Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Another Quick Update

I thought of some more things to say after I posted yesterday. So, I decided to go with a "bonus supplemental post" for today.

First of all, I want to say that I have enjoyed being back at work for the past month. The only problem is that everyone here is attempting to kill me. I work in a cubicle, surrounded by cubicles. The loudest sound I hear is coughing all around me. Don't these people know that I have a suppressed immune system? I am easily susceptible to all sorts of diseases. So, despite my enjoyment of work, I have to try and avoid contact with anyone that is in my area. That way, I can stay healthy. It has worked, so far. We shall see how long that lasts.

The other news I have is good news. After I had my blood drawn at the clinic yesterday, I went back to sit in the waiting area to have my name called to see the doctor. While I was sitting there, I saw a familiar face heading to check out. One of the women that was on dialysis at the clinic while I was on dialysis was leaving. I went an talked to her, and it seems that she had just received a kidney and pancreas transplant. She is blind (or mostly blind) and her son was with her. I recognized the two of them leaving. I was glad to hear that she had gotten a transplant and was doing well. I believe she said she got transplanted about a month ago.

So, good news for the lady from dialysis, and bad news for me if everyone at work keeps being sick. Maybe once all the rain slows down they will start feeling better. I haven't gotten sick yet, and that's good.

See you all next time.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Glofil Results and More

Welcome everyone! I realize that is has been two weeks since my last posting, and I apologize. Not much has been going on, medically, so I haven't had too much to say.

I went to the clinic today for my standard follow-up appointment. I opted for the Tuesday appointments, since Monday was so terribly busy the last time I went. I left work at 10:00 to be at the clinic by 10:40, and was back at work by 12:00, so that's not too bad. I think I'll stick with Tuesdays for a while.

I got back my Glofil results from my last visit. My Glofil is 82. You may remember last time that my Glofil was 86.1. The doctor said that 82 is wonderful and that I have nothing to worry about. I just need to keep drinking my water and taking my medications.

I told the doctor that I felt like I had been sweating more since my transplant. He said that many patients complain of the same thing and of oily skin. He said that if it gets to be a real problem, I will have to talk to a dermatologist. I don't feel like it is a problem, yet, it was just different than before my transplant.

I also got back my lab results for today. My creatinine is at 1.0, which is wonderful. My cholesterol is a little higher than it was last time, but still within the normal range. The only number that was out of range was sodium, and it was just a little low (132.8 with the range being 136 - 144). Aside from that, all of my numbers look like they have been. Magnesium continues to be slightly low, but it is not causing any concern.

In non-kidney related news, Jenny and I have officially moved in to our new house. (Well, new to us). We spent the three-day weekend (and the entire week before) unboxing and sorting things where we want them to go. All I have to do now is to figure out how to clean out the dryer's external exhaust vent so that the dryer will work better. We just installed door stops to keep from punching doorknob shaped holes into all the walls. It's going to be a lot of work, but I am glad to get in to a new place.

See you next time. Hopefully it will be sooner than the 3 weeks away for my next appointment. That's right, the doctor said I don't have to come back for 3 weeks! Yippie!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Clinic Visit from Monday

Hi Everybody! (Hi, Dr. Nick)

I had another follow-up appointment yesterday (I am now seeing the doctors every two weeks, which is nice). They scheduled my 3-month Glofil test on the same day, so I was in the office about three hours or so.

The Glofil test was nice and easy. I think that I must be keeping myself fairly well-hydrated on a regular basis. I did not drink much more than normal during the weekend. When I arrived at my test, I was told to drink 5 glasses (about 200ml each) to start. Then, the second round was 1 glass, and I drank 2 glasses for the third and four rounds. I feel like I was better off than the guy that had to drink 3 to 5 glasses each time. I took the test in the morning, and the lab guy was not available after my doctor's visit, so I probably will not find out my results until the 29th, when I return to the doctor's office for my next clinic visit.

In other news, my creatinine was down 0.9 (from 1.0 last time). It is always good to see my creatinine down, and I am pleased any time it is below 1.0 (which is very good). This means that my new kidney is functioning well after about four months of living in my body.

They drew my cholesterol and everything looked good. I think I will be able to stay on the Lovastatin instead of the Lipitor (saving a bunch of money every month).

I think that the Myfortic is much more gentle on my system than was the Cellcept. I can't tell for sure, since I am taking an antibiotic for some "other" GI issues. I will stay on two Myfortic per day for the next two weeks and see. If I'm doing okay, maybe I'll ask the doctor to raise me to three per day.

I am almost done taking the antibiotics from the GI doctor. I don't know if they are working or not. I guess they will have to do another study to find out. Luckily, I won't have to take any more after Wednesday. I do not like the taste, and I do not think my intestines enjoy them, either.

