29 April 2009

An Okey-Dokey Day

Yesterday was a learning day.

We learned that the $6000+ for the Neulasta shot was a good investment. Ford's WBC count was up significantly.

For the first 4-5 weeks of giving Ford his daily Lovenox injections, I was happy that only two had bruised. Then last week, every single one bruised. I was frustrated. I reviewed what I might be doing differently. (Giving Ford shots is a lot easier for me if I don't have a visual after effect reminding me that I am causing him pain--while of course, I am possibly helping to save his life.) This week has been a lot better. I still don't know what I was doing differently. When the pulmonologist was checking Ford over, I explained what was happening. He told us that when the platelets are at a low count, bruising is something that happens. Not my doing. Yeah!

The next thing was kind of funny to Ford and me. When he had the major drop in sodium, this doctor told him to cut back on the amount of water that Ford was drinking. He could drink other liquids, but only a limited amount of water (.5 liter). The doctor up at HCI took it a step further and told Ford he was to limit total liquid intake to 2 liters. (Remember, this is a guy that for the last several years has had a daily intake of approximately 2 liters of water along with other liquids.) This was a real challenge for Ford. But he has done very well. And his sodium levels have not gotten below 133. Well, Ford has a standing order for a weekly blood draw so that the doctors can keep on top of things. Each time I have looked at the results, the CO2 levels have been high, some higher than the normal high. I asked the doctor about that. Some of you that are reading this that have medical knowledge probably are way ahead of me. The high CO2 levels are an indication of dehydration. Ford and I looked at each other and chuckled. "A conundrum?" I commented. The doc simply said "Nah, just increase your liquid intake of anything besides water." We told him of the limit the other doc had given him. He sort of shrugged his shoulders and replied with something to the effect that those numbers will remain a little higher then.

At the doctor's visit, he also showed us the CT imaging of the scan taken during Ford's last ER visit in March. He put it in motion so we could see the progression of the images of Ford's lungs as it went from top to bottom. He pointed out the areas of interest and of concern. We didn't have a current CT scan of the chest like we normally would have at this visit so that he could do a comparison. Ford has had so many CT scans of all areas that the doctors decided to wait and combine scans. The normal procedure of the doctor at HCI is that a couple of weeks after the 4th chemo treatment (the one coming up next Tuesday), they do CT scans to check on progress. We are to make sure that a chest scan is done and that we bring a disc back to the pulmonogist so he can do the comparisons. So about 4 weeks from now, we should have an update on both the blood clots and the cancer.

Everything else checked out Okey Dokey at this time.

1 comment:

  1. Do you want to check at Whole Foods or other health food stores for a "natural" form of gatorade or pedialyte so he can drink and not lower those critical levels? (gatorade is mostly sugar and pedialyte tastes nasty!) Just a thought.

    I drink a vitamin/mineral drink every day that is just incredible, but costs about $45-50 for a month's supply. It's from enzymatic therapy brand, and is called "energy revitalizing system". I mix it with a lot more water than it says because it's pretty strong.