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The Missing Drug

April 7, 2010

Most of the time, we tend to trust healthcare professionals implicitly. Well, sometimes they make mistakes or change a protocol based on an individual. Monday was one such day that I probably should have been paying a little bit closer attention.

Typically, Isa received Zofran before her spinal taps. I had never really thought much about it. Chemo >> puking so, why not take an anti-emetic. BUT, we forgot, and it wasn’t ordered, and we were paying attention to the amount of morphine instead of, well, the lack of an order for Zofran.

The spinal tap, usually performed by our nurse practitioner, was instead performed by the doctor, with a different nurse from our usual nurse. These signs heralded a problem, but I ignored that feeling in my brain. The tap was wonky, with wiggling and blood, normally I have her quite relaxed, but no such luck this time. After he removed the needle from her back blood started to drip out. Normally this doesn’t happen. Also in the midst of her finishing up her tap and entering into the recovery room, Papa showed up spouting jibberish about insurance and not being able to get her medication.

Taking care of business, I spoke to the pharmacy got three days worth of pills, spoke to doc about getting the rest of the prescription later, packed up the girls and Papa and headed off to lunch.

Remember NOTHING  by mouth before a spinal tap!  Not even water, for fear of aspiration into the lungs during the conscious sedation. Morphine and Versed.  BUT, they won’t let us leave until she has had a little something.  Blue Corn Chips by Garden of Eatin’ was her choice. Plus a B-Monster, by Odwalla.  (Is anyone getting a color theme here? Well, you should.)

A short drive from the hospital to the restaurant, a local favorite typically packed on any lunch day, but with the national basketball championships I worried it would be even busier.  With every table full we bustled our way to an open spot, sat down, and the girls started to eat, and finish up the Purple juice we’d brought in.

If you didn’t follow my twitterfeed for Monday, then you may be in the perfect position to take a guess at what happened a mere 20 minutes later.

As Isa sat in the high-chair, she took fewer and fewer bites, and then whispered, “mommy, I feel like I am going to puke.” Now, other cancer mothers, (fathers) know how quickly they can repsond to this statement. Bowls, buckets, bags can appear out of nowhere, and for those of us with tiny, cancer kids, we whisk them up and out of a chair at a moments notice. Before she had a chance to barf, I had her in for a visit with the porcelain goddess.  Searching frantically in my purse for the quick dissolvable Zofran I used to carry at all times in my purse. Not there.  Papa high-tailed it to the parked car to see if we had any there. No luck.  And No puke. Good right?  Wrong, Again, if the kid says she’s gonna rolf then you can bet that there will be rolfing before the day is out!

Sitting back in my chair, finishing my lunch (well a gurl’s gotta eat!)  Isa wanting to be on my lap, but I held her off until I finished eating, thank god!   Finally as hubs and I wrapped up an entertaining lunch with the chemo shenanigans and a visit with a dear friend a pple streak struck.

With a grocery-sized paper sack to my immediate left, Isa sitting/laying on my lap with her head to the right, I received the full brunt of an odwalla-blue corn chip-pizza-vomitus.  Wow. That was not on the plan for the day. Amazingly, no one else lost their lunch after seeing this sight. Papa has an extremely low tolerance for puke and in fact destroyed one of his favorite phones during an attack of the stomach flu. That story needs its own post.

With a paltry clean up effort, we shuffled out of the restaurant with my entire crotch area soaked with purple vomit. Luckily my Levi’s, borrowed from hubs, were dark enough to cover the purple. The shirt also purple was not. Needless to say, the smell of puke wafting up, oh like, uh every second, left something to be desired.

Standing on the street corner trying to get some Zofran from the hospital to prevent another attack of this, I decided that 1) i would carry it with me forever! 2) would NOT wear these clothes for the rest of the day. 3) would buy a new outfit.

Isa ended up with an extremely cute Gymboree dress that looked almost new.

I on the other hand had no idea what to get.  With the entire family in the car, I sped into the local Value World, hoping to find something to match my shoes…. which, miraculously, did NOT get any vomit on them.

Hot Kicks

So, with only 25 bucks in my pocket, there only because our friend paid for lunch. (THANK YOU!)  I looked at dresses and even prom dresses, why not make the most of it?  Ended up with some pants by Illig from a  few years back, with straps all over them and a nice pink men’s dress shirt.

Illig pants

What you have to learn from this!  Check all your child’s medications EVERY TIME!  Always carry Zofran with you!  And consider throwing a change of clothes into your hospital bag, especially if you live 2.5 hours away from the hospital. Lastly, dont’ worry about what matches your shoes, because with red suede adidas, what really matches!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. April 20, 2010 1:08 pm

    Thank you for this post.

    We are stuck in the hospital with a puking kiddo, and I bet fruity tootie puke is just as interesting as blue puke… 😉

    Thanks for the tip on dis. Zofran, I will be sure to get some!

    Hope all is well.

    • April 21, 2010 3:22 pm

      Glad that some other parents both enjoy and get valuable information from these posts! Makes it all worthwhile.

      If you’ve got any other good tips let me know and i can include them!

  2. chantel permalink
    April 9, 2010 1:02 pm

    WOW! Great story and of course my heart just goes out to you on the whole thing. I love the fact that you blog all of this though! Thanks for sharing…’s always nice to been given the gift of gratefulness…this helps me remember that even on my bad days, there are people being “strengthened” with more.

  3. April 8, 2010 8:21 pm

    Love your pants!!

  4. natascha sandlin howe permalink
    April 8, 2010 9:35 am

    nothing says parenthood like projectiles in either direction. I feel your pain — in the vomit area. And my husband, as well, has no tolerance for vomit from little persons or our dogs… Thanks for sharing.

  5. altp permalink
    April 8, 2010 7:34 am

    Usually, I think red and purple match, but in the situation you described so eloquently, a new outfit was the correct choice. I hope her barfing ended quickly, and I hope she was able to get more food and keep it down. Lastly, I hope your next trip to the hospital is less eventful. Zofran will forever be branded in your head, so when you check for that drug next time, don’t forget to check the others too. xoxo

    • April 8, 2010 3:10 pm

      We sort of held off the food for a little bit. Exactly! MUST remember to check ALL meds… got too distracted… Hugs.

  6. ohfishyone permalink
    April 7, 2010 9:20 pm

    1. Hope Isa is feeling better; 2. Googling quick-dissolve zofran (never heard of it, thanks for the tip); 3. cool shoes!

    • April 8, 2010 3:08 pm

      It is basically just Zofran, that comes in a silver package, she gets half once every 8 hours. I have never needed to give her more than one or two doses. It is supposed to go under the tongue, but explaining that to a nearly vomiting 3/4 year old is tough! Ask your Onc about it. Not hard to get….

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