Sunday, March 29, 2009

Drug transition issues

I have had quite a week with these drugs.  I began the week feeling tired and with some stomach problems.  On Wednesday, I woke up with a bad headache that lasted more than two days.  Dr Bellin thought that I was feeling worse than what she would expect from the drugs and suggested that I get in to see my doctor here.  I was also drawn for a CBC to check my WBC count, and an Epstein-Barr virus test.  My glucose values are good  for the most part, but I am having some higher than normal post-prandials.  Some are in the 150-170 range.

The result of all of this are as follows:  My CBC was normal.  My EBV test was a little elevated, but not enough to  cause significant symptoms.  The question is whether we are catching it on its way up or down, so I will have that drawn again on Monday to compare.  My headache went away by Friday, much to my relief.  I was so afraid that it was a symptom of one of the new drugs and that I might have to live with it.  I am still feeling good about that problem being solved.  It has even encouraged me to begin to work on some of the others.

At the doctor appointment, I was tested for thyroid function, liver function, kidney function, nervous system testing, another CBC, and a test for CMV.  Everything was normal.  I did not really have a regular doctor here, so if nothing else, it forced me to get established with a new doctor.  Dr. Hicks seemed good.  I was able to get in quickly and she called me the next morning with the lab results.

I was able to correspond with one of my fellow islet cell recipients who is in the same protocol and going through the same transition  as me.  He  is having the same problems that I am.  I think we were both relieved to  hear that.

So, I am trying the BRAT  diet to calm my stomach. (Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast).  So far, not any difference, but it has only been two days.  I am still tired, but am trying to work through it.  Resting doesn't really seem to help and my glucose values are higher when I just sit around.  

I  have progressed in the weaning of the old drugs.  I am down to two Rapamune pills/day. (from 6).

In spite of the physically difficult week, I sure grew to appreciate all of the support I have.  I was on the phone several times daily with Janet, my support person and Dr. Bellin in Minnesota.  My coworkers sent me home early with only concern and sympathy.  And of course, Gary is always ready and willing to do whatever  is needed.

Thanks for the comments and e-mails.  I appreciate them  all.

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