Home > Health > Transplant Day 18

Transplant Day 18

Everything is going well. I have minimal incision pain, I’m getting around even better than over the weekend, and the arm pain is much improved (no Tylenol #3 in over 24 hours). The only issue is diarrhea, and I’ve narrowed that down to the Magnesium. It occurred about 90 minutes after my dose yesterday, so I skipped the evening dose, and I’m fine now. For the long term, I’ll check to make sure that taking fiber is OK, and I’ll start that up. You might be wondering why fiber? Well, fiber works by absorbing fluid in the intestine. If you are constipated, it will soften the stool by absorbing liquid, and if you have diarrhea, it will absorb the excess (think Kaopectate; all that is is fiber).

Vital signs today are decent. BP still good (although systolic a little higher today), ins and outs just about even (although the numbers are deceiving; I had diarrhea 3 times yesterday, and I estimate another 800-1000 cc via that “route”), temp good, and weight down a pound. I notice less leg swelling today.

I will now keep my Daily Vitals spreadsheet as a page that can be access via the link in the upper right corner of the blog.

I got a call from Kim (the Transplant Nurse) and my Prograf level is too high (10.7), so I’m decreasing to 3mg every 12 hours (had been 4mg in am, and 3mg in PM). That explains the tremors in my hands.

The one thing I forgot to mention yesterday: the Transplant Nephrologist was floored when I told him that I had gastric bypass surgery, and weighed 400 lbs. He said “I thought you were a fit person; I never would have guessed that!”. He also was optimistic, saying “it looks like you are getting healthier…your 40’s are healthier than your 30’s”.  I never thought of it that way, but he’s right; I’m off blood pressure meds (at least for now), I’m 200 lbs lighter than I was in my 30’s, I have better kidney function (albeit with a little surgical help 🙂 ), and I FEEL so much better!

One other thing not mentioned. The nurse who I saw is very talkative (as are Jackie and I); we enjoy our conversations with her, as they are very informative. She was talking about the newer Liver Transplant program at Geisinger. There was a gentleman who received a liver there, yet the need for a transplant came on suddenly. He bought a bottle of Chinese Herbs (she didn’t say which) apparently for erection issues. He got through a portion of the bottle, and started feeling poorly. He went to see his doctor, and was LifeFlighted to Geisinger in liver failure, from just a PORTION of a bottle of an herbal supplement! That is why I DO NOT take any of these herbal supplements. There’s a much greater potential for liver or kidney damage due to them being essentially unregulated. It’s my opinion that anyone taking these is playing Russian Roulette with their body’s filtering organs.

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  1. kandylini
    May 22, 2008 at 12:06 pm

    “That is why I DO NOT take any of these herbal supplements. There’s a much greater potential for liver or kidney damage due to them being essentially unregulated. It’s my opinion that anyone taking these is playing Russian Roulette with their body’s filtering organs.”

    Those are serious issues, especially for someone with liver and kidney problems.

    However, many people take them after serious study of herbs and their side effects and/or after consulting with someone knowledgeable about herbs. People “in the know” keep up with what the best brands are, and don’t generally pick up an herbal Viagra off the shelf. It’s not good to only treat symptoms without finding the underlying cause.

    The best thing is to grow your own herbs—the most common ones are usually safe for every day use by healthy people: chamomile, peppermint, echinacea, etc.

  2. May 22, 2008 at 1:14 pm

    I think that’s always been one of the first thing any of my “new” doctors has said to me – “you don’t take any Chinese herbs, right?”

    But, wow. What a reaction…

    Thanks for commenting on my WW, too 🙂

  3. May 22, 2008 at 2:34 pm

    Kandylini: I agree that it’s best to grow your own. I guess since they are unregulated, and if they are MADE in China, I have a hard time trusting them. I don’t know if you heard about it, but there was heparin made in China that was given to dialysis patients, and it caused death and hospitalizations.

    I don’t have a problem with people using herbs; in fact, many meds are derived from plants. It’s just that I don’t want to take the chance; it took long enough to get a kidney; I don’t want to have to wait for a liver….

  4. May 22, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Krissi; see my comment above.

    I’ll add your blog to my Technorati favorites; I just joined right before you.

  5. kandylini
    May 23, 2008 at 12:54 pm

    “I guess since they are unregulated, and if they are MADE in China, I have a hard time trusting them.” Yes, me too! It’s really annoying to have to worry this much about everything made in China.

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