Transplant Athlete
Friday, August 05, 2005
  Medical Issues

The first question I asked my nephrologist, Dr. Goldberger of Metropolitan Nephrology, yesterday was, "Based on my bloodwork before RAAM and after, did I do any damage?"
He said, "No."
My next question, "Can I race next year?"

With that out of the way, we moved on to the other important issues:

  • Hematocrit (HCRIT): My HCRIT was so low, that I was unable to donate blood. My bloodwork from Tuesday said that my HCRIT was 38.9%. He thinks that the ARBs (Angiotensin receptor blockers - blood pressure medication) that I'm taking may be having an effect on my HCRIT. He did say that he's never had a patient as obssesed with his hematocrit as me :) He's a cyclist also, so he understands why I'm obssesed. Just to be on the safe side, my next blood draw will check my EPO (Erythropoietin) level.
  • High Blood Pressure: I've been having side effects from the Diovan and it hasn't been working very well, so I'm going back to Cozaar. The Cozaar was a bit more effective for me, but may be damaging my liver. I'll get bloodwork done two weeks after switching and then monthly after that to keep track of my liver.
  • Creatinine: My creatinine was 1.4, which is normal for me.
  • Liver function: Results from AST, ALT, and Bilirubin, fluctuated a bit after RAAM, but would probably be considered normal for me.
  • Tacrolimus/FK506 levels: 6.7, which is within the normal range.

Dr. Goldberger will talk to my transplant surgeon, Dr. Jonsson to discuss whether they should biopsy my new kidney. From my last appointment with Dr. Howard at Metropolitan Nephrology, it sounds like a biopsy could answer some serious questions like is the medication that I take to prevent my kidney from being rejected actually damaging the kidney?


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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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