Sunday, August 29, 2010

Thinking back

Today, I am actually thinking about my back because it is killing me.  I have my very first and hopefully last back issue.  I woke up in the middle of the night 3 nights ago with an intense pain in my back/shoulder area.  At first I thought it was a cramp because it was so sudden, but I couldn't make it go away be stretching it out.  With the help of ibuprofin, heat, and some massaging, it is getting better now.  I'm hoping that by tomorrow, I will be back to normal.

But, yesterday while I was lamenting about all of the plans that my back was causing me to miss, it made me recall how often I had to miss things before my transplant.  How many times I sat on the couch at home waiting for my blood sugar to get high enough for me to get up and do what I wanted/needed to do.  How many times at work I had to stop whatever I was doing, sometimes asking a coworker to finish something I had started, while I left to eat something and wait to feel alert enough to continue working.  How many times I would be enjoying a sport or activity and realize that I am weak and confused and have to stop.  It was frustrating and maddening.  And it happened so often that it almost felt normal.

That NEVER happens anymore.  Its one of the nicest parts of this experience.  That and not having to eat if I don't want to.  And there is probably a connection there.  I used to say that insulin is the treatment and also the demon.  Food used to be the same.  More food would mean more insulin.

So, suddenly this temporary back issue doesn't seem so bad.  I'm going to suck it up and go on a walk today and enjoy every step.  We also have plans for lunch with friends and floating on a pond later.  Not such a bad weekend.

My blood sugars have been steady lately.  The post-prandials are still running high, but the fastings are improving.

I'll add some pictures of our last kayak excursion to cheer me up about having to miss our trip yesterday.

And one from our backyard while it is at its summer peak.  We have two Ash trees that are infected with the Emerald Ash Borer that we will probably be losing soon.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Transplant update

Its been a busy few weeks since my visit to Minneapolis.  The day after we came back home from that trip, we started another to Myrtle Beach, SC.  My family vacation was there and the entire clan, except for our son Gary made it there.  We had a great time full of playing in the waves, walking the beach, and lots of good eating and fun games.  My blood sugars were really good during that time.  It was wonderful.  I don't know if it was all the exercise or the relaxation, but whatever it was, it made my islets happy.

Then I came back to busy days at work and a urinary tract infection.  The infection is all cleared up now.  My doctor here put me on Cipro and that did the trick.  I'm still on it.  My blood sugars are back to being higher and I'm really hoping that its due to the infection and the Cipro.   Time will tell.

I got the results back from the kidney function testing performed at my checkup.  A dye was injected through my IV and then my blood was drawn periodically for a few hours to examine how long and how completely my kidneys filtered it out.  The numbers don't mean much to me, but I am told that my results were excellent.  This is really good because the immunosuppressants that I am on now can be stressful to kidneys.

I have decided to volunteer at our local organ donation group, Donate Life Ohio.  I went to a meeting yesterday and met a few interesting people. There were recipients and their families as well as donors and theirs.  Even some living donors.  Here are the latest statistics about waiting lists for organ transplants.   I think I'll enjoy this new project.  My first stint will be at a booth at a nearby county fair.  I was lucky enough to get a booth near where Blake Shelton will be performing.  Ironically, I missed seeing his show 2 years ago while I was waylaid in Minnesota for my transplant.  A small price to pay.

Here is a family picture at MB and a water lilly from a recent kayaking trip.