Our trip to Lahey this morning was pretty uneventful. We went to the blood lab, and the phlebotomist recognized Derek and told him it was nice to see him out of a hospital bed. Apparently, when you spend more than a month in the hospital, phlebotomists begin to recognize you. Derek took his Prograf and then we headed up to the clinic. His meeting today was with his lead surgeon, but his other surgeon came into the waiting room and gave Derek a hard time for his scruffy face. When Derek told him it was hard to shave what with the major abdominal surgery, his surgeon rubbed his eyes and made the waaa waaa face. Then he smiled, gave Derek a pat on the back and said it was nice to see him smiling.
Derek’s labs came back and show that his white blood cell count is on the decline. It was 20 on Tuesday and 13 today (normal range is 4.4-11.3). So if he is fighting something, he’s likely winning. His Bilirubin is holding steady at around 3.2/3.3 (normal range is 0.2-1.1). This is to be expected, it’s going to take a while for his body to purge the last remaining bit of bilirubin from his system. His eyes look pretty white, and his skin is a pale color I don’t ever remember seeing before.
The other good news is that his hematocrit level is on the rise. Hematocrit is a measure of how much blood is in your blood. When Derek had his variceal bleed, it dropped pretty low and that’s when they gave him a blood transfusion. Today the result was 35 which is a big improvement (normal range is 37-47), my hematocrit at my last test was 36.8.
He goes back in next Friday and will see a different surgeon as his primary surgeon will be presenting at the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) Conference in London next week. His surgeon also told us that the ILTS just elected his wife, Dr. Elizabeth Pomfret, Chair of the Department of Transplantation at Lahey, to be their president. It’s a pretty big honor and we are really proud and excited for her!
For the rest of the day we plan to do what we’ve been doing, eating, exercising, napping and puzzling. We’ve made some nice progress on the puzzle, but we’re approaching the pretty challenging part.