Thursday, August 11, 2011

Aborted Biopsy, An Echocardiogram But All Is Still Good

So this weeks biopsy was somewhat of a disaster. I got to The Perelman Center bright and early. In fact, I was the first person there. I was excited because that meant I would have gotten out relatively quickly. I went in for my biopsy around 8:30 due a "scheduling problem" with the biopsy suite. Already behind schedule. As they used the ultrasound machine, they told me I was dehydrated and my access vein was a little small. They attempted to go in but had some difficulty. The doctor told me vein was as thick as a penny when it should be that of a quarter. He said he would make one more attempt and then I would have to settle for an echocardiogram. As he said that, the lidocaine, that he used to numb the area of my neck he would be going in, caused the vein to completely collapse. That meant a second attempt was Impossible. I became really upset because I was afraid my prednisone wouldn't have been decreased since they couldn't get a proper biopsy to check for rejection. I went back up to the clinic, got my blood drawn and waited to see the NP for my check-up while they scheduled my echocardiogram. I saw the NP and she said according to what she saw, everything looked good. I mentioned my side effects from the prednisone (the Acne on my face and the rash on my chest and back) and she took a closer look. After months of me complaining about the rash and saying the topical cream they prescribed wasn't working, she thought it was not a rash caused by the prednisone after all and that is should see my GP back home and if he can't help then I should see a dermatologist. She suggested one in dermatology at HUP but I said that, although it is easier for them to have me stay within the Penn Medicine Health System, I can't continue to drive down to Philly for doctors that I can see back home. The neurologist was one thing (I'll get into how that appointment last week went in a minute) but a dermatologist, who would want to see me again in the next week or so would be impossible. I have an appointment with my GP on Friday and will hopefully get an appointment with a dermatologist next week if necessary.

The NP called me yesterday afternoon with my results and said my echo looked good and blood work came back good as well. They lowered my tachrolimus AND my prednisone down to 12.5mg daily. That means that after my next biopsy on the 23rd, they should lower it to 10mg which means my biopsies will be every 4 weeks instead of every 2 weeks. Yay!

As for my neurologist appointment last week everything went well. The doctor said that my "headaches" are actually less severe migraines and prescribed a daily medication to help prevent them and if I do get one, take an Excedrin to get rid of it. He also prescribed a more heavy duty medication for when I begin to see symptoms of a more severe migraine. That medication should "abort" the migraine before it gets too bad. I don't have to see him again for 6 months so I have an appointment for late January.

I also began cardiac rehab last week and I didn't realize just how important it is. I thought I was doing good but when I think about it, I was just taking short, slow walks around my neighborhood. Now at rehab, things are getting amped up and they are really kicking my but. I do mostly cardio equipment to strengthen my heart and eventually will move on to bigger and better things to build some more muscle mass and then hopefully people will stop telling me how I need to gain weight.

Other than that, I have nothing really else to report. I will let you know how things go with my GP on Friday. Oh, and today marks 3 months since my transplant! Everyday I feel better bunt cardiac rehab showed me that I still have a long way to go. Thanks again to all of you for your continued support.


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