Transplant Athlete
Friday, April 29, 2005
  Clinic Visits and Blood Shortages

I had a visit yesterday with the clinic that performed my transplant operation. The bad news and I hope my mom isn't reading this...My hematocrit is low, it was either 35.2 or 36.2 and normal is between 41 and 50. This will be a definite disadvantage during RAAM. I can't quantify how much that will impair my performance, but it is big.

My creatinine I believe was 1.4, which has been a bit elevated since my transplant, but I'm not concerned. Apparently, the Doctors there are concerned and they think my medication may be nephrotoxic. I found this study. Researchers tested the Glomerular Filtration Rate (GFR) in healthy adult cyclists as they underwent a training program. They found that training intensity had a negative effect on GFR. I'm going to discuss this with my regular nephrologist on Monday.

I'm grateful for the Inova Fairfax Hospital for rebuilding my body, but I felt my visit was lacking in something. Dr. Alijani, inferred that I should be back on Prednisone, which is not something I want to go on for numerous reasons. 1) It can lead to diabetes. 2) It definitely makes me gain weight 3) It is banned by the UCI, which means its banned by RAAM. 4) Oh yeah, it F*&ks with my sleep. Keeping me up until all hours. 5) and, the one my wife hates - Mood Swings. So, No, I'm not going back on Prednisone. When I asked Dr. Alijani about the Hematocrit, he said my regular Nephrologist would watch it. When I mentioned that my blood pressure wasn't under control, he basically said, you guessed it, talk to your regular nephrologist.

I told my wife that I am not going back to the Transplant Center for any more checkups. She thought they told me I didn't have to go anymore, but I told her we are on the "Lou Plan" now. Yes I reminded her, the same plan that lead me to discontinue the prednisone and tell the Doctors afterwards. I'm taking my health care into my own hands.

PS While I was at the clinic I told them all about the Race Across America and that we were doing it to raise awareness for blood, organ, and tissue donation, she mentioned that the hospital was recently short of blood, so short, in fact, that they prayed that they didn't have to perform any liver transplants. I think we need to fix that.


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I've gone through kidney failure twice. The first time in 2000, my mother donated a kidney; and again in 2008, I'm on dialysis waiting for a breakthrough in immuno-suppression medicines before seeking a new kidney.

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Warning Signs for Kidney Disease:

  • High Blood Pressure
  • Burning or Difficulty when Urinating
  • Frequent Urination at Night
  • Blood in your urine
  • Cola or tea colored urine
  • Swellig of the eyes, ankles, or feet
  • Lower back pain unrelated to physical activity

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