Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Spring Has Sprung

Well... first of all, a big shout out to Giovani for saying that he misses my posts. (And by the way, my friend - your English is far superior to my Portuguese!)

At least there is a good reason for my absence. This month has been SO busy that I didn't realize how many days had gone by. In my last update I was focusing on the fractures in my vertebrae. I'm not taking any pain meds now, and it feels like it's getting better. Tomorrow I'll have more x-rays and talk to the neurosurgeon to see if there is progress with the healing.

So here's why I've been so busy: I am getting near the six month anniversary of my transplant and now there are lots of tests to check the liver. And of course I've also started therapy to get my head a bit looser. Yes, I worry too much.

One problem with immuno-suppressant medications is that they can cause transplant patients to become diabetic. Last week I had blood tests for diabetes; thankfully the tests were negative, so it's one less thing to worry about. Whew.

And so far the liver seems to be doing fine. I had an ultrasound to see my organs and it looked good. I've also had another biopsy but I won't know the results until Friday. Gosh. I'm getting tired just thinking about it all, so I guess that's why I've taken some time off from writing. There's also the fact that Minnesota is quite beautiful in the spring. Since the only exercise that's safe for me right now is walking, I've been taking lots of walks (except for rainy days.)

This weekend I'll try to walk all the way around my favorite lake. Wish me luck!


Sunday, April 5, 2009

I'm a Lazy Sod

I had a great weekend, with good friends, good food, (mostly) good weather, and good laughs. It was pointed out to me, though, that I haven't been writing here as often as I'd planned. I guess I'm more motivated to write when I'm down than when I'm up. Do other writers ever experience that? ;)

I guess I could give you some dining reviews (Culver's, mmm) or tell you all about Ms. Cho and her trannie warm-up act. But that's not really the focus of this particular blog... yet. So let me bring y'all up to date on my latest project:


Last week I saw the neuro-surgeon who had seen me in the hospital. I had been on morphine at the time so she wanted to make sure I remembered our previous conversation! I had actually remembered it so well that I checked out the Mayo Clinic website before seeing her again and I had lots of questions. (That site is an excellent resource, by the way.)

Long story short, since I'm in the 'high risk' category for loss of bone mass, I'm going to be starting on a different med called Pamidronate, which replaces the Fosamex. They've had good results with this for transplant patients. Starting Tuesday I'll be going into the Transplant Clinic for an IV infusion (a four-hour procedure) once every three months, starting Tuesday.
I also discovered that there's an even newer drug that doesn't just slow the bone loss, it actually builds bone mass. Unfortunately there isn't quite the long track record yet as there is with Pamidronate. But I have a good feeling about at least having choices.

We also further discussed the vertebroplasty, which is starting to look like a good option. Basically, I'm optimistic about one of these being successful. And just when the girls were all ready to come over & pimp out my faux torso!

Hopefully in the next few days I'll post my inside look at ambulance rides, EMT's and hot x-ray techs. I guarantee it will rival the series finale of "ER."