450) In Which We Forget the 8th Anniversary

March 9, 2017

So Liz, Shayna, Joan, and I are out to eat at Dogwood Cafe tonight and suddenly Liz remembers that today is the 8th Anniversary of my kidney transplant. 8 years! We all forgot.  The mark of integration of past crisis (or trauma) is integrating the event into the fabric of one's life in a way that it becomes one of the may threads that make up the tapestry of a life.

This is a good thing.  Mordechai the Miracle Kidney is now part of me.

The annual checkup with Dr. Lewis on February 28th went well for the most part: he called my kidney "a monster kidney" and he still wants me to follow up on a heart checkup that he recommended a year ago.  He wants an ultrasound on my abdomen.  And at the end of the meeting he asks me if everything is alright.

I, somewhat kiddingly say, "Yeah doc all is well.  But you know, whenever I press here (poking myself on the rim of my belly button) it hurts".  He has me back down on the able, tells me to arch my back, pokes my belly button and proclaims, "You have a belly button hernia".  "WHAT?" Liz and I say in unison. 
"Yeah" he replies.  A belly button hernia.  You need surgery. Go see Dr. Sankar; he'll do it."

The Rest of the Story:  Dr. Sankar is 8 years older than when he assisted on my transplant; still a friendly guy; and he gives me more info on the options.  We decide I will wait til after I get my heart checkup and take care of my HHT gum work.




449) Transplant Clinic Visit & HHT Report

September 13, 2016

Liz and I at the clinic for a 6-month check up.  Ran into Rodney in the waiting room: we are happy to see each other.  Its been awhile since I saw him here.  Its always exciting to see each other and congratulate each other; I think for still being around and healthy.  He and I got our transplants by Dr. Lewis the same day (or within a day or two of each other).

Also saw Maggie the Nephrology Social Worker in the waiting room and she gave a "hello". Now we are friends since she co-ordinated my training for the Nephrology Social Workers in April (see #448).  What a nice friendly clinic we seemed to have on this visit!

Maxine and Kim the nurse were there usual cheery selves.  De. Lewis reported that I still have a "kick ass kidney" and I thanked him again for giving it the thumbs up all those years ago when I was trying to figure out whether or not to take it.  He reported that my creatinine is 1.2 and all else looks good in my lab work. 

I showed Lewis my reports (CT chest angiogram w/ contrast, MR brain w/ & w/o contrast, and the CV echo of my ticker) from Dr Battaile, the HHT doc at UT Southwestern in Dallas and after some discussion and explanations about my heart's left atrium, we agreed that it wouldn't hurt to get a consult with a cardiologist here in Austin.  The result of all the testing in Dallas is that I do have HHT and we are now going to get a genetic test to find out which gene is marked so testing for the kids is cheaper.

Only other finding today is that Dr. Lewis want to up my Myfortic for a month and retest because it is a little off.  That's it until my next annual next April!  

As usual, Lizzie and I are happy and grateful as we drive off back to our work-a-day worlds.

Here is a link to a little PKD video I saw on Facebook for anyone who doesn't know a lot about PKD.  Oh.  And if you can spare some bucks, donate to the PKD Foundation soon.



448) Ethical Decision-Making workshop

April 8, 2016
I just have to post today, since I saw many of my old friends from El Milagro Dialysis at an ethics workshop that I presented for the Texas Nephrology Social Worker Conference at the St. David's North Austin Medical Center.

This was a fine group to do a workshop for and even though it was my first foray into ethical decision making for healthcare social workers, they said they liked the material and my enthusiasm.  

I hope to take the feedback from these expert and tenured medical social workers and integrate it into the packet to result in an even more sophisticated workshop to this specialty area of social workers.  I asked for and will still receive any and all feedback from any participants who may come up here to explore the blog so we can make the next edition of the handout even better. 


