Monday, February 9, 2009

A Very Fast Transfer

The doctors became alarmed at the results of the blood draw last night. The liver enzymes were not just up; they were way up. They were very concerned that this was an indication of liver failure, so they told me to quickly pack up our things to make a move down to the Intensive Care Unit on the fourth floor.

The scans show that there is no blockage stopping the liver from functioning. The most likely cause of the failure is a rare side effect of one of the anti-fungal medicines she had been taking.

Because the liver is not doing its job, there are a couple of notable effects. Her body is not breaking down the morphine she has been receiving for pain, so in the midst of the storm, she is in a relatively happy place having vivid dreams that crossover into actual hallucinations. She is fairly lucid, and is aware of where and when she is, but there are frequent crossovers with non-reality as she talks with people who aren't here and gets concerned about things they are doing. Trevor don't eat that glass!

Another effect is that the kidneys are having a difficult time doing their job. This may be why she has not been able to flush the excess water out of her system. The doctors are considering putting her on a dialysis machine to help the kidneys along so they can try to flush the anti-fungal remnants out. This may help, but it is not a direct solution to the problem.

Liver failure is very serious. The liver is the one organ that the doctors do not have a machine to replace its function.

It is possible that the liver will spring back on its own, and right now that seems to be the only solution. Studies from alcoholics show that the liver can be very resilient, so there is some hope that it may happen. If it doesn't happen on its own, though, she will need a liver transplant or she will die. Her doctor said that it is up to God what happens. That is the most true statement I've heard in a long time.

My life is consumed by anguish
and my years by groaning;
my strength fails because of my affliction,
and my bones grow weak...
But I trust in you, O LORD;
I say, "You are my God."
My times are in your hands...
Let your face shine on your servant;
save me in your unfailing love.
Let me not be put to shame, O LORD,
for I have cried out to you...
How great is your goodness,
which you have stored up for those who fear you,
which you bestow in the sight of men
on those who take refuge in you.
(Psalm 40:10,14-15a,16-17a,19)

1 comment:

Regina Shea said...

Mike and Krista,
You are in my prayers! And many of my friends from around the world are also praying. I guess that's what happens when you join multiple Yahoogroups!