Saturday, February 19, 2011

Can't shake this cold

I am now on day 19 of this cold.  It started just after I got back from Florida and is still hanging on.
It began with a cough, then a low grade fever and has progressed through headaches and weakness.

I switched from Keflex to Amoxicillin because of the severe headaches that I was attributing to the Keflex.  I might have been right because that particular headache didn't come back.  I started feeling better and the fever quit as soon as the antibiotics started.  Since then I have been on the stairstep approach to healing.  I would take one step forward and then one back.  It has literally been an every other day thing.  The weather has been much better lately and I have probably been pushing myself too much, but that isn't all of it.

I'm worried that I might have lost the weight that I have been working for a year to gain.  Frustrating, but I suppose this is the very reason that I thought I should have a little extra to spare.  I'm putting off weighing myself until I feel a little thicker.

My blood sugars parallel my state of health almost exactly.  At my worst, I was needing 14 units/day.  At my best, I was back to 9 units/day.  I was at 8 units before this illness hit.  On my step back days, I would go back to the 12-14 unit range.

This is the longest I have held on to a cold since I had mono in high school.  I'm not enjoying it.  I am curious as to whether the longevity is due to the immunosuppression.  It seems obvious, but I have also heard of other people who have had colds for awhile this year.  I think I might have given mine to a coworker.  Sorry!  But it will be interesting to see how long hers lasts.  She hasn't succumbed to antibiotics (yet) so it might not be a fair comparison.

My blood pressure has improved since I began the Lisinopril.  Today it was 117/75.

This cute pig was sent to me by an islet cell friend.  Thanks Melissa!  I need one of these.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Dear Diabetes

I am going to re-post this for the 2011 Diabetes Blog week.  Today is Day 2 which is to write a letter to Diabetes.

This is part of a wego health health activist group blog project.  The assignment is to write a letter to your disease.  This is a little dark for me, but I am not a fan of diabetes, obviously.

Dear Diabetes,
Here is how I really feel about you.

Diabetes is not a person.  It is not a thing.  It is a place.

from a Dr. Seus book
I am here even if I don't want to be.
I have to keep moving even if I am tired.
I have to be brave even if I am scared.
I have to try to put a puzzle together in the dark.  The pieces constantly change their shapes.
I'm uncomfortable most of the time.
I can't leave.

With an unexpected miracle, I have left that place.
It haunts me and I fear going back.
I meet people from that place and feel sorry that they are still there.
I am trying to destroy that place.

To read more letters submitted for this project, go here.  (wego health)

Friday, February 11, 2011

First Islet cell transplant in Ohio and a rough week for me

Its been a long week.  I returned from a wonderful trip to Florida on Monday night,  enjoyed a quiet day at home on Tuesday, and then came down with a nasty cold on Wednesday.  Its Wednesday again, and I'm worse for the wear.  This is the first time that I have had more than a cold since my transplant.  The CMV doesn't count because it was due to my immunosuppression.

It began with a cough, then a low fever.  I got in to see my Dr. on Saturday who prescribed Keflex.  I started it Saturday and expected to feel better soon.  Saturday night, I got a really strong headache on my left side.  Usually my headaches are on my right side, so this was strange.  It got worse and could not be relieved on Sunday.  I called my Dr to ask if this could be due to the antibiotic.  He didn't think so,  so I kept taking it.  By Monday night, I had to give up on it. I called in sick on Monday for the first time in over 7 years (I just hate wasting those vacation days).  I woke up on Tuesday with no headache.  I called the Dr to see if I could try a different antibiotic.  My cough had improved, but was not gone.  It actually got worse as the day went on.  He prescribed Amoxicillin.  I started that Tuesday evening.  My headache resurfaced again, but probably because I was so exhausted from my return to work.

My blood sugars have been increasing with all of this as well.  I normally take about 8 units.  I'm now up to 15 units/day.  This worries me too.

Finally, this morning I am beginning to feel like I might be getting over it.  My headache has subsided which makes all the difference.  My eyes and head feel so much more clear.  My BGs are still running high.  Hopefully, I can get just a little exercise in which should help.  I'm still not eating much and have probably lost the weight that I had been trying so hard to gain.  I have these next two days off.  That should help.

Also on the horizon, I had to increase my Rapamune level.  Now I take 8mg/day.  Both of my immunosuppressants have been on a steady increase lately.  I asked Dr. Bellin about this.  She said its not common, but does happen.  Hopefully, this will taper off.  I will have my level tested again on Friday to see how the new dose is holding.

To end on a much more pleasant note.  Florida.  It was wonderful.  My sister and I visited our Dad and his wife in New Smyrna Beach.  The weather was warm and sunny.  I got in several walks and a nice bike ride.  We walked along the beach and boardwalk.  We ate lots of seafood.

One of the highlights was that I was able to meet my friend Sandra, from the Adult Stem Cells blog, who I have been corresponding with by email for over a year.  We had a wonderful family meeting at a McDonald's near the airport in Orlando.  It was a new experience for me to meet someone who I already know so well.  It was scary at first, but ended up being a very special time for me.  Her family had a very endearing quality that made us all at ease.  I especially enjoyed getting to know her son Gabriel, who had a stem cell transplant over a year ago to help his Type 1 diabetes.  He is doing very well and is so knowledgeable about all of the details involved to keep his BGs on track.

Ohio State University performed its first islet cell transplant recently.  Finally this procedure has come to my state.  Here is the Story.

And here are some flowers that Gary got for me while I wasn't feeling well.