Tuesday, March 3, 2009

By Her Bootstraps

Krista's abilities just continue to amaze me. Yesterday she needed help standing up, but not today. It still takes incredible focus and each step is deliberate, but she is able to get up to her feet using the walker, get on and off the commode by herself, scoot around the room, and even sit in a regular chair for almost two hours! This may not sound like much to those of us who take mobility for granted, but it is something that was unthinkable for us a week ago.

What makes the feat even more amazing is the fact that Krista woke up this morning feeling unusually weak. Her platelets started off low at 12,000 -- and that was after receiving a platelet transfusion last night. Her levels later dropped to 9,000 but the doctors have become reluctant to give more transfusions because they don't want her body to get into a pattern of fighting off platelets as foreign entities. The blood bank called Marc Amling requesting more platelets from him because she had responded particularly well to a previous donation from him. His wife, Karen, said that they are coming down Thursday to donate. Thank you both so much!

In the midst of her early-morning weakness, we felt a need to pray -- and not just for strength for the day. We both were sensing that we needed to make it a goal to transition out of the hospital by Friday. So we prayed and found a lot of peace about the goal. A couple of hours later the team came in and said that at the rate she was going that she should be able to go on Friday. I love it when God answers quickly!

Part of the team's confidence is based on Krista's white blood count making a bound up to 2.56 with 900 neutrophils (normal is 4.0-10.0 with 2,500-6,000 neutrophils). This increase is showing itself in reducing her mouth sores and even in starting a vocal comeback; she now gets moments of crackly full volume, sounding a little like a boy going through a pubescent voice change. The kidney tests are stable, and she is excreting enough to begin to reduce the amount of Lasix needed to keep her balanced. The platelet level is still problematic, but the doctors expect this kind of behavior; the part of the blood factory that makes platelets is usually the last to get into production.

We are scheduled to get some training tomorrow morning on how to provide Krista with proper care outside of the hospital. The last we heard, we should be in the hospitality house next to UCLA for at least two weeks, maybe up to a month, depending on how things go. That phase seems a bit daunting. We're still excited about starting into it.

But I am like an olive tree
flourishing in the house of God;
I trust in God's unfailing love
for ever and ever.
I will praise You forever for what You have done;
in Your name I will hope, for Your name is good.
I will praise You in the presence of Your saints.
(Psalm 52:8-9)

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