Tuesday, October 10, 2006

October 2006 Update: Throat surgery, Titers 1:16, LP

That's one of Denise's sisters way to the left of in this picture. She visited from Montana with our newest niece. The last time Denise & her sister saw each other, Denise was still in grave condition at USC University Hospital last September. So this was a much happier visit! You probably can't tell by the look on my face. Out of all the pictures, this is the only one that had her whole family (actually, her youngest sister is missing). And it's my worst picture. At least I'm hanging with happy company.

The throat surgery Thursday October 5 went well. You can view the previous post for the details. Denise has taken to wearing scarves to cover up the scar while it's healing. She just went for a checkup with the surgeon this morning and he says it look like it's healing nicely.

We had visits with the neurologist & infectious disease doctor on October 10. They went well. We'll be going every two months now. Titers for cocci are now solidly within the 1:16 parameter, same as last time, so at least things aren't getting worse. And the neurologist gave us some latitude to experiment with small adjustments to one of Denise's meds as needed, based on how she's feeling (anxiety, obsessing, etc.). We're grateful that the doses are very low and her symptoms are very mild.

A lumbar puncture (LP or spinal tap) was performed October 26th. This was done to keep an eye on the presence of cocci in the cerebral spinal fluid. Fortunately, the fluid looked clear. So we're optimistic that no cocci will grow when the specimens are in the lab at U.C. Davis. Cocci is slow-growing, so we won't know the results for a few weeks. She will also have an MRI of the head early in November to see the status of the meningitis and calcification of the basal ganglia portion of the brain, two more areas of damage caused by the cocci early on. Prayers, please.

Gracie had her 5th birthday party with some preschool friends. Denise was in the hospital last year for Gracie's 4th birthday, so this party was extra-special. It was a princess party, but some boys came as well (they were knights). Everything's about princesses and Star Wars right now. Maybe we'll have a Star Wars party next year? Cool!

Oh, Denise says that she's more than reached her goal weight. So if you're still praying for her to gain weight, you can stop now. She's also started reading the blog for September 2005. She still hasn't discovered the full story of what happened to her, and it's a long slow process. I'm increasingly glad that I typed all this up, as it's helping her understand, and there's no way I could've remembered it all.


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