Monday, March 8: Two clinics done, feeling very thankful

Friday was Dan’s first lab and clinic, and today was the second. The creatinine continues its descent: today it was 2.53 (down from a high of 10). Dan hasn’t seen a number below 3 in at least ten years. This is a good indication that the kidney is functioning well! Dan’s blood sugar is slightly elevated but he is still managing to avoid the insulin injections that a full-blown diabetic requires.

The clinic is an interesting place: the waiting room is filled at 8AM. Half of the people there are wearing masks to protect them from the other half — mostly significant others who are doing the driving, carrying the daily ledger, and providing moral support (and making cafeteria runs for those who must take their medications during the clinic wait. Gotta take those meds with food). This transplant center must be doing a booming business to have so many transplant recipients being monitored at once. “When did you have YOUR transplant?” is a question commonly heard in the waiting room, but since everyone is wearing masks it’s not like you will remember who you were talking to. Well, maybe you will. You can still see people’s hair and eyes, and then you’ll see them again on Wednesday (and Friday, and Monday, etc.).

Dan feels good – very energetic – so I am trying to make sure he doesn’t overdo it. He still needs his pain meds, but he is getting outside a bit for one or two short walks per day.

I was going to post a link to a recent article in the Oregonian, but after reading the online comments I really don’t want to send anyone over there. The content of the article is fine…it’s the ignorant idiots who ruined it by posting their comments without thinking for themselves or doing any research to figure things out on their own. Yeah, yeah…freedom of speech and the community of the internets and all that…sure. But the issues surrounding healthcare reform are so complicated that the one or two knowledgeable people who post comments are drowned out by the hundred who have no clue.

So anyways, the article is about this woman who received a transplant at about the same time Dan did, and how her husband’s employer isn’t able to provide health insurance coverage for his employee’s families — only the employees themselves. But the employer, a vintner, still wants to help out so he created a special vintage of wine and is selling it to raise money for the woman’s anti-rejection medications. One of Dan’s doctors is quoted in the article — he’s an absolute patient’s advocate. I’ve seen him in action and he really fights for his patients, to make sure their best interests are taken into account (by an insurance company in our case — NOT the one we are currently covered by). It’s a good feeling to know that your team of doctors really cares. And that you have health insurance (not-taking-our-insurance-for-granted-and-trying-to-be-good-healthcare-consumers-and-hoping-we-continue-to-have-insurance).

Please Congress: we need healthcare reform NOW — not sometime in the future if and when you get your act together.

Don’t get me started about this topic…maybe another time. Getting off of my soapbox for now.

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