Friday, May 9, 2014

A day at the doctor's

Prednisone bottles, past and present
Just as I had hoped, Dr. Alyea's first words to me yesterday were "How's your tennis game?" signaling that there was nothing more serious to discuss.

My counts were good: White normal and platelets and hematocrit just a little below normal. I always look at the platelets, which were so slow to come back. Now they are at 114 out of a normal range of 155-410. My liver enzymes are OK too, so I can now go down to 2 mgs. of prednisone a day, from 2.5. I reached into my collection of pill bottles and was happy to pull out the 1 mg. bottle as opposed to the 20 from when I had to take two of those a day and got all puffed up.

I have been on this drug for five years now. While it fixes, it also messes up; i.e. it is good for the Graft vs. Host Disease of the liver but bad for the teeth and muscle strength.

I do have some homework, meaning more appointments.

Primarily Dr. Alyea wants to look into why I have lost so many teeth. I need to set up a bone density test and make another appointment with Nathaniel Treister, the Brigham and Women's dentist specializing in dental care of transplant patients.

And just to keep me busy, he wants me to get an ultrasound and x-ray of a little bump that has been on my leg for about a year. He said it's probably a fatty thing but they just want to get a better look. Sometimes they remove these things or sometimes they just let them be.

I told him I had thought of wearing my tennis clothes – including my new sneakers with their glow-in-the-dark yellow laces and soles – and he said he actually would have liked that. I didn't have the nerve, however, so when I raced to Enfield to get the tail end of George's clinic, I lost a few minutes changing. I felt like a maniac, pulling off my patent ID bracelet and the wrap over where my blood was drawn, but it seemed like a good kind of craziness.

I only got in about an hour, but after a day at the doctor's,  it felt like a good thing to do.

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