Well look who’s back. Sorry for my hiatus but with Jimmy visiting this past week I don’t think I could concentrate long enough to write a blog post. I’m sure he’s still basking in his self-assumed “I’m the boss” role as caregiver and Dr. Arndt’s comment at an appointment last week that he’s “probably better medicine than we could provide here.” That one sunk into his head pretty deeply.
The biggest health-related news to report is that the Mayo team caught CMV trying to take advantage of my beautiful new immune system. CMV is a virus most of us were exposed to when we were little, but never knew it because it probably manifested as a cold. Both my donor and I were positive for it, so the docs knew to look out for it. For people with itty-bitty immune systems like me, CMV can wreak some pretty serious havoc. The good news is that they now have such sophisticated blood work tests for CMV that they catch and treat it before symptoms appear, which is good, because the symptoms don’t sound all that great. So now I have to go back to the hospital twice a day to receive an anti-viral IV infusion for at least a few weeks. No big deal considering the alternative.
Oh, and did I mention I’m sprouting neutrophils like it’s nobody’s business? I’m now almost to 2,500. Just waiting for the rest of that immune system to prop itself up. I’ve had trouble jumping on the platelet-growing train, but at least I’m holding in the 20s. That means I’m at least making some on my own and haven’t needed a transfusion, just not nearly enough to start my usual acrobatics or wrestling.
My kidneys have also taken a pretty serious hit with all these knock-‘em-dead medications (plus I didn’t exactly go into this with shiny new chemo-free kidneys), so I’m trying to help them by drinking as much as I imagine I would if I was walking across the Sahara.
As for Jimmy, his favorite new development is that kids are now afraid of me. I’d be scared too passing someone with a bald head, glasses and a lower face-covering mask. Walking on the other side of your mom, staring and pointing, and whispering to your dad after I walk by are totally normal reactions, kids. But Jimmy’s favorite? It went something like this:
After several seconds of staring: “Mom, why is there a boy in the girls bathroom?”
Whispers, no eye contact with me: “Honey, that is a girl.”
Pensively: “Then why doesn’t she have any hair?”
I proceed to explain to the girl that I used to have long red hair and it will grow back. She didn’t believe me.
Otherwise, Jimmy and I did everything you would expect a retired couple to do:
Of course he had most of the older women here – and men, for that matter – wrapped around his finger by the time he left. I must admit he was a wonderful caregiver, even if he insisted I call him Student Doctor Vancura. He’s earned it by now.
P.S. I finally updated photos of the Gift of Life Transplant House to my post “We Made It (Four Blocks)“ if you want to check them out.
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