I travelled back to Minneapolis today. This time I flew through Philadelphia, which was way out of the way, but I am still not anxious to see the Chicago airport again any time soon.
I went to the clinic for my 42 day checkup and had the same tests. I still havent got the results of my C-peptide, but my other lab tests look good. My wbc count is at the lowest acceptable so I will have a few draws here and send the specimen to U. o f M. to check the status and make sure it doesn't go any lower.
I am at 6 units of insulin/day now and it was discussed whether I should start injecting Lantus which is a slow acting insulin instead of using my pump. I said that I still like the fact that I can turn it off when I need to. Like when I take a walk or have some other heavy exercise. I suggested waiting until I am down to about 4 units and then trying the Lantus. That will be a big event. I have been attached to this pump for 5 1/2 years now. It already seems strange not to have my continuous glucose monitor in one pocket. Now I won't even need pockets anymore. Sound like a good excuse to shop for new pocketless pants.
At this visit, I was able to meet another islet cell recipient. I was told that she was here the same day as me, so I searched her out. We had a great visit. Islet cell recipients are a very small and geographically diverse group, so I feel fortunate that our 2 visits coincided. Not surprisingly, we had a lot in common, both in our experiences before the transplant and since. She is also doing well, so our visit was very upbeat. We both feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity, and very much in awe of our doctors and the transplant staff. She is not in the same protocol as me, so we are on different immunosuppressant drugs. It will be interesting to see which side effects we share.
One other thing I have not addressed before this, but is relevant to anyone considering this experience, is how your employer views the absence. All of my coworkers were and are very supportive, but I was not sure if this would be seen as an illness or a vacation. Being involved in a clinical trial, I would think, is a gray area. I decided not to formally address the issue, and have it discussed behind my back after it was a reality. I was lucky in that the higher ups, who I really do not know that well, did decide to view this as a medical condition. I was therefore able to exhaust my extended illness bank instead of depleting all of my vacation time. I feel very grateful that this was what was decided for my case.