Infinite Blogging

Tales of love, fertility and nourishing food.

Update on Lanna (as of 4/1/09) April 2, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 7:19 am
This is going to a long list of people (gotta love BCC). Here’s how things stand today.
Lanna’s transplant operation went well, even quickly. No bumps, no problems, no worries about the operation itself. It appears that the recovery process will be the hard part. 
Key points — she is on powerful drugs to suppress her immune system. The first 3 days will be the most crucial, as this is when the doses will be the highest. This means she absolutely cannot have any exposure to infection, so even though visitors are welcome and encouraged (2 at a time), if you have even a slight runny nose, please don’t visit her. It also means no live flowers or plants while she’s in the hospital. She will not be able to be around large crowds — church, shopping, airplanes, schools, work, etc. — for the next 2 months.
Recovery is going to be a long process. Those of us who never experience a transplant first assume that the doctor puts you under, puts in the new organ, sews you up and you’re immediately better. Not exactly the case, as I learned today.
For Lanna, today was rough after surgery. It took 3 hours to do the transplant and 3 hours for her to get out of recovery and back into her room. When she woke up, she was in a lot of pain, which they’ll treat w/ morphine for the first 24 hours. The pain comes from the surgery itself and side effects of all the drugs. She was having tingling numbness in her hands, and her mood was, at best, anxious. She has a well-deserved dislike of being in the hospital, so add that to not feeling well after a major surgery AND facing the unknown recovery process AND a long history of bad health and being in and out of hospitals, and you have a worried, somewhat panicky, very scared girl at the moment.
We play the waiting game for the next 24 hours to 3 days to see what the kidney will do. When I left at 9 p.m. today, it was not producing urine yet, but the nurses said that was perfectly normal. It is also perfectly normal for transplant patients to have to have dialysis once or twice before the kidney gets up and running. This can take up to 3 days for the kidney to “wake up,” as the nurses put it. She will be closely monitored, even with a nurse exclusively assigned to her, for the next 24 hours or more.
An added hurdle for Lanna is having a bladder that hasn’t functioned for the last 8 years and that was damaged when she was an infant. For those of you who have toddlers, you might have a good idea what she will be going through from this perspective for the next few months.
She will be on a regimen of anti-rejection drugs from here on out, but at increasingly lower doses over the next year from what she’s on today.
Whew!! And we thought it was all solved!  🙂
In all seriousness, this transplant is a major blessing. The timing couldn’t be better — she has not felt well for a single day in the past 3 months or more; she had finally put herself in the mindset of being willing to accept a kidney transplant, thanks to a very wonderful friend; all her necessary check-ups were up to date; she’d had the right conversations with her boss; she was anointed; and our recent churchwide fast was specifically asking for more faith among God’s people.
A week from today, or maybe even tomorrow, she will have much more energy, more balanced hormone levels, a functioning bladder, a kidney filtering the junk out of her every second, rather than a machine doing it every night for just 4 hours, she won’t have to lug her dialysis machine and supplies to the Feast (Hawaii for us this year, wahoo!)…
Meanwhile, she needs all the help she can get, rather than focusing on the pain and coming challenges of recovery, to have a positive outlook toward her recovery AND to help her focus on how much better life will be very soon. Maybe not today, maybe not tomorrow, but soon. Your prayers and cards are very much appreciated.
If you care to stop by, please do. She’s in room … [contact me if you need this]
For cards:
[contact me if you need the addresses]
In Christian love,
Rachel Keesee

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