Friday, October 5, 2007

Know anything about Duphalac?

Thanks for all your prayers! We arrived safely and mostly on time at our clinics today, and hopefully are a step closer to getting information.

So, Joni and I had to go to two clinics today. I hesitate to write the more humorous (albeit gross) stories about our adventures, even though I want to give an accurate picture of what we've done so far in Moldova. I suppose we should take pictures of these places for the blog, but we usually have other things on our mind. Hopefully, we'll look back on these days and laugh.

Clinic #1:
We had an English-speaking friend call the first clinic to get some information about it, and what we needed to do there. She told us to show up in the morning with Joni's liquid sample [I'm not typing the actual word here, you figure it out] in a jar. That's how most Moldovan clinics do this, you just use whatever you have handy at home, like a jar, and bring it in yourself. We showed up this morning with our jar and the lady looked at us with horror and promptly gave us a "sterile container" to put a sample in. She told us: "Come back tomorrow with the sample in the sterile container, only."

So, Joni and I stepped outside and decided it wasn't worth it to carry a jar of our sample in her purse all around town today, and also a waste to have gotten up so early to get across town by 8am.

I went back inside and asked: "Can she just make the sample here?"
Receptionist: "If you're ready to, I suppose so. The bathroom is downstairs."
So, Joni quickly disappeared and magically came back without our jar, but with the full "sterile container."
We're hoping it's not too contaminated. We actually have to go back again Saturday and Sunday to do the same thing over again. They need 3 days worth of tests, I guess. The clinic is new, nice, and modern.

Joni points out:
"In the states, they put you on antibiotics immediately after they find some sort of bacteria. Here, they tested me 2 weeks ago and found bacteria, tested me 2 weeks later and found bacteria again, and now I have to do another 3 days of tests before we can even get any diagnosis."

Clinic #2:
Alas, we went on to the liver specialist, who was tucked away in an impossible-to-find place downtown.

Her English isn't good, so we did most of it in Russian. She decided that Joni's bilirubin isn't high enough to be dangerous, so we'll wait another 10 days and then do another blood test. She said the most important thing is for Joni not to over-exert herself. The baby might be born jaundiced baby if the bilirubin stays high.

She also prescribed Duphalac to her, to take twice a day for a month. Looks like Duphalac is a lactulose medicine prescribed for various gastrointestinal things, and is safe for pregnant women. Some studies have shown that it has positive effects in treating liver problems that cause high bilirubin. That's about all we know. One of my co-worker's wives was on Duphalac for another reason and said it's what she'd recommend too. This was also a humorous phone conversation in Russian in the middle of the office. I got some looks from some of people here: "Is he really saying that word right here in the middle of the office?!"

If anyone has any information on this drug, we'd appreciate it. So far, Joni isn't jaundice and I'm
pretty sure she doesn't have hepatitis or liver cirrhosis.
Thanks again for all of your prayers!


lucas said...

here's what i found on webmd about duphalac: "This medication is a laxative used to treat constipation. It may help to increase the number of bowel movements per day and the number of days you have a bowel movement. Lactulose is a colonic acidifier that works by increasing stool water content and softening the stool. It is a man-made sugar solution."

it's used to treat "High Amount of Ammonium in the Blood, Incomplete or Infrequent Bowel Movements, Impaired Brain Function due to Liver Disease"

i'm not sure if that helps at all. i know that everything is a lot scarier when you're pregnant. sounds like duphalac is basically to flush her system and see if her bilirubin returns to normal. i guess bilirubin can build up in the GI tract. anyway... i'm definitely praying for you guys. i know God's taking care of you. peace.

Keith Walker said...

Gee, why are you putting "that word" in a BRIGHT YELLOW font? I'll never figure it out with such distractions!

Jessica said...

Just wait til you have a kid -- you'll be frequently using words and phrases you never thought you'd say. My favorite lately has been, "Splashing toilet water on Mommy is not a game!" Don't ask.

JTapp said...

Thanks for the quote, Lucas.

From doing some reading and talking with some folks, looks like there's a few helpful things in taking duphalac, and nothing harmful. So, that's good. Our main concern now is with the bacteria that we have to keep submitting samples for test at the other clinic. Hopefully, we'll know results of these tests on Monday.

Ashlie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ashlie said...

Geez, you have a question about a medication and you don't even ask your friendly neighborhood pharmacist (even though our neighborhoods are quite far apart). Anywho, sounds like you've got plenty of info coming your way. Not familiar with that brand name in the US, but lactulose is super common and is fine in pregancy. Just adding my two cents.