29 July 2012
Before The Storm
I was just going through and transferring some pictures from my camera to my computer this afternoon. I found some pictures that kind of got forgotten because our focus has been on helping Caleb get the medical attention he needs and caring for our new baby. The photo above was taken on June 3rd...London's 12th birthday. I never got around to posting about her birthday, because June 4th was the day we took Caleb to the doctor for the first time and had the sudden realization that something was very wrong with him.
I was just noticing A) how similar Caleb's and Darwin's feet are in this picture, and B) how very pale my boy was. I've never really noticed that they both cross their feet the same way, or even that their feet looks so much alike. What I did notice was how pink Darwin's toes are...and how drained of color Caleb's toes are.
I'm so glad Heavenly Father was watching out for him, because we know that this blood disorder did not come on all at once. He had been looking pale to me for several months, I just didn't ever think it was anything to call the doctor about. One of the nurses that cares for Caleb told me that kids are pretty resilient...their bodies can compensate for quite awhile when something like this happens. But...there is a point where their bodies can't handle it anymore and they go downhill pretty quickly after that.
His initial blood counts on June 4th were:
White Blood Cells: 3.0 - A normal person's WBC is between 4.3 and 10.8, meaning they have between 4,300 and 10,800 white blood cells per cubic millimeter (cmm) in their body. Caleb had only 3,000 white blood cells per cubic millimeter.
Hemoglobin: 4.7 - Hemoglobin is the protein molecule within red blood cells that carries oxygen and gives blood its red color. Normal range for hemoglobin is approximately 13 to 18 grams per deciliter for men.
Platelets: 6 - Platelets play a vital role in blood clotting. Normal range is about 150,000 to 400,000/ cmm...Caleb only had 6,000.
ANC: 210 - ANC stands for Absolute Neutrophil Count. Neutrophils are key components in the system of defense against infection. An absence or scarcity of neutrophils (a condition called neutropenia) makes a person vulnerable to infection. Normal ANC is 1,500 or higher; a "safe" ANC is 500-1500; a low ANC is less than 500. Caleb was (and still is) very neutropenic. This is why he has to wear a mask in public, has very specific diet restrictions, and has to take antibiotics three times a week.
I hope to be able to catch up on some of the regular life posts soon... We have 3 1/2 hours of meetings at Kapiolani on Tuesday to meet with the transplant doctors, the child life specialists, and to take a tour the floor where Caleb will be staying. Thursday, we have another 3+ hours of meetings with the transplant doctors, a dietitian, and a clinical psychologist.
Other than that, the Jensens are doing good. London and Isaiah start school tomorrow. Isaiah is beginning his last year in elementary! Caleb is supposed to start tomorrow, but he will be at home...until January. I feel bad that he has to miss out on half of his freshman year. Brooklin is supposed to start school on Tuesday...but won't be able to go because she has to be at the meetings at Kapiolani for transplant stuff. She will be able to go Wednesday though. =) Kalia is a cute little muffin. She is seven weeks old today and we love her so much!