Transplant Athlete
Thursday, December 27, 2007
  Time For A Shot

This is what $800 of EPO looks like. That is a genuine US Quarter to give it scale. I had a tough time getting the photo, this is so small, my camera couldn't focus properly.

I flip the red top off, swab it with an alcohol wipe, pull 1 ml of air into the syringe, fill the syringe, wipe down the injection site with the alcohol swab and JAB.


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Sunday, December 23, 2007
  Touch Of Pneumonia

I've got a touch of Pneumonia.

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Thursday, December 13, 2007
  My EPO Arrived

I was watching the Mitchell report about Steroids in Baseball when I heard a knock at the door. It was my EPO!!!!! So, while Georgie was talking about 5 to 7% of MLB players testing positive and guessing that many more were actually using, I was shooting up.

I was a bit surprised when I opened the box up, there's a huge stash of needles, alcohol wipes, freezer packs, and a sharps container all inside a styrofoam cooler. Then two little teeny tiny vials of EPO. They hold one Milliliter each and a quick search of the web shows that that small dose costs around $800. I'll take a video of my next dose so you can all see what it's like.


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Tuesday, December 11, 2007
  Lust For Life

After the transplant, I realized I was given time to accomplish a few things.
  • The top of the list was kids, I've got 2 and one on the way. They've surpassed any expectations or preconceived notions I had before I became a parent. It brings tears to my eyes thinking of how amazing they are.
  • Lon Haldeman and Susan Notorangelo helped me see the US at a time that was before I was physically ready, but the perfect time spiritually and mentally.
  • Friends and family helped me compete in the Race Across America first as part of a team and then on my own. In Kansas this year, I realized I had my fill. I might never get a chance to go back, but I'm ok with that.
  • Another goal was to tell the world about this miracle I'd been given in the hopes that others might benefit. After all, I was lucky, when my kidneys failed, my mom was able to donate. I used to say that 65,000 people weren't so lucky and they are on dialysis waiting for a kidney of their own, but the number is going up so fast I've lost track.
  • Then there were things that weren't on the list(they just kind of popped up along the way), but I'm equally proud of: The US and World Transplant Games, Earning an MBA at Maryland, etc.

I've got a few more things to do before I lose this kidney, but I have impressed myself with what I was able to accomplish. In case you haven't guessed yet, I went to the Nephrologist today. My creatinine was 3.5 and 3 months ago it was 2.5. You can see from the graph below that 3.5 works out to about 20% kidney function. Also, because of the curve, future increases mean a smaller percentage drop in kidney function. If my creatinine increases at this rate, I'm guessing I have about 18 months before it fails. I don't think my nephrologist is as optimistic as I am...He said I should start thinking about treatment modalities for End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD).

My GFR works out to be between 21 and 25. That puts me in Stage 4, severe decrease in GFR.

P.S. My EPO still hasn't arrived yet.


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Friday, December 07, 2007
  Waitin' On My EPO Shipment

We got a call yesterday that the Pharmacy had to contact my doctor about my EPO prescription. They now had all the information they need and my EPO should be arriving soon. I can't wait. I've got a lot of work to do around the house, and most of the projects have been staged in the garage. Some of the smaller jobs I can do as I get the energy, but there are also a couple of big jobs. Also, I haven't been on a bike in weeks, so it would be nice to go for a ride.

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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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