Sunday, August 30, 2009
Airlifted to UK last night...home today
As many of you have heard, Mark was airlifted to UK last night around 9:00pm. We had been enjoying a typical Saturday in Harlan. Around 4:00, Mark started having severe abdominal pain. He also started vomiting (a sign of uremia/kidney failure). We called the Transplant Team's 24 hour nurse who advised us to go to the local ER. At ARH, Mark's creatinine had increased to 5.1. Not only had Mark's creatinine's levels increased, but his potassium was very high. Uncontrolled potassium can lead to heart problems. ARH gave Mark medications to help control the potassium and pain. They also completed x-rays of the hernia around the transplanted kidney. The x-rays indicated that his bowels in the herniated area may have become entangled or obstructed. Given the elevated creatinine, potassium, and the results of the x-rays, ARH made the decision to airlift him to UK. When Mark left ARH, we were under the impression that he may need emergency surgery to repair the hernia. However, this was not needed. When he arrived at UK, the ER physicians repeated the x-rays and blood work. The x-rays showed only air pockets in the hernia. Mark's creatinine had dropped down to 4.6 and his potassium was much better controlled. He was only in minor pain. So, around 2:00am, we were discharged! The ER physicians expressed that you can never be too cautious with transplant recipients. They did not have an absolute explanation for what caused the severe pain or what caused the results of the x-rays to differ. Personally, I do not believe Mark's pain was due to air pockets in the hernia. I don't think ARH made a mistake in the x-rays or misjudged sending him to UK. I suspect that Mark's bowels were obstructed or entangled initially. Maybe the pain medication allowed him to relax which helped the bowels return to a more normal position. To me, the best explanation is that the Lord performed a miracle on Mark's behalf. So, I invite you to join me in praising our Lord for His mercifulness!