Trials and tribulations of a patient in search of a bone marrow transplant

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Friday, May 23, 2008

End of Week Two

Steven was taken to the ICU yesterday. His kidneys and liver are not functioning properly which results in a build-up of the medications they are giving him, mainly Prograf (Tacrolimus), an anti-rejection transplant med. This has caused massive confusion and constant twitching/jerking added to sleeplessness, a condition charmingly called "chemo-brain". In the ICU, they can watch him more closely since he is pulling at his lines and readjusting the controls on his pumps (freaks out the nurses) to make them stop beeping, stepping on his lines when he gets up, etc.

This reaction is not totally unexpected, although Steven seems to have it very badly. They don't see many patients who have had to undergo the number of chemos Steven has which probably has made him more susceptible. The doctors think they can reverse the situation and will do dialysis if necessary.

The move from one room to the other was upsetting to Steve. He didn't like other people touching his things and making disorder. Once I arrived, as quickly as possible, we went through every single thing and made order, with me going back to the old room to recuperate phone and computer cords and Steve's television remote and such. Again, he is hanging on to his sanity by making order and he remembered every single thing.

Steve's blood counts should start coming any day now. That would start the healing of the mouth, throat, stomach and intestinal problems.

For the moment, visits would not be a good idea, nor even phone calls. Steve has trouble reaching the phone and is strictly not allowed out of the bed, which has an alarm on it. We will let you know when this phase has passed.


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