Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Transplant Annual Checkup

On Monday I had an annual checkup with my transplant doc. Questions were ask about my health in the next 20,30 years.

I am taking an immunosuppresion drug call Cyclosporine. It's job is to keep my body from rejecting the liver. It is also toxic to the body, especially the kidneys, and have a number of side effects.

Looking at the blood results from the past number of years, my numbers are steady (that's good). By measuring creatinine, they are able to identify my kidney function. My number is 88 and normal people is from 75-81. The higher the number, the harder my kidney has to work.

Before my doc discussed about lowering the dosage. But he hestitate since the dosage I am taking right now works well. He would only do so if my creatinine level reach 100 or so.

Kidneys ain't regenerative and the doc told me to drink plenty of fluids to keep them healthy. I sense that I can do more than that..say don't eat too much protein.

My life is shorten but no one knows how long or how much. Since my last 15 years were good, we can predict that the next 15 years will have a good outlook.

Average age of transplant recipients are in their 50s. For them, a 30 year life expectancy is already very good. I had my operation when I was 11 and pediatric tends to have a high survival rate.

As far as my survival rate, I have been reading a number of medical journals documenting the transplant recipients. It is frightening when you read that most recipients have 60% survival rate after 10 years or so. The doc suggests by looking in a 5 year block. If this 5 year, I have 90%, then it is fair to assume the next 5 years I will likely to be 90%. The data does not represent me b/c I am vastly different in my condition and my health.

Since the technology is so new, there is no pediatric transplant that already live for 20 years. This means I am at the edge of the research. There are a number of people who had kidney transplant done in the 70s that still live.

Doc also mentioned that I am the top 90% patients there is. This I am very grateful. I had no rejection problems, my numbers are stable over the years and I was healthy before and after the operation. I plan to keep it this way.

Best part of the day was taking my blood pressure. I was 110/80. That's like music to my ears. Last year, I occasion have high blood pressure.

I also had a blood test. It had been 2 days and they haven't call me. So I will take that as good news. I will follow up and make sure my numbers are A ok.

The doc suggested I go online and read on my own. There are lots of materials out there. I have been pouring myself over medical journals. I can admit when I read the deaths and cause of deaths, I think about my mortality...

Doc say is ok for me to think long term (plan for family, investment) and at the same time enjoy life. All in all..things are good...

21 comments:

Shelley said...

YES.."life is good"..:-))

ironjenny said...

"The data does not represent me b/c I am vastly different in my condition and my health"

Amen to that!

You take such good care of yourself, which must place you in a category separate from the other transplant patients who [likely] do not do so.

Shelley is right - life is GOOD!

stronger said...

All very good news. I bet it feels special to be in the 90%. You're higher than 90% though.

Brent Buckner said...

Nice thought. Prepare for the journey to be long, but enjoy each step.

Jeremy said...

Cliff,
You have the heart of a champion. Very much looking forward to meeting you at LP!

Spokane Al said...

Glad to hear the news continues to be good. You give new depth and meaning to the thought of enjoying each moment of each day.

momo said...

cliff - i love this:
Doc say is ok for me to think long term (plan for family, investment) and at the same time enjoy life. All in all..things are good...

life IS good, my friend. :-)

Julie B said...

I'm glad your check up went so well, Cliff. You deserve good news all around! The outlook is bright :)

Dawn - Pink Chick said...

Life is good. Glad to hear all is well!

Donald said...

You're an amazing dude, Cliff. Keep on rollin' strong.

Thomas said...

Your athletic lifestyle is bound to help - keep it up, and enjoy every minute of it.

elaine s said...

how does it feel to be FREE again?!!! I'm so jealous. Now you can sleep in!

Phil said...

Cliff, most of us will never have thought about our Survival rate in 5 or 10 years from now. A post like yours certainly puts a lot of things into perspective. Keep spreading the good news for your fellow transplant recipients.

Robin said...

That is GREAT news, Cliff. So glad to hear the update!

Tri-Dummy said...

Brother:
They're going to write about you in medical journals!

Keep on inspiring people to LIVE!

YBIC,
Jay

brendaj said...

That's really great news - I'm happy for you!

Wendy said...

Cliff, I fully believe that everyone should "think long term but at the same time enjoy life".

I know you will continue to savour the moments, and we'll enjoy following along at home.

Habeela said...

You've really had an amazing life so far! Congratulations on the bill of good health.

Rae said...

Awesome!!! I'm so glad to hear your health is well. You are truly amazing in more ways than just athletics!

jennybchu said...

Amen brother!
So glad to hear this update from you. I'm sure you'd be enjoying life to its fullest.

Btw, thanks for your comment.
Jenny

Linae said...

Yeah! You've come so far and have much more to enjoy.