PICU – Day 6 – 10:20 p.m.
I just spoke with the surgical fellow, Adam (he was the surgeon I told to “fix this” when Ana had to go back to the O.R. on Tuesday). Jim called me and handed the phone to Adam because I was being so relentlessly anxious with my questions. Adam said he doesn’t feel like this swelling is anything to be concerned about. He says it looks like a hematoma (a bleed) which is under the skin and will end up causing bruising, but does not need any surgical intervention. This is a result of the blood thinners – this kind of thing does not typically happen five days after surgery otherwise.
I asked if this is something that would prevent her from being discharged and he said no. The bigger concern is clotting, so it’s important that she stays on the blood thinners. The attending physician on the pediatric floor (who is apparently in charge of the entire liver program and has been for years) will create a discharge plan that includes how often Ana should get follow-up blood tests and ultrasounds to monitor for clotting and bleeding. Adam said that after a month, the danger of both of these things is greatly reduced AND I CAN FINALLY BREATHE AGAIN. Well, he said that in so many words, anyway.
I like Adam. He keeps me calm.
Jim called me back after I spoke with Adam and said that they did get the preliminary results of Ana’s blood culture and so far there is no sign of infection, although it can take up to five days for the full culture results to come back. Dr. Kato thinks it’s possible that the chemotherapy is still affecting Ana’s white blood cell count.
I’m sorry I alarmed everyone. I should’ve waited until we heard from the surgeon before I posted. I’m wound as tight as a drum and completely exhausted. I need to calm down …somehow. This is what we’re living with and will be for the next few months. Ana is at a high risk for bleeding and clotting over the next month, and she is extremely vulnerable to infection as well due to the anti-rejection medication. Jim pointed this out. I have to somehow switch off my propensity to ceaselessly worry so that I don’t make a tense situation even worse, and cause Ana to worry as much as me.
I honestly think this is going to be the hardest part for me.