Treating a child with both ALL and feverThe patient looked quite tired and even wiped out and I at first thought she was sleeping. Her complacent eyes seemed to track my every move. The child had leukemia, ALL to be more precise. Since she was receiving chemotherapy currently, a fever meant a more serious trouble for her.

Due to having had a similar experience with my child Cole who spent the first two years of his life fighting a life threatening disease with numerous chemotherapies, I know too well how concerned the family really was. Apart from these concerns, I also know too well lessons of love and bravery, heartache and sadness associated with the illness of the child. After the journey I went through, I can now say that I am not only a better man but also a better physician due to the experience and am actually a much better man. I certainly knew how I would help this family carry on through the crisis.

Diagnosed with ALL

Last summer, the little girl was diagnosed with ALL after showing symptoms of increased fatigue. After being referred to a Children’s Hospital, a mediport was placed after which she started an aggressive treatment regime of prophylactic antibiotics, high dosage steroid therapy and chemotherapy. The good news is that she responded well to the treatment and after 8 months of chemotherapy, the disease was now at the maintenance phase. Rather than getting IV chemotherapy week after week, she only received it once in a month. The oral chemotherapies, steroids and antibiotics continued as regularly.

When the baby was brought to our ER, she had low grade fever already. We immediately took the little angel to the ER and checked her immune system so as to be sure that the girl wasn’t exposed to other illnesses. Anyone who wished to enter Room 35 where the girl was had to wear gloves, a sterile gown and a mask including the nurses and myself too. When I finally met the girl, she looked very miserable. Her dad had a calming voice and a heartfelt smile. We started giving her antibiotics, Tylenol and fluids and the good thing is that the child seemed to be getting better day by day.

The eyes gained their spark at last!

After some time, she looked quite different and was now a beautiful, interactive and smiling toddler who was playing with stickers as she at some Italian rice and watched a funny cartoon. Obviously, her fever had broken and the Dad seemed ten years now. For a moment, I even forgot that Meghan was fighting for her life and her complacent eyes now had an awesome spark. After spending some good time with the girl and her father at the room, I walked to my desk and was lost in my own thoughts at what had just transpired.