For those that are interested:
Numbers in parentheses are the normal range.
WBC: 17.9 K/ul (4.5-10.8)
RBC: 4.30 M/ul (4.20-5.40)
Hemoglobin: 13.4 g/dL (12.0-16.0)
Platelets: 177 K/ul (150-350)
ANC: 14.8 k/ul (1.5-10.0)
ALK PHOS: 47 IU/L (32-92)
AST/SGOT: 29 IU/L (10-42)
ALT/SGPT: 71 IU/L (10-40)
LDH wasn't available when the report was run.
According to Dr. B., that obscene white blood cell count is mostly neutrophils due to steroids. My platelets have also plummeted as a result of steroids, so please avoid approaching me with sharp objects. My liver numbers are down slightly from last week, but not significantly so. I'm pleased overall.
The steroids are starting to manifest their presence in new ways. When I was on the same dose in 2008/2009 I developed severe knee pain. It would wake me at all hours and the simple act of moving my legs was torture. My transplant doctor attributed the problem to muscle weakness. She was right.
Steroids over a period of time rob you of muscle tone, especially in the legs. The only thing you can do is exercise and fight it. I've been doing 60-100 minutes a day, five days a week, on the treadmill in addition to the walking I do on campus. It's been three weeks and I'm starting to feel the loss of tone.
Three days ago, I had a small amount of trouble standing from a squatting position. I was able to do it without having to push off of the ground, but it was an ominous feeling. Two nights ago the knee pain started. It was confined to my right knee and was as hellish as I had remembered. The only thing I can do for relief is to ice it down, and so I did. Thanks to the discomfort, I only managed 3 hours of sleep.
I've also been getting cramps in my hands, feet and lower legs. My thumbs tend to lock in a very unnatural position and all I can do is stretch my hands against solid surfaces until the muscles relax. When it attacks my feet, I have to get up and walk around. It usually happens when I'm sleeping, so I can forget a solid night of sleep for the next few months.
These are all very minor things in the scope of everything. I expected this. I'm doing things to be proactive in the hopes of limiting the damage. I feel well. I've managed to only put on 2 pounds instead of the 20 plus that settled around my middle the last go around. Most importantly, I'm happy that I'm not letting this limit me.