Monday, December 09, 2002

the renal folks just came in and let me know that they want to start peritoneal dialysis sooner rather than later. peritoneal dialysis uses the lining of the abdomen to filter blood. a cleansing solution (dialysate) is introduced into the abdomen via a catheter. a surgeon will place the catheter in henry's abdomen and the procedure will either be up here in the room or down in the OR. there is always concerns about bleeding with any invasive procedure with henry. his platelets are very low, but he is receiving a lot of transfusions. we are waiting for a surgeon to let us know his availability, but it looks like it will happen tomorrow. they describe this dialysis as more "gentle" than the kind where the blood leaves the body and is cleansed by machine, hemodialysis. henry's blood pressure is too questionable to go the route of hemodialysis. the way this works is that fluid, wastes, and chemicals pass from tiny blood vessels in the peritoneal membrane into the dialysate. after several hours, the dialysate is drained from the abdomen and replaced with new solution. we're now learning all about the kidneys. fun.

what is disturbing is that all of this has no impact on the kidneys' recovery. that will happen organically, kinda like the first breathe from a baby. they told me that the small size of henry's kidneys and the trauma they've endured in the past (from toxic meds) will lengthen the recovery period. it could take as long as 4 weeks for them to start to work on their own. what the dialysis will do is clean henry's blood and take away a lot of the excess fluid that has caused him to blimp up over the past 3 days.

laurie is back at the ronald mcdonald house with her mom, her aunt and joe and jack. i bought her an aero bed because i cannot bear to see her physically uncomfortable in addition to the emotional anguish.

henry is being brought out of his deep stupor and he just squeezed his eyes shut a little tighter when i asked him too. yeahhhhhh! i asked him if he wanted to see laurie and his eyelid flickered. i called her and told her to get back here. he hasn't responded to anything since.