Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam
Steven and Sean on the Polar Bear Cam

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Elepalooza, Ativan, and Loud Magnets

Today began with an 8:00 am blood draw. Steven did great, his friend Tara the nurse was there, back from maternity leave, and she worked her usual magic of getting the vein quickly, always on the first try. Steven whimpered, but no tears.

Next was his hearing test. Steven still has a noticeable high frequency loss, but it hasn't worsened since he was last tested in April.

Target Stores comes to St. Jude four times a year and puts on Elepalooza, a big carnival at the hospital. They were there today for their summer visit and Steven got to attend. He met his friend Zach, who lives in Memphis and is being treated for a brain tumor.

Then four more hours of neuropsychological testing, which lasted until 4:00 pm. His oncologist's nurse was going to have him come into their clinic as soon as the testing was done to put in his IV early, to be sure everything would be good to go for the MRI.

She prescribed a hefty dose of ativan, three times what he was taking during chemo for nausea. She suggested that we give him the ativan at 2:00 pm (this is the same woman who scheduled the testing from noon to 4:00).

When I suggested to her that a megadose of ativan might affect the results of his testing and that timing the dose to occur exactly midway through his testing might not be a good idea, she reluctantly agreed and said to go ahead and give it to him at 4:00 pm when the testing was done.

So, we did. While we were waiting for the ativan to take full effect, we stopped upstairs to see Steven's friend Trey, who has sickle cell anemia. Poor Trey has been hospitalized now for two months continuously after a stem cell transplant. We are praying he gets out of the hospital in the next two weeks, and that next time we come back, Steven can play a game of pool with him at Target House instead of visiting him in the hospital.

By the time we got Steven to his clinic, the ativan was causing him to stagger and slur his words. They set him up on a table, dimmed the lights, and covered both hands with Emla, a numbing creme. Steven brought his DVD player and watched Lord of the Rings while he waited for the Emla to take effect.

Two nurses and Angie, from Child Life came in to place the IV. Even with all the ativan and numb hands, Steven was very apprehensive. He whimpered as they looked for a vein.

I stood at his feet lightly holding his legs, Angie held his hand, and the two nurses worked on keeping his left arm steady and getting the needle in.

He was still very fearful, but there were no screams or need for men the size of bar bouncers to hold his legs. After the IV was in, he started sobbing, this time with relief. He attempted to give a "thumbs up".

Then, the big event: MRI of the brain. We didn't get out of the hospital until after 9:00 pm. Thursday is MRI of the spine, lumbar puncture, and results.

-- Kathleen


Anonymous ativan said...

This drug is pure brain damage. It feels great at first but if you take this drug everyday for just one month you will lose your short term memory and when you get off the drug your anxiety will be permanently worse and your muscles will be much more tense and rigid then you ever thought possible and your memory will never be as good. DON'T TAKE THIS DRUG MORE THAN ONCE A WEEK! OTHERWISE IT WILL RUIN YOUR LIFE!

February 09, 2011 4:35 AM  

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