It wasn’t long after Craig got home that I had to pack him into the car and bring him to the emergency room for spiking a fever. This is the normal routine for us now. Under normal circumstances, one might just take some Tylenol and be done with it. For us, a fever could mean an infection is brewing in Craig’s body, and without the protection of white blood cells, he could be dead or pretty close in a matter of hours. So when he has a temperature above 100.4 degrees, we grab our coats and RUN for the car. It’s a 30 minute drive to our hospital’s ER. They are alerted that we will be coming and make sure to pull us into a separate room so that we are not sitting in the lobby with a crowd of sick people. A few hours of testing (blood cultures, urine sample, x-ray and so on) and waiting go by. No one waits for test results. Antibiotics are started, and we wait for a room on the 14th floor to be available, because when there is a neutropenic fever involved, a lockdown is in order. I would need my fingers AND toes to count on digits the number of times we’ve done this in the last year and a half. And our evening on last friday (the 16th) was no different.

9 days later, Craig is still stuck in his room, with fevers that get as high as 103 degrees. He was tested positive for MRSA in his blood and in his lungs. The central line that had been in his chest since September was pulled. It is usually a breeding area for bacteria. If you remember the infection Craig had back in July that stole a month of his life and threatened to take more, then you know the fears we have about MRSA.

So far, Craig has remained lucid and relatively pain-free. He has developed a cough but CT scans on his lungs remain the same as they were a few days ago. His blood counts are still at NOTHING and they will take at least a week longer to start coming up. Without white blood cells, Craig cannot fight off infection on his own. With low red blood cells, Craig is extremely exhausted and at a high risk for falling down (it has already happened once). Without platelets, an injury from falling means his body cannot stop itself from bleeding. Antibiotics and prayer are going to help us kick this infection and allow Craig’s body to recover.

An iPad might help, too =) Craig has been enjoying his new toy and it has been a topic of interest for every doctor and nurse that comes through his door. A little distraction goes a long way when he can’t play with puppies or kitties or babies.

I have am taking off work this week so that I am free to go back and forth between the hospital and home to where the puppy waits. Judy and Brad will be up at the end of the week. Brad will get back to the business after the weekend and Judy is planning to stay for a longer visit. We hope she can get to see Craig come home.

Thanks for checking in. Much love to you all.