Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Home again

I just got home from the hospital. Marilyn picked me up about 4:15 and we stopped by McDonald's for a Flurry. First thing I did when I got home was to water my bushes. All of the storms on Memorial Day missed us here though maybe we will now get some rain tonight.

On the health front, my temp is 98.6. It was 101.8 early this morning, but reduced by Tylenol to 99 by 11am. White cell count was down to 11,000 from 26,000 on Sunday. I am on an oral antibiotic to finish off the pneumonia. My Hgb was down to 8.4 and the hospital doc thought they would give me blood this afternoon. He was surprised when I said no, because it would take at least a day to get a blood match. Then they were going to do it Thurs PM after my IgG IV in the morning. I then called the Hematologist office and they postponed it all until Friday.

I connected my computer to the office and worked about 3 hrs remote today. If I feel ok in the morning, I will go into work. If get tired, I will come home for a nap and possibly work more remote later. Of course, I can work from the day hospital on Friday as well, to minimize taking sick leave. Seems like I always get sick on a weekend or holiday, but that does minimize using sick leave. Actually, if I take more than 3 days sick leave spanning before and after a holiday, the holiday is counted as sick leave as well. That happened to me over Thanksgiving back in 2004.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


The detour is more complicated than I suspected though it was a good idea to stay home and not travel. After helping Anna move on Saturday, I felt a sore throat starting. Sunday morning, I could hardly speak. Went back to bed and by noon, I had the chills and a temperature of 101.5. When it reached 102.8, we called the triage center and headed for the emergency room. Temp peaked at 103 before they started antibiotics. Xray and CT Scan showed that I had pneumonia, but no blood clots. My Hgb was 10 and white cells were 26000. I have gone through a couple of days of antibiotics and cycles of chills and sweats, but feel pretty good at the moment. But then just 4 hours ago, my temp was back up to 101.8 but just now was 100. I may have a few more cycles of temperature swings before this is over. Doctors just breezed through as well, said I would go on an oral antibiotic and that I could probably go home tomorrow. I told Marilyn that she should know I was sick since I had not been on a computer for two whole days.

Friday, May 26, 2006


While I had planned to travel to my childhood home in Michigan this weekend, I have decided to stay here in Minneapolis. Last night, I attended a 3 1/2 hour high school band and choir concert including an awards ceremony and ice cream social. While seated in the cramped auditorium seat, I felt a few pains in my legs. Later at home I felt a little pain in my chest. During the night, I woke up with terrible cramps in my legs. After a trip back from Boston last year, I felt the same way and another blood clot was discovered in my lung. While I don't feel too bad at the moment, I decided it was best to avoid driving 7-8 hours and stay near my medical support.

There is a lot happening around here this weekend as well. I will miss the fellowship with my mother and siblings, but will enjoy being with my wife, son, daughter and friends. Besides, it is our 35th wedding anniversary on Monday.

While sitting here, watching the TV and cruising the internet, I happened upon a page of the Urban Network Gospel News where there was a clip playing of Bishops Joel Trout's sermon titled "Detours". You can listen to this sermon plus others here.

No matter how you plan your trip through life, you have to take the detours. What seems like a detour for you is God's planned route for your life. It is in the detours that you find God.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Don't Do That!

There is an old joke by Henny Youngman that goes:
The patient says "Doctor, it hurts when I do this." "Then don't do that!"

That's essentially what the neurosurgeon told me today after looking at the MRI of my neck. I have numbness in my neck since back in March. He looked at the MRI, said that he did see arthritis bone spurs, but did not see any that could be causing the numbness. Since it only goes numb in certain positions, he suggested that I avoid those positions.

You may remember that my hematologist thought it was shingles back on March 29. Then I saw an orthopedist on April 13th that said he could not do anything about the arthritis in my knees and that he didn't do necks. The orthopedist could have used another one of Henny's jokes:
"Doctor, my leg hurts. What can I do?" The doctor says "Limp!"

I think both doctor's are not going to do any elective surgery because of my blood clotting problems. Both problems are minor annoyances compared to bigger blood problems.

My hematologist said I don't need another blood test this week and can travel to Michigan this weekend. Just have to get out and stretch every 90 minutes. Next appointment is June 1 for another IgG.

Monday, May 22, 2006

More blood

I had another blood transfusion this morning, starting at 7 am. It went pretty quick so that I made it to a luncheon at 11:30, part of a conference where I spent the afternoon. A blood test before the transfusion showed that my Hgb was 8.2, higher than I thought it might be. I also found out that my Hgb was actually 8.9 on Thursday, not the 8.4 that I had been told. With two units of blood, it should be over 10 by now. I am supposed to have another blood test on Thursday and will then decide what I do this weekend. I would like to travel to Michigan with my mother and the rest of my brothers and sisters over Memorial Day.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Rewind two weeks

Well, I am right back to where I was two weeks ago. Had an IgG IV today, but the blood test showed my Hgb was down to 8.4. Exactly two weeks ago I had an IgG IV and Hgb was 8.2. So today they took more blood to test and I have to go in tomorrow to give more blood for a cross match. I will back in at 7am Monday for more blood. Not sure on the other blood factors, but no one has instructed me to change medications. Doesn't seem like this IgG is helping any.

I have now had 14 transfusions, 29 units of blood on an average for every 32 days in the last year. Average this year is every 22 days. Shortest time between transfusions was 12 days in September, then the longest was 112 days from then until January. I had just started Procrit in August so it probably just started working in September and may now have lost its effectiveness.

What's next? Maybe a BMT.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Hgb back up

Well, I had a blood transfusion on Monday and a blood test today. My Hgb is back up to 10.5 and my platelets are 446 (holding steady). Since my Hgb was 8.2 last Thursday and it would have dropped further during the 4 days before my transfusion, it appears that the IgG is working. The two units of blood should have raised the Hgb about two points. It will be interesting to see what it is next week before I get some more IgG.

I also had a birthday, turning 58 on Tuesday. I am thankful for all the cards and gifts that I received, but primarily that I am still with all of you 18 months after my initial blood clot in November, 2004. Thanks for all of your support over that time as well.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

IgG but blood still needed

I was in for another IgG IV today and also had a blood test. Turns out my Hgb was down to 8.2 so need to go back tomorrow for blood typing and have another blood transfusion on Monday. My platelets were now down to 441 which is within the normal range. My Factor 2 for clotting was 28, a little high so had to take extra coumadin tonight. The IgG along with low Hgb made me so tired that I went home and took a three hour nap.

I was able to work on my laptop through the wireless network at the day hospital so only took 1/2 day of sick time. Over the past 12 months, I have taken about 130 hours of sick time. This has been minimized only by working 9 or more hours on days that I did not have a medical appointment.

I have kept a log of all medical events over the last several years. The log has 147 entries. I had 70 entries for all of last year and already have had 40 so far this year. While I cannot complain about a lot of pain and generally feel good, I am getting tired of an average of 2.5 appointments per week.