A Swell(ing) Journey: Part VII

14 04 2008

Update: WC is a pharmacist who left a comment today on part 1 and ironically beat me to the punch before I could get an update on here! Hopefully you hit the nail on the head as to the possible cause of my swelling. After seeing several nephrologists, it was my internal medicine doctor who (over the weekend) decided that it’s “probably” a reaction to one of the anti-rejection meds I am taking. This came after many, many other things had been ruled out. I told my nephrology office what he thought, and they agreed to take me off Rapamune and put me on something else. (They’ve been in frequent contact with me and have been willing to try things.) So, I hope this is it! I should know in about 10 days or so if it’s working, they said. The medicine switch just happened today. I want to be clear that I’m not trying to scare anyone on that drug. My nephrologist says it’s working well for many patients, and it was great for me for about 4 years. There are some very good reasons to be on that if you’ve had a transplant, as opposed to being on some of the other drugs. Plus, I don’t KNOW yet if that’s the problem. Even if it is, everyone is different, and for some reason, I developed a reaction to it.
I’m very, very, very hopeful that this has finally been figured out. It actually seems possible this time that I may be able to post a final “resolution” blog about this in a week or two.


A Whole New Meaning to “Reach Out and Touch Someone”

14 04 2008

Many of you have probably heard the big news story from the past couple of days, that a significant number of high school girls are sending nude pictures of themselves, via cell phone, to high school boys (who are no doubt sharing the photos with an even more significant number of friends).

My Public Response:

This is an outrage. As a good citizen and parent, I want this to be stopped immediately. It is immoral, and something must be done!

My Private Response:

Where the hell were picture phones when I was in high school?! The most my hormone-injected self could hope for was a cute girl in a skirt on a really windy day. Wait, let me think deeper here. For every cute cheerleader/homecoming court member, there is a not-so-cute algebra club member (I know, I know, there COULD be a cute girl in an algebra club. Heck, my beautiful wife was on some academic debate thing-a-ma-jig. I would have killed for a photo “call” from her back then. I mean, except that she is quite a few years younger than I am, so forget I said that.) I probably wouldn’t have gotten many of the Buffy’s, Keri’s, and Beth’s of my school. I would have gotten the Helga’s and Gertrude’s. Can’t you just picture boys comparing phone pics the way my generation compared baseball cards?

Boy 1: “Dude, I got an Amy and a Christie today!”

Boy 2: “Oh gross, I only got a Martha.

Further proof that we are the strangest “animal” on the planet.

(and we thought THIS was hot back in the day)

A Swell(ing) Journey Part VI

11 04 2008

Never has finding out parts of your body are functioning normally been so depressing. The latest labs are back, and, you guessed it, they are normal. Normal thyroid. Normal blood markers that could have otherwise pointed to vasculitis. Normal kidney. Normal liver. Normal heart. Normal lungs, blah, blah, blah.

If nothing else, I’m finding out that I’m very healthy. Oh yeah, except for this freakish swelling that is keeping me from being able to live normally.

Okay, enough with the whining. I’m not sure what’s next. I’m starting to hear my late mom’s voice in my head. “Phooey on the doctors. If it was me, I’d just ignore the swelling and go back to doing what I want to do.” She would have, too. I’m thinking I’m getting nearer and nearer that point. Of course, I’ll need some different-sized shoes, pants, etc. I need to surf the net. Maybe there is a hip store called Swellwear. I’m hoping they have stuff that will make you look cool, even when you have one leg and foot that is 3 times the size of the other and an abdomen that is puffed up like milk-soaked Corn Pops. Maybe if I can’t get back to work soon, I can design this type of clothing for a living. The motto for my website will be: Go to Swell. Paris Hilton might be interested in funding it.

I’m sure my wife is starting to get concerned about my inability to return to work. This is not the type of free-loading I had in mind when I married a soon-to-be a CPA. I pictured a lot of tennis rather than cool-water bath soaks and support hose on my leg. And who wants to stay home all day if you might not be able to afford cable, internet, and salsa-flavored Sun Chips? (It’s not really quite to that point yet…for those of you who might worry.) Maybe this not working thing is not all it’s cracked up to be.

In all seriousness, though, I have been blessed with some extra time with my two-year-old (who just tried to physically remove me from the computer because she would appreciate some “chocolate in the milk” she is holding). It is nice not to have to stress about getting her to daycare and then myself to work on time. I’ve been able to read books to her, wonder in the mystery that is the kids’ tv show called Yo Gabba Gabba, and play hide and seek. My only complaint about this? It’s very difficult to find a hiding place that will conceal my damn foot.

Yo Gabba Gabba. (My abdomen looks similar to the pink character’s.)

Quick Update

8 04 2008

The doctor I’m working with currently seems confident he can find the cause of the swelling/irritation.  After a long meeting with him today, he had blood drawn and is checking primarily for vasculitis or thyroid issues.  He thinks he’ll have results on Thursday and will call me.  Nothing else new to report.  Thanks for all the kind words.  Hopefully I’ll have something to write on Thursday about it!