Friday, 23 March 2007

Journey from A to B

The boy's much the same. The local hospital are concerned and seem to have run out of ideas. So, they've transferred us to the big national hospital.

The boy is still in 5 litres of oxygen. Secretions very thick. No real improvement. The local hospital have taken x-rays which don't really show anything that they can pinpoint. They have tried a range of antibiotics and a haemoglobin transfusion to no noticable effect. They have tried a CT scan but the boy wouldn't cooperate.

They seemed to be out of ideas whilst remaining anxious about his condition. They think he needs specialist assessment. They were starting to scare us with talk of possibilities including fungal infections or chronic permanent conditions that could only be assessed by tests that either involve him being sedated (which would depress his breathing and put him on a ventilator for who knows how long) or a deep lung suction (which could cause haemorraging in the lung). And they were starting to be increasingly concerned about us continuing with his chemo. They wanted to stop. We didn't as we had experience of the big national hospital giving him chemo when very unwell (to stop for more than 24hrs might reduce the effectiveness of the chemo - so a hard balance between chemo and managing the illness). They advised us to do so, after apparently talking to the big national hospital. We were surprised, so talked direct to the big national hospital and got different advice. So we carried on. We didn't want him to get over the chest infection but succumb to the cancer.

In the end, they decided that there was nothing further they could do but he was a concern. So, they agreed with the big national hospital to transfer him there. This will allow him to be assessed by respiratory specialists. There transfer was not without stress. The wife had to press for the transfer to be by blue light ambulance, rather than normal transfer, as she was worried about him having an episode while on route and getting stuck in traffic. They eventually agreed. But this meant he did not transfer until the evening.

There are some compensations about moving. The cubicle is much nicer. It's larger and not too hot. And the doctors seem relatively relaxed about his condition - their view is that this will just take a long time to clear. Let's hope they're right.

As a reminder of happier times here's a picture from spring 2006:

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