Not much has changed since our last blog entry. Mark is scheduled to have surgery to place the PD catheter in his abdomen and to create a fistula in his forearm on Thursday. This will allow him to have two types of access for dialysis. Mark is also scheduled to have another echocardiogram on Wednesday. This will provide information about the effect of the blood thinner on the clots in his heart. I would imagine that the Cardiologist will then make a decision about whether or not Mark needs open heart surgery.
Mark's blood cultures are continuing to show that the infection has cleared. The Infectious Disease physicians have also been following Mark's case. They would like for him to receive IV antibiotics for the next 6 weeks. This would mean that Mark would be discharged with a "picc line" or "midline" which are a type of IV that can stay in your body for several weeks. This is problematic though because of issues with clotting and because the veins or arteries used in picc lines and midlines can never be used as an access for dialysis. So, we are trying to work something out where Mark will either receive home health or will go to a physician's office in Harlan to receive the IV when we are discharged.
The Team is also trying to make arrangements for us to be trained on peritoneal dialysis. Typically, patients and families receive a training on PD before the catheter is placed. Although I think we will be in the hospital through next weekend so that the Team can make sure the PD catheter is working, I am unsure if it will be possible for us to be trained before being discharged. We are trying to make arrangements to get trained by the dialysis clinic who follows Mark in Harlan. There was some talk of us getting trained in Lexington the week of February 1st by a different dialysis clinic. However, this would mean that we would be followed by a different Nephrologist and would have to travel to Lexington for all follow up appointments. We feel really comfortable with Mark's Nephrologist in Harlan and really like the nurses at his dialysis clinic. They all have been very supportive of Mark and have provided exceptional care. We are hopeful it will work out for us to stay under the care of Dr. Chandarana in Harlan.
As always, we thank you all for the prayers and support. We are trying to stay patient and calm. We know God is in control of this situation and that He has a good and perfect plan for our family. He will work out all the details. Today we received news that several of my colleagues at Harlan County Public Schools have donated sick days to me. This was an answered prayer as I had used my last day last Thursday. I don't have words to express my gratitude to my coworkers...so many gave me days last year during the transplants...the thought of others making such a sacrifice for my family is overwhelming. All we can do is say "thank you" and praise God for continuing to provide for our family.