Friday, April 17, 2009

Less LA

Today we made our weekly travel to UCLA. The trip began with a visit to the endocrinologist who ordered some additional tests to measure her triglyceride levels and electrolyte balance. The tests were done in the oncology suite, along with the regular oncology tests. The samples were taken at 10:30 am, and they were kind enough to let Krista lay down in the transfusion suite since she had a cold. Most of the results were available by noon, but we couldn't see doctor until 5:00 pm because of a scheduling problem. That made for a long, frustrating day of waiting.

The results were worth the wait, though. Krista's blood levels, liver, and kidney are all excellent. The problem values now are potassium (high), sodium (low), triglycerides (very high), and cholesterol (very high). It's strange, but the problem readings are now starting to make sense. Cyclosporine is known to cause a direct increase in cholesterol, and indirectly increase triglycerides as well. High potassium (hyperkalemia) is known to be a side-effect of Cyclosporine as well. The low sodium is actually pseudohyponatremia, a false low due to the high levels of triglycerides.

Overall, the doctor is very pleased with Krista's progress. He reduced her daily intake of Cyclosporine again, which should help some with the side-effects, and cut the steroid dose in half again. We need to adjust her diet again, too. Our focus on reducing potassium has driven Krista to eating much more fatty foods in order to get enough protein. We're going to try moving back toward her older, healthier diet (to help with the cholesterol and triglycerides) and supplement with regular Kayexolate (to remove excess potassium).

Other good news: we only have to go to UCLA every two weeks now! And there's more; though Krista still needs to have her bladder imaged to find out what's going on with it, that can be done locally, too! Yay! Less trips to LA!

[Jesus speaking] "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
(Matthew 11:28-30)

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