On Thursday night Paige woke up at 2300 crying..and with a temperature of over 39C. In a healthy child a fever is not necessarily something to worry about (Sam used to have high fevers or 40 and up), simply a sign that the body is fighting infection. Unfortunately for Paige, her first line of defense against infections has been severely depleted by the treatment (actually, her neutrophils were 0.9 on Monday, so we was not technically neutropenic, but the average person has a neutrophil count of 4).
So it was off to the hospital. The procedure is to take blood, send it off to the lab and immediately start a treatment of broad spectrum antibiotics (in this case Gentamicin and Tazocin). It takes up to 48 hours to determine exactly what the infection is, but in the meantime the drugs do the job of the neutrophils.
We have been quite lucky to far: more than three months after Paige was diagnosed and this is the first time she has had a fever. Since the 28th of April, and apart from treatments, tests or lumbar punctures, she has only been in hospital twice, both times for suspected problems with her central line. And she was out within a day.
No such luck this time. The consultant has indicated that Paige could be in the hospital for 3-5 days, although in between doses of antibiotic she and Lisa may be able to come home and visit (the hospital is only 15 minutes away).
In the meantime Paige does not look unwell at all, thankfully. When I went to visit them this evening she was walking around the ward with the help of a walker, keeping the staff entertained! She is not eating very well, and getting milk in her is a struggle, as usual, but she is still smiling.