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Medical Update

Posted Oct 01 2008 5:07pm
Friday I went to my monthly kidney transplant clinic visit. My numbers are continuing to get better except it seems my White Blood Count is extemely low and I need to consume more fluids during the day. One of the anti rejection drugs' side effect is that it lowers the WBC so the Dr. decreased my Cellcept to 3 capsules 2x a day. I was a little anxious about the visit because I had been feeling extremely fatigued the past couple of weeks. Apparently I am expecting too much and too soon after surgery. To quote the Dr. "You're only 3 months out from the transplant! You're still recovering from major surgery!" But what concerned me was that I now seemed more tired than I had since the surgery. But my voice of reason (my hubby) started listing the things I am now doing on a daily basis that I haven't done in years. Ok, ok I had unrealistic expectations but when you go from feeling really, really bad to this good (even if it's not yet at a 100% recovery) you just start to do things. One thing that has been weighing on my shoulders is my Thank You letter to my donor family. I have thought and prayed about what to say since my surgery. Somehow the words Thank You didn't seem to be enough. Last weekend I attended a scrapbooking retreat and was finally able to sit down and try and put my thoughts and feelings into a letter. Then since I make cards, I had to find an example of just the "right" card to make which with a friend's help I did. To any of you who have received a transplant, I encourage you to write or send a card to your donor family. One of my fellow transplant friends had a distant relative pass away in a freak accident and they made the gracious gift of life by donating what could be used. They made the comment to my friend that they would like to know who received his organs. My friend drove to the hospital and found out who had received transplants on the date of the man's death. He visited the patients and told them he was a kidney receipent and just encouraged them to write their letters to the donor family without letting on that he knew them. Unfortunately he was escorted out of the hospital when the nurses discovered what was happening.
While I was down in Birmingham I ran into some of my fellow transplantees and it was like old home week because we ran into each other at the Lab. All the transplant patients gathered at the Lab every morning around 6:00 am to have their daily blood drawn. Didn't matter if you were a kidney, liver or heart patient, you were there. There was a little girl who was about 5 years old that had just had a heart transplant and she too had to have her arm stuck every morning. The Lab people tried to do it as quick and painless as possible because your emotions just went out to this little girl and her parents. At least she had been through the toughest part and was on the downhill slide. Let me give you a little information on what the heart transplant patients have to go through. Because the heart cannot survive too long out of the body, heart patients once they get so far up on the list have to move into the Townhouse so they are right there when the heart becomes available. The apartments in the Townhouse are about the size of an old college dorm room. One family we met who was leaving the Townhouse had been there 7 months between waiting for the heart and the recovery time. We met a 27 yr old man who was living in the Townhouse waiting for a heart that matched to come in. Last I heard, he's still waiting. So again I'll give another plug.....Become an organ donor if you haven't already! It really does make a difference to someone and I'll go into what a difference it's made in my life in another post.
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