Tuesday, May 13, 2008

May 13, 2008, Transplant Follow-Up

I had my 8-week transplant follow-up on May 13. I went in at 7:40 am again, but I made an effort to drink a LOT more water before the appointment. My creatinine for the day was 1.1 (which is down from 1.2, and that's a good thing). My guess is the 7:40 time is what caused the discrepancy, as I do not feel any different.

All my other lab number look pretty good. My BUN is at 11.0. My magnesium and phosphorus are both a little bit low, but that's not a problem.

The only real complaint that I have is that Medicare is now my primary insurance company. This is a problem because my prescription drug insurance through work does not want to pay as a secondary company. So, I'm going to get stuck with either co-pays from work or with 20% from Medicare. For the Myfortic, I will be paying about $640 a year under my insurance plan. The Prograf will be another $480 per year. And, the Prednisone is probably $2 a year.

The annual cost for Myfortic, according to Medco, is $3,536.40. The plan pays $2,896.40, which is about 81% (meaning I save a little money over getting this through Medicare). The annual cost for Prograf is listed at $12,966.72 (for a year), with my insurance plan paying $12,486.72 (in that year). This is about 96% of the cost of the drugs, meaning I am getting a much better deal on these than I would through Medicare. The two medications combined have me paying about 7% of the cost, which is better than the 20% I'd have to pay through Medicare.

So, I guess I will continue to pay for Medicare for another 18 months, to cover my doctor's visits. It was nice not to pay for those medications in the past, but unfortunately, that's no longer an option. I knew it would be coming, but did not expect it this soon. So, it will be a cost to add in to everything else. Not a problem, just something to think about.

That's it for this post. More later, I think.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Allergy Test Results

I had my allergy test on Tuesday. It was not too bad, though I was very allergic to dust mites. I reacted to them as soon as she put that swab on my back. The allergy test involved me taking off my shirt, and laying on my stomach for 15 minutes. The nurse put a LOT of swabs (86, I think) on my back, and then did a small scratch on them, to expose me to the allergen. After about five minutes, she came in and wiped off the ones I had the greatest reaction to, and then was back about 10 minutes after that to clean me off, write down results, and give me an anti-itch spray.

Here are the results:
  • GRASS POLLEN: (see types)
    • Bermuda - yes
    • Fescue - yes
    • Brome - yes
    • Orchard - yes
    • Red Top - yes
    • Rye - yes
    • June/Blue Grass - yes
    • Johnson - yes
    • Timothy - yes
    • Bahia (Dallis) - yes
    • Wheatgrass - yes
  • POLLEN OF OTHER WEEDS: (see types)
    • Careless Weed - yes
    • Dock - yes
    • Pigweed - yes
    • Western Water Hemp - no
    • English Plantain - yes
    • Firebush (Kochia) - yes
    • Sage - yes
    • Cocklebur - yes
    • Lambs Quarter - yes
    • Marsh Elder - yes
    • Russian Thistle - yes
    • Sorrel - yes
  • SPRING TREE POLLEN: (see types)
    • Cottonwood - yes
    • Ash - yes
    • Box Elder/Maple - no
    • Hackberry - yes
    • Willow - yes
    • Mulberry - yes
    • Walnut - yes
    • Pecan - yes
    • Oak - yes
    • American Elm - yes
    • Sycamore - yes
    • Privet (Ligstrum) - yes
    • Pine - yes
    • Mesquite - yes
  • MT. CEDAR POLLEN - yes
  • MOLDS - FUNGUS - yes
  • HOUSE DUST - yes
  • DUST MITES - yes
  • COCKROACH - yes
  • CAT DANDER - no
  • DOG DANGER - yes
  • HAMSTER - yes
  • CATTLE - yes
  • Other:
    • Peanut - yes
So, I disagreed with the doctor about Cats and Peanuts. I told him that cats make me sneeze, just to see them. And, I've never reacted to a peanut. But, that's the way the tests came back.

They suggested reducing my exposure to being outside to help with outdoor allergies. They said to not open doors/windows at home to get "fresh air" as that will let in more allergies.

They told me to continue on the Nasonex and to go back on my Zyrtec (or generic stuff). They also added Astelin nasal spray to my regimen. I'm supposed to mix and match until I find the minimum number of medications that work for me.

So, I expect to hear lots more requests from Jenny to get a cat (which I will continue to deny). I also went to the local health foods store (Sprouts) and bought a new deodorant. It's called "Crystal Stick Deodorant" and contains only "natural mineral salts". You are supposed to get it wet, rub it on, and then dry off the stick. So far, it's working pretty well. I think my arms have healed quite a bit since I started using it. I'll see how I like it after a month or so.

That's about it for today. Good night everyone!