Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Two-year Rebirthday

Actually, it was 2 yrs and 10 days ago on May 9th that I had my bone marrow transplant. May 9th is also my real birthday, 61 years ago on Mother's Day. My transplant was actually a stem cell transplant and happened over a two day period starting on May 8th. You can read about those days starting on the May 1 post. This is really my second rebirth day since I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior about 45 years ago. That was at the Blessed Hope Bible Camp named after the Bible verse: Titus 2:13 "Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."

Back to today, I officially was told last week that I have Type II Diabetes. I am now testing my blood glucose 4 times a day, before meals and before going to bed. I take 12 units of insulin in the morning just after testing my glucose level. After 5 days, I still have not seen any effect from the insulin, but have a diabetes clinic appointment this afternoon to get further instructions.

I am not sure of the cause, but my toes are numb. It makes my right foot feel like I have a sock bunched up in the toe of my shoe. It feels the same with different socks and different shoes. I saw my orthopedist last week about the arthritis in my knees. He thought maybe the numbness was due to swelling in my knees pressing on nerves to my feet so I now have an EMG scheduled for June 2. It may also be from the diabetes. I was investigating getting the knee replacement that I had scheduled in Nov 2004, but my BMT doctor advises against it. If my arthritis gets to bad, I can probably get cortisone shots.

Actually the prednisone that I am taking helps the inflamation. A year ago when I was almost off of prednisone, my arthritis really flaired up. I am staying on a a constant dose of prednisone (alternating between 20 and 10mg each day) over the next six weeks until my next BMT appointment.

My disability insurance just reviewed my case and extended my disability status for another period. One of these days, I plan to post a summary of the past 5 years though you can read all the details in the past postings on this blog. See the sidebar on the right.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

Diabetes Testing

I had an appointment with the Diabetes Clinic on Thursday afternoon after I had my phlebotomy in the morning. A physician assistant (PA) reviewed my lab history over the past 4 years and gave me an A1C test. This test is kind of an average of the blood glucose level over the past 120 days, the average life of a red blood cell. My A1C level was 5.9% while my glucose level that day was 163 mg/dL which doesn't quite correlate. Seven percent is supposed to correlate with 150 mg/dL. I picked up a One-Touch blood glucose tester for home use and since have seen a range of 103 before breakfast yesterday to 252 just before dinner today. I will monitor it for a couple of weeks and then the PA will determine what is next. It could be Type II diabetes, but almost certainly elevated due to the high levels of prednisone that I have been taking for the last 2 years. We discussed possible medicines to use in lieu of insulin shots.

My hematocrit has started recovering after the phlebotomies, 42.6 this week after 40.8 last week. Next week I see the liver specialist on Tuesday and have my 2-yr bone marrow biopsy on Friday. This is the 11th biopsy which involves sticking a big needle into my hip bone. Saturday is actually my 2-yr re-birthday since the BMT as well as being my actual birthday, 61 yrs ago. On May 12, I meet again with my BMT doctor and review the biopsy results. I will report next after that appointment.