Sunday, March 1, 2009

A Need, A Gift, And A Success

This morning Krista's white blood count was up to 1.8 (with 400 neutrophils), and her platelets were at 54,000! The platelets haven't been that high since they started coming down more than a month ago. Unfortunately, the boost was short-lived as tonight they are back down to 11,000. The doctors are giving her a platelet transfusion, but it's not going to be a patient-directed donation. That probably indicates that she's gone through all the donations made for her. If any of you are willing and able to donate platelets, Krista still needs them. The phone number of the UCLA Blood and Platelet Center is 310-206-6187 to make an appointment for platelet donations.

Yesterday's scary fainting episode added some extra nerves to Krista's regularly scheduled physical activity. I think she put off doing her standing exercises until the afternoon because it seemed like there might be a repeat of yesterday if she wasn't feeling perfectly strong. Eating (make that drinking) meals is getting easier but it is still an exhausting process for her. On top of that, she's been trying to use the bedpan instead of going in the diaper. That helps the kidney doctors keep track of her outputs so they can better evaluate her need for dialysis. We have worked out a kind of Judo-like move to make getting into the bedpan easier -- she rolls onto it instead of trying to cram it under her -- but there's just no way to make getting off the bedpan less strenuous. All these simple daily things just wear her out, so how is she supposed to find the strength to stand up?

Something of a miracle happened through our nurse Jackie. There was no tornado, and no house falling out of the sky, but somehow she managed to loose the claws of the Wicked Witch and get a brand-new walker into Krista's room! We had told her earlier in the day (rather forcefully) that we were going to stick to the PT's plan today and only do sitting and standing and, if she could get a walker, to take a couple of steps. The doctor, however, had ordered Krista to sit for an hour in the cardio-chair. That wasn't on the PT's plan, so we insisted on just the sit-and-stand routine. I think Jackie figured that getting a walker for Krista would be a good carrot to get her into the chair... and it worked.

We had Krista sit for a long time with her legs dangling off the bed before I would let her try standing. Once she was well-acclimated to sitting, we had her try to stand. She was weak getting into the standing position but got there with some help, and once she was there it didn't take long before she was turning around with the walker getting into position to sit in the cardio-chair. The cardio-chair didn't hurt her feet (from swelling) as much as before, but it was still difficult because it made her feel weak. Janelle and I kept a very close watch over her while she was on the chair, even though it has a seat-belt to keep her seated in case of fainting. After about a half-hour, Krista felt like the weakness was going to make getting back to bed difficult, so we cut it short and called in the nurses. She walked herself around back into the bed, and though she was tired afterward we all felt that she had a very successful exercise.

Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
He gives strength to the weary
and increases the power of the weak.
Even youths grow tired and weary,
and young men stumble and fall;
but those who hope in the LORD
will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint.
(Isaiah 40:28-31)

1 comment:

Rhonda said...

I wanted to come by and visit this week but am going out of town. I hope to come again soon. In the meantime, I passed your blog on to a lot of people on the westside. But a lot of people were wondering what blood type is needed for what procedures. Could you clarify that for us? Thanks! Praying and having hope for you both!