Monday, March 16, 2009

Labs, Echos, And Foods

The labwork this morning showed that Krista's platelets were low again, at 12,000. Fortunately, there was a patient-directed bag available. The blood bank has been working on staggering donations so we use what's donated and minimize donations that expire. I've heard that David Giordani came down today and that the Amlings are coming down Saturday to donate. If we could get a couple of people to come mid-week we'll probably be in good shape. Thank you all for helping out so much!

After the transfusion, Krista was scheduled for an echocardiogram. This was a routine exam, as chemotherapy can take a toll on the heart. It was neat to see the wonder of God's handiwork in a real-time pumping heart. I could even clearly see the valve opening to let blood flow one direction and the closing to stop it from flowing the other way. It's a really amazing, yet simple design. He also took pictures of the blood-flow to the liver, but that wasn't as clear to my untrained eye. After doing all the measurements, the tech said that they would only keep her there if there was anything suspicious, and with that he dismissed her. Sounds like a good sign to me.

We later talked with the nutritionist, because we thought that there were still some foods (like spicy foods and black pepper) that Krista was supposed to avoid. It turns out that she is free to eat as she would like to. There's no more external restrictions, only what she is able to tolerate. The spicy foods can irritate mucusitis sores, but hers are doing much better now. She's been able to eat some tougher foods, like chicken pot-pie for dinner tonight, and mild salsa with chips also were tolerated well. But what was the deal with black pepper? The nutritionist said that they don't allow it added to food for neutropenic patients because it tends to have some mold in it. She also said that John Hopkins hospital allows their neutropenic patients to put pepper on their foods, but that's because they autoclave their pepper! You all can continue to enjoy your uncooked ground pepper, though, since the small amount of mold isn't a problem for people with healthy immune systems.

After the visit yesterday, Adam ended up vomiting on the way home. It may have been motion sickness, since he hasn't thrown up since, but he still feels pretty yucky. We took good precautions while they were here, but we still pray that neither of us will get sick. You can join us in that, and in praying for the Steffens that they stay healthy as well.

But let all who take refuge in you be glad;
let them ever sing for joy.
Spread your protection over them,
that those who love your name may rejoice in you.
For surely, O LORD, you bless the righteous;
you surround them with your favor as with a shield.
(Psalm 5:11-12)

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