Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Day +22 (post-transplant)

Chris became a free man today. He was finally discharged from the hospital and will now only need to visit the clinic.

It's funny how fast things can move now that the holidays are officially over. They had already decided to discharge Chris by the time I had parked the car and came upstairs (okay, I also picked up a coffee on the way.)

Since everyone was back from Christmas break, we got to see a lot of doctors and nurses again that we hadn't seen in a few weeks. Coincidentally, the nurse we had today was the same nurse Chris had on the day of his transplant. She went away for the holidays not long after that and was gone for the entire time that Chris was sick. It crazy the difference a couple of weeks can make.

Dr. Atkins was also back today and stopped by to talk to Chris about the future. After being discharged Chris will start visiting the clinic for the next year and they will help arrange for his vaccinations when it is time. After he is done visiting the clinic, he will have another appointment with Dr. Atkins and with the MS clinic at the hospital. They will then continue to do MRIs on Chris to monitor his progress, approximately every 6 months. Dr. Atkins said that it was just like any other patient that has a bone marrow transplant. They follow them for the rest of their life to make sure that their disease does not come back. Until more is known about the long term success of this treatment, it is really important to monitor Chris' recovery in the long term.

The other big decision was the removal of Chris' PICC line. As soon as they brought this up, Chris was pretty much convincing them that it was a good idea to take it out. After having a better blood pressure and Chris promised to continue to drink lots of liquids, the doctors agreed with Chris and they removed the line. The big advantage? Chris used to have to saran wrap his arm, wear a towel and arm bag on his arm every time he had a shower to prevent his PICC from getting wet.

While Chris' blood pressure was better, they decided that he needed to have a platelet transfusion. His counts were 19, which aren't horrible, but they did go down again and they wanted to boost him up before he went to the clinic.

Chris had received platelets before when he was in the hospital; however we weren't sure if he would have a reaction. Each time he had the platelet transfusion he was already sick and had a fever, so it was hard to notice any new symptoms. It turns out Chris does get a reaction from platelets. Nothing major. He temperature just a rose a bit (no fever) and he started feeling cold and shaking. His nurse just paused the transfusion and injected him Benadryl and gave him some Tylenol to stop the reaction. I am convinced Chris just wanted to scare me before he got discharged.

Chris' other counts were also down slightly again:

White blood cells: 2.5

Hemoglobin: 104

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