Wednesday, November 10, 2010

The Ups & Downs

Unless you have lived it through it, it's very hard to understand the emotional highs and lows that accompany almost every day for someone living through aHUS; and in Alyssa's case, the additional issues that come with a transplant associated with aHUS.

Take today for started normally, Lyss felt good when she got up and had a great time hosting Jennifer, Michael & Leana this morning. Then just like that, things changed this afternoon. First her labs results came back with some issues regarding White Blood Cell count (14.0,) Red Blood Cell count (3.6,) and a variety of other hematology variances. The imunosuppressants may be raising havoc here, but to be safe, they will do a "virus panel"
tomorrow to see if there are any underlying issues at play. When Lyss asked her coordinator if she should be worried, she got a "not yet" for a response. Gulp!

Then, while watching TV, Lyss felt a little out of sorts, which always sends us running for the blood pressure cuff - 158/110 with a pulse of 120. Not good numbers, so back on the phone to the coordinator who increased her blood pressure meds immediately and for the near future. It's been an hour now, and her pulse has started to come down.

These may seem like a couple of minor issues, the problem for Lyss is that almost every day is filled with bumps in the road like these. She has a significantly compromised immune system now due to the imunosuppressants and the Soliris, so each irregularity has to be watched carefully to ensure that it isn't a precursor to some thing major. Our hope is that the further we get from the transplant date, the fewer the issues. She also will learn to address some of the issues on her own as she becomes more familiar with them.

To say that we are proud of how she handles these situations would be a gross understatement! She calmly makes the calls to the appropriate medical source and takes whatever action is needed. She has very successfully worked to bring an order and calmness to each day. Not dwelling on the negative and trying to look for the positives in her situation. Sounds simple/easy right? Try living every day walking on the edge of cliff, never quite sure when something will send you over the edge; or, working with doctors that are the some of the best at what they do, but can't really tell us what our expectations should be due to the uniqueness of this disease. And do Mom & Dad handle it? Probably not as well. Speaking for myself, every time that I'm not with them in the hospital or clinic, and a get a call from Deb, my heart sinks into my stomach and stays there until I'm reassured that all is well. Again, a feeling that you would have to live through to understand. It sucks - for everyone involved. But we will fight through every little blip, praying and hoping that better days are on the horizon for Lyss.


  1. Thanks for keeping us posted. As usual our prayers are with you, Think positive!

  2. Deb, Thanks for the great posts that you both add. They are very informative and helpful to those of us who don't know Alyssa, but want to follow her amazing story. If she is anything like her Mom (and of course Dad who I never had the pleasure to know) she is one very smart and strong girl, and I wish all the best to her and her family for a full and speedy recovery. I will continue to read her progress as well as offer my continued thoughts and prayers.
    -----Patty Allen Massare

  3. Am sorry to hear that Alyssa continues to have bumps in the road, but over time these will decrease, am sure of it. I will continue to keep her and the rest of your family in my prayers. Things will get better!!

    Kathy Yates