I haven’t written any new posts for a while, as has been pointed out to me by a few of the more regular readers, so for that I apologise. The only reason for the lack of recent blog activity is simply .. I haven’t had any more news to deliver! It’s been a massive and sometimes frustrating waiting game. Whether its waiting for blood results about Alex’s kidney compatibility or waiting to hear from the home haemodialysis team regarding assessing the house in order to begin treatment at home, the drip-feed of news had dried up.
But, alas, I do now have news! Some good, some indifferent so reading hats on..
I’ll start with the news that I received from Mandy, the Transplant Co-Ordinator at the Norfolk & Norwich hospital. I mentioned in a previous post that Alex and I had an appointment to meet with her to discuss what was going to happen with regards to him donating a kidney to me and the processes and tests we’ll need to undertake. Following on from this discussion, Alex had numerous bottles of blood taken and sent off to test our compatibility, and the results have come back .. and its good news. We are compatible, and so we can push ahead with the further required tests. Alex’s blood contains the same type of antibodies which were present in my previous two transplanted organs, which is good news in the fact that we know that my body can accept them. Now we know that we are compatible, it’s a question of just how compatible we are. More blood tests will determine that and depending on the outcome the doctors in Cambridge will ultimately decide on whether or not it’s worth going ahead with the operation.
So that’s the good news, we’re still on for a living related donor transplant from my brother-in-law. Very encouraging.
The perhaps not-so-good news is that it’s looking increasingly likely that I’m going to have to have an operation on my neck to remove my parathyroid gland. This is a selection of glands just behind the thyroid gland in the neck which controls the levels of calcium in the blood. The usual range of PTH in a renal patients blood - the indication of how the gland is working – is usually between 20 and 35. My latest reading was 192, which basically means the gland is sucking all of the calcium out of my blood and bones. If left to its own devices at that kind of level for a sustained period of time then it could mean that my bones become brittle and I may develop some osteoporosis, which is something nobody wants. There are two options available to me; either try to control the PTH level with medication or whip them out in a small op. My consultant explained to me that he had never seen a PTH level as high as mine recover to within normal parameters with medication, and so the only option really available to me is the operation. I think in a way I’d prefer to just get rid of them, that way I’d know that the problem is gone and dealt with and I can forget about it. The wait for the operation is around two to three months, so I’ve got a bit of time to steel myself for a nice little scar along my neckline. Yummy.
In the meantime my dialysis has been continuing thrice weekly for four hours, and I’m relieved to say that the after effects I’ve mentioned in my previous posts have been extremely minimal. The fact that I’m feeling fine after each treatment now is good, but it’s somewhat depressing that I’ve slipped back into the routine of being a dialysis patient again so easily. Can’t have everything I suppose.