T + 71 Spotty Muldoon

It was the transplant clinic today and even though I had an early appointment ( 08:45 ) the clinic was eerily quiet. It turns out the M6 was closed and so a lot people who come that way would have been delayed.

It was a productive visit with quite a bit going on. First the counts, my white cells and neutrophils have fallen a bit but are still within the normal ranges for this stage so they were obviously boosted a bit last week by the remnants of the evil GCSF.

My haemoglobin was down to 10.3 from over 11 last week so my last blood transfusion has taken a bit of a beating. It might stabilise at this level but just in case the doc has booked me in provisionally for another transfusion next Thursday, 4th December. He will review my level next week and decide if I need to actually have the transfusion or not. If the haemoglobin drops below 10 then I will have the transfusion.

I discussed my swollen ankles and the doc confirmed its due to the amlodipine blood pressure tablet causing water retention. He said I was doing the right thing by keeping my legs elevated when reasonable. I mentioned about exercise but said the weather wasn't conducive to walking, he said if I had a dog then I wouldn't have a choice. I was tempted to ask for a prescription for one with visions of the pharmacist saying "We don't have any Golden Retrievers in but you can take two Jack Russells as an equivalent."

The other thing I mentioned were my spots. Each week the doctor asks me if I have any rashes as these could be a sign of Graft Versus Host Disease and each week I'm pleased to say I don't have any but over the last few weeks I have been mentioning I have quite a few spots on my scalp. I get these from time to time and they usually last a few days and clear up on their own. Well this lot haven't gone away and have spread to my neck and chest. He had a look and confirmed they are just in the hair folicles, something called folicilitis which is caused by bacteria on the skin. My immune system isn't clearing them up as quickly as they are spreading so he prescribed me some extra antibiotics called Flucloxillin which are good for skin based bugs. I have to take these four times a day for week.

Finally the doc said my magnesium levels are holding up well as my kidneys get used to the ciclosporin so I can reduce my manesium oxide tablets from three times a day down to just twice a day.

On the subject of reductions, if all is looking good next week then I will be reducing my transplant clinic visits to once every two weeks.

Oh and in case you are wondering who Spotty Muldoon is, he was a character invented by Peter Cook and you can down load an MP3 of the rather amusing Ballad of Spotty Muldoon here. Or if I get the codes right you can watch a video of the disc spinning whilst you listen to it. (Click on the triangular play button to start the video)

The observant amongst you will have noticed I haven't created links for the various medical terms I have used above like I usually do. The reason is pure idleness and the fact that it's time to go cook my tea. Regular readers will hopefully be familiar with the terms but it has given me the idea of creating a page under the useful links section of this blog with a glossary of the technical bits to save me having to reference them each time.


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