Saturday, August 2, 2008

Day -2

Now things get very exciting.  I get to meet most  of  the transplant team who are again almost as excited as I am.  I meet with Dr. Hering again, who goes over all of my lab results and records and makes sure that everything looks ok.  He again is very concerned that I am aware of what to  expect.  I believe that I do, and again sign the consent form so that  things can really start to happen.

I had been fasting since midnight, so I had my blood drawn and then finally got something to eat.  I started a 24 hr urine.   I had an EKG, and later an ultrasound of my liver.  The islet cells go into the portal  vein of the liver,  so it has to be verified that the vein  is healthy. 

I had a PICC line put in, which is a bit daunting because it goes  from a vein in the upper arm all the way to the heart.  But that went well.  The PICC line is necessary for some of the drugs, and mostly for  the immunosuppressant drug, thymoglobulin.  I  also had an IV in so that I could be on continuous insulin and continuous glucose.  My insulin pump was removed.

So, now I am all  hooked up and ready to begin.  The thymoglobulin is started, and my glucose levels are trying to be directed towards normal.  I was  having finger sticks at least every hour.  This actually continued the whole time I was in the hospital. It is important to stay near normal for both my health and the health of the new islet cells once they are transplanted.

Gary helps me get all settled in and we return alot of phone calls to family and friends.  We are very fortunate to have some friends that live in the Minneapolis  area and Gary is able to stay with them while I am in the hospital.

The first night is  uneventful.  I am just starting to get some chills from the thymoglobulin, but, except for all of the finger sticks, I sleep pretty well.

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