I've finally learned something. Not all hospitals are created equally. Duh. I really already knew this, but it really hit home when I saw my numbers from Wednesday's blood work at MDA. Did I mention that I was in Houston?
The liver numbers from MDA weren't very changed from the last set taken in Houston. This means that the cell counter at my local hospital isn't quite as sensitive, because the numbers were different. Live and learn.
I saw a pulmonary specialist Wednesday morning and she didn't tell me what I wanted to hear. She showed me a few X-rays of my chest. The lungs should be nice and black in an X-ray. My lungs have a fine haze of spider webs snaking across them. The doctor didn't like what she saw. She's an expert in GvHD of the lungs and informed us that my picture didn't fit the typical profile. She wasn't ruling anything out, though. She ordered a CT scan for that day. She also ordered a bronchoscopy, which couldn't be performed until Thursday.
By the time I was finished with the liver ultrasound that my transplant doctor had already scheduled for Wednesday and checked in for the CT scan, it was after 3. I didn't get out of the scan until after 9. Chris and I had to get a hotel room, which we weren't prepared to do.
Dr. K. advised us to book the room through Friday since she wanted a liver biopsy performed as well.
I had the bronchoscopy today. I also had a last minute lung biopsy while we were at it thanks to the results of the CT scan. I feel like I've been punched in the throat from both the inside and out. Essentially, a small, flexible scope was inserted up my right nostril and into my lung. I was warned that I might wake myself because of coughing. I did. It was brutal. The team was great, though.
They'd hoped to get five tissue samples for the lung biopsy. They had to stop at two. When they were harvesting tissue, they accidentally cut into one of the lesions causing the problems in my lungs and I started bleeding. They didn't want to risk taking any more chances. As a bonus, when they were pulling up that second sample, a third little nugget came up with it.
I was sent for X-rays after this and the doctor that performed the lung biopsy sat down with me to explain my CT scan. She was lovely and very apologetic for the whole bleeding thing. It happens. In her words, there are fluffy looking infiltrates in my lungs. I saw the X-rays and the CT. There certainly are. While they were fishing around in there, they also did a lung wash so that they could do a culture. They aren't ruling anything out. I might know something by the middle of next week.
The liver biopsy couldn't be scheduled for tomorrow, so Chris and I elected to come home. The doctor warned me that the biopsied lung could collapse up to 24 hours after the procedure and that I need to take it really easy. This means no school for me tomorrow. I'm missing another exam.
I have to return to Houston for a few days to see my transplant doctor and have the liver biopsy. I'm laying low until then.