9/26/14

445) I Look Mahvelous

September 26, 2014 
Friday

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! 

3/14/14

443) Annual Clinic Visit for 2014

March 14, 2014 
Friday

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.



3/10/14

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

March 10, 2014 
Monday

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.

1/28/14

441) Announcement of Gettin' Ready for Transplant webinar

January 28, 2014   
Tuesday

Wow! It has been a lonnnnnnnnng time since I posted up here!  All is well with me and my Mordechai the Miracle Kidney!  On facebook today I got this announcement of a new webinar from PKD and wanted to give it a pass-along up here in blogland.

 
On PKD's Facebook page today: 
"What happens after you are told you need a kidney transplant? Melissa Blevins, RN, MS, will walk us through the process beginning when your physician tells you it is time to consider a kidney transplant. Learn more about what to look for in a transplant center, the medical professional team that will be answering your questions and helping you navigate the process, tests and evaluations required for transplant recipients and living donors, transplant costs, insurance coverage and much more. Transplant recipients will also share their experience and our expert panel will answer questions following the presentation."  The webinar will be on February 4rh.

If you are interested, sign up for this free webinar hosted by Melissa Blevins, RN, MS. Register here: www.pkdcure.org/learn/webinars-education 


3/29/13

440) Need to Learn About Transplants?

March 29, 2013 
Friday

On PKD's Facebook page today:
PKD Challenge Day 29: Do you or someone you know have an upcoming kidney transplant? Visit www.kidneylink.org to learn the basics of kidney transplants and the kidney donation process.

3/9/13

439) Happy 4th Birthday Mordechai

March 9, 2013 
Saturday

An auspicious day, today!  Lizzie and I spent the day finding her the gold Honda CRV she has wanted for some time... and bought it! Went to her mom's for a delightful dinner.  And, I had a slice of coconut cream pie in celebration of that great day four years ago, when I was laid up in NAMC having my kidney transplant!

So,
Happy Birthday Mordechai! Four candles & one to grow on.  Thank you to my donor and Dr. Lewis, and Bernadette, and everyone else on that great transplant team (Dr Sankora, Rachel from NOLA, Mark the transport guy) and everyone on 4 North (Pauline from Kenya, Luvi, Jeffrey, Kristy, and all the rest); and John my son who came to spot Lizzie so she could go sleep.  Oh yeah, and Kim who said we HAD to name the little guy.

Onward Thru the Fog!

438) Annual Transplant Clinic Visit

March 8, 2013
Friday

North Austin Medical Center: 
Regular clinic visit with hospital check-in taking 45 minutes (sorry we are running late Mr. Nowicki); Maxine checking weight (173); high blood pressure (160/77); and various Maxine stories.  Met the new Transplant Coordinator, Jessica, who took over for Patti, who didn't last long in this patient-focused clinic.  Jessica seems very nice, competent, and attentive as I explained my January bout with pneumonia and level of recent stress.


Dr. Lewis came in and we spent at least 10 to 15 minutes talking about current stressors (teaching my new class, getting a new ED at work, and losing Big Kim at work)  He was animatedly supportive.  When we got into his feeback on the Status of Jack & Mordechai  the Miracle Kidney, he said again, "you're doing GREAT!"  He went down his list of indicators for me:
  • Creatinine 1.1
  • Blood sugar 113 
  • Colesterol 143
  • HDB 5.6
He listened to my heart and lungs, felt my parathyroid, pressed on my kidney, and pronounced me good.  We discussed my idea of getting the shingles shot and he explained that since they put a live virus in you it isn't generally a good idea since I am on imuno-suppressants, but that we could check the (unknown) level at my next labs and that would give a better idea what to do.  

About the blood pressure increasing he wants me to try going back on some Norvasc in addition to the Linsopril and Normadyne that I am already taking.  I'll take my BP regularly and go in again in 4 weeks to check the BP.  Then my next appt will be in 4 months.

All in all a good report so I went away feeling a little less stressed and ready to wish Mordechai a happy birthday tomorrow.



 

1/29/13

437) Kidney Compared to Football

January 30, 2013
Tuesday

Had to post this from the PKD Facebook page:

The average healthy kidney is the size of a human fist – but the average polycystic kidney is often as big as an NFL football. Share the photo below with your friends to help raise PKD awareness!

Thank you to everyone who participated in our poll yesterday. If you answered ‘Football’, you are correct! 

The average healthy kidney is the size of a human fist – but the average polycystic kidney is often as big as an NFL football. Share the photo below with your friends to help raise PKD awareness!