I am currently writing to you from room 106 at the Emergency Room department inside the Devos Children’s Hospital. When I woke up today, I never imagined that I would be here, but lately it has not been unusual for a day to take an unexpected turn.
Yesterday was such a day for Josh. As we were getting Josh into his wheelchair for the day, he winced and said that he was experiencing a headache. A nurse gave him something, but it was clear that it was already quite strong. I left him with Occupational Therapy so that I could start my work day. I didn’t return until around dinner time, and learned that his headache had gotten so bad that morning that he threw up. He had eaten dinner by the time I had gotten there, and was feeling better. He also had a whole heap of 16 oz Pepsi’s that someone on the nursing staff had dropped off for him, so he would get caffeine for what was presumed to be a spinal headache, related to the lumbar puncture on Friday.
This morning, events followed a similar trajectory. I woke up, woke up Josh, got him dressed, helped him with breakfast. By the time OT had arrived at 8 a.m., he was noting that he had a headache, and a nurse gave him something for it. It started out as a 2 on the scale of 1 to 5. He laid back down to try to shake it. A nurse came in to check on him and encourage him to try to get out of bed, but as we were getting ready to transfer, he sounded like he was going to get sick. So, he was eased back into bed. Around this time, he said that his headache was a “3.”
Word started to filter down to me that his oncologist was ordering an MRI at Devos. There were also plans to treat the headaches by performing a blood patch.
The nurse on duty said that arrangements were being made for transport to Devos, and asked me how much time I needed. I told her 20 minutes. I called Theresa while I packed, but even as I was grabbing a few last minute things three paramedics arrived with a gurney. They transferred Josh, and then wheeled him downstairs. I finished packing for both a short-term and an over night stay, and then headed over to meet him at the ER.