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Virtual reality + drugs = good times!

Spinal tap. These words generally bring on one of two reactions. You laugh at the idea of an amplifier that goes all the way up to 11 or you cringe at the idea of a needle poked into your spinal cord. Or like me, you do a little both.

For us, Peyton’s spinal taps are a necessary evil. She has to have them to monitor the possibility of leukemia in her spinal fluid and to administer Methotrexate into her spinal fluid. It’s generally not too bad, they’ve really done a great job with pain management and making it as comfortable for her as possible. Today, however, science made a great leap forward!

Just as Cindy, our nurse, was getting Peyton prepped for her happy meds Kyleen, the child life specialist, came in with a smile and a box. She announced that she had a new toy for procedures, a virtual reality headset. She proceeded to hook Peyton up with a set of headphones, attach some goggles and then put in a DVD of Dora the Explorer. The child didn’t utter another peep. Cindy administered her drugs and Peyton laid down, clutching the goggles the whole time. When the doctor came in and it was time to curl her up like a ball and clean her back, the time she normally starts fighting, she just laid there like a limp little rag. It was awesome! We told her to curl up, she curled, we told her to hold still, she was practically comatose….I have got to get one of these for home! The doctor inserted the needle and Peyton never even flinched, I mean, she never noticed the needle entering her body at all, truly amazing. It also lets me know that all the fighting has been more about the procedure itself than any discomfort, which is a relief to my mind.

When all was said and done, and Peyton rolled onto her back, she peeked on eye out of the goggles and looked up and Kyleen and asked, “Can I have these?” She was the second child to use these at our clinic, both with positive results. How fantastic is that. I hope that they are able to get enough funds so that these are available for all the kids who need them for procedures, both at the clinic and the hospital.

Peyton’s counts were great today, her ANC was 2400, her hemoglobin as 9.2 and her platelets were in the 200’s. Those are fantastic for her! This round of chemo isn’t too bad, the time between treatments are spread out, giving her body a bit more time to rebound and the chemo meds themselves aren’t too horrible. She’ll go back in on Friday for double leg shots of Peg-Asperiginaise and a St. Patrick’s Day party and then doesn’t have to be back in until the following Friday.

The kids are out of school next week for spring break, so we’re looking forward to taking a few days and heading to Daytona to visit friends and my mom and dad. If the weather is nice we’re going to hit the beach. I’m sure the kids will try to convince me that the water is an acceptable temperature, but I know that they still have that childhood chemical imbalance that allows them to get into frigid water and say “It’s not cold, see!” I had it once, I’ve outgrown it.

Pete’s car is still in the shop. It seems trivial to pray for a car, but we are. The engine is shot, it has to be completely replaced and we’re praying that the warranty people will see fit to cover the repair, otherwise we’ll be playing “let’s shuffle the truck” game. Not the worst thing in the world, by any means, but not the most convenient. If anyone has a spare Pontiac Grand Prix engine laying around that their not using, sent it our way!

f..r.o.G…fully relying on God

1 Comment on “Virtual reality + drugs = good times!”

  1. #1 Doug Powell
    on Mar 16th, 2007 at 5:04 am

    I dont know if the creators of VR would have brainstormed about using their technology for distracting cancerkids during otherwise excrutiating procedures, but that is probably the ultimate use of new technology. We have to have Adelaine put under for spinal taps maybe we can avoid that now? (I always dreamed of being the drummer for Spinal Tap:TONGUE)

    ROCK ON!
    doug powell