There is no pain you are receding

Litsa showed me a picture of a fellow recipient who is tracking how the return of sensation is going, and it gave me an idea. Realizing of course that no one really wants to see my aged 6 pack, I decided to crack open Gray’s Anatomy and see what I had in my sketchbook that would fit the bill. It didn’t take me long to grab a shot of this image and make an illustration of how it’s going for me.

Comfortably numb

Everything in blue is where I have below normal sensation of the skin and muscles (or my huge muscles as my son would say), there isn’t any place left anymore that I cannot feel it if I am touched there – which I think is pretty damned good. But there is a fairly large are where just flat out feels weird almost anytime I touch it or bump it. It’s as if I have been to the dentist and he numbed my belly instead. Okay, well that would be one jacked-up Dentist visit, but you get the idear.

scarSensativityAreasThe weirdest part is my navel, it just flat out feels S-T-R-A-N-G-E; strange. Good thing I don’t keep my pocket lint in there anymore, or I might forget it’s in there.

It is getting better, but as with everything else, rather slow going – at least as far as the return of normal feeling below the incision. That’s kinda strange too, and I’m not sure why it is – I think I will have to ask on my next visit; why is it only below the incision? Almost everything is normal above the incision, with the exception of like 3/8″ – 1/2″ area directly above it on my right side.

Look Daddy, there’s an old plane up in the sky

The weather has been just beautiful here lately, and I have spent the last 4 days outside almost 50% of the time working in the yard and playing with the boys. Discovering that my energy level and stamina is directly effected (probably 10 fold) by how hot it is. Litsa and I moved the air conditioner into place in anticipation of the impending glorious summer, and I was almost instantly spent. And not just a little, it felt really odd – and almost like I had just come from a 15 mile forced march. So after that I pretty much didn’t do a damn thing for the rest of the evening, granted that was at 6:30pm or so – so it’s not like there was a lot of day left.

It was a good weekend, and we got a lot done – it really felt good.

Now I’ve got that feeling once again
I can’t explain you would not understand
This is not how I am.
I have become comfortably numb.

Not a happy camper

I started off the morning like every other Monday. Got my carcass out of bed early, went down to the Lab where some trainee inflicted themselves upon me to get my blood – then went off to work. Nothing unusual – except I started feeling like road-kill about 10 minutes after I drank my Chocolate Milk. I don’t know WTF is up with that, the expiration date was 5/31, and I drink a lot of milk – and never had this before, so it must be a coincidence – but I’m, still pissed.

It’s been a while since I have felt this bad, I was feeling crappy on Mother’s Day too – but not like this. I’ve been feeling great lately, and I really shouldn’t get so torqued about it – I’m not barfing like Linda Blair in the exorcist.

I guess it just boils down to I am a bad sick person. I hate being sick, so I get grumpy, irritable and short. Naturally I fell asleep earlier too so now I am not all that sleepy. GAH!

Hopefully I will better in the morning.

Farewell to the Cat….

donovankittyIt’s not really any secret that there really isn’t any love-lost between myself and our cat; Momo. The cat is nice enough (that in itself is usually a bad description), but rather dumb, less than agile and quite boring. Although she is quite affectionate.

The problem here is that when we first took ownership of said feline, it was decided that she could be an outside kitty, and not remain trapped in perpetuity indoors. Well that has been our undoing. The Liver docs told me a while ago that our cat would have to remain indoors lest we have to get rid of it. The reason being is that they tend to kill rodents – rodents which carry diseases which could be quite bad for us immunosuppressed types.

I don’t really want to give the cat the boot – but I definitely don’t want to get sick either, so I guess I win. Unfortunately that means the rest of the family loses. If I am being honest, I am getting a bit tired of telling the kids about things I can’t do, or things they can’t do because of me. I don’t really want to be made out to be the bad guy because I have had a Liver Transplant, especially since it’s not like kids really have a grasp on this stuff, at least not at 5 and 3. I’m not looking forwarding to telling the kids that we had to get rid of the cat because of Daddy….

I just can’t think of any way of keeping the cat in the house. With the weather warming up the kids are constantly in and out – leaving ample opportunity for the little minx to escape – which she does daily in fact.

I’m a dog person any way; just not Weimaraners…..

Today was a good day

I had the opportunity today to meet quite a generous man by the name of Thanos today. The reason I was talking with him is that he too, is a Liver Transplant recipient. Thanos received his first transplant in 1997, and his second in 2003. He had PSC as well, and had his surgeries performed here in the states, Miami actually. I think it was at the University of Miami , but I know his surgeon is Dr. Andreas Tzakis – who is the Director of the Liver and GI Transplant Division.

