So last I posted I spoke about being able to finally have a transplant, and having a date for said transplant.
Now I am going to explain what the treatment I am undergoing is, in more depth.
[image_frame style=”framed_shadow” align=”left”]http://theodorou.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/multi-filtrate-machine-e1344245940899.jpg[/image_frame]
So Essentially because I have high amounts of antibodies, I have to reduce my Immune system from the cellular level. This means that the doctors have to remove Plasma from my blood. Plasma is removed from the blood with a device called a multi filtrate machine, it is similar to a dialysis machine in the way it operates, however the kidney is different as well as the method of the use of the machine. The multi filtrate machine’s main function is t remove plasma directly out of the blood and deposit it in a disposable bag at the bottom of the machine. The plasma is a light yellow colour it looks like the liquid you sometimes see on a cut or wound that isn’t blood. The multi filtrate machine is also designed to put albumen back in to the system at the same rate as the plasma that is being removed. I am currently removing 3 litres of plasma and replacing it with pure albumen of the same amount, this is in the time of about 1.5 to 2 hours. The multi filtrate machine is normally used to replace plasma, not just albumen as plasma contains albumen, this reduces the chance of reacting against the treatment because of the rapid rate of exchange. Just before they start the treatment they also give me 2 medications, one called Phenergan which is an antihistamine, and another called Solu-Cortef which is an anti-inflammatory. These 2 medications are meant to further reduce the chance of reaction against the plasma exchange. On a side note these medication side effects include serious tiredness, it becomes difficult to keep my eyes open, as well as a bit of confusion as my head seams quite cloudy. Well my head is always at least overcast hehe. The next step of the treatment itself starts 1 hour after I have been removed from the multi filtrate machine. They put up a IV drip, this has to be removed after treatment as it is a possible infection source. In the IV I get a medication called PolyGam or IVIG (immune globulin intravenous), this medication is used to try replace some of the reduced platelets from the plasma treatment and help against infection as the plasma is already reducing my immune system. Again you can react against this medication so it is run quite slowly through the IV, it takes about 3 hours run the 250ml into my system.
I started treatment on Friday the 3rd of august, I have to be admitted in hospital to receive the treatment, however I am admitted as an out patient. however with the first treatment on Friday I had to stay overnight to watch for reaction. I then had normal dialysis on saturday morning and went home late Saturday. Sunday I went in again for Plasma treatment, We started at 9 o’clock and I got home at about 3:30. On the 3rd I also started with some of my transplant medications, these include some probiotics and immuno suppressive’s such as Prograf and CellCept . All of this together means I now have to be in an isolated environment, I have to stay at home and keep myself and my surroundings as clean as possible.
As of the posting of this article I have 3 more treatments schedules before the operation with dialysis on every other day. Today (Monday the 6th of August) is the only break I will be getting for a long time. Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week I will be dialyzing, Wednesday Friday and Sunday will be Plasma. Monday evening I will dialyze again before the 14th which is the scheduled transplant date.
The doctors are doing tests to compare against, one was done before treatment to measure the amount of anti-bodies before treatment started. They will do this test again on Monday in order to see if the treatment worked by comparing how much the levels have changed as well as if they are low enough to go for the transplant. If the levels are not low enough then they will see if the treatment is working and decide that if two or three more treatments will get me to the target levels or not. If they think it is possible, the doctors will postpone the transplant by a few days and give me a few extra treatments. If the levels do not look like they will improve enough, then we will not be going ahead with the transplant.
So in conclusion, I am now in it for the long haul and there is no going back. hehe and the long stretch starts tomorrow.
these needles below are the needles used to dialyze me, my little brother took them next to his clutch pencil to show some proportion of size.
[image_frame style=”reflect_shadow” align=”left” height=”200″ width=”300″]http://theodorou.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/14-Guage-Dialysis-needle-e1344246038269.jpg[/image_frame][image_frame style=”reflect_shadow” align=”right” height=”200″ width=”300″]http://theodorou.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/14-Guage-dialysis-needles-proportion-e1344246171816.jpg[/image_frame]