I had a busy, busy week. I had appointments with my nephrologist and endocrinologist and had bloodwork done at the Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Center, all on Wednesday.
And, for now, all is well, save for a few minor concerns.
My bloodwork prior to my appointment with Dr. Cynthia West, my nephrologist, showed a potassium level slightly elevated above the normal range, but that's likely due to having eaten too much soup in recent weeks and too much tomato sauce.
But my phosphorous levels were within the normal range, as were my numbers regarding my parathyroid levels, which I have kept under control by taking 5,000 IUs of vitamin D rather than take a prescription of synthetic vitamin D known as Zemplar.
Dr. West said I'm doing fine. My numbers are stable. My creatnine levels rose from 3.3. to 3.8, which means I have 17 percent kidney function at this point, but that rise equals about what it was in two previous tests.
There is one problem, though.
I now am mildly anemic. I've felt a bit rundown, and now I know why. Previously I had been on the edge of anemia, but now my iron levels have dipped. As a result, I'm now taking iron to build up iron levels in the bone marrow. I'll take iron for a few weeks, or longer, and suffer either the diarrhea or the constipation that it causes. But there are remedies for those. Getting the iron levels re-established will be something I look forward to accomplishing.
I barely beat my Jan. 20 deadline to get bloodwork done to remain current for my transplant status, but I beat the deadline by at least an hour. Then my endocrinologist, Dr. Vijay Bahl at Shadyside Hospital, gave me a good pep talk by noting that my creatnine level in the past 15 years has declined only slightly, which means I should be able to maintain enough kidney function for the next four years without dialysis until the kidney and pancreas transplants take place.
I must avoid dehydration or episodes of low blood sugar, both of which can kill off kidney function.
That's my goal, to maintain kidney function until Transplant Day.
But I'm expecting a less than perfect HgA1c level this time. I've had a miserable month of fluctuating blood-sugar levels, caused in part, I believe, by a lingering but not serious virus I had over the holidays. I'm fearing an A1c of over 6, which would be the highest in more than 15 years. We'll see.
I'll publish the results early next week when the results come in.
I scheduled an April 13 appointment with Dr. Ronald Benoit, my urologist, for a prostate exam to remain current with transplant requirements.
I've been on the transplant ,list now for 55 days. Time flies.
This transplant routine requires some work. But all my tests are done for the month. Now I need to increase my exercise, keep my sugar levels under control and heal my anemia.
Plenty to do. But facing a four-year wait, there's plenty of time to do it.