Thursday, April 2, 2009

Mobile Phone

Krista had her IVIG treatment this morning, though we weren't sure if she was going to be able to get it. IVIG tends to raise your blood pressure, and Krista's was really high last night and even this morning. I had held off giving her the "breakfast" medicines since she was supposed to get lab-work done at home, but when Holly (the new home-care nurse) saw how high it was she asked me to give her the old blood pressure reducer without the rest of the "breakfast" doses. That worked really well, and the IVIG went in as scheduled. (I had given her the new blood pressure reducer earlier, but it hardly did anything.)

We've been taking extra pains to keep Krista on the low-potassium diet, but it is really strange which foods are high-potassium and which foods are low-potassium. Milk and cheese are high, but butter is low. Citrus fruits are high, but berries are low. Cooked spinach is high, raw spinach is medium, and cooked collard greens are low. All this has made feeding her quite a bit more difficult, but it seems to have paid off -- Krista's labs show that her potassium level is unchanged since leaving the hospital with a normal reading. She's still low on sodium, though, despite eating pretzels and trying to salt everything else well.

Her red blood level read 9.0 today. I asked Carol, the UCLA transplant coordinator, about that. In the hospital this week her count was 10.7, and last week it was 9.7. Carol said that the high reading could have been a false high caused by dehydration, though no one had mentioned anything to us about her being dehydrated while she was in the hospital. I suspect that it was a glitch of some kind. Since the policy is that anything below 9.0 requires a whole blood transfusion, it's likely that she'll get one tomorrow when we go to UCLA for our Friday appointment.

On the other hand, it is unlikely that she will need a platelet transfusion because her platelets were still stable at 34,000! We also heard from Carol that Terry, our friend from Paso Robles who is a fellow stem-cell transplant patient, has been stable in his blood levels and hasn't needed a transfusion. Way to go Terry!

Oh, and here's a followup to yesterday's cell-phone saga. Earlier in the day, before Holly came, I got a call from Krista's cell-phone again. I thought it was really early for the guy to be calling. Maybe something went wrong with our pick up plan? It wasn't the guy I talked to the other day, though; it was his father, who does construction work and has been working a job in Monticito. He brought the phone with him and told me how I could pick it up. I had to go out anyway to deliver Krista's blood samples to the lab. It turns out that the son wasn't even the one who had found the phone -- it was his mother who works at Mission Laundry. He could easily have asked for a reward for finding it, but he didn't. I offered to give the guy some money for his trouble, but he refused it. All I could do was thank him. It is amazing how God is showing such mercy to us through people -- even people who have no connection to us!

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
(Ephesians 2:4-10)

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