Thursday, July 9, 2009

DAY+36: Tentative Answers; Slight Progress

Top Line: Root cause may be VOD; Susan a little more alert today

Susan likely has VOD (veno-occlusive disease), which causes liver problems and likely explains the ascites and the extreme fatigue. Again, I say "likely" because a definitive diagnosis requires a liver biopsy, which the team does not believe is appropriate at this point. VOD often resolves itself over a period of several weeks with supportive therapy. However, if the condition progresses towards a severe stage (which is NOT happening at this point), direct treatment options need to be pursued. We need to watch and wait.

Susan actually got out of bed for a short walk today, with Bob's prodding, and he says she seemed to be a little more alert, although she is still spending most of her time sleeping. She also had a psych evaluation today -- which is a standard procedure under these circumstances -- with no alarming conclusions.

A couple more tests/procedures are still pending, plus results from the virus screens, but otherwise it's now a matter of continuing supportive therapy and watching the VOD for signs of change (bilirubin levels being a key indicator) and, hopefully, improvement. The near term goal is to get her off of the IV and eating and drinking enough on her own so that, assuming the VOD is clearly moving towards resolution, she'll be able to leave the hospital.

Bob left Boston this evening for Spencertown and then the City to manage affairs, but Callie and Nate are en route to Boston and will hold the fort through the weekend. Again, let's see what tomorrow brings.


  1. Susan,

    Finally some answers and hopefully successful treatment. Thanks Bob for encouraging Susan to take a little walk. Hopefully day by day you will start getting a little stronger, eating more and walking more. I know you will be happy to have Callie and Nate back.

    Thinking of you and sending love,


  2. I am thinking of you all the time and hoping that you will be able to resolve these issues and get out of the hospital soon. I know these setbacks are discouraging, but here's hoping you will have continued improvement from here on in.
    much love XXXOOO

  3. Hoping you will soon feel strong enough to master the hospital hallways, and move on to the "new" apartment, where we are sure there will be some furniture that needs rearranging, etc. Hang in there. We are also thinking of you all the time.
    Barb and Peter