I’m learning to hate them. True story. My poor daughter has had the most ROTTEN run of luck this holiday season. To be fair, we did get to enjoy the actual holiday itself. Both Thanksgiving and Christmas were spent having all the warm and fuzzy family feels you might expect. Two days later, for EACH holiday, we were back in the hospital.
Thanksgiving was pretty routine. Slight infection treated with IV antibiotics and home in a few days. (Yes, I realize how bad it sounds to say hospitalizations and IV meds are routine, but they are) If I ever hit the lottery, I’m going to build my own wing onto UAB hospital. It’ll have a suite for me and Annabelle, and all the comforts of home. Seriously, we need this in our life. Along with a lifetime free parking pass. I think by now I have certainly paid off a parking deck.
Christmas has been a little bit more challenging. Like clockwork, two days after Christmas, she was back in the hospital. Of course it took 2 ambulances to get there, but meh, details. Ambulance transport from one state to another isn’t for the faint of heart. To say she was miserable by the time she got to UAB would be an understatement. Throw in a pissy EMT, and you have the transport from hell. This visit has been a bit more serious, though.
E. Coli can just suck all the joy out of a holiday. And it has. It really has. Due to a snafu with the hospital in Georgia, (their lab CLOSED for new years weekend. A hospital lab. How the blue fuck does that even work?) her cultures were not made available to UAB for 5 days. So for 5 days she was getting mega doses of 2 broad spectrum antibiotics to combat the unknown cootie. We finally found out what the cootie was, but by then…well, you’ll see.
Wanna know why doctors rail against misuse and abuse of antibiotics? Kidney damage, that’s one really good reason. My daughter’s fairly new (a year and a half old, give or take) transplanted kidney took a vacation. At least we HOPE it’s just a vacation. It stopped doing ANYTHING for almost 72 hours. Imagine if you didn’t take a leak for 3 days. Now imagine all the toxins that you should have peed out and didn’t, just swirling around in your body. Oh yeah, good times. So yeah, Dean took a vacay, and that led to a whole new set of problems.
The problem with the problems is that they masked another problem entirely. Somehow, in a private room, with only myself and the medical staff in contact with her, she caught the freaking FLU. Not the sniffle -sniffle-cough-cough-in-a-hanky-debutant-flu, but the real live Type A influenza kind of flu, confirmed via q-tip shoved up the right nostril. Up until that point though, they didn’t think it was the flu, they thought it was reactionary from the antibiotics and the vacationing kidney. So I had unrestricted access, as well as several nurses and doctors.
I’m glad to know I am not waiting for the flu to strike me alone. There’s a team of nephrologists and nurses sweating out that 5 day incubation period right along with me. The Infectious Disease team confirmed flu, and even wrote me a prescription for Tamiflu because they fully expect me to catch it. Nice, huh? So, to recap, my poor kid has E. Coli, a vacationing kidney, and the flu. All at the same time. She may never want to celebrate Christmas again at this rate.
99% of the time, kidney transplant and recovery is smooth as silk, and life is grand. The other 1% of the time, well that’s us. A cautionary tale of, well I don’t even know what we are a cautionary tale of. Something, though. We care a cautionary tale of something, that’s for damn sure!