Released from House Arrest

That was the headline as of last week. Now I am in exile back in the suburbs.

The clinic watches over the patient like a hawk over the first 30 days. One thing is for sure, they don’t want you to stray far from the clinic. But as of last week blood tests are now down to twice-weekly while they look for trends. All of mine are good, and I have one very happy liver. My wound is almost healed and with the absence of holes in the skin there are no leaks. The staples are all removed and they did a magnificent job sewing me up. On Wednesday I have my official thirty-day checkup and I understand they will be cutting back on the medication again. I am not aware if I had any side effects from the medication. They say in six months I will be down to a couple of medications. I am also on a study to wean myself off of the rejection drugs completely. While that may sound scary, they are finding they need less and less rejection drugs. They believe someday soon the protocol will be to get off rejection drugs permanently.

Bottom line is that I feel very good — I just can’t go 120 miles an hour. But every day gets better and the new liver and rearrangement of the old organs seem to feel more like mine. As a freebie they took out my gallbladder so I would assume that has some (positive) effect on me. I should have had him take out my appendix but I wasn’t quick enough to ask.

So overall, the experience was good. From a clinical perspective, it could not have gone better. Knowing what I know today I would be scared silly if I was any facility that was not a center of excellence. It doesn’t take much for something important to fall through the cracks. I have talked to others who have had plenty of bad experiences at other types of facilities. Some of their mistakes could have been fatal. This stuff is so highly specialized that as the patient you will learn more about the process and procedures exceeding the knowledge base of most MDs at your local country club.

From a personal perspective I was determined to walk home after the surgery but that was not the case. Perhaps I was thinking I was getting a root canal, not a liver transplant. Earlier this year my daughter and had a baby. The family was with her with her during labor at which time we learned all kinds of new words for our vocabulary. The next day she said "oh that was nothing". So I guess it all depends on one’s perspective. Prior to the transplant I would be asked "have you ever had major surgery?". My answer was "yes–I had a vasectomy and it hurt a lot". With that statement I would always be smacked around the room by the women around me. Perhaps now I can say the transplant was just like having a baby or hysterectomy and I can garner some sympathy rather than a black eye. I’ll try it out let you know what happens.

So, no news is good news and that’s all the news that is fit to print…

4 Responses to “Released from House Arrest”

  1. 1 Sue
    April 3, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    That’s a great update, Dan. Very encouraging news. We are 10 days from my husband’s Y-90! Hoping all goes well and he will get on that Transplant List in Kansas in 3-4 months!!

    Sue Garrison

  2. 2 Deva Scheel
    April 3, 2011 at 5:22 pm

    Hi Dan – So glad to hear the continuing good news! Step by step you will heal and be well. Lots of support and family are obvious doing you a world of good. Peace to you all. Deva

  3. 3 Sue Mangless
    April 20, 2011 at 9:22 am

    I still think you should write a book. I love reading your blog!
    Have a Blessed Day!

  4. April 21, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    hey Dan!

    David here – hope you’re doing well. My liver #s are fine, but I’ve developed a reaction to the Bactrim. And have some crazy-large lymph nodes that just have been biopsied. But continue to feel great!

    am keeping on sending positive vibes your way!

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