People keep asking me how come I am so chilled about things, I guess over four years of this bumpy ride with Daisy has taught me to try and go with the flow and get through it in one piece for both our sakes, I have to take each day and trust that Daisy will continue to defy the odds. I was told by one of our geneticists who knows Daisy well to forget about what the books say and look at Daisy for my strength, this morning she was sat on my lap smiling and waving at her consultant and to look at her you would not believe what she has been through over the past few days (unless of course you looked at her blood results, which tell a very different story).



So last Monday she was scheduled to have her infected Hickman line taken out following a weekend of high temps and lethargy. Unfortunately and in a bizarre way our old nemesis of MRSA came back to haunt us. Daisy is still categorised as MRSA+ in this hospital inspite of all the clear swabs and cultures, the infection control rules here state that the child must be out of hospital for 6 months for this category to be lifted. No-one believes for one minute that Daisy is still colonised with MRSA but unfortunately while she has this against her name she has to be isolated and when it comes to surgery she has to have the last theatre slot so that the theatre can have a "level 2 clean". This situation was becoming farcical, as Daisy was last on the list , the interventional radiologists did not have time to take her line out and her condition was rapidly worsening, her peripherals were shutting down and she needed fluid rescuscitation....cue another trip to the Patient Advice and Liaison Team (Pals) for me and strongly worded emails to infection control from Daisy's medical team. Thank goodness everyone saw sense and her MRSA+ status was lifted and she was scheduled for the next day, second on the list. Not a moment too soon as she was really becoming poorly and also needed a blood transfusion as her haemoglobin had dropped. So that all happened on Tuesday - infected Hickman line whipped out, temporary picc line placed and a blood transfusion given



That should really have been the end of it, and in some ways it was, her temperature came down, but normally a blood transfusion would give Daisy more energy and colour and in this case it didn't. She looked grey and lethargic the next day and her blood gas results showed that her her potassium was dangerously low and her sodium was very high. She was started on extra fluids but we have not been able to bring her potassium levels up. Some of the meds she is on lower potassium and some of them are damaging to the kidneys which play a role in how potassium is used in the body. The past week has been a cycle of taking bloods, running a blood gas, finding her potassium is too low, putting up massive potassium infusions, checking her bloods again....... This is risky, too little potassium can cause the heart to stop, Daisy has cardiomyopathy anyway so this is extra worrying, too much potassium can kill you and we have been pumping maximum doses into her. She has been permanently wired up to an ecg monitor and the doctors have been walking around with worried looks on their faces. One of the meds which suppresses the potassium has been stopped and her immunosuppressant iv infusions have been stopped as they can interfere with the kidneys. This has given us another conundrum - stopping these meds will hopefully help Daisy rebuild her supply of potassium and hold onto it, but not having the immunosuppressants may cause the inflammation to flare up taking us right back to square one and undoing all the progress of the last few months.....

This plate spinning is too much for me, I'm leaving it to her big cheese consultant to work out. He is the expert and Andy and I have confidence that he will do the best thing for Daisy, always aware that our number one priority is to get her home at some point. At his point however we begin our third week at Great Ormond Street, today we had the first potassium level which was in normal limits, in my new found understated manner I did not jump for joy as I need to see a few of these results before being convinced that she is holding onto her potassium and turning the corner. The levels that are required for her immunosuppressants to work are now too low and so a decision needs to be made very soon about what to do next before her gut flares up. Feeds through her jejunostomy seem a long way off at this point but this is the only solution and at some point very soon we need to try again as this is the only way to reduce the reliance on TPN and the vicious cycle of infection and damage it brings...

I'm waiting for someone in the street to say to me "cheer up love, might never happen" then I can floor them with our story and add the additional icing on the cake that Andy was told on Friday that his role is redundant and he will have to apply of another role within the company or accept redundancy, still, it could be worse I suppose, we have just got through another week where Daisy put the frighteners on us and we have lived to tell the tell.

I always give up alcohol and chocolate for Lent, I am particularly proud that I have managed to see it through this year because quite frankly, come the end of lent I am going to enjoy the biggest chocolate and red wine hangover known to mankind!

1 comment:

Suzanne said...

Dear Steph, so pleased when I read that Daisy had been transferred back to Queen Mary's - have been waiting with baited breath for that news! How is the TPN schedule going?
Thinking of you all,
much love, Suzanne xx

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