Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Clinic Report

Good Monday everyone. Today was my second post-transplant clinic appointment. They drew blood in the morning (they found a vein on the second stick). They only needed three vials today instead of four. They also did a urinalysis. I am still not used to those, after going so long without having to do that.

The doctor looked me over and said that everything was looking good. Here are some of the lab numbers:
  • Potassium was 4.0 (range is 3.6 - 5.0)
  • Creatinine is 1.0 (range is 0.7 - 1.2)
  • BUN is 14 (range is 9 - 20)
  • Glucose is 80 (range is 75 - 110)
  • Hemoglobin is 10.8 (range is 13.5 - 18.0)
    The hemoglobin is a little low, still, but that is normal for a new kidney.
The doctor looked at my incision. There is a little bit of pinkness around it, and it is still a little swollen, but he said not to worry. There was one staple that he said might be a concern, but no problems today. He was so encouraged that he offered to let us skip our Friday appointment.

I told him that we would go ahead and come, since we have already gotten the hotel room for the entire week. Besides, I have to go on Thursday to have a bone density scan done (while I am here). So, we will have clinic again Wednesday and Friday of this week. But, it sounds like he might reduce the number of appointments that we have next week.

We will continue to have clinic in Fort Worth until the staples are taken out. After that, they will transfer us to Dallas Transplant Institute (DTI) in downtown Dallas. That will cut our drive in half, so we will not be needing to get a hotel (and we get to stay home).

The doctor said that the prednisone was the most likely cause of my sleeplessness. He said that your body produces a hormone (called cortisone) when it is time to wake up, and that prednisone is basically an artificial cortisone. So, it makes you want to stay awake all the time. He said that the sleeping pills should not be a problem and that if I need them for more than a few weeks, he would prescribe a longer-term (less addictive) sleeping pill. He also said to get more exercise (which was already a goal anyway). That should help out with sleeplessness later, too.

I received a comment asking about my immunosuppressant drug levels. My Prograf® levels at my Monday lab were 11.6. They did not make any changes to my dosage (4mg twice a day). It takes longer to get a result on your Prograf® levels than it does for the rest of the blood. If they ever need to change, then they said they will call between 2pm and 4pm. I should know this afternoon if I need to make any changes.

The doctor did make one medication change. I was taking 1000mg of Cellcept® twice a day. I was also having a lot of stomach irritation after eating. The doctor said that the Cellcept® was the most likely cause. Cellcept® is one of the immunosuppressant medications that I am on. He said it might help if I change to taking 500mg three times a day (for a total of 1500mg instead of 2000mg). I am going to start that tomorrow. I'll have to wait and see if it helps.

Well, I think that is all of the updates I have for today. Thank you for coming by. Please continue to pray that my body will not reject the kidney. Also please pray for the donor's family, as they are still grieving a loss. Thanks for reading!
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