I’m a medical mystery. Why should I be surprised? Some of the medical news is good. But overshadowing basic improvement are a long list of unanswered questions. I’ve never had more blood drawn in my life!
Let me pause here to apologize to a number of readers that commented following yesterday’s post. Our WordPress blogging platform automatically updated at just the wrong time and your comments–along with my carefully drafted responses–have been lost. They’re floating around somewhere in the cloud, with no way to retrieve ’em.
That’s unfortunate, because hearing from so many of my dear friends has given me the strength to face more than few frustrating days.
Moving on, I wish my doctors could. I have good and bad news.
The good news? It looks like my pneumonia is a common, bacterial strain. It’s responding great to several different targeted antibiotics. There are a half dozen specialists on my growing medical team. My infectious disease specialist, Dr. Ivan Guerrero, thinks I’m doing so well that he is going to suggest I be released on Friday. About time!
But it ain’t happening. I’d be shocked if I could get out of here tomorrow, even though it would be the best thing for me. I’m off oxygen. and Dr. Guerrero thought my lungs sounded clear. I’m guessing I’ll need a good looking chest X ray before I’m released.
Here’s the fly in the ointment. On to the medical mystery part of the story. I shared yesterday that all of the chemo from two turbocharged stem cell transplants literally changed my blood type so much they couldn’t match it up for 12 hours at Baptist Health’s sprawling Jacksonville campus.
In the end, nurses administered two IV bags of platelets. The result? There was a three hour bump up over 20,000. By the 3 am daily blood draw my platelet count was back down to 11,000. Why? No one knows. My creatinine and blood urea nitrogen (BUN) levels are improved, but remain elevated. Why? Now my liver enzymes are screwed up. Why? Earlier this evening an ultra sound of my liver and kidneys prompted the tech to ask, “Are you getting dialysis?”
For a tech to ask a question like this is very unusual. You know the drill. Test techs most always defer to the expert that interprets a test. In this case, the young lady positioned me to watch the screen. I’ve never seen an ultrasound image of a kidney before. But I could see it looked scarred and beat up. She thought my kidneys were enlarged. Why? I’ve never had liver or kidney issues before.
My guess? The toxicity that allowed Dr. Tricot to pronounce me myeloma free has damaged my organs. Or maybe it’s the result of an infection; a holdover from when my stomach was swollen, not allowing food or liquid to pass last fall.
Ironically, today was a dark day. I should focus on the positives. But the medical mysteries yet unanswered has me concerned. Hopefully its nothing more than temporary inflammation and there won’t be any permanent damage. Lord knows the last thing I want is to need dialysis. Thanks to Pattie and her sister’s work at Davita, I understand the challenges facing renal patients. I’ve fought through enough. Don’t need that, too. Maybe the kidneu doc that will be reviewing my case tonight can shed some light on things.
Feel good and keep smiling! Pat