Infinite Blogging

Tales of love, fertility and nourishing food.

Prayer Request. August 17, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 8:06 am

Mr. Best is a minister in Canada.

Greetings,

I just received a call from Louise Hay that Mr. Best is out of surgery
after going through a quintuple bypass.  The doctor said the family
can see him for a few minutes in about half an hour.  The next 24
hours are critical as complications can occur so your prayers are
important.

Regards,
Gerald Weston

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Update on Lanna #9 (7/9/09) July 9, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 2:25 pm

Last week’s kidney biopsy revealed that Lanna was experiencing both types of rejection, acute and chronic. The doctors have gotten the acute rejection (lesser of the two) under control via steroids, and they are working to reverse the chronic rejection.

This means that Lanna’s body has developed antibodies against the kidney. A level of 250,000 antibodies indicates enough present to cause concern — Lanna’s level is at 400,000.

She is on her second round of plasmapheresis, which is a process similar to dialysis in which her blood is cycled through a catheter, only it is targeted at removing plasma from her blood. The plasma is what carries the antibodies. In between each treatment of plasmapheresis, Lanna is intravenously receiving a drug (rituxan, I think) that specifically targets the antibodies by binding with and dissolving them. The treatment consists of 4 times alternating between plasmaphereis and the drug. She had received this treatment last week with a different drug, which seemed to work well but didn’t quite decrease her antibodies enough. Her doctors then put her on an experimental drug, IVIG, that only succeeded in raising her blood pressure and raising her creatinine level (it had gone down to 2.5, but now it’s back up to 3.1 where it is holding steady), making her doctors stop that drug and decide that a second round of plasmapheresis was necessary.

The puzzling thing is that Lanna is not showing any other signs of rejection. She is still urinating and the kidney is working to remove excess fluid, so it hasn’t stopped its functions. She has started to retain some fluid, but it seems to be mostly in areas where she has an IV or catheter. Her blood work is also pretty stable right now, which generally would get out of balance with rejection, not to mention the treatments she’s receiving.

Emotionally, Lanna is faring well. She was fairly distraught when she was first admitted into the hospital, but now she’s handling treatments more calmly, even though the current treatment saps most of her energy.

Thus the waiting game continues. We don’t know what’s in store for Lanna, but this much we do know — many things have worked out so far to show God’s intervention regarding this transplant and its timing. To recall a few:

– Lanna was in a mindset to receive a transplant, had gotten all of her required tests up to date, had even mentioned something to her boss about needing time off if she did get a transplant because a friend had offered to get tested to give Lanna a kidney (that didn’t work out, but a few days after the friend’s test came back negative, Lanna got the call about this kidney).
– just 3 days before she got called, we’d had our church-wide fast.
– it occurred after cold & flu season, decreasing her potential exposure to disease.
– her dialysis was no longer functioning well, so she was at the point of needing something to change drastically regarding her health.
– the transplant itself only took 3 hours, with no complications, although the doctors were concerned about the amount of scar tissue she has.
– her bladder has adapted amazingly after 8 years of no use, and it can now hold almost a normal capacity and continues to do its job.
– her blood pressure has steadily been at a very healthy 117/70, where before it was usually at 60/40, and most transplant patients have problems with high blood pressure.

These are just a few of the reasons to believe that God is very much involved in Lanna’s health right now. There are so many of you praying, too, that I don’t doubt He is listening and will intervene again on Lanna’s behalf.

In Christian love,
Rachel Keesee

 

Update #8 on Lanna (6/30/09) June 30, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 2:48 pm

Lanna is still in the hospital and will likely remain there the rest of this week or longer.

When she was admitted, the staff tried 6 or more times unsuccessfully to insert an IV into her arm. They could get it in enough to withdraw blood, but any time they tried to flush in a drug, her vein beveled and did not allow anything in. Saturday she had a central line put in near her neck so she could receive high doses of steroids to decrease her creatinine level. She still has bruises all over both arms from the attempts to put in an IV.

