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Good Pancreas Transplant News
Old 10-12-2007, 04:57 PM   #1
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Good Pancreas Transplant News

To paraphrase Rodney Dangerfield: I'm OK Now But, Boy, Last Week was Really Something.

Last Saturday I finally got a successful pancreas transplant! So I guess the 13th try was my lucky one.

My surgeon was very picky about approving the donated organ in an express effort to make sure that I got a good one. After it was "installed" it started working pretty quickly, which is a very good sign. My last shot was Friday at midnight.

My operation was estimated to take about 2 - 3 hours. It took six because I have a real lot of scar tissue left over from the last pancreas xplant and I was too fat.

I was released on Wednesday afternoon after only 4.5 days (a new record, beating the 5 day record). I have to go into the transplant center twice a week for follow up blood tests and to see my transplant surgeon. I am still really, really tired and worn out feeling but very happy that everything is working out and on track for now. I don't have any unusual complications and it's great to have normal blood sugars again.

Being in the hospital really seems to take a toll on me. It seems to take about one day to recover for each day spent there. They wake you up about once an hour for something or other like blood pressure, shots, pills, temperature, blood draws, etc. You never really get any sleep. I just turn into a zombie. I am still recovering from this operation and am on pain pills so I am still kind of foggy.

I am on heavy doses of steroids to avoid rejection. They will be tapered off in the next three months. Steroids change the set-point of pancreas' blood sugar level. So, when I lower the steroids the blood sugars should come down. They are happy with 130s and 160s. Normal blood sugar is between 80 and 120. The pancreas was in excellent shape and started working quickly, a good sign. Also, it was OOB (out of body) for over 12 hours and cleaned up and "trimmed" by my Dr before getting my blood supply and springing back to life. Boing.

My last few blood sugar tests have yielded blood sugars of 130. Last night's was 83 AFTER EATING! This is really good news and I am thrilled.

The chances of having a rejection in the first three months is 20% which kind of jolted me when I found out. I expected lower like 3%.

This operation was about half as long in the operating room as my first xplant in '96. It has taken a lot more out of me. I am apparently feeling the effects of age.

This hospital visit resulted in a new experience for me. Tuesday afternoon, someone was strolling the halls outside the rooms of the 7th floor wearing a large strap-on harp and playing folk songs for about 45 minutes. Is harp music what you really want to hear when waking up in a hospital room?

Mike D.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:08 PM   #2
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Congratulations, MikeD! Wishing you and your new pancreas many happy years together!
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:12 PM   #3
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Fantastic! It sounds as though things are going well, and I know you are feeling a sense of relief. Best wishes for continued improvement!

TG
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:15 PM   #4
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Best wishes on a successful transplant !
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:16 PM   #5
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Excellent news, Mike! I hope you splurged for the extended warranty.
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Old 10-12-2007, 05:41 PM   #6
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MikeD, wishing you all the best..

I haven't ever confronted anything as serious as you're going through, but I remember the hospital routine: 6:00 am cleaning people who do all they can to shove the metal wastebasket from one side of the room to the other (practicing for curling?). 7:00 am meds or admin.; 8:00 am breakfast; 9:00 am meds or admin.; 10:00 am a doc appears, etc.. basically they leave you from about midnight to six to get any rest, if that!

I have a funny picture in mind of the surgeon poking the pancreas like a housewife at the local shop: hmmm, don't you have one that's (bigger, smaller, less fatty, more fatty)? Glad you got one that's juuuust riiight!!!
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:00 PM   #7
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So I guess the 13th try was my lucky one.
Have you had 13 actual installations??!!
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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We are all pulling for you and hope that 13 turns out to be a lucky October number!

Here is to a speedy recovery.
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Old 10-12-2007, 06:48 PM   #9
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Congratulations Mike!
I have considered going that direction myself and probably will someday
Good luck, hope this one lasts a good long time for you.
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Old 10-12-2007, 07:07 PM   #10
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Wow, that's great news! Congratulations!
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Old 10-12-2007, 08:49 PM   #11
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Great news man Great news!
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Good Pancreas Transplant News
Old 10-12-2007, 09:01 PM   #12
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Good Pancreas Transplant News

We will pray for you and your family. I sincerely hope that #13 is the last one.

GOD BLESS
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Old 10-13-2007, 02:33 PM   #13
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Originally Posted by TromboneAl View Post
Have you had 13 actual installations??!!
Oh, no! I'm sorry I wasn't clear about that. I had a kidney/pancreas transplant in '96. The transplanted pancreas stopped working after 8.5 years (three years ago). The kidney is still happy as a clam. I have been on the pancreas transplant list for two years. During the last year I was at the top of my local list so I was called every time a pancreas fitting my requirements became available. They call you right away to start setting things up in case it works out. I was called 12 times when it didn't work out. Three of them, I was actually in the hospital with IVs in my arm waiting for them to "procure" the donor's organ and examine it but it turned out to be too damaged or fatty or malformed for use. Once I was offered a pancreas infected with hepatitus C which I turned down.

My 13th try comment was about that this last, successful time was the 13th call I'd gotten during my two years on the list. According to the transplant center, it's not unusual for a lot of false alarms when dealling with pancreases, as they are delicate, and most organs are gotten as the result of trauma.

Mike D.
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Old 10-13-2007, 03:18 PM   #14
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Oh, good thing, i couldn't believe anyone would have to go through 13 transplants!

Congrats! and get lots of rest!!! you certainly deserve it...

i will appreciate my pancreas more today thanks to your post!
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Old 10-13-2007, 04:21 PM   #15
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I'm glad that pancreas found a good home!

Wishing you many years of good health!
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Old 10-13-2007, 08:57 PM   #16
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I followed your near misses on getting a pancreas so it is so great to hear you finally got one! Take care and keep that puppy for as long as you can!
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Old 10-13-2007, 09:58 PM   #17
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Congratulations and best wishes.

So you have a kidney from person A (for 11 years) and now a pancreas from person B.

Amazing.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:14 AM   #18
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Congratulations and best wishes.

So you have a kidney from person A (for 11 years) and now a pancreas from person B.

Amazing.
I am very grateful to be in this position. I am pretty sure I would be dead without my first transplant. This second one should greatly extend the life of my transplanted kidney and my own life as well. I am very happy and it really hasn't sunk in yet (it's only been 9 days so far).

I am not having any unusual complications.

Mike D.
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Old 10-14-2007, 11:22 AM   #19
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Glad it went so well. What a lot of ups and downs to have to go through!
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Old 10-14-2007, 12:17 PM   #20
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So glad to hear this, Mike. I hope this one lasts forever and does what it's supposed to do. You sound like you have a great attitude.

Best wishes.
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As if you didn't know..If the above message contains medical content, it's NOT intended as advice, and may not be accurate, applicable or sufficient. Don't rely on it for any purpose. Consult your own doctor for all medical advice.
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