Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Six Month Check Up

Pat and I had our six month checkup yesterday and our partners, Steve and Janis, had theirs on July 13th.  They come a much longer way than we do to get to the UW Medical Center, so we drove in and met them for lunch last  Thursday.  It's so gratifying to get to "see" my former kidney in a healthy, grateful recipient.  We had a nice lunch and caught up on all the details.

Our checkups went well, Pat has to have labs once a week for awhile to follow up on a white cell problem that hasn't been fully managed yet.  He apparently has a pretty strong immune system and while that is usually good, in this case, it can cause problems when the anti-rejection medication is too high in an effort to keep viruses, etc. at bay and pushes his white count so low that he's unable to  fight off any stray germ and that's dangerous.  The chemistry and balancing act is amazingly sophisticated and I wonder how people who received transplants years ago managed.

Anyway, he is doing well and the good news is that he got permission for us to travel out of the country this fall!  So planning will be full steam ahead now.  We already purchased airfare and plan to fly to Iceland in mid-September, stay there three days and then continue to Glasgow.  We don't have exact plans made yet but will probably stay in Scotland a week or so, definitely visiting Edinburgh and then take the train down into England.  We'll spend the rest of the month visiting areas of England that we haven't been to before, probably the lake district, Cornwall, possibly Bath and Oxford and end up in London to fly home in mid-October.  It should be a grand time.

My checkup was also fine but, critical person that I am, I managed to convince myself that I'm not where I should be.  My creatinine was 1.04, which is actually higher than it was two weeks after surgery.  Now this can be due to the exercise that I'm doing, as creatinine is a byproduct of muscle metabolism and intense exercise can increase muscle breakdown.  However, I don't know if my slow swimming is intense exercise and I was disappointed in the result.  The nurse practitioner who went over the labs, however, was not concerned and informed me that my kidney function was about 77% of previous, when I had two kidneys.  I guess that is good news but I was hoping for quicker recovery back to a higher number.

While I'm certainly not a high level athlete, I do expect my body to do what I want it to and to respond quickly and successfully.  I know this kidney stuff is somewhat out of my control except for the requirement that I follow the dietary, fluid intake, and medication restrictions that I've been given.  I feel fine, can pretty much do whatever I want to, and enabled another human being to live a healthy life.  Not bad for a 64 year old "old lady!"

I finished some more spinning: 203 yards of Organic Wool from Southern Cross Fibre.  It came out really nicely.

I also finished the Russell Street Shawl, although the ends aren't all woven in yet.  I wanted to lay it out and see how I liked it, as I really miscalculated the yardage I would need for my main color and ran out way before the end.  I decided to take some more scraps and make a few larger stripes and I really like how it looks.  Hooray for improvisation!

I also made some raspberry freezer jam.  Yum!

Sunday, July 9, 2017

Six Months Snuck Up on Us

July 4th was six months post surgery.  As we were visiting with my sister and brother-in-law and waiting for nightfall and fireworks, Pat realized what the date was and what it meant.  I guess it's good that we feel so relatively normal that we're not counting down the days!

Things have been going well in general.  Pat had another problem with low white count but a medication adjustment, a shot, and a few days put him back into the safe range again.  Other than that and still feeling like going to sleep at 8:30, we're good.  The champagne was a celebratory prop; we don't really drink any more. 😉


Our six month check up will be on July 17th, so I'll report on that in a couple of weeks.  Steve and Janis (our exchange partners) have their check ups on the 13th and we're going to meet them for lunch that day.  It will be nice to catch up and get eyes on our respective former kidneys!

In other news, I finished my Kimba Shawl and think it's beautiful.  I really like how the colors work in it.

I haven't finished Russel Street yet, but it's getting close.  The remaining yarn ball is also getting small, but I have a plan in case I run out before the final mini stripes are done.  Yarn chicken....

It's Tour de Fleece again - a spinning event that runs during the Tour de France.  I've been spinning and managed to get two skeins of yarn done so far.

This one is Polwarth/Silk from Edgewood Garden Studios, spun on my Hansen miniSpinner and chain plyed on my Lendrum.

This is South African Superfine wool from Southern Cross Fibre and it was spun and plyed on the Lendrum.

I started knitting a sock yesterday out of handspun superwash Blueface wool and nylon from Gale's Art that I spun last year and three plyed during Spinzilla.  They'll be thick and nice for wearing around the house when it gets cooler.

I spent some time with my wheels outside the past week or so.  I like to take my Lendrum out onto the upper deck and my miniSpinner goes out to the patio below onto the table or lounge.  Such a luxury to have options!  And I never tire of my lake view.  

Last night's full moon was especially spectacular.  I wish I could take better photos!