I think that's it from a health standpoint. We got the carpet and tiles in the new house cleaned by Dalworth, and they did a great job (I was there when they finished up, and it looks very nice). They told us how to seal the grout and how to Scotch-Guard the carpet to help protect both, and we will probably try and do that this week before the furniture arrives. Dalworth also came out (different crew) to clean all of the air vents, ducts, and returns. They even fixed the slight rattle that our air conditioner was having. It seems the compressor was slightly unstable. I am hoping that that lack of dust and dirt will be nice on my allergies for at least a couple of months until our dust fills up the house. Oh, and Dalworth sent me a coupon code which is good for six months, so if you are having some services done, let me know, and I'll forward you the code.

That's about it. My health is wonderful, and the house is nice and clean. I do not plan to do do too much moving, to keep myself safe and healthy. I had some pain in my old kidney after we boxed up some of our stuff, so I am trying to keep my stress levels down.

If I hear from the Dallas Transplant Institute before the 29th, then I will let you know what my Glofil score was. If you remember from last time, my Glofil was 86.1. I am hoping that it will be that good or better this time.

See you later!!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Post-Transplant Glofil Test #2 - MONDAY

Hello everyone!

On Monday, I have to take my second post-transplant Glofil test. For those of you unfamiliar with the test, I wrote about it previously here:

I am going to be drinking a lot of water this weekend. It should be a lot of fun. I will also have my regular clinic (blood work) and doctor's follow-up on Monday, so I should see how my medicine is doing.

In other news, we have closed on our house, and we now have a set of keys. We still have some things to take care of before we move in, like getting the carpet cleaned, but I think we are ready. It will be a big adventure!

I'll let everyone know how Monday's stuff goes later next week. Until then, enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

New Medications

Well, it seems that I have to take a couple of new medications. The nurse from my GI doctor called yesterday afternoon to give me the results from my colonoscopy/EGD.

She said that the biopsies did not return any results (which is good). Then she said that the stool samples returned an infection. The doctor prescribed an antibiotic and a pro-biotic to take for the next two weeks. The antibiotic is to be taken every eight hours, and the pro-biotic is to be taken once a day.

So, hopefully, this medication will fix any problems that I have been having. I'm guessing that I will feel healthier, but I have no idea. I'll see in a couple of weeks.

In other news, we had storms here last night that knocked out the electricity. It was out from about 7:30pm - 2:00am. It wasn't a problem, since most of the night we were asleep. Luckily, the power came back on and the alarm clock worked this morning.

Have a great day!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Monday's Clinic Appointment

I went to the clinic yesterday. My appointment was at 10:40, so I left work at 10:00. It seems that Monday is not the best day to go in. I did not get back to work until about 1:00. I think for any future follow-up appointments, I will stick with Tuesday or Thursday. I guess all the new patients go in on Mondays, so they get pretty backed up.

My blood work all looked very good. My creatinine is still at 1.0. My magnesium is up from 1.6 to 1.7. The doctor said my sodium bicarbonate level was up (closer to normal) so the doctor said that I only need to take one tablet per day instead of two.

I also switched from taking two 250mg Cellcept tablets per day to taking two 360mg Myfortic tablets per day. I want to have the higher dosage of protection from the anti-rejection medication. I tried it before, but for only about 4 days (and taking three tablets per day). This time, I am going to go with two tablets per day and try it for two weeks. That should give my body (and digestive system) time to adjust to the new medication and see if I still have problems at the end of that time.

The only other medication change was from Lipitor to Lovastatin for my cholesterol medication. The Lovastatin is available at a significant discount from Wal-Mart, so I am trying to save money. I asked the doctor to schedule a cholesterol test for my next appointment so that I can see if the new medication is working correctly. I will probably have them test it again two weeks later just to make sure.

The other suggestion the doctor made for my GI issues was to stop the Nexium. I told her that I'd like to try the Myfortic first, and if there is no change, then to try stopping the Nexium. Any time I can take less medicine, I am happy. Speaking of which, I think I will stop taking my Lunesta this weekend. I am on 10mg of Prednisone now, and that should be the lowest dosage for at least a year. The doctor said I could stop the Lunesta whenever I felt comfortable, so I think I'll try that this weekend.

The doctor also scheduled me for a second Glofil test for May 14. I know that is a Monday, but since it is a Glofil procedure, I have to be there half the day anyway. So, I will be drinking a ton of water that weekend in preparation.

That weekend is also when we will be closing on our new house! We have all the plans in the works, and just need to sign the paperwork on the 9th to be completed. It is very exciting to be moving into a new house. I just set up the carpet and vent cleaning today, to help get rid of some of the mold and dust in the house. Maybe that will be good for my allergies.

Well, I think that's it for this week. Thanks for all your prayers. Enjoy your week!!