Monday, September 5, 2016

Spring/Summer Hospital Stay Day #10

May 26, 2016

A day that started out in dramatic fashion turned out to be pretty uneventful. The drama started when the resident physician preliminarily reported that the CAT scan of Angela Bursler head showed what appeared to be a spot on her brain. Unfortunately this information was conveyed to Angela before I arrived at the hospital so she was forced to digest it on her own. Unshaken by the news she went about her way until I arrived. When she told me of the report my jaw dropped to the floor but we both did our best to stay composed. We discussed it a bit but eventually let it go by the wayside. It wasn't long after I arrived that we were told by the doctor that a final analysis of the scan by the radiologist and attending physician indicated that the scan was negative and there were no spots. Big sigh of relief!
After this bit of excitement the rest of the day was calm and as I said before somewhat uneventful.
The majority of her symptoms that prompted her visit to the ER last Tuesday have been successfully treated. i.e. fevers have subsided, blood pressure is controlled and headaches are few and far between. She is, however, still experiencing shortness of breath and bloating caused by the introduction of IV fluids. unfortunately hydrating her body is a necessary evil to keep her kidneys healthy. In spite of her level of discomfort (weight gain 20 lbs) doctors will not approve the use of a diuretic as it could negatively impact kidney functionality. Angela is expected to manage through these issues until her platelet count is restored at which time the use of Lasix will be approved and a pleural aspiration will be performed to remove water from her lungs.
The source of the majority of her symptoms (low platelet count) has not yet been treated however a plan is in place. Testing of the blood confirmed that her system has developed anti-bodies preventing the use of random platelets to spark bone marrow activity. The treatment moving forward is to specifically identify Angela's platelet type and with the assistance of the Red Cross attempt to find a match in blood banks across the Country. This process could take upwards of a couple of days to complete.
While we are playing the waiting game doctors will continue to do complete blood count tests and monitor her vitals. In fact, today, testing showed that her red blood cell count was less than seven prompting doctors to infuse another unit of red blood. The negative reaction she experienced with the infusion of the platelets has left her fearful of any type of infusion including red blood which has never caused a problem. After a long discussion it was agreed that she would accept the infusion if loaded up first with Benedryl, Zofran,Ativan and Tylenol first. The plan was executed to perfection and the infusion was completed with no ill effects.
A path out of the hospital is in clear view but timing really depends on how quickly the platelet compatibility study can be completed and her type located.
Her mood today was outstanding. She remains upbeat and confident that she will conquer this minor setback.

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