May 29, 2018
Today we went to Doernbecher's for an ultrasound on Dottie's right leg. This was to check for the blood clots Dottie had while her PICC line was in during her time in the NICU. The ultrasound showed no sign of any blood clots! Praise the Lord. We no longer have to give any Lovenox (anti-coagulant) shots, this is wonderful for her as well as Mom and Dad.
On the scarier side of life, we spent Saturday night (the 26th) in the OHSU Pediatric Emergency room. We had a fun day of family pictures with the Halligan clan as well as Gillette cousins. Breakfast was delicious, kids ran around (parents tried to keep them clean) and Dottie had a blast. It was a wonderful day with more ahead. After I reconnected Dottie to her TPN we were to be off for dinner with the family. However, after reconnecting Dottie to her TPN I saw blood on her shirt over her central line. I wasn't exactly sure where the blood was coming from but immediately clamped her central line as close to her dressing (bandage) as I could. I called Seth into the room and once he was there I must admit, I lost my cool or "freaked out" as some might say. I wasn't certain where the blood was coming from and I was impatient (and near tears) for him to figure it out. At this time I give full credit to Seth for staying calm and collected. He looked at Dottie's line and saw exactly what the problem was. He saw that it had burst, much like a balloon, and we must take her into the ER.
So, we packed her up, grabbed the diaper bag, and got on the road, leaving behind our cousin Brett and his wife Jenna who were visiting us from Seattle, and Seth's parents to care for them. At the Salem ER we were brought back and it took awhile for them to check her out and figure out they did not have the right size Hickman line repair kit to fix the problem. They did say we had done just the right thing when we clamped the line and that she looked fine. We were given permission to drive ourselves up to OHSU. They called ahead and when we arrived the doctors were expecting us and we were in a room within minutes. Thankfully they did have the correct size Hickman line repair kit (as we figured they would) and it was fixed by 9:15 pm (4 hours and 15 minutes since the break). Since the line is glued no fluids could be put through for awhile. They hooked Dottie up to get some IV fluids- this was the most traumatic part of the entire night. It took five tries and two nurses to get her IV in (hand, hand, arm, head, arm)- it was awful. We stayed the night in the ER so that Dottie could be on fluids and so the specialized nursing team could check her central line in the morning. About ten o'clock or so they checked Dottie's line, it worked great, and we reconnected her to TPN.
The nurses at OHSU were amazing and took great care of us. Though we had talked about packing a "go" bag for just such occasions we didn't have a bag packed and had very little with us for the night. The nurses provided blankets and toothbrushes and other things as we needed them. We also saw one of our resident doctors from the NICU. One of our nurses here (and one at the Salem Hospital ER) knew Seth from high school, those were fun connections during a scary night.
Dottie did great and was just fine. Our doctors say that if she was going to get an infection from the break it would have already happened. This is great news.
What we learned... 1. Be calm, don't freak out (Megan) and assess the situation. 2. If it's a line break go directly to OHSU. 3. Dottie can go quite awhile without TPN and will be ok. 4. Get a "go" bag packed (and don't forget sweatshirts! The ER can get cold) 5. A line break is NOT the scariest thing that could happen to Dottie, though it was the scariest thing that's happened since we left Doernbecher back in March.
Thank you, thank you, for your continued prayers. Though we have had many good and emergency free days, one never knows when an emergency will come.