Friday, October 15, 2010
Toni Times 10-15-10: Into Southwestern
Toni and I had the privilege today of meeting with Dr Benjamin Greenberg at Southwestern here in Dallas. His analysis of Toni's symptoms, especially the spread of these from the left to the right side, led him to push for Toni's immediate admission to Zale Lipshy Hospital to commence a new treatment for the spinal cord inflammations which have afflicted her. Our appointment was at eight, and after blood work and a retinal exam, she was admitted to the hospital by 1:30. More MRIs are scheduled, but most significantly Toni has already had her first plasmapheresis treatment. There will be five in all, a second tomorrow, and then three further treatments on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday of next week.
This procedure involves the removal of Toni's plasma from her blood, replacing it with another substance, albumin. The rogue antibodies attacking her neurological system are in the plasma so its removal is essential to her recovery. Of course the plasma will be reproduced by her cardio-vascular system, but the new plasma is expected to be free of the confused antibodies.
Toni was knocked out for the insertion of a central line into her heart to retrieve her blood and send it into the rather technologically stunning machine that separates the red, white, and plasma cells of her blood, sending only the good stuff back in via another route. The first insertion went too deep so the surgeons took a mulligan and nailed it on the second try. The first plasmapheresis went very smoothly, so we're thrilled to be underway.
I will be back in Austin tomorrow night to get Anna and take care of household issues. Lord willing, I'll be at church on Sunday, and then return with Anna to Dallas on Monday to be with Toni next week.
Toni is out cold from the sedation as I write, but I am certain she would join me in thanking you for your prayers, your encouragement, and compassion. We are deeply grateful.
9:00 and they just came to get her for an MRI. Guess there's no time like right now!