Sunday, September 11, 2011

David's Health Update

Tomorrow is the first treatment for David's (just turned 5 yrs old on Sept. 9) new antibody treatment. He has been diagnosed with Primary Immune Deficiency Disease - more specifically IgG Immunodeficiency Disorder. Basically, his body does not produce the IgG antibodies like it should causing him to get many bacterial infections like sinus infections, ear infections, pneumonia, bronchitis, etc.  David has gone through extensive testing to try to find a cause for his immune deficiency, but there are not explanations at this point.  We have exhausted all of the resources available at this point, and the prophylactic antibiotic treatment he has had off and on for the past 2 years has proven ineffective since he continues to get infections while on the low doses of antibiotics.  Antibody blood transfusions is the last attempt to keep David healthy and off antibiotics to prevent any complications from long-term antibiotic use.

For the next 3 weeks we are going to have to give him 2 infusions a week to boost his immune system. Each infusion should last about an hour. I expect that the first one may take 2 hours from start to finish since the whole process will be so new to us. After the 3 weeks, David will receive the infusions weekly.  These infusions will continue indefinitely.  Since we don't have an explanation for his disorder, we don't know at this point, if he will need these transfusions for the rest of his life or just the next couple of years until his immune system starts functioning properly.

The transfusions will take place at our home. We will numb the area first. Then insert a subcutaneous needle which will be connected to a spring-loaded pump which will slowly push the antibodies over an hour's time.

He will be able to walk around and do normal activities while the transfusion takes place. Certainly, the typical light saber fights and wrestling matches in the living room will need to be postponed until the transfusion is complete.

We plan to make the first transfusion a family event and watch the movie "Cheaper By The Dozen" together. That should be fun.

Our church was graciously offered to provide us with meals as we adjust to the transfusions and a new weekly routine.  This will be a huge blessing to us as the last few weeks have been very overwhelming with preparing for the transfusions as well as keeping up with David's and Josh's issues. 

We both work all day tomorrow, so we will be arriving home in time to meet the nurse coming to our house at 5:00 tomorrow night to get things set up and start the transfusion.  We will learn how to do the whole process so that after this first week, we can do the transfusions ourselves.  It will be important to monitor David for any adverse reactions to the blood transfusions, so we will be taking his blood pressure, temperature, and pulse rate before, during, and after the transfusions.

Please pray with us that the transfusion will go smoothly with no adverse side effects and that these transfusions will allow David to stay healthy.

On an exciting note, God answered our prayers regarding David's hole in his heart!  We found out at the end of August that David will not need surgery to close up his hole.  We are thankful that God has chosen to spare David of yet one more surgery!