Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Numbers for Nancy

Sorry it took me so long to get around to posting my blood counts.

WBC: 6.0 K/UL
RBC: 3.55 M/UL
PLT: 290 K/UL
ANC: 4.27 K/UL

I'm due for a local check-up the first week of August and am hoping that I continue to trend in the right direction.

Now that I think the danger has passed, I need to make a confession about a health related issue. It hasn't been an issue for me, thus far, but it could have been. When we adopted Akiko a few weeks ago, the first thing we did was to have our vet run some tests on her. We wanted to be sure that it would be safe to take her home to Etsuko without having to fear Feline Leukemia or any of the other fun diseases they pass to one another. We also wanted to be sure that it would be safe for me to be around her.

Her bloodwork was good and just to do due diligence, we asked to have a fecal sample analyzed. We got a call a few days later to let us know that Akiko had flukes. She had to go on a course of medication and a new fecal sample had to be collected 10 days later. No problem.

A day after the second sample was dropped off we got another call. No flukes. Unfortunately, the lab was able to pick up 2 other parasites that were missed in the first analysis. She had worms and coccidia. Hooray. I knew from experience that I didn't really have to worry about catching the worms since I didn't plan on eating any fleas. The coccidia was an entirely different affair.

As a transplant patient taking immunosuppresants, you're advised not to handle litter or anything else associated with potty time if you're a cat owner. One glaring reason for this is the danger of toxoplasmosis. The likelihood of dying from an infection is very high when your immune system is compromised. Toxoplasmosis is caused by a form of coccidia.

Many phone calls were made to my transplant team and to the vet. The poor vet's office might have thought I was crazy, but they knew that I was a transplant patient. They were able to tell me that Akiko was infected with coccidia isospora. This isn't the one that causes toxoplasmosis, but it was still a danger to me. After much consulting, my team determined that the cat needed to be isolated from me until her course of treatment was finished. The last pill was administered over the weekend and Akiko is happy to resume her role as the house's resident pest. Seriously, she drives Etsuko crazy.

I didn't want to talk about it earlier, because I didn't want to unduly worry anyone. We still need to drop off some samples to be entirely sure and both kitties have to have another worm pill the first week of August.

I've now had a full week with my new dose of prograf and I don't love it. I know other patients who have done the prograf rollercoaster can relate to the way an adjustment in your dose can affect you. Too much prograf in your system causes headaches and all sorts of other fun side effects. When your dose goes up, the first week or so leaves you feeling a little off.

I've had a hard time concentrating this last week and I've felt slower than normal. My motivation is hiding out in the basement and all I've wanted to do is lie on the couch. I know this is a normal reaction for me, since I've been through it before. I also know that the best way to shake the alien feeling is to just get up and start moving. After taking a few days off I resumed my role of dirt Nazi today. All of the floors got a thorough cleaning and my sadly neglected kitchen got scrubbed.

I know I keep promising pictures, but all of the ones I've taken keep coming out badly, so I'm putting Chris in charge of it. That's right Chris, you read it here first. You're in charge of posting house pictures. He really is better than me at taking pictures. It also helps that his hands don't shake a little like mine do. Thank you, increased dose of prograf.

Huge congratulations to Susan on Joseph!


Nancy said...

Hey Ann. Thanks for posting the numbers! You know that I'm an accountant and love numbers!!!

Oh, you were smart not to tell us about your cat's health issues. You know that I would've come down hard on you!!! : ) I only have your best interest at heart, of course! I'm glad the coast is clear (almost) and hoping for healthy checkups for your feline friends and yourself! Take care and can't wait to see Chris' photos of your new digs! love n

PJ said...

Hey dirt nazi, come on over to my place! I understand about the motivation factor, and having to make yourself do things. You know, some people never make themselves do things--hard to imagine that!