Home > April 2009, Health > Transplant Week 50

Transplant Week 50

I’m about 50 weeks out from transplant now, and it’s hard to believe, but I actually feel better and younger now than I did 10 years ago!

I had my appointment today with the Transplant Surgeon, and he was very pleased. You may remember back to shortly after my transplant, and I posted that my new kidney was a 3 out of 6 antigen match. However, today they told me it’s a 1 out of 6 match (or a 5 mismatch). Dr. Varma told me that it’s inconsequential, because the immunosuppression is so effective, the only thing that really matters is the blood type. Dr. Varma remembered that my kidney was from a 16 year old, and once again said that I got a great kidney.

My kidney labs are rock stable; my creatinine is 1.2 and BUN 25.  My hemoglobin dropped a bit. It’s down to 11.8; not sure what’s going on there, but I’m not too worried.  My weight is stable as well; I lost 2 lbs since my last appointment 2 months ago. Not a great loss, but better than a gain.

My last Immune Cell Function was low, meaning that I may be over immunosuppressed. Depending on how today’s is, he may cut my CellCept dosage down to 250 mg every 12 hours (it’s currently 500 mg every 12 hours). My Prograf level isn’t back yet either; my current dose on that is 3 mg in am, 2 mg in pm.  My BP was 132/72, and they are pleased with that as well (and that’s without ANY anti-hypertensive meds!).

I continue to walk several days a week. In fact, I’m now consciously trying to park further, rather than closer, so that I get as much walking in as possible.

Jackie and Kevin tell me my fistula is getting larger. I’m afraid that I may have to have it tied off soon, and the vein removed. I’m hesitant to do so, because I don’t really want to mess with it unless it’s giving me problems.  But I will call the surgeon if it does start causing pain or circulation problems.

I’m enjoying my weekends off. I did fill in at my old weekend job last Sunday, and they sent me calendars to fill in for available shifts for May, but I doubt I’ll be working for the nursing agency much in the future.

The Pediatric Rheumatologist I work with has a patient that he had on his service in the hospital who was diagnosed last fall with an extremely rare disease called Pansclerotic Morphea. She’s not even adolescent-aged, and is dealing with a disease that is potentially fatal.  She’s going to another medical center for a procedure that will hopefully at least arrest the disease.  But since there are so few cases, everything that is done is guess work.  Another reminder of perspective; my medical issues are miniscule in relation to this….

I have so many books to read, and I’m trying to go through them now.  I’ve been reading Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged, but the type is so small, I don’t think I could get through the almost 1100 pages.  So I got the audiobook, and am listening to it on my MP3 player in my spare time.

With spring comes a lot of rabbits. I think of them as a nuisance, especially when they dig up the yard, or burrow under our fence. Our GoldenDoodle, Digger, thinks of them as toys. So far, he’s gotten three of them within the past 2 months. He’s very proud of his catches, and when we go out to try to get them off of him, he thinks we’re playing, and proudly and playfully runs around the yard with the dead rabbit hanging out of his mouth.  The only good thing is that unlike our first dog, a cocker spaniel, Digger isn’t interested in eating them.

My sister hasn’t had any more episodes of life-threatening potassium levels. She came close to getting a kidney, but the surgeons refused it. They did say to me today that she is close, as her name is now coming first on the list when an available kidney is her blood type.

I was in the Emergency Department last Tuesday with Jackie. She had excruciating lower abdominal pain. Entering the ED in a wheelchair crying loudly and saying that you can’t stand the pain is one sure way of getting a room ahead of the other 20 patients waiting for one.  Once they gave her 10 mg of IV Morphine (a HUGE dose), her pain went from a 10+ to a 4.  A dose of Dilaudid an hour later did the trick to totally relieve the pain. A CT scan showed a 1mm kidney stone in the ureter, and she passed it last Thursday, but not after a fair amount of vomiting, constant sleeping, and intermittent severe pain. She’s fine now, but hopes she NEVER has to go through that again; she says it was worse than labor.

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