Day 1: Leukemia
Today, Mark and I began one of the hardest days of our entire lives!
This morning when I checked Micah’s temperature it was 101°. So I began to get things together to go to the emergency room. I packed an overnight bag just in case. Mark was taking Joshua to Olsen’s Orthopedic to have his knee looked at, so I started out for OU Children’s with Micah.
Micah was really complaining about his back when we arrived and the triage nurses became anxious when they found that his heart rate was extremely high and his blood pressure very low. We didn’t have to wait long to be ushered to an examination room and to see a doctor. They repeated blood work, started Micah on fluids and intravenous antibiotics. Micah hasn’t stopped telling everyone that he had to be stuck three times in the ER. The first was to draw a peripheral blood culture, unfortunately the nurse dropped it and they had to stick him to draw the blood again. Then after the nurses were convinced they would not have to stick him again the doctor asked for a second line to double up on the fluids. So they had to start an IV. Micah told the nurses in the middle of things – that he shouldn’t need to be stuck because he had a port. Nick and Heath came to keep me company and to be there for Micah (thank-you both).
Mark and Joshua arrived while we were still in the ER. They were all dressed up for Doug’s funeral and Joshua was sporting a large knee brace. The funeral was scheduled for 2:00 p.m., dinner with the family at 12:00 p.m., and Mark was officiating. He was going to have to leave before we found out anything and before we were admitted. The stress was continuing to mount.
Micah was moved to the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at Children’s Hospital. They wanted to observe him in ICU because of his heart rate and his previous heart issues. In the ICU unit we were encouraged to limit Micah’s visitors because his counts were low and because it was an ICU. However, for the next several hours it seemed like every medical professional from within the hospital was stopping by to see how Micah was doing. Micah is very popular here at OU Children’s.
Dr. McNall, our oncologist, stopped by to inform us that his counts were still very low and that one of the blood test they had preformed confirmed that there were irregular cells were present. He would have to have a bone marrow biopsy to know for certain.
This was at 1:20 p.m. Mark was about to officiate one of the most difficult funeral he had ever been asked to do. He was trying to help everyone at the funeral deal with the tragic loss. Doug was 38 years old. He left behind a five year old son, Drew. Mark said he was able to control his emotions until Drew came to the casket, folded his arm on the edge, and patted his dad.
I waited to give this news to Mark until after the funeral. Mark came back to the hospital and later the rest of the family all came up.