Day 15 - Erica’s WBC count continues to slowly rise to 1.7 (although her ANC dropped to 500—totally normal to fluctuate at this point) and her platelets are up to 48K. She is definitely more alert today during her waking moments but continues to nap periodically throughout the day. She stopped her last antibiotic today making her a bit closer to the goal of being homebound. But, her appetite is still not quite there… Until she can get off her nutrition IV, she will need to remain here, a thought that literally brings her to tears.
Since not much has changed, I thought I would take advantage of this blog entry to tell everyone about her new life for the next two and a half months. We’ve thrown around the terms “rules” and “restrictions” and “limitations”, but never quite elaborated on these. So let’s start with dietary restrictions: Erica is not allowed dairy until the docs say it is ok to slowly reintroduce to her body. She enjoys soy products though! Oddly, and rather counterintuitively, she is not allowed any fresh fruits or vegetables. Everything has to be processed and consumed hot to kill any bacteria that may be lingering on the food. Most people never notice if a piece of lettuce in their salad actually had some bacteria on it since we have fully functional immune systems that cover us, not so for E. During this time period, no restaurants at all which will put our Mom to work in the kitchen at home! I must admit though, lucky Erica! Mama can definitely hold her own in there.
Many of you know that while she’s in the hospital, all docs, nurses, and visitors are obliged to don masks and smocks at all times to prevent airborne germs. At home, her counts will be higher than they are now, so (usually) masks will not be required. Again, visitors are not encouraged during these two and a half months. Needless to say, she HATES this. And I’m sure many of you have received groggy nighttime phone calls from E saying how desperate she is for you to come visit her and force you to promise to hop on the next flight out to SFO. I’m asking you to please ignore her requests… Understand that for now, the best thing for her is minimal exposure to multiple people’s germs and bacteria. I know this sounds harsh to ask you to not visit and to even ignore her begging you to come, but do realize that you’re helping her more by staying away for a couple of months. So gently make up an excuse but be kind to her… She is really eager to rejoin society and for anyone who knows E personally, you know that she is not one to sit around and vegetate for long! Even those of us who will come in contact with her during this time, know that the doctors said not to be with her for many hours straight sharing her air. Take a walk, go to the store, or make up an excuse to leave for a while…
Probably she’ll read this blog soon, and angrily remove it. So commit it to memory! Take away from it that the best help you can give Erica right now is lots of emails, cards, phone calls, and Skyping. I’m sorry to spoil people’s plans to come visit, but just postpone it until August—besides SF is perfect in the late summer. J
Thanks for understanding… I’ll blog again soon, hopefully about some good news!