At the hospital there doesn’t seem to be a big difference between the day and night. Ashtyn is constantly being woken up every few hours, there are meds to be given at all hours of the day and night, and she has to go to the restroom every 3 hours no matter what time it is. This morning at 8 am, she woke up and couldn’t talk. Her throat and mouth were so raw and sore that it was too painful to speak. Even when she tried to speak a few words, her voice was weak and high pitched. With such faith and humility she asked, “Did you tell everyone (her Army) to pray for me? My mouth and throat are really sore. I can’t take pills or eat or drink. Please pray that my throat will be better and my mouth will be better.”
Much of the day she slept, but it wasn’t a restful sleep. It was an off and on sleep to escape the pain. In between sleep she would rarely talk but instead would write a few things on a dry erase board if needed. Her temperature rose throughout the day and reached 102.6. Her heart rate reached 130 beats per minute. She had several nosebleeds and eventually got another transfusion of platelets. Because of her temperature, they took blood from her Broviac central line to test for infection and started her on two additional types of antibiotics, Vancomycin and Cefepime. With all of this, she stayed calm and persevered. By 4 pm the medical team started giving her morphine continuously on a pump. They also gave her a patient-controlled analgesia (PCA) pump of morphine. This allows her to not only be given a small amount of morphine constantly but also she can push a button as often as every 10 minutes to get extra morphine when she feels she needs it. While Ashtyn sleeps she needs an oxygen mask near her face. With morphine she doesn’t breathe as deep as she otherwise would. At 6 pm she woke up and asked if she could watch TV. After so many hours her pain had finally decreased enough to watch TV. Ashtyn stayed awake for about an hour slowly eating a slushie and then fell back asleep. She woke up again around 10:30 pm and said, “Mom, I’ve been sleeping most of today.” Ashtyn checked Facebook and her texts. She ate some more slushie. Her pain was tolerable, her temperature was down to 100.4 degrees, and her heart rate dropped to 104. She fell back asleep by midnight.
From the beginning we always knew there would be good days, followed by bad days, with good days that would come again. Isn’t that how life is? Some days, weeks, and months are good and others aren’t so good. But good and bad days depend on how you look at them. Today could be looked at as a bad day for Ashtyn, and it was. But it was a good day for her too. She was blessed with more loving comments and support, a visit that lifted her spiritually, and another visit that took her mind off her pain. Her doctors and nurses did some remarkable things to help ease her pain, decrease her temperature, and help her not bleed uncontrollably. Sure it was difficult but she coped well. At the end of the day she is feeling better than when she woke up. Her pain is not as severe as it was and she has the medications needed to keep her pain under control. Her temperature is being treated and her blood is being tested to see if she has an infection. Her strength from within is showing. She is coping well with being in the hospital away from everything she loves. She is handling the pain and she is emotionally and spiritually stable. For today, what more could I ask for?
“There is no such thing as a bad day; just bad moments that we choose to take with us all day long.”