447) Annual Clinic Visit & Anniversary

March 9, 2016
Liz and I trekked up to the transplant clinic in north Austin yesterday morning for my annual exam with Dr. LewisOnce again, all is well with the miracle kidney.  Creatinine is at 1.2, BP is good, blood sugar a little high (but the same as every year) and all the other labs are good. 
Before Dr. Lewis came in, Maxine weighed me, asked the regular update questions and took my BP.  Then Kim the Nurse interviewed me about my medical issues for the last year looked at my EKG, and asked me about my difficulties with HHT over the holidays.  Given that gum crisis, she reported that my hemoglobin count was great, so I was glad to hear that.
Although Kim has been at the clinic only a little more that a year (she was new when were last there) she didn't know about this blog so we told her about it and she indicated she would check it out. 
As usual, I was very pleased to hear how well I continue to do so my last week's anxiety and grumpiness lifted and I am in gratitude about continuing to enjoy being on the planet.  


446) Video from Facebook

June 25, 2015 

I have been doing a lot more on Facebook in the last year or so and although I still check on this blog and am still considering how to update it to match my current lifestyle, once in awhile I find something that belongs up here where readers who check this can find information.  
This video is one that I really like and brings an important message to all who might be reading about PKD, dialysis, and transplants.




445) Happy 6th Anniversary of my Transplant

March 12, 2015

The Birthday Dinner: This year we played it low key.  Did have Dale & Jan Yonkin over for Sunday dinner the day before the 9th.  That in itself was a wonderful re-uniting: Liz had never met Dale or Jan and we had a grand time telling stories and getting re-acquainted.  Will have to see them more regularly.

The Birthday of Mordechai the Miracle Kidney: Again low key.  My thoughts are that the first 5 years are monumental and deserve recognition.  Now I am thinking that 10 years, 15 years, and 25 years will be the BIG Birthdays to celebrate... kind of like wedding anniversaries.

Transplant Clinic Appointment: Liz & I went in for clinic visit on March 10th.  Dr. Lewis again reported that I am doing great! "You got a gang-buster kidney!".  Creatinine is perfect, etc. etc.  We are happy and I am relieved.  On the way home I realize that I always get quite anxious and edgy the week or so before my appointment.  Then, afterwards I am in a very good mood for days. 

For example, BP the next afternoon is 110/60.

Next blood work scheduled for June and next appt for March, 2016

Toast with Water!  Oh yeah, and today is World Kidney Day!


444) I Look Mahvelous

September 26, 2014 

Transplant Clinic Appointment: Liz & I went in to the new clinic (across the street from the Women's Center at St. Davids North) for our Fall visit with Dr. Lewis.  All was pretty much the same as usual: Maxine coming in and talking about various stuff as she set up the BP cuff and then Liz reminded my of dad's birthday coming up and my BP was 165 over something!

Maxine and Liz shut up and we waited a few minutes while I "relaxed" and then she took it again... down to 145 / 72.  So that was better, eh?  Then Kimberly from Boston comes in: she is my new nurse; Cindy has left and Kimberly and us spend some time getting to know each other as she reviews my meds list, etc.  Also tell Kimberly about recent annual physical, referral to Dr Hanschen for another colonoscopy and my 15 minute consult with him about if I really need another one since the last one was clear AND I thought he said I wouldn't have to need any more.  He went to check my records and they have been lost in the shuffle to put all paper online over the last year or so.  So we agree that I'll get another one and I told Kimberly that I haven't scheduled that yet.

Finally Dr. Lewis comes in and asks how I feel; says I "look great, better than most 67 year old's who haven't had a transplant".  He is concerned about a blotch on my forearm and referred me to his dermatology group for a screening.  Lewis reports that my creatinine is 1.2 and all else looks really good.  Has me jump up on the table and listens to me and pokes me around my lower abdomen, etc. and pronounces me in great shape. And, at some point HE does my BP and when he checks it, it is 122/70!

We are all happy about that.  He wants to see me again next March for my next annual.  So it goes!