Thursday, January 27, 2011

The scare is over

I saw my endo on Monday and learned that my creatinine level was back down to 0.7.  Since the transplant, I had been running in the 0.6-0.8 range, so I am back to normal.  I am SO relieved.  This is the worst scare that I have had yet.  The CMV bouts were worrisome, especially the second time.  But, I knew it could be controlled with Valcyte, an antiviral drug.  This high creatinine combined with my higher blood pressure had me worried about my kidneys.  My worst fear was that I might have to decide between my new islets and my kidneys.  And of course, there is no decision there.

With some hindsight, I think this might have occurred while my Prograf level was increased.  At my monthly check on my drug levels, the Prograf level came out really low.  My dosage was increased in response to this and my level was rechecked.  It was above range, so my dosage was decreased almost to where it was before.  Then, about a week later, I noticed that I was really tired and felt almost sick.  I was also having some leg cramps at night.  Both of those got better within about 3 weeks and I forgot about them.  While I was fretting over the creatinine and BP numbers, I was googling kidney function.  I found both the fatigue and the leg cramps as symptoms of kidney stress.  So, I'm guessing that my high creatinine was due to the temporary increase in Prograf and it was caught on its way back down to normal at my Minneapolis visit.

So, with the kidney scare over, just the high blood pressure had to be addressed.  Since I can't lose weight or increase exercise more, the answer is in the form of one more tiny little pill.  I'm now taking Lisinopril to keep my BP under control.  My BP was about 150/80 at my appt, so no argument from me.  I had been trying to lower my salt intake and drink more water, but that didn't seem to help.  I asked if it was most likely due to the immunosuppresive drugs and was therefore a losing battle, and my Dr. said yes.  It shows how perspective can change.  At my last visit, when the increased BP was discovered, I was nowhere near ready to give up and add another prescription to my arsenal.  Now, it seems like a relief to have an easy fix to what I believed to be a complex and scary situation.

The good news also made for another cheery visit to my endo.  We really seem to click and I enjoy my visits.  I was dreading a sad conversation and ended up on a very happy note.  My A1c was at 6.2.  It was 7.1 at my last visit which was when I began the insulin.  We were both pleased by that.

It still amazes me how effective a small dose of insulin can be.  I am taking 6 units of Lantus/day and 1 unit of Novolog before breakfast and lunch.  I do my exercising after dinner these days and that allows me to skip the Novolog dose before dinner.  I have been experimenting with trying to exercise between lunch and dinner.  But when I skip the Novolog there, I end up with a higher number.  Maybe when the weather changes and I can be out more, I'll try again.

This is the only flower I have at the moment.  Its actually last year's Poinsettia.  The white background is what it looks like out my window today.  I'm ready to see some more GREEN.


dejahthoris said...

Thanks for sharing your experiences. It is a wonderful way for me to learn more.

Andy said...


Glad the scare is over. Good luck with the BP. Try getting a home BP monitor if you are concerned. Sometimes it helps to check you BP over time at home as opposed to just at the doctor's office, where you might have "white coat hypertension." Take care.