This morning found me washing blood out of Annika's new favorite blanket, a princess quilt from the ER nurses back home. Last night she stooled blood all over everything in her bed, but, completely exhausted, slept through it all. Even when 2 nurses and I changed her bedding right out from underneath her.
The story today is that on Wednesday, when she was scoped and sclerosed for the bleed she had on Monday, they discovered a varix that they could not sclerose because it was too near the sphincter. They are pretty sure that this is the source of the new bleeding. I have no idea why I wasn't told about this rogue varix on Wednesday, after the scope. Maybe they didn't want to worry me? Maybe they thought it was too small to be a real problem? Whatever the reason, I wish that we had been told about it so that we could have been mentally prepared for the possibility of a re-bleed so soon. When you're trying to keep it all together in a crappy situation, preparation is key.
Today Annika is going to have a PICC line placed (A PICC line is a semi-permanent I.V. That way, Annika's tired veins won't be subjected to repeated I.V. placement - regular I.V.s just last a few days - and they can also draw blood from a PICC line. Handy when you're on an every 6 hours lab schedule.) They will also begin her on TPN, which is I.V. nutrition. They are starting TPN because... (here it comes)
Annika will not be able to eat or drink anything until well after her surgery on Nov. 30th.
Holy Crap. The thinking is that eating or drinking anything might increase the bleeding, and they are not able to sclerose the little beauty that is evidently doing the damage right now. Let me just say, Holy Crap.
It's already been 48 hours since she's been allowed to eat or drink, and she has been asking at least once every hour about the food situation. She has also been making a list of the foods that she would be interested in trying, if only they would let her eat (including pumpkin cream pie, fresh ginger, dumplings, and turkey). Last night she got a dreamy smile and told me, "I'm imagining ice cream!" Of course, given the Thanksgiving holiday fast approaching, all the "special episodes" on Nick and Disney have been featuring all sorts of food. Great!
I seem to remember reading sometime, though, that after a certain number of days you don't feel the urge to eat anymore. Here's hoping. I'm also hoping that they might at least let her indulge in the occasional clear liquid, although right now the list of clear liquids that she's interested in begins and ends with "water." Maybe jell-o will be looking a bit more attractive to her in a few days.
If the bleeding stops finally, they will let us leave the PICU and go across the street to the Kohl's House to wait for surgery next week. I do remember, though, that the families at the Kohl's house cook a big meal for Thanksgiving, and the smell permeates the entire house. At least in the PICU she doesn't have to smell the food that she's not allowed to eat.
Anyway. Enough whining from me. Annika is doing impressively little whining herself, so I'll try to follow her lead.
In the end the blood did not wash out of the quilt. She still thinks it's wonderful, though, and softer from the washing, to boot.