Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Still Returning to Normal

It's been about two weeks now since Lillian was discharged from Children's and we're still getting some things back to normal. In terms of numbers, her Cyclosporine (main anti-rejection medicine) has been dangerously low since she was admitted, as low as the mid 70s at one point. Her most recent labs taken Friday are at 227, so much better. We still need to get them a bit higher, to 250 to 300, but it isn't dangerously low any more.

On the other hand, some bad numbers are a bit higher. One way to check for rejection is to check for antibodies in Lillian's blood that match antigens on the donor heart. You might remember that these levels (called redundantly HLA antibodies) were one of our biggest concerns, with the DR-17 antibody levels specifically indicating an immune response to the heart. That level had been undetectable for a while, but we've seen it pop up again, at 20 (under 20 is reported as undetectable, so it is low, but back). She's also tested positive for antibodies to a new antigen though, this time DQ-2, at 41. This is likely part of her body's response to the flu, but it is worriesome if that antibody is introduced to her system, as it matches one of the donor's antigens. There's nothing we can do at this point but monitor, and it doesn't seem like an issue yet, so we're just watching it for now.

Aside from drug and antibody levels though, Lillian seems to be doing much better. She is back to her normal happy self, and seems to be thrilled to be home again. Lillian has labs and an echo tomorrow to make sure everything is still normal.

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