Wednesday, September 22, 2010


Today I had my first clinic visit at the IMC transplant center. It was kind of like being in the hospital again, but instead of laying in bed in a gown, I was in a Dr.'s office room in my own clothes where people came to see me.

First up, was a transplant pharmacist who made sure I was up-to-date on which meds I should be taking. She asked how I was feeling and went over a few changes with my anti-rejection pills. Some of you have asked how many pills I take everyday. Well, including vitamins, the number is close to 40, but starting tomorrow it will be less than 30. (I was on extra antibiotics and such for the first week home.) It seems like a lot of pills, I know! But when they're all piled together, they aren't so difficult to swallow.

Oh, I almost forgot. My white blood cell count is down to 8.0, which means whatever infection I had has completely vanished. Good news!

And that's not all, the nephrologist on site looked over my numbers and gave me even more good news! He said starting next week I only have to go in twice a week for blood work! And he told me I can drive again! WOO-HOO!! Up until now, Chris has been driving me anywhere I need to go. I've been like a dog. I can go in the car with her, but I have to wait inside the car in the parking lot while she goes into any public places. Hey, I am just happy to get out of the house, but now I can drive myself around (as long as I'm not on any pain pills) AND the good doctor said I am OK to go into public places now. He said if I see a movie and the person next to me is coughing, just move to another section of the theater. I still want to avoid being around anyone who's sick. Perhaps I will catch a matinee of "Machete" this week... YES!!

But that's not all! Dr. Fujita, the surgeon who performed my transplant, took all of the staples out of my stomach. Ahhhhh!! My clothes were rubbing against some of the staples, causing them to press into my skin. That is the only reason I've been taking pain meds, but now that they are finally out I'm pretty sure I won't take so many pain pills anymore. BIG YES!!

So, just to recap: in a matter of minutes I was told I only have to go in twice a week for blood work, I can drive again, I can finally go into public places and not be stuck at home, my staples were removed, and not only that, I am cleared to go back to work as soon as I feel up to it. NICE!!

But, there is one wicked nasty little hitch... A few days before I was released from the hospital, it was explained to me that there was a tiny stent placed near my bladder to keep the flow of urine open. They didn't want anything obstructing my urine. Not too bad, right? Well, I have an appointment next Wednesday to have it removed. How will it be removed, you ask? By my urologist (mentioned in the very first post of this blog). Yeah, apparently he has a very small tool that will be inserted into my penis with a little camera at the end. He will locate the stent, hook onto it and pull it out... from the tip of my penis.

I can tell by the look on your face that you are as excited for this little outpatient procedure as I am. :: Gulp! ::

"Will they put me under?" I ask.

"No, from what I understand they will shoot some numbing gel into your penis so you won't feel anything. You will be awake while Dr, Putnum inserts his little tool into you with a camera on the end and pulls out the stent. It is a very quick procedure and you won't feel anything. He's been doing this for years."

"I know Dr. Putnum," I explain, "I saw him last year for an enlarged prostate. I guess he already poked me from behind, now he wants to go in the front. And he isn't even buying me dinner!"

Everyone laughs. Inside, I cry.

That being said, I'm sure it won't be as horrible as it sounds. And if I really want to look on the bright side, how many guys can say they've had this charming experience done? (How many guys would want to? :: shiver :: )

Overall, words cannot explain how good I feel. I am happy, healthy and horny. I am a new man who is no longer diabetic. I finally got my hair cut today and I went to the grocery store with Chris and bought some good food for dinner. I made a new fall mix-mp3-CD for my car, and I am excited to be able to go out into the world again, although at a slow pace.

If all goes well, I should be back to work on October 11th, but I won't make any promises until I really start to feel 100% recovered again. I am close, but I am still a wee bit tender.

But don't worry, I'll let you know how the stent removal goes.

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