Yesterday, her doctor performed a kidney biopsy (those of you who watch House know this means a needle was inserted into her side to withdraw tissue from her kidney for analysis), the results of which will not be available until tomorrow. What her doctors suspect, though, is that she is in the beginning stages of one of two types of rejection, either acute or chronic. They won’t know until the results are back which type of rejection it is. If it is the lesser of two evils (acute), she will continue to be treated with high doses of steroids until her creatinine level is below 2.0. If it is chronic rejection, she will receive more strenuous treatment that will require a catheter inserted into a major artery, likely in her chest area, where her dialysis catheter was before. However, she has a lot of scar tissue in that area already, and the radiologist who placed the central line had trouble getting it in and was concerned about how long it would be usable. One of the two tubes there now was already not allowing anything into it today.

Worst-case scenario, if Lanna is going into chronic rejection and cannot get a catheter put in, she would have to have a fistula (the combining of a vein and artery for access to the blood stream) put into an arm or leg, rendering that limb almost useless.

The good news — her creatinine had increased to 3.0 Sunday, but it dropped back to 2.8 today, where it was last Friday when she was admitted. Her white blood cell count is up from 1.7 to 3.0 (should be above 5.0 but has not been above 2.5 for several weeks). Her kidney is also still doing its job well, as far as the doctors can tell, aside from the increase in her creatinine.

The doctors believe that this potential onset of rejection is a direct result of their alterations to her antirejection drugs in the past few weeks. Her dosages had been decreased to try to push up her white blood cell count, without success, and now those dosages will have to increase again. This means Lanna will be back where she was two months ago — advised to stay away from work, shopping, large crowds, church and any other type of exposure to germs — indefinitely.

One other item of note — Lanna did have a build-up of fluid on the opposite side to her kidney that the doctors plan to drain either today or tomorrow. They have speculated that this fluid could be putting pressure on the kidney and could be the culprit for what’s happening, although they are more likely to suspect rejection as the cause. They don’t know where the fluid is coming from, so Lanna will have an ultrasound done of that area later today. It very well could be caused by one of the other health issues she has, related to cysts that form occasionally on her ovaries. We shall see.

Thank you so much for your continued prayers and support. I’ve passed on your good wishes to my sister, and we continue to ask that you will pray for God to intervene (quickly!) so that she does not reject this kidney or have to experience any more suffering related to it.

In Christian love,
Rachel Keesee & the Moluf clan

 

Prayer Request: Lanna Moluf (6/26/09)

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 7:41 am

Lanna is being admitted to Research Hospital this afternoon. Her creatinine level has gone up enough to cause concern w/ her doctors, so they want to monitor her and readjust her medications. (High creatinine is one key indicator of kidney failure.) The rest of her blood work has also continued to be out of balance.

The good news is that she had an ultrasound of her kidney this afternoon, and no fluid is collecting around it, which would have been an indication of rejection.

We would appreciate your continued prayers.

Much love,
Rachel Keesee and the Moluf clan

 

