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February 21, 2005
Hospiblogging, Day 8: Breakout, Part 2

I'm finally home with the First Mate, and she's resting somewhat uncomfortably in bed for the first time in over a week. She's trying to relax, but the ride home made her sick and she has to keep some fluid down in the next couple of hours. She should get over the motion sickness -- it's a common reaction for her -- and have a more restful evening. She was really feeling much better in the hospital earlier today, and I'm sure she'll feel better tonight or tomorrow.

So many people have written to express their best wishes and prayers, and I want to thank you again for the both of us. Marcia had a marvelously easy time, comparatively speaking, than we anticipated. We firmly believe all your thoughts and prayers directly relates to that, and we appreciate it all so much.

Some of you have asked what happens now. Well, we have to keep a very close eye on Marcia to ensure that she doesn't have an extended rejection episode, so we'll take her temperature and blood pressure every day. For the next four weeks, we have to get bloodwork done, so a home health nurse will do a blood draw here at the house. That will help the transplant physicians calculate the levels of her antirejection medication as well as check for any signs of rejection or infection. The second four weeks that drops down to twice a week, and after that, I'll take her once a week for several months.

The big question: does a pancreas transplant cure diabetes?

It certainly can, but it takes some time to tell. We will continue to do pre-meal blood tests to make sure her pancreas continues to perform and to take on more of the glucose-maintenance tasks, but it's not unusual to have to continue small doses of insulin for the next few weeks while that settles in. Even if the net result is not quite a cure -- which we have confidence will be the case -- the new pancreas will result in much better control for Marcia and a greatly lowered insulin intake. We'll know more in the next four to six weeks.

Right now, she needs to keep eating small meals until her stomach can handle more food, and we'll keep an eye on her digestion and circulation. The family has pitched in for a part-time housekeeper and that will be a huge help for all of us. Our roommate, Andy, has given us a big hand with the chores, and of course our son and daughter-in-law live right around the corner, too. We're blessed with an excellent support structure and consider ourselves very lucky indeed.

More later, including (in my next post) a media recognition of "hospiblogging" that took me by complete surprise today.

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Posted by Ed Morrissey at February 21, 2005 5:51 PM

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