Thursday, December 27, 2007

The New Yorker strikes again

The New Yorker seems to have taken a special interest in kidney transplants lately. Here is the second cartoon on the topic in recent issues. The caption reads: "Even though you gave the C.E.O. a kidney, this is a lot of sick days."

While posting this, let me mention that the only post-transplant problem I'm facing is adjustment to the anti-rejection medication. The most annoying aspect has been occasional pain in the joints where my legs connect with my hips. Nancy bought me a wooden walking stick just before Christmas and this has been helpful -- it's not always needed but has made longer walks much easier. When one thinks of all the side effects that are possible, a little pain in the legs is hardly worth mentioning. (An x-ray was recently made of the upper leg and hip area and, as the results were inconclusive, an MRI is scheduled for January 15.)

The main things is that the kidney Nancy donated, Super K, is working beautifully.

Meanwhile medication I'm taking continues to be adjusted. Last week there was a four-hour blood test at the AMC to see how one of my key medications, Neoral, is being absorbed into the blood stream. I had a call earlier today from one of the doctors in the AMC's kidney section reporting on that study. The result is that daily dosage of Neoral is being reduced immediately from 400 mg a day (200 in the morning, 200 at night) to 250 mg (125 mg twice a day). Whether this will have a positive effect on my legs remains to be seen, but I'm hopeful.

We've had a splendid Christmas. Because we belong to a Russian Orthodox parish, we actually get two Christmases. For us the first is mainly a period of family gatherings spread over three days, starting Christmas Eve. The "old calendar" church celebration occurs thirteen days later.

The only hitch yesterday -- Second Christmas, as the Dutch call it -- was the sudden demise of our seven-year-old electric oven just as Nancy was in the midst of preparing a complicated, labor-intensive moussaka. The moussaka sauce ended up being served with noodles -- not a bad plan B.

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