Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Day +8 (post-transplant)

So today we hit a big milestone. Okay, it really wasn't that big, but because we have gone awhile without any good news, it felt like a HUGE milestone. It looks like Chris is starting to grow white blood cells.

Chris's count were:

White Blood Cell: 0.1 ...Now you might be saying to yourself, "Hasn't this always been Chris' WBC count?" Well just like they don't count platelets less than 10, they don't count WBC under 0.1. For the last week Chris has actually had less than 0.1, but today he officially is 0.1. It still means he has no immune system, but it does signify that he is starting to get better!

Platelets: 16

Hemoglobin: 76

Neutrophils: 0.0

Since Chris' hemoglobin was so low, he got a blood transfusion today. They also ended giving him a platelet transfusion. While they normally only give platelets if you are under 10 (or under 15 with a fever) Chris was getting some  pretty bad bruises, a bad nose bleed and they ended doing a little procedure on him today(details below), so they gave it to him to help with his clotting.

We had a lot of changes today. First, Chris' pain medication was changed for the 5th time. He is now on hydromorphone again. The pain killer that he was on before was not lasting long enough, so they switched him over and he seems a lot happier with it.

I also went home for a little bit because a) Chris seemed to be doing a bit better today (I mean, he did have 0.1 WBC) and b) I was absolutely exhausted and in need of a shower. I normally go home for an hour each night to shower and do laundry, but since Chris had a pretty high fever last night and pretty out of it, I decided to stay.

I left around 1:00 and was back at 4:00, and the first thing his nurse said to me when I walked in the door was "so we had a bunch of changes while you were gone." This is not the most comforting phrase to hear. However, it was nothing too bad. While I was gone they did minor surgery on Chris. And by minor, I mean they did it in his room, so it was very undramatic. They decided to try and drain his abscess a bit to give him some pain relief.  Originally they were very hesitant to do this  because of how low his WBC was.  The rationale was that Chris has an infection and  if they do the procedure with his WBC low the worst thing he can get is another infection. He did end up bleeding a ton (which was the reason he got the platelets) but they had it under control by the time I returned.

He also ended up getting a catheter . Since he was still going to the washroom so frequently and experiencing pretty uncomfortable bladder spasms (apparently common with transplant patients), they gave him one. I have never seen him sleep better. He is snoring for the first time since we came to the hospital.

Now today has not all been good news. Chris had a really rough night last night with his high fever and although it broke today, he has another high fever again. They switched up his antibiotics yesterday, so hopefully they will be able to kick in soon and fight this infection he has.

He also has noticed a change in his appetite. While he is still eating at every meal, he is having noticeably smaller portions and feels a bit nauseous when he eats too quickly. This is still great compared to what other transplant patients have experienced, but I really thought Chris was going to be the first patient here to gain weight by the end of this.

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