Taking it one day at a time…

During the first few days in the ICU Stephen struggled to get enough breath, to sleep, and to communicate.  Despite all of this, as he has throughout this entire ordeal, he has shown great courage and determination   His goal was to get out of there as soon as possible and get that tube out of his throat!   Things were pretty stable other than not being able to sleep for more than a few minutes at a time….for three nights in a row!

After a rough night, Monday morning he took a serious turn for the worse and the medical staff determined that his lungs  had begun to bleed.   The first sign of this diagnosis was that his blood counts were dropping.  They then put him under a deeper sedation (finally!) so that he could relax and quit struggling to live with a ventilator tube jammed down his neck.  We were all thankful for that.  He was so tired and the constant feeling of trying to breathe through a straw was so draining both physically and mentally.

As the doctors tested and learned more of his condition they concluded with more certainty that Graft vs Host Disease was causing pneumonitis.  They decided to begin the Etanercept drug.   So Monday about 9 am they gave him a shot of Etanercept and gave him 1000 mg (1 g) of prednisone.

Today we did received some encouraging news.  Stephen’s x-rays look better than yesterday.  His Hematocrit (red blood count) has stayed the same for a few hours (25) and his platelet count is finally as high as they would like it to be (above 75).  He’s used up all the platelets they can get that are a match for him and so they have started giving him some non-matched but compatible platelets as well.

His kidneys are really struggling now.  Many of the drugs they are giving him are very hard on the kidneys.  He is also retaining a lot of water.  Normal functions are not clearing the water from his body so they may move to a temporary dialysis.    They are considering placing a catheter in his neck area tonight so that they can do dialysis in the morning.

We feel encouraged and hopeful.  The doctors told us to understand that he is not out of the woods but is definitely moving in the right direction.  They told us to take it one day at a time and not try to look any farther ahead than that.  We are grateful to all of you who have prayed with us, and for us, throughout the day and night on Monday.  The doctors told us that he could still recover fully from this setback if the drugs bring about the desired results and if he continues to make forward progress.    We know that through the power of God and your prayers and faith that we are being carried day by day.  We seriously don’t know how we are walking, talking, and functioning but we are!



About Jane Griener

I am from SLC, UT. I grew up in a wonderful family in the south part of the Salt Lake valley. I have 4 sisters and 2 brothers. I married my best friend, Jeff Griener when we were 21 years old. We have 6 children. 4 boys and 2 girls. I've had many adventures in business and life. Too many to tell about in a simple 'about you' spot. My life is centered around my family and they are the most important factor in my life. I like gardening, photography, cooking, knitting, graphic design and lots of other things. I speak a little spanish. Fall is my favorite season of the year, but I think having all 4 seasons is what makes me love fall so much. Religion plays a big roll in my life. I belong to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Striving to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ and become a better person each day is my goal. Well, that is a bit 'about me!'
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6 Responses to Taking it one day at a time…

  1. Ben D. says:

    One step at at time! We’re praying for you every night.

  2. Thankyou for this update. Stephen has been in our continual prayers. We have pled with the Lord for a miracle. I can’t help but relive our daughters ordeal 3 years ago and I hear your Drs. saying the same things to you as ours said to us. Oh Jane and Jeff I am SO GRATEFUL that they may have something to truly help him with his lungs and breathing!!! I put his name in the temple again today as I’m sure so many others have too. Val and I pray for him, for both of you and your sweet family and his Drs. and nurses and the medical staff. Your strength is inspiring to us. I only wish there was something more that we could do for you. Anything. We love you.

    Nancy and Val

  3. Eva says:

    We have been following your updates, with full hearts, and praying daily for a miracle!!! Your whole family is such an inspiration to us all. WE LOVE YOU!!! Hugs and prayers!
    Robert and Eva

  4. Jeff and Jane – just read your update on facebook of Stephen’s passing today, heartfelt prayers to your family, may God continue to be with you, bless you and comfort you. Part of heaven is in your home when someone in your home is in heaven.

  5. Doris Rasmussen says:

    Our prayers are with you at this difficult time. What a courageous battle you have all fought.

    Doris and Dave Rasmussen

  6. I am commenting below for the very first time as I found your blog post truly awesome.

    Keep up the good work combined with thanks a great deal for sharing such crucial and also useful tips!

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