On extended warranties…

I did not take the extended warranty for my Bosch dishwasher. The reason is that I bet it won’t fail, or if it does, I will be able to fix it for cheap. A few days ago, after two and a half years, it failed, so I went searching the Internet for clues. It quickly became clear that only two parts where known to fail:

  • the control board can have a solder point melt
  • the flow meter can start faiing

A quick check to the control board (thanks Internet for the unmount instructions) led me to order a new flow meter for the huge amount of 24 €, P&P included. Changing it was rather easy and did the trick! No thanks, I won’t take the extended warranty – just cross my fingers instead!

Héloïse’s leg punction done

Héloïse still has pain in her leg and cannot stand. We know there are some ‘drops’ that can be seen using echography or magnetic resonance imaging. Today, it has been possible to extract a small quantity of whatever is inside those drops, and we hope this will enable the doctors to better target them and get rid of them.

It is likely that she will be spending Christmas in hospital 🙁

Héloïse’s leukemia, the first phase

Héloïse’s treatment is going well. After the infections keeping her at more than 39°C, she drop below 34°C on the first night, but has recovered quickly and is now at normal temperatures. Because of the corticosteroids, she cannot eat salty things since 29 November which is hard, but she is a courageous little girl and is accepting the situation.

The chemotherapy started one week after the corticosteroids, on 6 December. She is so far showing no issues with the treatment. We hope to have her home for Christmas, but her foot is still painful and being taken care of. She still does not walk after 4 weeks in hospital…

After a bit of adjustment, we have now found an acceptable rhythm were I come to give dinner, and sleep beside her when she’s alone in her room, and Mummy comes in the morning to give lunch and wash her if possible. When I sleep there, I also have breakfast with her. Mummy needs to be home quite a lot too to take care of baby Antoine, who is only 10 months old and needs his Mummy a lot. Héloïse is never alone anyway: the nurses are never far, the teacher comes every week day, and there are clowns, magicians and musicians visiting. Everybody is nice and helpful… so far so good!

Héloïse’s leukemia, treating infections

Héloïse was ill and had an aching foot as whe entered hospital. After the leukemia was detected, she got a catheter set up and lumbar puncture done. The latter revealed no contamination to the central nervous system. That was good news. No organs had been invaded with white cells either, and the blood contained little cancerous cells, so this was good news.

On Thursday 22, she got moved to the specialised wing at Archet II hospital, where the treatment was to take place. It took a week for her to get rid of her chest inflammation and for her foot to improve enough that the treatment could commence.

Héloïse’s leukemia, the detection

Loads of people ask me what happened, so I’ll try and explain.

On Saturday 17 November, after coughing for about a month, Héloïse started having fever. That day we had gone to the Fête de la Châtaigne (Chestnut Fair) and she was so tired that I had to carry her back. We passed in my friend Sabrina’s house who found her pale…

The day after, she was reached 40°C and so we called a doctor who prescribed antibiotics, found her pulse rather high at 160 beats per second but gave no more explanation nor advice about it.

Monday, as she was still in pain over her foot, Ana Paula asked me to leave work early and bring her to hospital. At Clinique St Jean, the doctor looked at the radio and saw nothing, so he advised to go the the Lenval hospital which specialises in children and have her checked. This doctor deserves our respect.

At Lenval, after waiting a long time because of a strike, she was examine by a doctor who could not see more that his colleague and decided to have her foot immobilised, and give us an appointment 10 days later to see what had happened. The nurse who was making the cast told me a number of times that Héloïse was pale before she decided that a blood test was in order. This nurse has all my gratitude for her professionalism saved us precious time!

The first blood test was only about red cells. The normal rate is 10 to 12 g of hemoglobin for 100 ml of blood. The critical level is 5. She had 4. At that point, I was told whe would need a blood transfusion… a what??? Transfusion??? Must wake up from that nightmare!!! That’s when they decided a more complete test was in order…

The second blood test revealed that not only the red cells were few, but the white cells and platelets too. She was to be transfused red cells and platelets in emergency, kept in a sterile room where one could only enter with protective mask and gown. White cells cannot be transfused, so the first thing to do was to fight infections.

The day after (or rather a few hours later), we met the hematologist. She explained the different possibility. It could in theory be no more than a virus, but more likely leukemia. Only a myelogram could tell.

The results came on Wednesday. She had lymphoblastic acute leukemia. She had 85% chances of total remission and more tests were needed to assess the exact type of gene mutation.