Thursday, October 29, 2009

Steady State

It seems like I have reached a steady state in my health status.   My lab results are about the same over the past several months with the exception of my ferritin iron level.  Two months have elapsed since my last report since that is the time between Dr appointments with the BMT Clinic.  I did see the neurologist last week for the numbness in my feet and will see the hepatologist for my liver next week.

I still have phlebotomies every Thursday morning as I did today.  The Ambulatory Care Unit measures my hematocrit only to make sure it is above 38 percent.  Last week it was 40.6, but was 38.4 on Monday when I had blood drawn at the BMT Clinic.  This morning it was back up to 41.9.  This may just be variation in the accuracy and techniques used to measure it.

The phlebotomies are having a beneficial effect since my ferritin level is down to 1556.  It was 2234 in August and 2618 in July.  I actually skipped a week in Sept so it still appears to be dropping about 100 ng/mL per week.  At this rate, maybe I will be over this problem in 3 to 4 more months.

My BMT Dr is studying my case further relative to why my iron levels caused cirrhosis of the liver.  An HFE gene which causes Haemochromatosis was discovered last February.  Interestingly, the HFE test was done on my pre-BMT blood which was saved for purposes like this.  The Dr said he has presented my case to other hematologists and thinking about to writing a paper including me as a co-author.

My long term disability (LTD) insurance company is requesting an update on my medical history over the past six months to determine if they will continue the LTD payments.  One these days I may have to find a new job.  My past employer (who still provides health and life insurance) just laid off 350 people so I doubt that there will be a job for me to go back to.  I continue to keep up on information technology through user groups, conferences, on-line webinars and self study.  I could possibly take early retirement, but insurance would be the biggest obstacle.