Wednesday, May 7, 2008

One More Thing

Every now and then it seems to me that Nancy and I have said all that can possibly be said about the kidney transplant last Fall, only to realize there is One More Thing.

The One More Thing today is something that hasn’t happened so far this year: there has been no daily assault of hay fever.

A few weeks ago, when I was at the nearby pharmacy to pick up a fresh supply of anti-rejection drugs, I noticed that hay fever medications were very much on display and realized that any minute now I would be urgently in need of the nose spay that for years (how many I cannot recall -- 10? 15?) has helped me get through the waves of pollen that warm weather sets lose. I sensibly bought a small bottle of Prevalin.

Anyone reading this who suffers from hay fever needs no account of how unpleasant, at time exhausting, hay fever is. It’s no wonder that summer news reports often include the latest update about pollen levels.

Perhaps because we’re having such an early outbreak of summer this year in Holland, with cloudless skies and high temperatures, Dutch news reports in recent days have indicated especially high pollen levels.

But this year I have -- so far, fingers crossed -- needed not one application of the recently purchased nose spray.

The only explanation that occurs to me and Nancy is that for some mysterious reason, my kidney illness had considerable impact on my respiratory system. The decline of my kidneys may have begun much earlier than I had imagined. Perhaps hay fever was, in my case, the first indication of that event. But who would have thought?

This is not the only change in my health that followed the transplant. The day after the operation, I was amazed to discover on waking up that there was no longer a desperate need to clear my head or lungs -- my “nuclear sneezes,” as Nancy called them. No more need for nose drops before going to sleep. No more daily energy dips with the nonnegotiable need for a nap that such dips often occasioned...

I had no idea how much other seemingly autonomous systems in the human body are profoundly interconnected.

(See the more recent posting dated 26 May 2008 for an update on this topic.)

[Photo: Small flowers as seen earlier today in the park at the end of the street we live on.]

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jim,

I heard the good news about your transplant. Congratulations! As to the hay fever, I suspect your anti-rejection drugs are keeping your hay fever at bay. Just a guess. But in any case, I think your transplant is nothing short of a miracle. Glory to Jesus Christ! Glory forever!

Daniel Scuiry
Berkeley, CA