Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentine's Day

In another encouraging sign this afternoon, Krista has begun shifting around in her bed again -- and she can partially open her eyes briefly in response to touch! What a nice Valentine's Day present.

Cory and Alyssa Steffen brought the whole bunch of English/Steffen kiddos down to UCLA today for a visit. Krista's condition is too intense for our boys to visit with her, so my mother stayed with her while the rest of us went down to the Santa Monica pier where they treated me to lunch and a good walk. The boys are doing great, and it was really good to see them. Krista's long-time friend Kelly from Virginia sent a "birthday" package (celebrating Krista's new immune system), and it had some really neat art supplies, airplane kits, Legos, and other fun things that became great Valentine's Day gifts for the boys. It also had some snacks, magazines, and a card that I read to her today. I added in a DVD copy of You've Got Mail, which was a favorite we used to have on VHS. She'll be sure to enjoy all this when she's doing better. Thanks everyone for making this a very special day. We are really blessed to have such loving friends and family!

Krista's condition, aside from the new movements, continues to improve slowly. I think they still aren't really sure if last nights "period" was or was not a period. To cover their bases, they've put her on birth control and gave her 3 pints of blood plasma to increase her clotting factor. They have been giving her HLA-matched platelets, even when not an emergency, hoping to get to a safer value. That doesn't seem to be working, as her platelets are still only at 21,000 tonight (150,000 would be normal, and over 60,000 would probably no longer be considered low), but at least she's not in the danger zone.

Her digestive system took a rest yesterday, but last night she began having bowel movements again, and there is little residual in her stomach after taking her Lactulose. The nurse suspects that they will begin the nutritional drip into her stomach again tomorrow to keep the intestines stimulated.

The liver enzymes and ammonia level continue to work their way down, and the bilirubin count seems to have plateaued at a high level that made her skin really yellow yesterday. Supposedly, the bilirubin count can continue to rise even while the other liver numbers decrease but eventually they will come down as well. If it has plateaued, then the decrease may be coming soon.

God is good, and we continue to wait on Him as He does His work in Krista.

But I will sing of Your strength,
in the morning I will sing of Your love;
for You are my fortress,
my refuge in times of trouble.
O my Strength, I sing praise to You;
you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God.
(Psalm 59:16-17)

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Mike.
My name is Julie Russell and I attend CCSB. I have been following your blog for about a week now. I actually went and donated red cells for Krista today. I tried to donate platelets, but I have really small veins and it just wasn't working. I have O- blood and would be happy to donate again if it is needed.
You are a testament to the inner working of the holy spirit to bring peace in a difficult time. I will continue to pray for all of you including Cory and Alyssa. They are so great!
Sister in Christ,