Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Finally Fewer Blood Work Appointments

On Monday I went to see/meet my nephrologist for the first time.  His name is Dr. Kim.  He's really nice and really funny as well.

I'm happy to say that my blood work looks really good.  It's actually a funny story. Dr. Kim looked at my creatinine and asked me who my donor was.  I told him that my brother was my donor.  Then he asked "is your brother a big/tall guy?" I told him that my brother was around 6'1, 6'2-ish.  When I asked him why he asked, he told me that it was because of my creatinine. My creatinine as of Monday's appointment was 69.  Dr. Kim said that creatinine that low is not usually seen in transplant patients, which indicates that my brother was a much bigger person with bigger kidneys. My brother is a big guy who lifts weights/goes to the gym very regularly, whereas I'm 5'5 and weigh like 115...probably near half what my brother weighs.  So I'm pretty lucky to have a big, strong kidney I guess!

Now that the transplant team has seen my recent blood tests, they seem to be happy with what they have seen and therefore they are allowing me to do my blood work twice a week instead of three (yay!) And, as I mentioned in a previous post, I'm able to get my blood work done at the local blood lab as opposed to going to the hospital just to get my blood work done. I'm pretty pleased about that.  It all indicates that things are continuing to move in the right direction.

The only challenge I still have is my hemoglobin. It's not bad...(for me) as it is in the 90s.  I cannot remember the exact number.  The transplant team would prefer that my hemoglobin be over 110 (as would I!). Just two weeks ago, my hemoglobin was 112.  It seems to go up and down, rise and dip.  It just seems to be my pattern for some odd reason.  Dr. Kim told me that it may take a little bit of time for my hemoglobin to go up, as my new kidney is still getting "accustomed" to its new environment, and as it does, it will aid in the increase of my hemoglobin.

Since coming home after the transplant, I have noticed that I do get mild stomach upset/stomach grumbling, so I mentioned this to the doctor as well.  He explained that it sounded like my stomach was just getting used to all of my new meds, and this should subside in time.  Very reassuring for me.  Speaking of meds, Dr. Kim also expressed his desire to, slowly, over the next few months, slowly taper my prednisone until I'm no longer on it.  Oh pleasssse take me off of prednisone! I just hope that all of these other immunossuppresant  medications will be sufficient in keeping my lupus at bay, as the reason I've remained on prednisone all these years is due to the fact that my lupus seems to rebel anytime my prednisone dose gets overly low.  At the same time, I was not on these anti rejection drugs that I'm currently on now: tacrolimus or mycophenolate sodium. I hope they will do the trick, as I am told that the probability of lupus occurring in my new kidney are very slim.  Fingers crossed!

Anyhow, I'm getting my urinary stent removed tomorrow, so I'll need to mentally prepare myself for that one! I'll report back later..*cries*

:)


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