Monday, January 29, 2007

Monday Clinic

Welcome to Monday everyone. I am trying something new with my blog post today, so if it looks strange, please let me know. I do not want there to be any problems, so if this shows up strangely, then let me know and I will not post via this method again.

I went to Fort Worth again today for another clinical follow-up appointment. They again drew blood and urine and checked to make sure that I am not rejecting the kidney and that I am still healthy. Here are a few of my blood count numbers, for those of you that are interested:

PROCEDURE
RESULTS
UNITS
REFERENCE RANGE
Potassium
4.4
MEQ/L
(3.6 - 5.0)
Creatinine
1.0
MG/DL
(0.7 - 1.2)
BUN
12
MG/DL
(9 - 20)
Hemoglobin
14.2
G/DL
(13.5 - 18.0)
Magnesium
1.7
MG/DL
(1.7 - 2.6)

As you can see, my creatinine is staying steady at 1.0 (which is absolutely wonderful). This means that my new kidney is working properly at removing the waste products from my body. Also, my hemoglobin is up to 14.2 (which is in the normal range). That means that the kidney is producing enough of the hormone required to get my body to produce red blood cells to carry oxygen. My magnesium is also up to the normal range, so I guess I will not have to take supplements for that, yet. The doctor examined my incision, and said that the staples are looking just fine. He said that we will not have to come back on Friday, and that we should return to Fort Worth on Monday to get the staples removed and to be transferred to the Dallas clinic. He said that in Dallas, I will be seen by a team of medical professionals, rather than just one doctor. This will not be a problem, as long as they all review my chart before asking me anything crazy.

I had the doctor write me a couple of prescriptions. He said that I am going to be on the Valcyte and Mycelex for a total of three months. He said I will need to take the Bactrim for a total of six months, so I had to get a 90-day prescription for that one (since my pharmacy benefits only cover a total of three fills of any one prescription at the retail pharmacy). In order to take more than three months worth of something I have to get a mail-in prescription. He also wrote me a prescription for my Cerefolin (the vitamin I take due to my stroke) since I was out of refills on that one. I also had him switch me from Restoril to Lunesta (the butterfly commercials, you know the ones) for a sleeping pill. I tried not taking the Restoril the last couple of nights, but I didn't really get much sleep last night, so I think the Prednisone is still causing some sleeplessness. I think I will be on the Lunesta until the Prednisone gets down to a manageable level (one that my body can tolerate and still sleep on). The Prednisone reductions begin one month after the transplant, and I think the reduction schedule is only like 1/2 mg per month or something similar.

The nurse called this afternoon to tell me to change my Prograf from 3 1/2 mg twice a day to 3mg twice a day. I guess the Prograf level in my blood was still too high, so the doctor decided to reduce my dosage again to keep me balanced. Like any medication, too much can be just as bad as too little, and they monitor this one very closely, so it must be important. It is an immuno-suppressant, and I will be on it the rest of my life, so I want it to be correct.

So, like I said, we do not have clinic again until next Monday (February 5). The doctor said that he will be taking out the staples then, as long as everything looks OK. He will also be transferring us to the Dallas Transplant Institute. I realize I said that earlier, but I thought it was good news, so you get to hear it twice.

I stopped by work today to deliver my doctor's note. He has approved me to work up to 20 hours per week from home while I am going to the clinic on a regular basis. He said I could physically go back to work as soon as one month after the transplant, but I might want to work from home since I only get 5 sick days per year, and I don't want to use them all up going to the clinic twice a week or so. I think once I get down to once-per-month appointments, I will probably be able to go back to work. The minimum amount of time we can use for sick leave is 1/2 day, meaning I can go to 10 monthly clinic appointments with my allotted sick leave.

Please continue to pray that I will stay healthy and not have any problems with this kidney. Pray that all of my tests go well as I continue to go to the clinic. Pray that the surgery incision is healed enough so that the doctor can remove the staples on Monday. And, continue to pray for the donor family as they deal with the grief of their loss.

Thanks for reading today. Again, let me know if the post is strange-looking or unreadable, since I tried something new today.

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