December 26, 2011I hope that all of you enjoyed a wonderful holiday, filled with plenty of fun and family time! Christmas is without doubt my favorite day. How can I wait a whole year for it to come around again?! But really, God has blessed us so very much with His gift of salvation and love... We can celebrate Christmas everyday! And I fully intend to! Things have been on the crazy side, so I actually have a bit of news to share. You may recall that in my last post I mentioned that my liver counts were not looking too great. Unfortunately they have continued to elevate. Also of concern, my absolute neutrophils took a very substantial dip last week, and my monocytes are low as well. This makes me very susceptible to infections, so I am having to be particularly careful right now by avoiding being around too many people. All of these issues can be signs of an HLH flare. I have been feeling very sick lately, and each night before I go to sleep I can't help but wonder if I will wake up in the night with a fever, in a flare. I am incredibly thankful that I was able to spend Christmas at home with my family, and not in the hospital! Also, the past couple weeks my central line has not been drawing blood properly. A central line works very similarly to an IV that one would have placed temporarily, as for a procedure or a short hospital admission. But this type of line is more permanent, and is used when a patient will be receiving long-term treatment. Mine has been in place for almost a year, which is a rather long time, so it is not overly surprising that it is beginning to have some issues. Anyway, last week I went to Interventional Radiology at Barnes in St. Louis to determine what the problem with my line was, and if it could be fixed. And, wouldn't you know it, my line worked just fine that day! But in the process of the exam, a resident accidentally broke part of my central line. Thankfully it wasn't too critical, and we have been able to continue using it without much problem. But it is not ideal, of course. In view of this incident, as well as the fact that my line has been malfunctioning lately, it was decided that I should have a new one placed. If I do end up in the hospital facing an HLH flare, it would be important for me to have a reliably functioning central line. So I will be having the procedure to place a new line this coming Thursday at St. Louis Children's Hospital. It is typically a fairly simple procedure, but in my case, nothing is ever quite simple! If you could please remember me in your prayers that day, I would most certainly appreciate it! My Christmas was so very lovely! Krista, Tim, and Lulu arrived early for Christmas breakfast. I served homemade cinnamon rolls, a new family tradition! Alice and Lulu had a blast all day. There was much cousinly bonding... Or, er, wrestling, but in the dog world, I am pretty sure that they are the same thing! Whatever it was, it was all in good fun! Mom and Dad have always given my sister and me such happy Christmas memories. This year Krista and I really enjoyed surprising our parents with special gifts! For Mom, we made new Christmas wreaths, which I am looking forward to seeing on the house next year! And Dad received a "We Love You Grandpa" calendar, full of sweet Doodle pictures! I suspect that if everyone had such a calendar, world peace just might break out due to the overwhelming cuteness! In turn, I had a rather magnificent surprise as well. I will soon have my very own Dutch door for my bedroom! You know, one of those doors where the top half can open separately from the bottom half... Like Mr. Ed's door! I can picture myself now, calling "Yoohoo!" to passersby through my Dutch door, my hair in pretty beribboned plaits, wearing pointy wooden shoes, just like any little Dutch girl! You can picture it too, can't you? Let's just say I am quite thrilled. But really, it was so nice to spend a quiet holiday with my family. I am so lucky to have the best friends a girl could ask for as a part of my very own family!
As 2011 is nearing an end, I can't even guess what the Lord has in store for me in the coming year! I have certainly faced many challenges this past year, but I have also received plenty of blessings! This year has brought so many special friends, not to mention a certain adorable Double Doodle puppy who has entered my life! But I am praying that 2012 will provide progress toward a healthier life. The Lord is very good, and this gives me hope! I wish each of you a blessed and joyful new year!