Friday, November 23, 2012

week of clinics (and back in hospital)

I wrote the following post last night with the intention of a positive conclusion to the week, but I will have to include a retraction of sorts. I have written extensively about the recognition that everything can change in an instant, and of course, it does. James was admitted to Toronto General early in the morning following a long and sleepless night together. I will update more about the admission in the days to come. Nonetheless, it is important to acknowledge the optimism and accomplishments of the previous days: 

It has been a week of clinic appointments. This translates into long days of waiting, waiting, and more waiting (and a couple of tests and appointments in between). We feel fortunate to have be seen within three to four hours of our scheduled appointments. We have come to expect these extended delays (without acknowledgments of the waits or apologies from the team). We have left the building in the past through dark and empty halls. We are always grateful to head home before the receptionists have locked the doors and closed the lights for the evening. 

We were scheduled to be at St. Michael's on Tuesday and Friday, and at Toronto General on Wednesday. James was also to be at Toronto General for others tests and physiotherapy (Transplant Gym) on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. It would be an understatement to suggest that our lives have revolved around the hospital this last week. 

Nevertheless, James continues to be stable (in the relative sense of the term). We are relieved that James has no signs of infection. (His chest x-ray remains clear. He has no fever or sputum). On the other hand, James' white cell counts have been low for a couple months. Several of his medications are being held in hopes of recovering these levels. He will also be given Neupogen shots for the next couple of days to help regenerate some of his immune function. These have resulted in excruciating muscle pain, but James always knows to manage his pain before it is beyond his control. 

On a more positive note, James, in his incredible determination, has been able to gain back a couple pounds of all the weight lost from his recent gastrointesinal episodes. He is eating a near three thousand calories every day, and truly pushing himself, despite a lack of appetite and low energy. We are both feeling very proud of his weight gain. We hope this upward trend will continue.

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