If you’ve been reading me at all, you may know I have a chronic medical condition. About 3 weeks ago, I was hospitalized with it again. I was held in the ER for about half the day, given 4 liters of fluid via slow drip IV, and when my electrolytes normalized and my blood sugar dropped to acceptable ranges, they discharged me. There were a few problems with that. First off, my lipid levels were high on admit, 2145, which was near the top of their ability to actually read the levels. Not exactly a personal record though, as i’ve been much higher in the past. After the fluids, they had only dropped to just under 2000.
Normal treatment for my condition is a minimum 24 hours with no food, a 72 hour minimum admit with constant fluids, with a 5-8 liter bolus to start with, and then 200 ml/hour infusion after that… it literally dilutes my blood, then filters it clean by just pure volume.
So, the fact that they only gave me 3 liters in the ER (1 was in the ambulance) meant that I had nowhere near the required amount of fluid for treatment.
So, its not surprising that after being borderline sick for 2 weeks, i ended up back in the ER.
This time, however, my lipid levels were higher then the hospitals in-house lab could read, and it resulted in an admission for stabilizing treatment.
During this admission, my medical team made a few changes to my overall care.
First off, the drug regime i’ve been on for about 2 years, which has lead to a stablization of my condition (2-3 crashes per year, vs 7-10… this is good) also has a serious possible side effect, a serious muscle condition called Rhabdomyolysis. However, over the last 2 years, they were more concerned about me dying of my condition then the minor possibility of a muscle condition, which I agreed with.
Now that i’ve been mostly stable, they decided to change the combination of drugs i’m on to some newer ones, with a significantly lower chance of the side effect… if these new ones are as effective (or, hopefully more effective) then we’ll stay. If not, we can always go back.
Second, they’re going to try a procedure called Plasmapheresis on an experimental basis. They’re going for total serum replacement. Basically, its similar to donating plasma, except, they’re destroying the plasma they take out, and replaceing it with a plasma replacement serum… originally, they considered just filtering it, and reinjecting, but they decided otherwise.
Assuming this goes well, they want to consider doing it quarterly as a preventative measure, as well as having the option to do it as an emergency measure in the event of another crash.
The advantage is, that my blood gets completely filtered of lipids in a 2 hour procedure outside my body, instead of by my organs in a 72 hour hospitalization. Its safer, and stablizes me much sooner then treating me for the condition.
My first appointment is Friday morning, so we’ll see how that goes.