Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Time to Move On- Hemodialysis

The past two weeks have been an elaborate effort to avoid hemodialysis. Two weeks ago when we first discovered dialysis fluid in Addie's chest, we thought we would be doing hemo. Then we created a whole plan to try and avoid it. We've been patient, we've prayed and we've waited. It was a worthwhile exercise and there were days when we really thought we'd get away with it. And in some ways, we came very close. Her original chest area did heal. But since we now have a new area gathering fluid, Dr S decided today that if we don't stop this and move to hemo, Addie could end up very sick very soon and her body has been as patient as it can be.

So we move on. We start hemo. Addie has been on intense fluid and calorie restrictions and 2 weeks of being thirsty and hungry have taken its toll on her. She has lost a lot of weight and little babies just aren't meant to be on these kinds of diets long term. Additionally, being restricted from dialysis has caused a myriad of other problems. If you were to come see her, you'd be surprised to see that she still smiles and plays and is relatively cheerful (although notably less so the past two days) but if you were to look at the bloodwork and see what is going on inside her body, you'd realize she is actually a pretty sick little girl.

So it is time. And I know that. I am disappointed but not shocked. I don't think I could handle another two weeks of watching her starve and be in this situation. I don't know what we will do about her chest- presumably another chest tube or drain it or something. The surgeon is in the OR with another case so he's MIA at the moment so we don't know what his plan is. But from a dialysis standpoint, today we address her high sodium levels and get her stable enough for the OR herself. Right now, anaesthesia wouldn't accept her because her electrolytes are so messed up. So hopefully we get those managed. Then tomorrow morning she should be able to go under general to get a hemo catheter. And then she starts hemo tomorrow afternoon. We will be able to give her effective dialysis without putting fluid in her body and exasperating her chest situation. Effective dialysis means she can eat again. And she will get stronger and better.

And that's the good news. The bad news, well you can read my post from a couple of weeks ago. It seems unhelpful now to go through all the reasons why we didn't want to take this path. It is what we have to do now so discussing the fact that it really is a tough option for her is just sad. But we will ask you to pray. There are risks involved in hemodialysis due to the removal of blood from the body. There are immediate risks including seizures and problems with the acute fluid shifts. And there are long term risks for transplant. So Addie could really use your prayers during this time in her life. We are just having to trust God to protect her during her treatments and to protect her body and ensure it will still accept my kidney in a few months time. We trust Dr S who says this is the best situation for her and we trust God more and that's all we can do right now.

Please pray specifically for Addie today that her body will stabilize so she can go to surgery tomorrow. For successful surgery to place the catheter. And for her first hemodialysis treatment. We really appreciate the support during this very difficult time.

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