Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Positive Changes

Next week is my 2 month anniversary from the transplant. Can you believe I am still discovering new benefits from no longer being diabetic?

Check it out:

I have switched from doing blood work at the IMC hospital in Murray, to having my blood drawn at Alta View hospital in Sandy, which is only a few minutes from my house. I am also seeing Dr. Cline again instead of the transplant team at IMC. They assured me they are always available if I have any questions for them and they will continue to monitor my blood work, but it’s good to see Dr. Cline in his office again. He’s been awesome through the entire process of my End Stage Renal (kidney) Disease. (ESRD.)

Along with the usual numbers they look at when they draw blood from a transplant recipient, Dr. Cline ordered a Vitamin D and a cholesterol draw. For the past 15+ years, I’ve been on pills for high cholesterol, mainly due to diabetes. But when I called the Alta View Hospital lab to see what my numbers were, I discovered that my cholesterol is the lowest it has been in years! It's practically normal! Dr. Cline explains this is partly due to my new pancreas; however the kidneys also have some control over a person’s cholesterol. Not only that, but my Vitamin D is higher than it was during my time on dialysis, also due to my new kidney.

Whoa! Is there anything the kidneys don’t do? :)

On top of that, I recently noticed that I am no longer aware that I am wearing contact lenses. When I was diabetic, throughout the day I would sort of feel the contacts against my eyes. It didn’t hurt or anything, but I would sometimes find myself adjusting them or putting in extra eye drops. After work, I’d take them out of my eyes to feel relief. But now… I don’t even notice them. And yesterday, for the first time since I started wearing lenses, I kept them in until I went to bed. D'oh! I completely forgot I was wearing them so I had to jump out of bed and take them out. No way!

Life as a normal person just keeps getting better and better.

I still have the nephrostomy tube in me, but I’m hoping to get that removed next week, or possibly the week after that.

It’s been great to meet so many people online who have followed my story and can relate to it in one way or another. Many diabetics who are reaching the first stage of ESRD have talked to me about their own worries and experiences with kidney failure and diabetes. I welcome these comments and questions with open arms. It’s easy to feel alone and discouraged when faced with kidney failure, but you should know that you are not alone. It is a growing epidemic in the U.S., mainly due to diabetes, high blood pressure, heavy ibuprofen use, and the consumption of foods high in sodium. You are NOT alone!

I have also been in contact with people who have gone through different medical surgeries and have experienced different diseases. I am humbled and amazed at how much positivity and energy some of these people have. I look at my procedure as a positive experience because I’ve benefited significantly from it, but I hear stories of people undergoing major surgery just so they don’t die. And afterwards, they are left in pain, without pieces of their organs, and somewhat defeated... However, like all human beings with a will to survive, they continue the fight to stay as healthy as they can to be here for the ones they love.

Life is not for the weak. There is plenty of bad as well as plenty of good that can happen to us every day. We have to recognize the good when it shows itself, and we need to remember the bad is not as powerful as it might seem.

And bad things, no matter how terrible they might be, shall pass.

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