Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Vacation? Yes, Please!

Tomorrow Mark and I will take Anthony to Children's Hospital for his post-op clinic appointment with Dr. Rigby (the ENT who did his surgery two weeks ago). Hopefully nothing new will "pop up" in the meantime. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, but Anthony loves to throw us curveballs.

And speaking of curveballs, I've finally gotten a handle on why Anthony's immune suppression got so messed up when we were in the hospital! It took a little sleuthing, quite a few phone calls to Omaha and New Orleans, but I've finally got a handle on it!

A little background first: Our insurance plan year goes from July 1 - June 30. So I thought, with our new plan year about to roll out that I would try to save a little money. Instead of sending Anthony's Prograf blood to Omaha for evaluation (more fees because they're out-of-network from our insurance) that I would send it to New Orleans (they're in-network, thank God!). So I had a sample of blood from the same blood draw sent to both places. I wanted to make sure that we were going to get a similar reading before making the switch. This is what I got:
Omaha's Prograf reading: 5.9
New Orleans' Prograf reading: 11.6

Whoa! That's a huge difference! So, who's wrong? Well, neither! The two centers run their blood on different types of machines. The two levels are *technically* the same, but it's hard to use the comparison I ran online yesterday because the comparison said the machine Omaha uses will test anywhere from 2 to 10 times lower than the maching New Orleans uses!

So in conclusion, we're just going to keep sending the blood to Omaha. We have always been comfortable with their results, we know what their results mean, and it's not THAT much more money ($30-something dollars to Omaha, $10-something dollars to New Orleans for each reading). The only thing this new information tells me is that anytime Anthony is inpatient in New Orleans we'll need to have his Prograf blood sent to Omaha, or we won't be able to trust the level New Orleans gives us. It's aggravating, but at least I'll have peace of mind!

After Anthony's clinic visit tomorrow, we hope to leave for Dallas for the weekend. If we get out early enough, we'll leave. Since his visit is early afternoon, we're hoping to be out of New Orleans before 4:00pm. We'd like to get to Dallas no later than 11:00pm tomorrow. If we can't get out of New Orleans early enough we'll come home, spend the night, and leave early (like 3:00am) Friday morning.

Here's a picture I got of Anthony on Monday morning. He looks like he's thinking hard about something...and I can tell you what he's thinking about. "Hmmm...I have to poop. Where shall I go sit to have my poop?" And I'll tell you this, was on some insurance paperwork I've been scanning. Thank God we're off the antibiotics now, because I don't think I can handle much more of this!

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I hope everyone has an awesome Fourth of July!

Love, Laurie, Mark and Anthony

Coming up in Anthony-land:
Thursday: Spending the morning with Nana, the afternoon at Children's and hopefully be in Dallas by 11!
Friday-Tuesday: FUN in Dallas, TX!
Wednesday: a return to day care

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