Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Islet cell transplant at 4 years

July 21st marks the four year anniversary of my islet cell transplant.  Not as much fanfare this year because I won't be traveling to Minnesota for my check up.  I'm having it all done here this year.  I'll miss the trip and especially the people.

This year has been somewhat uneventful with regard to my health.  And thats a good thing.  I didn't suffer the spring cold season as I did last year.  The most significant thing I'm dealing with now is that I have to watch (and worry) over my kidney function tests.  My creatinine keeps on climbing.  I'm at 1.7 now.  My potassium level is the current focal point.  It has reached as high as 6.0 which is the lower limit of the danger zone.
Fortunately, none of this generates any symptoms.  Just calls from doctors who order more testing.

I still feel good. My energy level has stated the same.   My blood sugars are generally within range.  They have seemed more reactive lately.  It seems that if any little thing is off, they do increase.  This includes lack of sleep, stress, and maybe even excessive heat.  I've increased my Lantus to 10 units/day now and this seems to be helping.  On a good day, I still only take one unit of novolog/meal.

I'm struggling with a low potassium diet.  I have to learn to rationalize it and understand that I do have to eat some higher potassium foods sometimes.  Its hard to avoid dairy and still get enough calcium.  I've found some yogurt that is lower potassium and I barely wet my cereal with milk.  I've cut down, but will never give up peanut butter.  Or ketchup.

All in all, its been a good year.  Worrying about kidneys is much easier than experiencing highs and lows daily as a diabetic.  Training Senator even helps me to not feel so bad about the highs and lows that I do experience.  They are good training opportunities!

I'm having my labs done later this week and will post the results as I get them.


Here is a collage of the seasons in Minneapolis.  Its the product of my ritual walk along the Mississippi while I was there for my clinic visit.   Sigh......

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Islets liking vacation

We just returned from a family vacation to Daytona Beach, Florida.  Except for some rainy days caused by tropical storm Debbie, it was wonderful.  Lots of good family time and of course, the beach.

We've been back almost a week now, and I'm shocked by the difference between my vacation BGs and my at home BGs.  They are remarkably better on vacation.  I've been thinking about this and trying to determine the differences.  The most obvious is that I can get more exercise throughout the day.  That's true, but I have been getting some good exercise at home too.  I'm sure that the stress level of vacation is less, but I'm not really stressed out at home either.  My diet is about the same.  I really don't have an answer.  It must just be the beach.  I'll have to work on that variable.

I'm still struggling with my high potassium level and low potassium diet.  I have my 4 year evaluation (here, not in Minneapolis :( )  Maybe the more extensive testing will have some answers.

Senator was really good in Daytona.  See other blog.