Well, we survived our first month here in NC. This is a pic of us after a week of rehab...yes we know we look a little ragged :-)
It really is beautiful here right now. The trees are just gorgeous. I always thought Sacramento had a lot of trees but this place is amazing! Here's a pic of a road that we take on the way to rehab...
There are so many trees that you can't even see on the other side of the trees. It's like this on the freeways and lots of the roads. The different colors of the trees are so cool. They really do have the fall colors.
Missy loves the grass and the trees. She has definitely acclimated to apartment living. She comes and gets us when she wants to go out and she likes to sit in the recliner and watch the world go by in the apartment complex. She's become good friends with the apartment's maintenance man, Les. He's really nice and he stops by to help us do little things that are out of his "norm". He helped us move the TV the other day and that was a Godsend because we would have waited a long time for me to be able to move it!!!
Les said if w need someone to walk Missy or feed her while I'm at the hospital that Lee can call the office during the day and one of them will run down and take Missy out or give her food or water. That takes a real burden off of our minds. We are still looking for a pet sitter and we thought we'd found one but ...wow...she was way too expensive. We didn't want a live-in nanny - just someone to walk Missy occasionally!!!
To change the subject...rehab was really good this week. I was able to go every day which I haven't been able to do since week one. I've got 16 of my 23 days in and I should be able to "graduate" the week after next. I can really tell that I'm getting stronger. I still get worn out but my muscles feel a little stronger.
We had two transplant schools this week. The first one was "What to expect at transplant". We had already attended this once but it's one of those classes that you'll get more out of each time. The other class was about transplant medication. It was very interesting. The transplant pharmacist taught the class and we really liked her. She is the main pharmacist who will follow me and my meds once the transplant takes place. I'll have to keep in touch with my coordinators for the rest of my life regarding medications. The pharmacist discussed the medications that we will all most likely be on. Prograf is the main anti-rejection medication that is prescribed and it's a little tricky getting the dose just right. Once we are discharged from the hospital we will be having weekly blood tests for the first several months to check our Prograf levels. They'll keep tweaking the dose until it's just right. Prograf interacts badly with lots of different meds and that is the main reason we can't take any medication without transplant approval.
Prednisone and Imuran are two other meds to help prevent rejection. Most of us that are there for a transplant are only too familiar with prednisone (weight gains and mood swings) but the docs do try to reduce the dose to 5 mg a day and that will help. I've never heard of Imuran but it must be a wicked drug. If there is a female that is pregnant or might be pregnant, they can't touch the pills or inhale crushed pills! That means Lee and I will be the ONLY ones to touch those pills!!!
Next, I'll be taking drugs called Nystatin (prevents thrush); Septra SS (prevent PCP pneumonia); Prilosec (stomach acid); Valcyte (prevent the CMV virus); Multivitamin (no mega vitamins...just the simple ones); Citracel with D Maximum (it's calcium citrate with is easier to absorb); antibiotics for about 3 months; baby aspirin; and pain meds. I'll also be taking the meds I'm on now except for the inhalers and other breathing meds...those will be gone. The biggest thing I'll get to eliminate is the oxygen. That will be so great!!!
The pharmacist also explained that we'll never be able to take Advil, Naprosyn, Orudis, or Celebrex again. Those are anti-inflammatory drugs and, when combined with the Prograf, will damage your kidneys. Since I mainly take Tylenol only that shouldn't be too much of a transition for me.
Have a great week-end and Happy Birthday on Saturday to my brother Gordon!
Lee, Wendy and Missy