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June 11, 2004
First Mate Update -- Back To School?

Today the First Mate and I went to Transplant School -- two hours of instruction on medications, aftercare, and follow-up. Since this is our second transplant, most of the information we already knew, but it was very helpful to have it presented to us in a coherent manner. The UM transplant program insists on a much more organized approach for transplant patients; we're expected to keep log books of lab results, and so on. The First Mate, long acquainted with both my organizational skills as well as my legendary capacity for procrastination, kept shooting cynical looks at me during the classes.

If I had feelings, they'd be hurt.

The U does have another great feature, though. One of the big headaches of a transplant is keeping up with the myriad prescriptions necessary to stay healthy. Transplant patients have to take anti-rejection medication for life in order to keep the organs functioning, and in the first few months, the dosages get jockeyed around a lot. Needless to say, this plays hell with insurance carriers, who wind up rejecting refills for being too early or for improper dosages, etc. The Transplant Center has its own pharmacy, though, and they take over all the refill efforts for you, as long as your insurance has them on their list, which mine does. The pharmacist came over to the hospital this afternoon to pitch their services and brought the FM some free goodies, including a digital blood pressure meter and a digital thermometer, just for signing up. (They had me at 'hello'.) They'll coordinate with the doctors and nurses and automatically send us refills when needed.

The FM, meanwhile, is anxious to get the hell out of Dodge. It turns out she may be released tomorrow, which seems a bit early to me, but not a moment too soon for her. She has had great experiences with the staff there (with one exception, but that's life), but I could tell from the moment I got there today that she's had enough. The higher doses of Prednisone has caused her some weight gain, which should fall off quickly once the Prednisone goes away, but in the meantime she's understandably uncomfortable. Laying in bed away from home with no privacy and strangers poking you day and night doesn't help, either.

Better still, her kidney output is now free of blood and still going strong, almost unbelievably so. Her creatinine is now 1.5, which I think is the same as yesterday, but they expect it to drop even more. The incision is healing nicely, and her energy has returned to some extent, although the stairs at the house may be a bit too much for her for the next couple of days.

I'll update you as we go along ... but it's all looking good for now!

Sphere It Digg! View blog reactions
Posted by Ed Morrissey at June 11, 2004 8:45 PM

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