Thanos seems to be doing very well on his second go round, and looks great after 3 – 4 years – in fact I hope to be doing as well as he. I will have to ask my doc about Dr. Tzakis on my next appt., I guess he worked with Dr. Starzl at some point – I’m not sure on all that though. He sounds like a great guy, and an exemplary surgeon. In that, Thanos and I have a lot in common. Dr. Soltyce (aka Kyle) did an outstanding job shoving my new liver into place, and I have no complaints at all. In fact quite the opposite – I am incredibly grateful to him and the whole liver team at UPMC.

I have been working some where between half, and full time now for a couple weeks and it is wearing me down a bit – and honestly I don’t know if I will make it a full day tomorrow or not. I know it’s lame right? It’s Friday, no one wants to work all day on Friday. That’s not it though. I was beat today. Tired as hell almost all day. Even after my spicy grease-biscuit breakfast, and a gallon of tea. We’ll see. I generally get my second wind around 2:30 or 3 in the afternoon, and today I wasn’t sure if I was going to get it. I spent an above-average amount of time staring at a marginally out-of-focus monitor before I snapped back to it.

I still feel pretty good, and I have been trying to walk more. In fact, if it’s nice again tomorrow I might drag the boys down to the might Tuna and go for a walk along the path. Who knows. They didn’t want to go today – they were having too much fun diggin in the dirt.

It’s been a couple of weeks, and not a whole lot has changed

eminem_bwBig surprise.

I started staying almost a full day at work this week, and I have to say right now I am tired – in fact I was falling asleep in my chair just a few minutes ago. It’s not as hard as I thought it would be starting back almost full time, and I expect within the next 2 weeks I will be back to full time on a regular basis.

I haven’t climbed back on the rollers again, and it’s mostly because I have started working longer and get more tired and don’t really feel like it. If I am being honest, it doesn’t even really appeal to me right now. I can tell my energy is low by dinner as I climb up and down the stairs and they feel like I have been riding a lot – that sort of half-spent spongy feeling you get when you work your legs hard – which in a sense I have been.

Powers of recollection

My memory continues to be a point of frustration as my ability to recall things is getting better, but only very slightly so. What’s funny is that I can easily summon bits of ActionScript and mundane programming details and techno-jargon, but little things like band names, actors names, etc… escape me sometimes completely. I can tell it’s getting better, and I have been purposefully exercising my brain with web related books, blogs, essays and such – just to help with this. Not being able to remember things drives me crazy, almost as much as my son kicking the wall to my office from his bed – it’s like being next to a freakin’ dance club sometimes. Only one that just vibrates with no apparent rhythm.

A lot of things have been getting all over my last nerve lately too – for like, the last 2 weeks or so. I’m not going to go into details as to what those things are, but a lot of them are things that didn’t bother me as much before; or that I possibly never really noticed. I’m not entirely positive on that account, but I can tell about my frustration level – and being somewhat limited in my activities, there is a limit to what I can do to relieve this tension. The cat is a great target for torment, but she doesn’t take it well. She gets upset and hides behind the fridge, and hisses at me. Plus the animal is on the wrong end of smart – so, it’s probably best to leave the poor, mental midget of a fuzz ball be….

Back to work

I have to say, overall I am glad to be back at work. Not because I got bored at home; because I didn’t. It’s more along the lines of I love what I do, developing web sites and web applications is a big part of who I am, and I derive great satisfaction from doing it. After 3 months of being deprived of this, it was time to get back to it. Plus, ya know – I missed bR4x and Jeremy.

In other news

I get to stay home for 6 weeks this time around. So my trips back to the Liver Clinic in Pittsburgh are getting at least a bit more distant. Which as much as I like my coordinator, I sat in clinic last week from 7:30 until almost 2:30 – so I won’t miss going every month. I’m hoping for the next trip they kick me out for a couple three months. That would make me happy. Yes indeed. I did have my laptop and a good book with me, so I was able to entertain myself – but I finished the book and the battery on my laptop went out – so after a bit I was stuck watching soaps on TV. GAH!

The CMV popped back up too, but I am on oral meds this time and the numbers are on the retreat – so that may get the boot again too, which won’t break my heart – I take a pharmacy every day – and it gets a bit old. Those damned Magnesium Oxide pills are uncoated, start to dissolved as soon as they hit your tongue – oh yeah; and they suck!

Next time they are doing another Ultra Sound to make sure my Hepatic Artery RI numbers are still good, and hopefully they get to stay that way – and I don’t have to look at another Angioplasty. I am glad they can do 3 of these, but I don’t really want to push my luck – and honestly it’s not a whole lot of fun.