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Transplant Week 9

It’s already been 9 weeks since my kidney transplant. The only “issues” I’ve had is the current low white blood cell count (Neutropenia), some arm pain for the first few weeks after the surgery (most likely from the positioning while under anesthesia), and some minor side effects which have all but gone away (hand tremors from the Prograf and diarrhea from the Magnesium and CellCept).

I have noticed that the Prograf hand tremors are much improved. The surgeon told me I could stop my Magnesium, but I have continued it (3 tabs/day), and I think that it has helped. The hand tremors could be mainly from the neuropathy, and worsened by the Prograf. Anyway, they checked my Magnesium level on June 25, and it is normal, but not by much, and that’s even with 1200 mg/day of Magnesium Oxide.

I did cut my Valcyte back to 450 mg once a day (from twice a day), but it may take a while to see how much that will increase my white blood cell count.  The other “culprit” with the white count is CellCept. One of the side effects of that is “severe neutropenia”, which, if it’s going to happen, will occur between days 31-180, and may require a dose adjustment or temporary halt in therapy. My guess is that since my dose of CellCept is already lower than most (from what I’ve seen, 1000 mg twice a day is common, while mine is 500 mg twice a day), they didn’t want to mess with that. Plus, Valcyte is to prevent CMV, and my last test showed that I don’t have it (despite the CMV+ kidney in my CMV- body). 

I added a ClustrMap “widget” to the right hand sidebar. It tracks visits to this blog on a world map, and is updated daily (if you click on it, a larger map will appear, making it easier to see more specifically where visitors are from). So far, after 2 days, people from 3 continents have looked at my blog, although Antarctica is not yet represented 😦


As I mentioned, I’d love to get out and work in the yard. The other day, I found out that I’m not alone in that sentiment. A doctor I work with was recently diagnosed with Lymphoma and is undergoing chemotherapy. We were talking, and he was saying that it’s a tough adjustment, because he feels lousy for the weekend after chemo, the steroids give him insomnia, and he can’t work outside in the yard. So, I’m certainly not alone (chemo suppresses the immune system as well, so he has to be careful about opportunistic infections).

Another co-worker asked me some questions about her father. He’s 2 years older than me, and has diabetes for 28 years (not sure if Type I or II). He has low vision, poor hearing, and his kidney function dropped within a week from 28% to 21%, his Hemoglobin A1C is ~14 (that’s not good), and he was put on a 1 liter a day fluid restriction due to edema. He has a fistula in, but won’t go for a transplant evaluation and is also extremely hesitant about dialysis. I told her that he can call me go talk about it, as I can certainly understand his apprehension about dialysis. The advantage he’ll have is that he will go to the same dialysis unit I went to, and the staff and patients there are all very nice, making it tolerable. Even though his GFR is 21%, he is already building up fluid, so my guess is that he will need dialysis very shortly. He’s stuck in the house, so maybe getting out 3 days a week will actually help his mental status.

Accident update: I was talking to Derek’s step-father this morning, and told me that Derek WASN’T wearing a seatbelt, but that if he was, he would have been decapitated. We drove by this morning, and there were skid marks, and I saw the trailer he hit (no cab attached). It was sort of a “fifth-wheel” type trailer, with the front elevated above the rest of the trailer. Here is a pic in the local paper of the Dodge Nitro that Derek was driving (clickable thumbnail):

  1. July 12, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Yikes! That picture of the accident shocked me back memories of a friend. He lost his wife and a buddy in an accident; both decapitated in their seats. I never saw the accident, but the picture brought a rush of memories and emotions.

    Hope all turns out well.

  2. July 12, 2008 at 7:24 pm

    Yep. Everything turned out well. He had a concussion and some scrapes, but wasn’t even admitted to the hospital.

    Decapitated; that’s terrible, for both your friend and wife, as well as the rescue people who were at the scene.

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