As you know, today was our trip down to Phoenix
But the good news is that she had no adverse reactions.
She could have. They were going to pre-treat her with
Fortunately, I had the forethought to call Mary up last week
So there we are,
So I grab my daughter my purse and my knitting. Uhuh, you read that right. I’ve invested waaay too much time learning to knit this pair of
Now, Nephrology (kidneys) shares a clinic space with
If you think back to your days at school I’m sure you can
It only took a few minutes for the fire trucks to show up
It was on the drive home that I stopped by a fellow FreeCycler’s house to pick up some plants
What’s more fun than a barrel of monkeys?
Parvovirus B19, of
And it worked wonders. At one time she had over ten billion DNA copies running around in the
As of last month
So imagine my surprise when Mary called yesterday to inform
It turns out that IVIG is incredibly helpful for 2 weeks to
The good news is that we’ll be able to do this
Oh, and for a couple of things completely off topic:
Yesterday was everything I had hoped it would be. Chris came home early from work to bring me the car. So he was able to load Kajsa up for her first day of preschool. I really don’t know which of them was more excited.
We got there a bit early. So there was plenty of time for playing on the jungle gym. We were in the middle of a rockin’ good game of peek-a-boo, when…
So I slipped away with a kiss and a hug. Outside I placed Kajsa’s backpack on her very own hook. Yet another thing that I found irresistibly adorable. And check out the mischievous grin on that girl next to her. I can’t wait to find out her story.
So I returned to the school as Maya was getting out of hers. You do know that their schools are housed in the same building, right? Good for me – mortifying for Maya. Maya begged out so that she could run off with her own personal Jenny Piccolo, Tabitha, to
It was a wonderful day all around. I’d been feeling rather discouraged lately. (Gee, I wonder why?) But yesterday really renewed my spirit. I’m even fairly excited about the next year, or so.
Well, it was old home week at the hospital this week. Yep, we were back in. Didja miss us? As you know, Kajsa is now immunocompromised due to her transplant – the effect of which is that she can have fairly sever responses to some normally benign diseases. So when she began having fevers and a fair amount of lethargy, I packed up a few clothes and headed back down to Phoenix.
Long story short, Kajsa has/had Parvo virus. Yeah, you read that right…Parvo. (You may stop barking now.) This is a human form of the disease and not entirely uncommon. My understanding is that most of us have had it. And that includes you. Yes, you out there. Yipping away just isn’t as funny now, eh?
For the immunocompetent individual, Parvo primarily manifests itself as a red rash on the cheeks and trunk, and clears up in a week or so. However, in immuno-compromised individuals whose immune system cannot properly clear the infection, infection can lead to a depletion of RBC precursors and lead to chronic hemolytic anemia and pure- red-cell-aplasia, a low red-blood-cell count. B-19-specific IgG immunoglobulin prophylaxis and/or RBC transfusion are used to aid immuno-compromised patients in clearance of the infection. This information is ripped from this lovely page provided by Stanford. Thank you, Stanford.
What then, you may wonder, do you do for yon wee Kajsa’s poor ravaged eurythocyte population. Well, we support it, while force feeding her body antibodies. You remember antibodies. They basically attack any recognized foreign body on a cellular level. We do this through an immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy. And this is where it gets kinda cool.
OK, say you go to the local blood drive and offer up your arm to the phlebotomists for the grand good of all. You might think that they take that blood, check it for scary viruses such as HIV and Hepatitis (here I remind you to never use this as a method of screening for a disease – it’s so totally uncool) and then simply dump it into some pathetically needy sick person. But no, it’s way more interesting than this.
Yes, they screen the blood. Then they spin it down to separate the red cells from the platelets. The red blood cells are what are often transfused to patients. They call these PRBC’s, or packed red blood cells. This greatly reduces the possibility of passing on viruses as there aren’t any leukocytes present. This is the form that all of Kajsa’s previous transfusions have taken.
With the rest of the blood, they do many things, including helping burn victims. Pretty nifty, huh? But the part that pertains to Kajsa is the formation of immunoglobulin. This is essentially the process of culling the antibodies from many people’s blood and creating this magical elixir of hard core, bad ass, disease fighting serum. Some very diligent guy named Mike has created a site that tells more about immunoglobulin than you could possibly ever pretend to stay awake for. It is; however, well organized. So if you have a question in mind, you can likely find the answer there.
So there we were for six lovely days watching the sun rise and set while deliciously cool in our hospital room. Almost makes you want to go too, doesn’t it? But it wasn’t so bad.
We got to enjoy the company of some of our absolute favorite nurses…so there was much chatting and gossiping to be done. We made soooooo many crafts. Let’s see we have a caterpillar made out of construction paper, googly eyes, and glued baubles. We created a sunflower from a couple paper plates and glued buttons. We’ve made baby birds, and magnetic photo frames.
I read every pop-up book and/or board book until my jaw ached and memorized all of the Winnie the Pooh videos. Furthermore, I am almost finished with a splendid striped scarf worthy of the pages of You Knit What?, for whom I play a stanza of Taps. May their snarkiness rest in some semblance of peace. You were my semi-secret bitchy outlet.
And after a week of transfusions, IVIG and avoiding residents with their undying desire to test for every disease known to man, Kajsa was deemed worthy of release. She’s still having fevers, as her body is waging an all out war upon the Parvo (woof) virus, as well as whatever else may have been lurking in the wings. I have been granted, once more, the honor of caring for my child. Yippee.
We bolted from the starting gate at 12:30 this afternoon and are looking forward to grilling out from the comfort of our own home this evening. Sigh.
So. What did ya’ll do this week?
Q: Do you know what happens when you transplant a 22 year old kidney into the body of a three year old (complete with 3 year old sized bladder)?
A: Nothing. No dishes. No cleaning.
Just lots and lots of diapering.
Kajsa for her part has been working pretty hard at potty training since leaving the hospital. But she has to pee every 20 minutes or so.
Did I mention that we live at least half an hour from anywhere.
Oh well. No one ever said it would be simple.