Went to the clinic for blood work only this morning. Had to check on that potassium level that had crept up. Probably because of something I ate. We are fairly confident that it is an anomaly.
Tomorrow is a huge day at clinic. I have a doctors appointment at 9:30 and then a Glofil Test at 11. The Glofil Test is the true measure of kidney function. This will give us a base line for the future. This test will take at least 2 1/2 hours. During the test you drink a radioactive isotope. You then drink lots and lots of water. They test the urine that you produce and your blood to see how long it takes the kidney to remove the isotope. This measures true filtration. I have to stay very, very hydrated today or tomorrow I will have to drink a bunch of water at once which will be uncomfortable.
My blood pressure is so low now that they may have to adjust my meds again. However, they would have had to do this anyway when they lower my prednisone dose. Which I believe will be soon.
Due to eating right and exercise I weighed 177.6 pounds this morning. I’m guessing the last time I weighed that was 8th grade. The dietician told me yesterday that my ideal body weight for my height and bone structure was 183. So I have some room.
I have to get some sort of resistance exercise to keep my bone density from being lost. Again, this is due to prednisone. They have told me mountain biking would be a great option. Since I already have the equipment and like to do it that will be my new exercise regimen. My friend and photography partner, Jim Denman, likes to bike too so he has gotten geared up and we will make sure each other stays with the program. It always helps to have an exercise partner.
I was eating dinner with friends last night and they were curious about the location of the new kidney. They put the kidney low in the abdomen on the right side. I have an incision from the midline of my stomach about 3 1/2 inches below the navel extending across and slight up to the right side. It is about 10 inches long. They connect the new kidney to arteries and veins located in that area – near the groin and then attach the ureter from the new kidney to the bladder. They do not take out the old kidneys – there is just to much to unhook. The old kidneys will just atrophy and cease to function at all. They took Keith’s left kidney because there is better access. The right kidney is located behind the liver and is harder to get to.
I’m will to share any and all details of my surgery and recovery. If you have a question just post it and I will try to compile a post that answers as much as I can. I want people to be informed as to the process and If I can help someone or the family of someone understand the kidney transplant process better I will be happy to do that.
Thank you for your cards and letters and post. I don’t know exactly when I will be coming home. However, I think it will be in the not too distant future. I really have no way of forwarding my mail from here so you might want to send anything to my home address which is: 106 Suntory Way, Lufkin, Texas 75901.
Lastly, I have a favor to ask. When I do come home I will still be immunosuppressed. Of course I will remain this way the rest of my life to keep from rejecting the kidney. However, not to the extent that I am now. So during the first months I’m home please don’t hug me or insist on shaking hands. Or if we do shake hands please don’t be offended when I use alcohol gell immediately afterwards. (I now carry a small bottle in my pocket.) I do want to visit and talk to all of you and we can certainly do that. Unless of course you are sick and then we probably need to avoid each other. Over time as I take less of the immunosuppressants we will be allowed to resume a normal routine. However, right at first please help me by limiting physical contact. I appreciate your understanding. If you have any questions about this just ask me. I’m generally an open book.
I’m looking forward to being home.