Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2 Month Biopsy & Check-up

Monday was the 2 month anniversary of my transplant and I was down in Philly to celebrate by getting a biopsy and a check-up with the transplant team. Since I had to be there at 7am, I went down the night before and as I arrived in the city Fireworks were going off on the Delaware River right next to the Ben Franklin Bridge. It was like they were celebrating my arrival! Not really but I like to dream lol.

I arrived at the Perelman Center at about 6:45am and was the 2nd on there which meant I would get to go right down to the Biopsy Suite and have my labs drawn there instead of after my check-up. The biopsy went much more smoothly than the last one. I mentioned to the Doctor that I had more discomfort after my last one and I think he took a little extra time to make sure he didn't cause any more discomfort than was necessary (which I greatly appreciate).

After the biopsy I headed back up to the clinic to meet with the Nurse Practitioner and go over my progress. She said everything was good and just moved around the times I take some medicines to try to help with my headaches. Speaking of the headaches, they have become a lot less frequent (only 2 or 3 times a week) and much less intense. They still want me to see a specialist about them so they can figure out what is causing them and prescribe the proper medication to treat them when I do get them. That appointment is scheduled for August 1st. I was also told that the 2 medications I have been taking at night to help me sleep should not be taken together (something about ending up like Heath Ledger). I was a little surprised by this only because I have been taking them together for the past 2 months and have still been having trouble sleeping. Instead I should try to take one or the other with a Benedryl to see if that helps but if it doesn't help, I can go back to taking the original 2 I was taking. Talk about confusing. She was worried that the over the counter Benedryl may not be strong enough since I have been taking the 2 prescriptions for so long but it seems to be working. They also want me to begin my Cardiac Rehab as soon as possible. I have been trying to get this started for the past few weeks. My cardiologist up here said his office would coordinate it so I can go to rehab at Mountainside Hospital. They said they faxed the information to the Rehab Center on June 27th but when I called the Rehab Center they said they never received anything from my Cardiologist's office but would contact him. I called back today and they have yet to receive anything from my Cardiologist which is very frustrating because my doctors in Philly are anxious to get me started in rehab. The sooner I begin rehab, the sooner I can return to work and start to get my life back into some sort of order.

I received the results from my Biopsy yesterday and there are no signs of rejection! They also lowered my prednisone to 17.5mg per day. I confirmed that once I get down to 10mg per day then my biopsies will be once a month instead of every 2 weeks like they are now. My next scheduled biopsy is on July 26th. I have already reconfirmed that this is the correct date and checked on the MyPennMedecine App on my iPad that it is in there for that date. I have my reservations for both of my upcoming appointments. I have really lucked out with Hotels. They have been having some great deals this summer so the cost has been pretty minimal for me to stay over the night before. I am so grateful for everyone who has donated to Hrt4Bryan to make the travel/medical expenses minimal for me, especially now that short term disability has run out and I am now going on long term disability for the next 5 months. I am also looking into the Gift of Life's Transplant House which provides housing to transplant recipients as well as their families when they need to travel to the city for appointments.

Now that I can drive I have driven myself to my last 2 appointments and continue to do so in the future. I get a little anxious when there is a lot of traffic on major highways so I will continue to stay away from the Turnpike and Parkway for the time being. Other than that things are going ok. I still have the rash/acne from the steroids I am on and my doctors said that probably won't clear until my dose is down to 5mg which is slightly disappointing because that seems so far away. Luckily it is mostly on my body and very minimal on my face. I have also began Therapy to help me deal with all the emotional stress that I been through the past year and how to cope with everything better than I have been.

Once again, thank you everyone for all of your support this past year. It has been a very difficult time in my life and I could not have done it without each and everyone of you. If you would like to know any more information about anything or just want to say "Hello" you can email me directly at Thanks again and I will let you know how things work out with cardiac rehab.


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