Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Outpatient Update

I have been meaning to write this post for the past few days or so.  I've been in a "writing funk" and haven't blogged much either.  I'm just not feeling it.  That said, I do need to update you on Peyton's current situation.

Last Tuesday (10/30) Peyton had Cardiology and Pulmonology appointments.  It was a long day but glad we went.  It is so difficult to get Peyton out of the house to go to an appointment.  If you were to tell me right now we had to go somewhere with her, I couldn't be ready to leave for at least 30 minutes.  At least.


Cardiology.  She had her last echocardiogram while she was in the hospital last month, so she didn't need another.  Some of her odd symptoms appeared like they could be cardiac in nature, but after looking at the echo, it's not likely.  For example, the edema (swelling she was having in her face) might be a sign of right ventricular failure, but her echo did NOT show that.  She does not have right ventricular failure.  So that's a good thing.  The measurements they got did show that the left side of her heart is ever so slightly enlarged - like one point outside of the normal range.  Not terrible.  Her mitral regurgitation and heart murmur have been described as moderate.  I don't think those have gotten worse.

We first discussed everything with the fellow. Then he came back in with the regular cardiologist and a 4th year med student.  We talked with them for quite a while.  He definitely seems very concerned about Peyton's overall condition.  While the main issues she's been having the past month or two don't appear to be cardiac in nature, he is definitely concerned enough to want to do extra bloodwork on her.  He is particularly concerned about her albumin and hemoglobin levels.  They are low.  She's pretty anemic.  For some reason, Peyton has never had a blood transfusion, although we thought she was going to wind up having one last month, if you remember.

After a lot of discussion, he ordered labwork which we are going to have done on Tuesday this week when we bring Peyton in for her Neurology appointment.  We'll do the labwork first.  Once it's done, we'll call Cardiology and let them know it's done so they can be looking out for any preliminary results.  His hope is that he can get some results and then talk to the neurologist while we are still there.

We still have some outstanding tests from when Peyton was in the hospital.  We are hoping that we will be able to get some of the results when we see the neurologist.  The geneticists in Boston wants Peyton to have a shunt tap to get some CS fluid.  However, the neurologist here is hoping he can just do a lumbar puncture.  We're going to try to set that up.

Cardiology wants to do a heart cath, so we may try to coordinate that with the lumbar puncture.  The heart cath is going to require an in-patient stay, so that's out there.

As for the bloodwork on Tuesday, the cardiologist wants to see how the numbers compare to her last bloodwork done while Peyton was in the hospital.  He is wanting to bring her into the hospital as an in-patient - hopefully for a short stay - to do a blood transfusion and maybe an infusion of albumin.  I'm not sure if he has other things in mind as well, but he said he would like her brought in for a "tune up".  Her levels are really low right now and she's just not herself.  It's actually been pretty sad to see.  It is our hope that these treatments can help to bring her around to something of her former self.

To help ease some of the load on her heart, and possibly some of the edema (which actually hasn't been bad lately), the cardiologist has started her on Lasix. You can find more on that drug here -  In short - it's a diuretic.  If we can ease the load on her heart, then the thought is that it may in some way help with the regurgitation.  Go here to find out more about mitral regurgitation -

For the past 5 days, we've been dealing with a Peyton who is not herself.  She doesn't look well.  I emailed the Cardiologist today to give him a heads up as to what has been going on with her lately in case he wants to expedite the treatments he has in mind.  She is lethargic (she's been sleeping since before 4pm and it's 7:50pm now), she's irritable, she has had diarrhea for 4 or 5 days, and so on.  The home nurse today is concerned that she has c diff.  You can read up on that here -

I am so tired right now. Every time I feel like I've reached a new level of exhaustion, something changes and I reach a new level...again.  Today began with the suspicion of c diff.  I already have had increasing levels of concern about Peyton but once that happened, I became even more concerned.  I wasn't sure if this would entail a trip to the ER or to the walk in clinic or what we would need to do.  The nurse called the doctor's office (they are open 365 days with weekends being "walk in" from 9:30-noon) but they didn't have their phones taken off the answering service.  We didn't get through til almost 10am and then the nurse left a message with the nurse at the office to see what we were to do.  Finally she had to call them back at 10:50 to see what the answer was.  Ron, Moira and I usually go to the 9:30 service at church on Sunday, so we were unable to go.  At 10:50, we were going to have to be leaving to catch the 11:15 service.  I wasn't sure if we'd get to that either.  The answer wound up being that we had to go get a probiotic for her.  We left, worried about Peyton.  By the time the service began, I was really teary.  Fortunately, I could hide that behind the powerful emotion of one of our pastor's spoken word dialogue and a very powerful video about one of our church's family's adoption journey and new ministry as this was Orphan Sunday.  Normally I am into the music and worship and all that, but today I just wanted to sit and cry.

I'm just concerned and I'm not sure what is going to happen in the coming days or so.  I will keep you posted.

There are many people at church who have been providing meals for our family since Peyton came home.  You can't even imagine how grateful we have been for your support.  We've had some very delicious meals thanks to you ladies!  Thank you so much!!

I will keep you posted on how this week goes.

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