Thursday, June 09, 2005

WARNING! Lots of Medical Information Contained Within!

Anthony did receive three full shots of the Rocephin this week. Dr. Patterson told me yesterday that while the infection is not yet clear, his ear looks "10 times better than it did on Monday". Whew! We'll go back to see Dr. Patterson in a week or two to have him look at the ear again. I'm sure if Anthony starts another round of fevers, we'll be back in before then. Please pray that this is the end of the ear infections, and that we won't have to consult an ENT about tubes!

Anthony's labs from Monday revealed a few interesting things that I normally catch...but now that I'm the mom to a "healthy" transplant patient, I'm not as diligent as I used to be. WHAT'S THIS? Laurie's slacking? NEVER! Sad, but true. Stacy and I were talking the other day. She asked me if I had called Omaha about Anthony's ear infections/fever/diarrhea. Nope! I sure hadn't. I figured I would bug them only about the big stuff. Last year at this time (well, from August through January, really), I was on the phone with Omaha daily (sometimes more than that). Every little thing scared me. I was going insane worrying about a sneeze, a bug bite, a crying baby. Now I'm awfully lax about calling them. And I guess that can be a good thing and a bad thing simultaneously.

So, back to the "things Laurie usually catches" on Anthony's labs:

1. Anthony's White Blood Cell count was incredibly high for him. What does this mean? It means he's fighting an infection. Well, DUH, Laurie...he's got a "raging ear infection with a blister on his right ear drum". Isn't that enough of an infection for you? Well, is. But in looking back over Anthony's old labs (yes, I chart them; yes, I follow their trends...what do you take me for?!?), I noticed that Anthony's WBC never really went whacko before. It's bottomed out a few times (meaning his infection fighting ability was close to nil), and it's gone up slightly before (max 9.10), but Monday's draw revealed that his WBC had soared to 17.60 (still normal, since the high end of normal is 21, but his last few draws have shown that the highest it's gone this year is 9.10). I guess my question here is: When Anthony was battling those nasty cold sores, was that virus not as bad as the infection he is now fighting? Because those sores were nasty and affected him from at least October through January; but his WBC was always in HIS normal range.

2. Anthony's Liver Panel results remained normal. I was told ad nauseum in Omaha that anytime Anthony was sick his liver functions would go a little crazy. Well, they didn't. They were lower (albeit by only two points each) than last month's draw! Ha. So there.

3. Anthony's Absolute Neutrophil Count (ANC) is incredibly high. This is a number I don't normally calculate because it's mainly used in the cancer world. But in reading the many Caring Bridge pages that I do, I've come to notice that the parents use the ANC as the measure of whether or not their child can do ANYTHING in public. Anthony's ANC was 11,968 on Monday; not surprising since his WBC was so high. It's just another way of showing that he's battling an infection. But Anthony's normal ANC is around 3,000. The lowest it ever got was in mid-August last year...390. Was that when he started with the cold sore virus? I don't really remember! August through January is still sometimes a blur for me. He did get blood transfusions and the IVIG treatment then. I will have to consult my trusty Calendar of Anthony Events to see for sure. Maybe I'll find a trend, and will have a better handle on this whole ANC thing.

4. I got a call from Omaha yesterday telling me that Anthony's Prograf level is at an undetectable level. This means that it's gone below a level of 2.0. Prograf is the anti-rejection medicine Anthony takes to fool his immune system into thinking the liver is really his own, and not a transplanted one. Because Anthony's sick (ahem, having diarrhea), his absorption of the Prograf is low. An acceptable level for Anthony's Prograf right now is between 2-5. His last few draws, he's been around 3. What really makes me happy is that Anthony's liver functions stayed completely normal with this dip in his Prograf. Understand, though, that "under 2" means that it could be 1.9 or 0.9. So a level of 1.9 wouldn't be that drastic of a change from 3.0. But a drop to 0.9 could be significant enough to cause rejection. SHUDDER.

SO! What does that drop in his Prograf level mean? It means we will redraw labs on Monday to recheck his liver functions and Prograf level! And, of course, I'll have the lab pull all his normal labs, including the Complete Blood Count (CBC) to recheck Anthony's WBC. I'm sure Anthony's going to LOVE this.

In other news, Anthony has not gotten any Tylenol since 4:30 yesterday afternoon. I wasn't feeling well yesterday, so I left work at 1:00 and went home to sleep. When Mark arrived home with Anthony, Mark wasn't feeling so hot either. So I called my parents and they kept Anthony for the night. He slept through the night (a first since Saturday night!), and woke this morning ready to take on the world. If he's fever free throughout the day, I'll take him to Day Care tomorrow. My mom and Mark's mom have both kept Anthony two days each this week, plus Mark's parents will keep Anthony Saturday night while Mark and I go to a wedding. If for any reason Anthony would need to leave Day Care, Mark's mom will be at the ready to take him for the day, so I've got all of my bases covered. I wish tomorrow were my half day at work, though!

I'm better, Mark's better, Anthony's on his way there...hopefully next week will be a full week at work or Day Care for our little family.

Well, thanks for checking in on us! If something interesting happens before Monday's lab draw, rest assured that I'll blog about it!

Love, Laurie, Mark and Anthony

Coming up in Anthony-land:
Friday: Day Care??? Daddy will accompany Paw Paw to Lafayette to hopefully fix Great-Grandmother's computer.
Saturday: A quiet day with Mommy and Daddy until they have to leave for the wedding in New Orleans
Monday: Lab draw and....a return to Day Care???

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