Thursday, February 19, 2009

A Loving Takeover

The UCLA Blood and Platelet Center was taken over by Santa Barbarians today! I knew that a Fern Sikich was putting together a carpooling caravan, but many others came today, too. At one point, seven of the eight donation chairs were filled with people from Santa Barbara who came to donate blood products to Krista. Thanks to Krista's mom being here to watch over her, I was able to go down to the Center (about 3 blocks from the hospital) to give an in person thank-you for going so far out of their way. I was a bit late to the party so I was only able to catch Fern's five on camera (left-to-right it's Bill, Hillary, Michelle, Fern, and Kirk). We had a great time hanging out together. I wish I could have seen everyone, and for those I didn't see (or otherwise missed a proper shout-out), thank you! Jaime, my contact at the Center, says that everything donated to Krista has gone to her. Since she's still having on-and-off fevers she continues to need platelets. Her INR has come down to normal, and that means she no longer needs blood plasma. The bank is generally low, so feel free to continue to donate if you want to replenish the stock (blood plasma can be stored for up to 10 years).

Those who were at the Center (and those we are connected to on facebook) got a preview of today's good news. The doctors diconnected Krista from the constant dialysis machine and said that if she does well with a few hours on the single-pass dialysis machine tomorrow they will transfer her out of the ICU and back to the transplant ward! This is a huge step, though Krista has some apprehension over it. She will really miss the 24/7 attentiveness and security that the ICU provides.

Krista passed the swallowing test yesterday so she's allowed to eat pureed foods now. Cream of wheat was good this morning but, since her mouth sores have been worse, she found that apple sauce causes too much pain. She's still having abdominal pain, so we raised the tephlitis question again. So far, they seem to think that the pain is liver-related, not tephlitits.

On the liver side of things, her ammonia level is down within the normal range, so they have reduced the dreaded Lactulose syrup to 2 times per day (it was 4 times per day). Her bilirubin levels have plateaued over last few days, but they are still too high. As her liver heals, that value should come down naturally.

Her platelet situation was a little different today than it had been. The morning draw showed a borderline "dangerous" level (11,000), so they put in an order for HLA-matched platelets with the Red Cross this morning. They're supposed to be here around 8 p.m. tonight. She's having a fevery time right now, so the sooner the better.

Krista's been in bed for a long time now. They ordered physical therapy for her to help get her back on her feet. It sounds like the PTs are pretty booked though, and it may be a day or more to before they can get here.

Thank you all so much for your love, support, prayers and efforts. They make such a difference and onlookers and doctors are noticing the difference belief in a God who answers prayer makes.

[Jesus praying] "Righteous Father, though the world does not know You, I know You, and they know that You have sent Me. I have made You known to them, and will continue to make you known in order that the love You have for Me may be in them and that I myself may be in them."
(John 17:25-26)

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