420) Transplant Clinic Scare

July 6, 2011

After the clinic called last week and change my appointment, I arrived at NAMC this morning at 6:50 am. for re-registration (a task required every three months) and then labs, and then my usual clinic visit at 9:10 am. After lab work, I stopped in at the cafeteria for two breakfast tacos and coffee with my 8 am meds; and settled in to reading my new text for the Fall Semester SFBT class.

At the clinic things started being bothersome as Maxine hurriedly cuffed my arm and pumped me up for my BP while asking me questions and rushing through her tasks. My BP: 157 over 70 something... to which I mumbled something like, "probably cause I just sat down and am talking..." Then, after 10 minutes or so (reading time again), Bernadette enters and informs me that my creatinine is up to 1.7, my hemoglobin is down, and my salt is high. Great news!

"One point seven? That's not good. Whats up with that?" She shrugs... and we briefly discuss whether it is really a bad thing or not.

Dr. Lewis comes in and asks me how I'm doing... "okay" I say... "cept for my back pain... and, I know what thats from... hauling rocks the other day..." He has on the table, listens to my chest and back, asks about swelling, has me lay back on the table while he checks my groin and pokes at my new kidney and abdomen in general. Pulls me up to sitting and goes over to look in my record (All this is his usual protocol).

Looking in there at the most recent labs, he seems worried (to me) about it and shares, "After two years it is really too late to be rejection..." and I wonder if he is talking to me or himself. Rejection? Yikes? "So what do you think it's about?" I ask. He runs through a range of things (which I don't exactly rmemeber cause I'm freakin' out), such as "a fluke", "medication issue", or some other unknown problem. He excuses himself to go find the rest of my record and check this out further, commenting... "...they've thinned out your record... excuse me for a few minutes while I go find what I need..." and out he goes.

I sit there in my brain feeling guilty. I must have brought this on myself. I've been too late on my meds too many times... "I'm lazy and no good! (I hear in a parental voice in my head). "Boy, now I've done it... I've ruined my new kidney..." I fret. Then I try to clear my head, take some deep breathes, wiggle my sore shoulders... stand up to get my text book. "I can't focus on THAT right now!" So I sit back down and begin thinking along two channels: don't worry until there is something to worry about & boy, this is a GREAT time to end my anxiety meds!

Dr. Lewis returns and says he thinks he wants me to get two scans so he can look them over, and get scheduled for more labs in a couple weeks and then we'll see whats going on. He asks about my BP and I say it has been running in the mid 120 over 70's usually and he nods at this data. I ask about quitting the Paroxatine and we agree that this is as good a time as ever.

He honestly says he wants more data before making up his mind about the 1.7.

Maxine comes in and asks if I can hang around today and get the ultrasound and the DMSA renal study. "Sure." So, she goes to set them up while Bernadette works up my next appointments and med chart. Maxine returns: the DMSA is scheduled for 1 pm and the ultrasound they'll "squeeze in" before that. First I have to go back to the lab for another blood draw to check my iron.

After the quick lab I trek over to the imaging waiting room and munch on Lorna Doones, drink more coffee, and read another chapter of my text before they are able to "squeeze me in" for my ultrasound. The ultrasound goes easily... Robert the technician is training a young tech on the newer machine than she is used to and she tells me, "I've been doing these for years; he is just showing me how to use this new machine" as if to assure me she knows what she is doing. I'm fine... whatever. They talk about how to do this and that the same and differently while I lay there. She did use warmed lubricant, which I am in favor of. I had to fill my bladder with four large cups of cold water so I was shivering when I got in there. The warm goo and heated blankets helped me settle right in to a comfortable experience.

Then it was back to waiting for my 1 o'clock scan. I walked around in outside in the 99 degree sun for more warmth. The DMSA scan was conducted by Mark
(See Post # 337 & 338, March 2009) and we spent some time catching each other up as he set me up for the scan. This scan takes 30 minutes of stillness and I fall into a slumberous meditation / sleep... and before I know it it is over and I am up and ready to head out. Mark asks me what I am driving these days (still the T-100 of course) and he wonders how I would compare F-150's with the Tundra before I leave.

Later: Bernadette calls me at home in the evening to say that Dr. Lewis looked at the scans and they look okay... is concerned that my cyclosporin (Neoral) is higher than it should be so he wants me to take off the little one (25 mg) at night and she'll set up labs for next Monday, five days from now. I ask about my scare and she seems to think things are A-Okay for now. Whew!

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