Time to update.
Tuesday was blood draw day. The lab results were frankly quite surprising. His sodium had dropped another point and his WBC, RBC, and hematocrit levels were all low. Definitely not what we were expecting or hoping for. (Oh, and his CO2 levels were high which indicates dehydration. This has always been a mystery because of his high amount of fluid intake. Go figure.) We got an email off to the nurse at HCI, but I am sure because Tuesdays are immensely busy for them, we did not hear back.
On Wednesday morning, Ford woke up with a fierce headache, body aches, and a slight temperature. My heart sank and the dread began. I prayed that he was not coming down with the flu, especially H1N1. This time I called our nurse at HCI. She was with patients and another assistant took the message. As Ford's fever began to rise, I sent another email. Then I began to do my own remedying.
Many who read this may poo-poo the idea of homeopathic, naturopathic, and "grandma's" remedies (even Ford sometimes calls it "witch doctoring"). With the direction health care, insurance, and pharmaceuticals are heading, someday all of these may not seem as foolish or ineffective. I could editorialize quite a bit on this topic, however, I will refrain and continue with the update.
After the first few things we did, his fever began to subside and his headache started to ease up. Then after another hour or so, the body aches were gone. His temperature remained stable most of the rest of the day.
The nurse at HCI got back with us and we kept in touch throughout the day to watch his progress. Nurse Debbi really is remarkable! She was good enough to give me the reassurance that I needed at the time.
Except for being tired, Ford seems to have recovered from whatever it was that was going on. It may have been a mild virus. Or it may have been from the lower sodium levels. It may even have been a lack of sufficient water intake and soreness from an over-aggressive Frisbee workout the day before. Nevertheless, we cleaned and sprayed around to try and keep germs at a minimum.
Yesterday was Ford's appointment with the pulmonologist, Dr. Alward. I enjoy the visits with Dr. Alward. He always wears shirts that make a statement, definitely not the normal standard issue for doctors. It's great and makes me smile. Dr. Alward is a pull-no-punches type of person. He tells things straight out and seldom leaves us guessing about the situation. He checked Ford out and reviewed what has gone on from the beginning of Ford's blood clots. He told us that with the Factor V Leiden issue and history, Ford has a 7-fold increase for blood clots over the normal person. With his history, he also is at greater risk for Coumadin failure, i.e. having blood clots even though he is on the blood thinner. With that said, Dr. Alward recommended that Ford begin taking Coumadin and when his INR levels are within the right range, he can stop receiving the daily Lovenox injections. Neither one of us will be sorry to see that daily routine go! And Coumadin is quite a bit less expensive than the Lovenox. Dr. Glenn at HCI gave her approval with that recommendation so Ford will begin that transition today. Hoorah! Also, instead of the weekly blood draw, he will need to have his INR checked (a finger prick) every few days until the INR is okay and then it goes to weekly, then spaces out from there. Because both of us are now on Coumadin, we asked about a home testing INR kit, but Dr. Alward nixed that idea. Too bad. Dr. Alward also told us that there is a new medication that has been used outside the USA for three years now that is having better results with less monitoring necessary. No info on how long it will be before it will be used here.
Ford stayed home again today just to give himself enough recovery time. He has pushed himself quite a bit after his chemo treatments to keep a full day at work and to get his physical activity level up to par and keep it there. In my meager opinion, he needed the break.
Other than all of this, all is well. We are greatly blessed!