Monday, June 23, 2014

Hall Passes

The end of the third year we lived in China Margaret got really sick. She had a low grade fever for a few days then it got progressively worse, then she started vomiting. The clinic had done blood work and she clearly had an infection but we could not figure out what kind. After spending all day at the clinic with her getting fluids and IV antibiotics we came home and she was not feeling better, she seemed to be getting worse and my mommy spidey-sense was she needed to get to a hospital.

Luckily P&G had a program called SOS where you could talk to a Western doctor who spoke English and they could let help you decide if you needed to go to another doctor, or country, for treatment. The doctor I spoke with agreed I needed to get her to Hong Kong ASAP. When I asked how to get her across the border with a fever (since they take your temperature and quarantine you if you have one) they said give her meds about 45 minutes before the border. I added the extra put her on the far side of the car and I'll lean in. Our driver speed us to the border and somehow got her across and by the time we reached the hospital her temp was 104 again. 

The doctor and hospital were excellent and they quickly figured out what was causing the infection and once they got her on the right antibiotic she started to respond and get well. She and I still got to spend 6 days in the hospital (in a shared room with another girl and her mom) and we were 3 hours away in another country so needless to say we did not have a lot of visitors. Once she was feeling better we had to wait until she had been fever free for 24 hours so we were passing time starting to go crazy when a nurse told us she could give us a hall pass for 6 hours. Margaret and I looked at each other and were out of there quickly. We hopped in a taxi, went to one of our favorite restaurants, bought some nail polish and books and enjoyed the freedom before returning.

I should have remembered this and asked about a hall pass but I never thought the US would do it with insurance. However, yesterday when a nurse I'd had all week stopped in to say hi and see how I was doing I was saying I really would love to just go outside for a few minutes, to which she replied, "Sure, I can make that happen". I have never changed so quickly. I threw on a t-shirt and shorts. In Hong Kong, we just signed in and out. At UC Hospital, your hall pass is a large florescent square sticker they stick to you with your name, your unit, nurse, phone number, time out.... I guess in case you pass out so they know where to return you to! The time limit was somewhere between 15 minutes and 60 (none of the nurses were quite sure this is clearly a not often used privilege on the bone marrow transplant/hematology/oncology unit). I proudly stuck my sticker on and my sister and I went off to walk around the courtyard and just sit outside for a little bit. It was so nice to get out. I came back ready for a nap after my whopping 10 minute walk and 30 or so minutes outside but it got me through the home stretch.

They let me come home this morning. It is really nice to be back here. I have to go back to my doctor tomorrow morning for labs and an appointment and we are going to take it from there to see if I need to come daily or less frequently. The next 3 weeks are the critical don't get a fever or infection period, and it is a bit of watch and wait. I am assuming I am going to be mostly on quarantine for the next several weeks but as long as that can be at home and I can go for short walks outside that is a okay with me.


  1. Yay!!! So glad you got to go home!!! That is the best news!! I guess this means we don't get a sleepover at UC. Maybe we could have a worthwhile one at a spa!! Much better accommodations!! Hugs and we'll talk soon!!!

  2. I am so happy for you Beth!! Good job hanging in there!! Mitchelle