Last night was spent at the ER. Thankfully not ALL night, just a few hours.
Clark’s eyebrow had re-opened twice this week. Once on Saturday, and again on Sunday. Both times the bleeding lasted about 20 minutes (with constant pressure) before stopping. And then yesterday happened…
…Clark woke up from his afternoon nap, crying and covered in blood. To my surprise, I was not very surprised! I knew immediately that it was coming from his eyebrow. Plus, this is not the 1st time this has happened. Before BMT, Clark woke up covered in blood from nose bleeds. The difference this time is, I was calm enough to take a couple pictures. :)
I took Clark directly to the bathtub and held some paper towel on his cut. Then I asked Clark to hold the towel, while I took off all of his clothes and started the bath water. The mess doesn’t bother me (any more), but it does bother Clark. Every time he sees a drop of blood land at his feet, the floor, or on his clothes, he cries. So keeping the bath water running was calming, and helped wash away the blood. I also gave him a peanut butter rice crispy square, which helped a lot!
I realized that the cut re-opening every day for 3 days was not a sign of healing. So, once things started to calm down, I called the on-call hematologist. I needed to know if this meant Clark would need a dose of factor. After going back and forth, we agreed that the location of Clark’s cut was not dangerous (unless it wouldn’t stop bleeding on it’s own). If this had been inter-cranial, an organ, or a joint, we would need to take Clark in immediately. But his eyebrow is only a surface cut that wont leave long term damage. Our plan was to get the bleeding to stop, and go from there.
It did stop. But only for a short period of time. His eyebrow kept re-opening. I used bandages, gauze, and pressure. Nothing was working. Finally I decided to take Clark to ER. We got a private room right away, thanks to the blood covering Clark’s face. The room was actually really nice with a private bathroom and a TV! I was pleasantly surprised. Plus, the TV helped entertain Connor while Clark was getting his IV.
Over the last year and a half, we have had too many let downs in ER when attempting to get an IV in Clark. From those experiences we have learned a few things. 1) Have a Pediatric Anesthesiologist get the IV in, and 2) Don’t let them try as many times as they’d like. Because they will keep trying and trying and trying…. I didn’t have any luck getting the Pediatric Anesthesiologist… but I was able to stop the nurses after the 3rd attempt at an IV. Why hurt my baby 6 more times to continue to fail? I don’t blame the nurses. Clark has never been easy to get a vein (0 success in any ER).
Thankfully the ER visit wasn’t a complete waste of time (and money). The ER doctor was very helpful and sympathetic. He did not try to convince me to have the nurses try again. Instead, he came up with an alternate plan. He washed Clark’s wound to help prevent any infections, and he also wiped out the glue! Apparently glue (instead of stitches) can slow down the healing process. He suggested getting stitches next time, because this will help a cut heal faster, and help prevent bacteria and other germs from infecting the cut. After that, Doc made Clark a pressure bandage to hold him through the night.
Well, it worked. No more bleeding last night. Next step: wait until Clark has had 12+ hours with the bandage on. Hopefully with the newly washed cut, and the constant pressure, Clark will have a secure scab. If it does start bleeding, I will be skipping ER, and taking him to the Treatment Center at UCSF. They give children infusions, transfusions, and draw blood on a regular basis. I’m certain we will have more success there.