Monday, February 4, 2013


A friend from California asked me about depression and fear of relapse after transplant. I am going to copy my email to him in my next post, which I'll do immediately after this one.

This one's an update.

I went to Vanderbilt on Friday. For my fellow transplant recipients, I will give some details. 1 year and 3 weeks after transplant, my hematocrit has been stuck at 39% or 40% for about six months. For those of you who don't get given those numbers every day, I'm about 2 pints low on red blood cells compared to the average man.

My platelets got into the normal range, over 130, about the same time, and they have climbed as high as 165 or so, but now they're back at 136. They jump around in that range every visit.

My white blood cell count has been up to 12.2, which is abnormal high, but is usually near the middle of normal range. The percentage of the types of white cells--monocytes, leukocytes, neutrophils, basophils, and something else--fluctuates with no rhyme or reason. At least one or two are abnormal high or low every time.

None of this bothers my doctors or the NP. They are happy with all of that.


I have been able to exercise almost every day for six or seven weeks. I am THRILLED. Last week I did 5 laps around our warehouse, a little over a mile, in 14:17, an improvement from 15:03 the week before. I ran one lap all the way around, so I can run a quarter-mile now. It's my legs that don't want to run more than that, not my lungs.

My fingernails and toenails have always been thin, and I tiny dagger separated from my big toe three or four days ago and dug itself into my toe near the end of the nail. I dug that out yesterday, and I am back to walking without pain. It took those three days to hurt bad enough to have to do something about it. My crumbly toenails, which are worse than they have ever been despite the fact that I take beef gelatin every day, have given me ingrown toenail trouble for three months now. I seem to finally have it under control, but I won't be able to keep it that way if my big toenail just crumbles whenever it wants.

I have a barbell in my office and a dumbbell in my bedroom. I've been using them diligently, and I am almost back to normal strength. Only took a year. I never was all that strong, anyway, so that made for a lower goal to achieve :-D.

I think I'm back to where I could beat my 14-year-old son in arm wrestling. That might last a year, as he is growing as fast as any of my children have. I am, however, hoping to stay ahead of 10-year-old Leilani for a long time. We'll see.

My wife is coming to pick me up. We dropped off a car to be repaired, then she went shopping and left me at Burger King, where I had a whopper meal with large onion rings. That will really help me lose weight per Dr. Savani's instructions, huh? At least I drank only water!

I have to wrap up and ride home with my wife, so I hope I remember to put up that email that I said I would. It's a discussion of depression and how to deal with it that worked for me.

1 comment:

  1. The crumbly toenails...I wonder if you haven't gotten the toenail fungus as a result of all the antibiotics you've been taking? That will, if allowed to grow long enough, cause your nails to crumble. Before this, they become an odd color and rather thick...Just a thought. There is a laser technique that can relieve this situation, and a pill but it's really hard on the liver. Tea tree oil is always a personal favorite remedy. Although slow, it will certainly improve your situation if applied with diligence.