Bill Cosby comedy CD’s to listen to. Other nurses that aren’t assigned to care for Ashtyn come in to say hi and ask if she needs anything. These acts bring joy to my heart as everyone is taking such good care of Ashtyn.
Monday morning Ashtyn was wheeled downstairs to get the chemo drug Methotrexate injected into her cerebrospinal fluid through a lumbar puncture. As far as Ashtyn was concerned, it was the same experience as the two bone marrow aspirates she has had. We walked through the same doors, into the same room, a nurse asked a few questions, and the anesthesiologist introduced herself. The child life specialist, Lindsey, automatically knows to bring Ashtyn an iPad to play Disneyland Explorer while waiting. Once in the OR, Ashtyn laid on her right side and a mask with the watermelon smell was placed over her face. “Mom, I need you in front of me.” I held her hand and squatted down so my face was right in front of her face while the anesthesiologist put Propofol into her IV. She asked, “Are you putting it in? How long until I fall asleep?” Before I could answer, she was asleep. After the procedure Ashtyn was taken next door where I was invited to come in and watch her as she slowly woke up. I offered her a slushy. “What flavor do you want? Raspberry lemonade or Root-beer?” Even in her drowsy state she knew, “Raspberry lemonade.” She has had the root-beer slushy numerous times, she must have wanted to try something different. She can’t eat 12 hours before anesthesia so as always she woke up hungry and wanted chips. After eating a bag of chips she was ready to head back to her room. We totally have it down to a science.
Once she got back to her room she was exhausted for the rest of the day. She didn’t seem to feel well and started having frequent restroom visits. Within five hours her vigilant nurse decided to test her for C-Diff. The results came back positive. Her blood work from the night before came back as well showing high liver enzymes. Whenever anything unusual happens, Ashtyn’s lack of medical understanding causes her to think the worst. Several weeks ago when she heard she had pneumonia, her first thought was that she was going to die because her over 90 year old great grandpa died of pneumonia. When she heard her liver was struggling, her first question was, “am I going to have to have a liver transplant?”
With the news of her intestinal bacteria infection and her struggling liver, I asked people over Facebook if they would specifically pray that the effects from C-Diff would be minimal and that she would overcome it quickly. I also asked if people would pray that her liver would recover and be able to do what it needs to do.
The next day, Tuesday, I knew from the moment Ashtyn woke up that she was feeling better. The entire day she had absolutely no signs or symptoms of C-Diff. She didn’t experience stomach pain or intestinal difficulties at all. The doctor also informed us that her liver enzymes had come down significantly to almost a normal level. Of course Ashtyn’s C-Diff, liver, and her overall day was better because of prayer. We both know that with prayers she will be blessed. Each day there have been tender mercies from prayers being answered. Our burdens have been lightened daily because of the prayers of others.