Update #7 on Lanna (6/22/09) June 26, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 7:45 am
I’ve delayed sending an update on Lanna while we wait for her blood work to improve, but it seems as though she could use your prayers that her labs will start to get better.
From my sister Laura today (6/22/09) who is living with Lanna this summer:
—————–
“Lanna went in for labs today and got a printout of her labs from last week. She was complaining of pain in her kidney on Friday and part of Saturday. I don’t know if that’s gone away or not (as she doesn’t really like to tell me if anything’s wrong), but today she looked like she was retaining water in her face and was acting pretty tired… The most concerning would be the GFR (glomerular filtration rate)– this is basically a read of how the kidney is functioning. While Lanna is still peeing and everything, I think this GFR value needs to go up, and I get the feeling that’s she thinks she might be experiencing acute failure…
“The doctors are still playing with her medication, trying to find a combo that works. They changed it 3 times last week. That may be the cause of the kidney pain, I don’t really know.”
—————–
Basically, Lanna’s blood work is still not balanced in the critical areas. Since my last update, her hemoglobin has not gotten up even to 10 yet (11-15 is a normal range), her white blood cell count is down at 1.9 or lower (normal range is 4.7-11.1), her creatinine is high (2.5 when it should not be above 1.5), and her glomerular filtration rate (GFR), which indicates how well a kidney is cleansing the blood, is really low, at 29.7, when it should be greater than 60 (if it dropped to 15 or lower, that would mean Lanna was in rejection).
Her doctors are adjusting her medications almost every week to try to balance these numbers out. Some of the adjustments also have uncomfortable side effects, such as one week when Lanna’s stomach was hurting.
Lanna has also started going into the office 3 days a week, even though her immune system is still pretty low. (Her doctor approved this because she is not in the main office and works directly with fewer than 10 people.) She’s feeling stressed about work and does not have as high of an energy level as she would like. I think she just wants to get back to a normal routine (to be expected, considering it’s been 3 months almost). This is wearing on her emotions and a little bit on her outlook, as she’s concerned she might reject the kidney.
We ask that you’d pray that Lanna’s doctors will figure out the right combination of medications to balance out her blood work with the least amount of side effects, that her energy levels will improve, that her outlook will be positive, and that she can start to live the abundant life that is so close but not quite in her grasp yet. Knowing how merciful our Creator is, I’m sure He will hear and answer.
With Christian love,
Rachel Keesee
 

Update #6 on Lanna and prayer request (5/7/09) May 8, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 9:06 am

Lanna has been doing very well at home these past three weeks. Two weeks ago she had her dialysis catheter and incision staples removed, both of which were mental victories, indicating the doctors’ confidence that things are going very well.

Her energy levels had been improving, even with the frequent trips to the restroom during the night, but this week she started feeling a little drained. Her labs on Monday showed that her hemoglobin levels were low (7.1), and labs today showed they had dropped further to 6.7 (a normal level is 12). Hemoglobin indicates how much iron is in the blood (this is what they measure if you’ve ever donated blood), and is how the blood transports oxygen from the lungs throughout the body. Low levels of hemoglobin inhibit blood flow, which for a kidney transplant patient is a dangerous problem. In healthy people, it can cause dizzy spells and lightheadedness when you stand up, both of which Lanna has felt a few times this week, but for transplant patients, it could be an indication of rejection.

A critically low level of hemoglobin would be 5, and Lanna is getting too close to that level, so her doctor has asked her to get her blood work done again tomorrow (Friday) morning and to see him Friday afternoon. We ask your prayers that her lab work will come back pristine tomorrow and that God will heal whatever is interfering with her hemoglobin levels. (My family typically has anemia and trouble absorbing iron, so Lanna’s problem with her hemoglobin right now is likely partly hereditary. Anti-rejection drugs can also contribute to anemia.)

Other than that, Lanna has been doing well. She has started working a few hours a week from home, and she has been ramping up her exercise (we walked 45 minutes together Tuesday). Her spirits are still good, although someone should probably get her sense of humor under control — she’s cracking jokes at everything.

Thank you again for all of your prayers, cards and help — it’s a tremendous blessing to have so many family members to count on.

In Christian love,
Rachel Keesee 

 

Prayer Request: Jeremy Mueller April 14, 2009

Filed under: Prayer Requests — Annette @ 8:29 am

From Jesche Family: Jeremy Mueller Update:

Thanks to all who are keeping my brother in your prayers. If you do not know what is going here’s the info. and update.
My brother “Hoss” Jeremy, was in a farming accident a few days ago. . A sweep auger swung around while he was scooping grain in a bin and sucked his leg in it.
He was rushed to Hiawatha hospital and then by ambulance on to St. Joe hospital where he was taken in for surgery. He has 3 breaks in his bone, some muscle and nerve damage. They are confident he will not lose his leg. He is in a tremendous amount of pain. The biggest concern now is infection because the bone was exposed to the environment. They packed his leg and left it open until Thursday when they will try to sew it back together. They will know at that time whether or not he will need any skin grafting done. They thought he would be in the hospital until Friday or Saturday.
He is at […] in St. Joseph, MO.
Thanks for your prayers and concern.
Elizabeth