When we saw P.M last Monday she had asked Mike to make sure he arranged to have a line fitted that was suitable for dialysis during his SCT holiday. We know that a line can be an infection risk, but given the amount of blood that leaks around the needles when Mike's platelets are 65 or below, we had been extremely worried about what would happen when his platelets hit rock bottom. When P.M. told us about the line we were very relieved.
On Thursday morning I took a call from the transplant nurse. The line had been vetoed by the renal team at the QE, Mike had GOT to use his fistula. At the time of calling Mike was sitting waiting for his access sites to stop bleeding, so I had to relay what had been said. Bearing in mind that Mike had been leaking blood for three and a half hours of dialysis, Mike hit the roof. Once we'd got him patched up he was straight off to see our renal nurses, the nurses on the dialysis unit and then home to call the QE. He spoke to anyone and everyone, whether they wanted to listen or not. Eventually a doctor on the renal team said he would look into it (he couldn't work out how Mike had got his number, Mike had actually been passed around and eventually been transferred to him).
On Friday morning we got another call from the transplant nurse who seemed a bit surprised at the number of emails and phone calls that had taken place in 24 hours...... She told us the QE had changed their mind on this occasion and that Mike would be allowed to have a line, that the renal nurses would be going up to the haematology ward to train the nurses in dialysis hygiene (don't ask why they don't already use proper hygiene!) and point out that "protocol" had been overridden.
Mike (and me) are over the moon.
13 weeks to go.