More Fine Tuning

Art went back to the hospital on the Friday after Thanksgiving to begin his twice weekly kidney clinics. These checkups are how the doctors confirm that transplant patients’ blood statistics are heading toward the goal of full kidney functions.

Blood was drawn for a series of lab tests before another plasmapheresis treatment. Then he met with one of the kidney doctors to review all the lab numbers and make adjustments to his medicines. No changes were made in medicines this time, but Art got a shot to help increase his hemoglobin levels. The good news is the kidney is working and the creatinine level was down to 1.8 which is acceptable. Before the transplant the creatinine level was over 7.0, which is very bad.

Today was another blood test and plasmapheresis session. The doctor was only available via phone (he was already scrubbed into an operation) but he did give some instructions and added a phosphorus pill to my list of medicines because the level was getting a little low. Before the transplant Art had to be careful not to eat foods with phosphorus (dairy, nuts, seeds) and take phosphorus blocker meds before each meal. Now he needs to eat more of the forbidden foods.

Another doctor removed a drain from his lower abdomen that had been inserted to provide drainage from around the kidney after the emergency operation on November 21st. It was a pleasure to get rid of it. Art goes back Thursday for another clinic and apheresis treatment. The creatinine level is down to 1.56 which is really awesome.

The blood tests and clinic visits will continue weekly for the next few months and then at increasing intervals for the next few years – with the goal of no other complications.

The doctors are telling us that we should expect 30 years from this kidney. That works for Art!!!

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