Thursday, December 14, 2006
Mama ER takes a HIT
Mama's platelet level this morning was down to 30,000 per, but tonight was back up to 37,000. Two steps forward yesterday, two-and-a-half steps back today, it looks like.
Mama ER has heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT).
In a nutshell:
Heparin is a blood thinner used with patients undergoing heart surgery. A tiny fraction of people have negative reactions to it. Mama ER is among them.
What heparin does is cause platelets, little blood cells needed for normal clotting, to clot abnormally. The result is the patient's platelet count gets dangerously low.
This is all pretty new information to doctors and nurses. At first they treated the HIT by stopping the heparin and pouring platelets into Mama ER. They realized that was exacerbating the problem, not helping it.
I think at first they thought the reaction to the heparin was that platelets were being destroyed, and only over time realized that it actually was causing the platelets to clot, rendering them uncountable. In other words, they're in there but aren't doing any good. I may have this wrong.
Anyway, they are treating her now with another blood thinner, argatroban. Last night, her platelet level, after a full day on the new thinner, was up to 47,000 per cubic millimeter. The day before, the level was 35,000. Normal is between 150,000 and 400,000.
Yesterday was a stone. I fed Mama ER some breakfast, she walked to the shower and back, had a wee bit of physical therapy and allegedly ate quite a bit of lunch (a nurse's aid was going on and on about how much she ate). By the afternoon, she was pooped and feeling miserable, maybe because of all the activity and a full tummy.
I ordered French toast for her supper but left before it came -- Mama ER loves anything sweet, so I figured there was a better chance of her eating some of it. She has not acepted the fact that for her to eat is to live. She really needs to get that.
Maybe today will be a diamond. Brudder ER is coming today. Bird and YankeeBeau are coming this evening. Little Big Sister is supposed to come on Saturday.
just wanted to let you know someone is listening and thinking of you.