Update #2 on Lanna (4/2/09)Lanna is in much better spirits today, practically no pain, and is getting feisty and tired of lying around in bed. She was up and walking this afternoon, making several laps around the floor she’s on (which really impressed the nurses).The kidney has started producing a little bit of urine, which means it’s functioning, but not more than 5 CCs (a normal person would have about 400 CCs) has been collected. Lanna is hooked up to several bags of fluids and medications, so she’s been putting on a lot of water weight.The doctor may opt to run dialysis again in the morning (she had 3 hours of dialysis this morning to help decrease her potassium levels). We were told even before Lanna’s transplant not to worry if she had to run dialysis once or twice after the transplant — it seems to be a normal occurrence.The surgeon did a standard ultrasound of her kidney this morning to see how it was doing. He said it had good blood flow, no fluid collecting around it, and overall looks pretty good. A good point he made was that Lanna’s blood pressure, which is normally a crazy low of 60 over 40, is so low that this kidney, which came from a healthy person, is probably used to an average blood pressure of 120/80 and is probably a little shocked. If it is now experiencing such a dramatic drop in blood pressure, its normal reaction is to retain fluid and stop producing urine, which would normally help push the blood pressure back up.Lanna was put on a drug this afternoon to help increase her blood pressure, but even before they started it, her blood pressure has been steadily increasing all day. The last one I knew of (about 6 p.m.) was up to 90/60, which is a vast improvement. (Side note — I was told that a normally healthy person whose blood pressure dropped to 90/60 would pass out, which indicates how amazing Lanna’s energy levels before the transplant and now truly are.)We know so many, many people have been praying for Lanna, and your prayers are being heard — and acted on. Thank you for your continued support — it’s exciting to see such a dramatic improvement in one day, even without the 100% change just yet.With much love,Rachel Keesee
Update #3 on Lanna (4/3/09)More good news — Lanna’s kidney had produced more than 100 CCs of urine by 10 a.m. today, so it is definitely starting to wake up and do its job. She did have dialysis again this morning for 3 hours to help take off water weight, but the nurses said that is normal and not to think dialysis is a bad sign. The dialysis nurse even mentioned that it usually takes about 2 weeks for a transplanted kidney to be up to 100% functioning, so Lanna is steadily getting there. One thing that might be a concern if it continues – she has had some blood coming from her bladder, but nothing to worry about yet, considering what her bladder and body have gone through, only if it continues more than a day or two more.She has had a little more pain today and is feeling the effects of less than 5 hours of sleep per night since she entered the hospital, but her spirits are still good. Our parents will be coming in this evening, Marshall is flying in, and David is driving it, so the whole family will be there tonight. That, too, is helping keep Lanna’s mood positive.Somehow Lanna also convinced our favorite massage therapist to drop in and give her what has been a 30-minute massage (and counting), so that should also help alleviate some discomfort — and give her something to brag about, since she wanted me to include it.Her blood pressure has also been steadily near 90/60 all day, so that is another consistent improvement.I probably won’t be giving another update until late tomorrow night, so I hope you all have a restful Sabbath. Thank you for your support, your many encouraging e-mails and cards, your prayers, your faith… it is the most awesome feeling in the world to know how many people are pulling together for Lanna right now.In Christian love,Rachel Keesee
Update #4 on Lanna (4/5/09)
If you like good news and more good news, keep on reading…
Lanna’s kidney has been kicking into high gear, so she has not needed dialysis again since Friday morning.
Today the nurses clarified that a healthy person will produce anywhere from 500 CCs to 2400 CCs of urine in 24 hours. Lanna made it to more than 1300 CCs today, with very little blood in it. This is a fantastic sign that her kidney is cleaning out everything.
A few things to keep in mind — she is still experiencing edema (swelling), so she would appreciate your prayers that she will continue to improve in that area, but she was already looking much better today than yesterday. Her outlook is very positive too — she’s cracking jokes like a champ, even though she’s still having some discomfort around the kidney (expected). Her incision has also been bleeding a little, but the staff says this, too, is normal.
Her blood count was down yesterday, so she received a blood transfusion to increase that count. The blood infusion also likely helped increase her blood pressure, which got up to 100/60 yesterday, well on the way to normal. With this increase, her doctor has started taking her off dopamine, the drug given to help increase her blood pressure. Today her blood pressure was steady around 95/60, even with the decreased medication, which is another indication that she is improving. Her last dosage of the dopamine will be administered before midnight tonight, then she will not be on any more IV drugs or fluids (she’ll just be taking the bazillion pills of anti-rejection drugs and anti-side-effects-of-those drugs). The medical staff would like to see her blood pressure stabilize at a more normal, healthy level (110/70 would be great, 120/70 even better), but I don’t know how much emphasis they’ll place on that if she remains steady at 95 or better.
Lanna was able to start eating a few solid foods yesterday and more today, but she has to be very careful not to increase solid foods too rapidly, lest her digestive system put too much pressure on the kidney.
Now the main sign the doctor is watching before releasing her from the hospital will be her creatinine level, which is the biggest warning sign of kidney disfunction when the level is too high. (I don’t know enough yet about creatinine to explain any further than that.) We don’t know yet when Lanna will be released, likely not before Thursday. We also don’t know yet when she will be able to have her dialysis catheter removed, which for Lanna will probably be one of the major mental victories of this whole experience.
While Lanna is still in the hospital, she would love to have visitors as often as possible. Please feel free to drop in to see her or call her room directly […].
Thank you all so much again and again for your prayers, cards, words of encouragement and help. God has been intervening tremendously, making every new hurdle improve quickly. My eyes are getting teary just thinking of how much better Lanna’s life will be in just a few short weeks, God willing, as her improvement continue. May He also bless you for your faith and love as she continues to recover.
In Christian love,