An update from Art's daughter Christina (RN):I spoke with his Physician on Monday, as he had told Dad it was urgent to get ahold of me. I want to share with you the lastest finding.One of the tests Dad had done is called a VQ scan, which measures blood flow and oxygen to and from the heart. This test would normally be done for patient's who may have a blood clot in their lung. Per Dr. Will, his results have SIGNIFICANTLY worsened since his last test was done, about three months ago. The blood vessels to his heart are showing damage from the autoimmnune inflammatory process which has afflicted Dad. The shortness of breath he experiences is due to the inflammation of his blood vessels followed by a sclerosing or hardening which causes them to become like a taut rubber pain. It causes the blood vessels to become very weak and could result in an rupture or aneurysm. He did not have a blood clot at this exam. He did have daily drops in his hemoglobin which required a transfusion before he left the hospital.So, now the questions of does he or does he not have polyarteris nodosa has been put to rest. They wanted to make sure that what they were treating was truly the PAN ,which is why they had attempted the steroid weaning three weeks ago. He has been put back on his steroids at a much higher dose (from 25mg to 60mg daily) as this is usually the best treatment coarse. They are trying to find other options to keep the inflammation down, keep his hemoglobin up and give him a better quality of life. Since his return home from this past hospital stay, he has been feeling much better with the increase in his steroids. He, of course, is not happy with this, but he does feel better. The immuran (used for autoimmnune diseases), which they had hoped would kick in after 90 days of use, has not seemed to have helped at this point.Not the most encouraging news received, but at least it gives clarity to the Physicians in knowing what to focus on and what to do in the future, if and when he has a flare up. Dr. Will has agreed that I can treat him at home as long as his hemoglobin is OK with IV fluids and IV steroids, which to Dad would be very important as he does not like being admitted to the hospital and would much prefer to be at home.Blessings!Sissie(Christina)
Thank you Chadster for the update. Praying.
Praying for you both.
We need to continue to lift this up in prayer as if it was our own parent of child. We are brothers and sisters in the body and when one part suffers we all suffer. Let's pray like we are next of kin, because we are.
Sadly, Art's health challenges do not seem to mitigate. Lord, help us to be faithful in holding this dear brother before Your throne in prayer! Here's the latest from his website:May 10, 2007In order to combat the flareup of polyarteritis nodosa (PAN) that was attacking Art's heart a week or two ago, they tripled the dose of steroids. Since then, he has gained 17 pounds of fluid in one week!! His face is terribly swollen, and his legs are swollen from feet to thighs. The swelling is partly from the current status of his heart and lungs, neither functioning at the best capacity - secondary to the inflammation of his vessels, primary his pulmonary artery which took a big hit with the last flare up. All this puts a terrible strain on his heart, which is already damaged, and on his kidneys, which were already weak. He's on eight times the normal dose of diuretics, and will probably now be put on an intravenous diuretic to try to reduce the fluid retention. Although the doctor believes the damage to his pulmonary artery may be at least partially reversed by steroids, the blood vessels of his heart are weakened each time there is an attack of PAN, consequently increasing the risk for an aneurysm. Please do pray especially that this won't happen as it could be fatal. Art's blood sugar is also remaining around 300, over double what is considered normal. And they have been having problems balancing his blood between too thick and too thin.So please do pray for the Lord to release the fullness of healing purchased in the atonement. "He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses." (Matt. 8:17). Also please pray for wisdom for the medical team. Thank you so much. Art really appreciates all your prayers.
Thank you, Chadster...I am praying and spreading the word concerning this prayer need. Please continue to keep us updated. :-)