I suppose you could say that we are having a typical Daisy stay at Great Ormond Street in that nothing is going to plan...The good news is that there has been a major reorganisation on Rainforest and the ward is like a different place, everyone is friendly, caring and proactive and really representing the best of one of the leading children's hospitals in the world. This has been such a relief, particularly as you have probably guessed we have overstayed our allocated time on the ward...
Daisy has developed another bacteria infection of the blood ontop of the candida in her bloodstream and urine infection. She is now on antibiotics I have never heard of and apparantly starting to move into last resort categories as the bug she has developed here is one she has had before and seems to be resistant to some of the usual antibiotics she is on. Her hickman line clearly has to come out and this is now scheduled for Monday with insertion of a temporary picc line to give her chance to clear her infection. Regular readers will know we have not had good success with previous picc lines, they should last a few months (they are like semi- permanent lines) but Daisy's only lasted a week resulting in another blue light dash to GOS for a new line. I am wondering if they will keep her here now until the infection clears and they can put a new Hickman line in . This will really test the new Rainforest happy attitude - previously I would have heard mutterings about needing the bed space but instead the staff have been fantastic and really concerned just for Daisy's well being and the fact that things have not gone according to plan for us.
Logistically things will get difficult if we stay any later than the middle of next week. Mum goes back to Wales tomorrow and Andy and I will juggle staying at the hospital and managing the school run - probably Andy will stay here for nights and I will commute back and forth during the days with the children at after school club and at friends houses...
There has been good news though. Daisy had her upper and lower endoscopy on Thursday and the inflammation has decreased which means that the immunosuppressants and steroids are working - yippeee!! Her doctor wants to keep her on this therapy for the forseeable future so her risk of infection will still be as high. He also placed a jejenal tube for feeding Daisy at the top of her intestine, bypassing her stomach altogether. We are hoping that we can increase some of her feeds using this method and get more calories into her rather than just via her TPN. The endocrine doctors also feel that Daisy should be able maintain her blood sugars for small breaks from the TPN with just milk feeds. The plan, once Daisy is over this infection, is to try and achieve longer and longer breaks from the TPN with the aim of 8 hours a day off. She will still be attached to a continuous feed pump for milk feed but this was Daisy's life before TPN and I promise I will never complain about carrying a pump around again having seen the alternative!!!
The home word still has not been mentioned - we need to achieve these breaks from the TPN before this can happen so the reality still is June/July. Being superwoman I am already contingency planning for Daisy being in hospital during the long school holidays although it would be nice for her to have long enough breaks from TPN to be able to come home for the best part of the day and go back to the hospital at night.
Andy stayed at the hospital last night and I was able to get home overnight, fitting in a quick meal out with some friends and a chance to catch up on some gossip - these moments keep me sane and de-institutionalise me for a few hours! It was great to wash my hair, the shower on Rainforest still runs on lukewarm and you have to brace yourself to get into it so hairwashing is out of the question. The best bit was sleeping in my own bed - luxury! Did a quick Primark shop with Xanthe in the morning to pick up dungarees for Daisy as they are great at holding Hickman lines and enteral tubes in place, then we all drove up to GOS. Fortunately siblings can go to the Activity Centre here on the weekend so while mum sat with Daisy Andy and I were able to have a quick bite to eat and a coffee together, a rare treat these days. The combination of a sick child, 3 hyperactive siblings plus tired parents/grandma is not a great one so Andy has now driven everyone home and I am back to my hospital bed and prison regime!
Xanthe is singing at the Albert Hall on Monday evening and we have been promised that Daisy is first on the afternoon theatre list so if our plan works out of Daisy's respite nurse sitting with her for the evening and various children being delivered to the Albert Hall we may just get to all be able to go. As we know, the best laid plans........
I am relieved that Daisy is at GOS at the moment, if we need it paediatric intensive care is just down the corridor, hopefully she won't need it, but as always her happy smiles really don't show how ill she is. But inspite of it all we are making progress, and slowly, very slowly, we are inching towards the day when we can come home.
Websites close to my heart
- Shooting Star Chase (Daisy's Hospice)
- Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
- Torbay Holiday Helper's Network
- Sick Children's Trust
- Daisy's Angels - Facebook Page
- About Costello Syndrome
- Asperger Syndrome
- Caudwell Children
- Together for Short Lives (Children's Hospices in the UK)
- Costello Syndrome Support Group
- Give Kids The World
- PostPals - Putting Smiles on Sick Children's Faces
- Singing Hands (Daisy is their No1 Fan!)
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