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! 


443) Annual Clinic Visit for 2014

March 14, 2014 

Transplant Clinic Appointment: Liz & I went for my annual clinic appointment this morning; got in with no waiting, and learned from Maxine that today will be a "nurses meeting" only cause Dr. Lewis has two transplants to do this morning.  I had seen him in his office as we walked by and noticed that he was in scrubs.

Maxine did her usual patter and BP (133/63) / temperature / gig.  Liz took a picture with her new "smart phone" of me sitting there waiting.  Maxine also caught us up on clinic changes: Jessica leaving to be a stay-mom with her new baby, and their adding Cindy from the Plano Transplant Center as the new nurse.

Since Dr. Lewis was not going to come in for his chart review and exam, Maxine also gave us the lab results, as follows:
  •  Creatinine 1.3
  •  Blood Sugar 113
  •  Colesterol 143
  •  HDL  38
Cindy came in and introduced herself and reviewed the chart and asked all the other more-medical questions like did I get a flu shot (yes), and aches and pains (no), swelling (no), abdominal pain (no), etc. etc.  She just moved here in the last 3 weeks and has found that rent and housing costs here seem higher than Dallas / Plano area.

So, basically all is great, as usual!  On the way out I poked my head in on Dr. Lewis and said "Hi... good luck on your transplants today" and he smiled and nodded quickly and turned back to his computer screen.  Next appt set for September.

PKD Walk ~ Our Page: Also of interest, we are again participating in the annual PKD Walk for A Cure this year, although not as conscientiously as we have in the past.  I did set up a donation page for any of you who want to donate.  I am asking for friends to simply donate $10 this year.  You can access my page at Jack & Liz's PKD Walk Donation Page  Thanks in advance to any of you readers who choose to donate.


442) In Which We Celebrate 5 Years with Relatives from Michigan

March 10, 2014 

Yesterday we had our little family birthday celebration for Mordechai the Miracle Kidney... 5 years old!  Yes, it was 5 years ago yesterday that I got my kidney transplant and for the first time we almost forgot the date.  We were sitting around on Saturday and at some point Liz remarked that this is close to the anniversary... and we hemmed and hawed around til I looked up the date on this blog.  Luckily, we hadn't missed it so we rushed around and added a little celebration to our already planned Sunday.

On Sunday we were already planning for entertaining my cousin Susan and her husband George from Michigan.  I hadn't seen Susan since I took Liz & Shayna to Michigan for my Aunt Marilyn's funeral back in 2008.  This is Susan's first trip to Texas so we had them up from San Antonio for the day; took them to see the capitol; and fed them green chile stew.  I am aware as I write this that at each anniversary we have had different groups of close friends over, and it felt just right to do this one with my closest relatives outside my immediate family.  

Susan and I spent a good piece of time hanging on the rail of the second floor of the capitol reminiscing about our early years at the Christi Lake cottage, all the changes and passings on of our moms, and her brother, and how important it is to keep that sense of "family" as we age ourselves.  Lots of memories shared later at the dinner table, along with the special perspective of George, who was older than Suz and I during those formative years, and brought his own perspective to memories of those times.

This was a perfect way for me to remember how fortunate we are to have family connection and to share gratitude for continuing to be on the planet.  I am curiously looking forward to whatever special kind of celebration happens a year from now on this auspicious date.