Day +147, Tuesday

Photo of the Day: Meeting Dr T, who stepped in while Dr W was on vacation. I’ve met and worked with so many practitioners, and I have to say that Dr T was wonderful. I enjoyed our conversation, the time he took with me, how he listened and his sense of humor. Plus I’ve spied his most excellent suits from afar and must admit – I admire his style & it’s even better up close.

Tuesday went by a lot faster than I thought, as has today, Wednesday. I was on time for my Tuesday doctor appointment and lab draw through some Festivus miracle unto itself, and really enjoyed meeting another practitioner at Asheville Hematology, Dr. T, who started out, in his words, as a transplanter. His wording made me laugh, but I also appreciated it. At one point he asked if he could see what I looked like, so I pulled down my mask and took off my hat. And then he asked me if I wanted to know what he looked like, so he pulled down his mask and gave me a giant grin. It was very charming and we both laughed.

My labs are looking better, and it’s reflecting in how I feel, physically. My headaches are gone, which is just a game changer itself, but even better is I’m not exhausted and fatigued all the time. It’s been a wonderful feeling, getting to go out and hike trails and be in nature, the way that I would like, rather than taking yet another nap. Friday’s Tacrolimus level was at a more reasonable 10.2, and while it’s a far cry from the 5.0-8.0 that the NIH wants, it’s a heck of a lot better than 16. And besides, we’re trending in the right direction so that’s good. Tuesday’s creatinine level was also more reasonable, coming in at 1.27. I did still request fluids, figuring that any additional help I could give my kidneys would be worth the time. Dr. T agreed.

Later, post appointment & IV-fluids, I made a quick trip to Bent Creek. I had 2 hours to hike, and I opted for an out-and-back attempt to 5 Points. I didn’t think it would be possible, but I was curious about how close I could get.

Bent Creek – at least the part that I was at.

In the end, 5 Points was within sight and I made the choice to hike a few minutes over my 60-minute turn around time. I figured I could make up time on the descent and half hike/half-trail run and call it good.

I worked hard to reach my goal – breath heaving, legs trembling – and I made it! I took a moment to drink more water, enjoy the view and then started my descent to the car, retracing my route. In total, my hike was a little over 7 miles – but it felt good to push myself, and reach the top. I was a proud, sweaty & happy!

Switchback, headed up to 5 Points on Ingles Gap Trail. I both love and hate these things.
Go Go Gadget Legs! And lungs!

Later that evening, I followed Andy to Fat Cats, where I played an early match. League play doesn’t start until 7 pm, but the other team graciously agreed to a 6 pm start due to my transplant & immune suppressed state. I lost horribly to a skill level 4 (I’m a SL2), did my best, and tried to not be too self-critical. My double mask served a second purpose of muffling my voice, so I don’t think Andy heard what I said. I bought him a beer after, my way of saying thanks Captain! Thankfully, my team later managed to eek out a 51-49 win, and I made a 9-ball on the break – which means I earned a patch. This will be my third patch ever. For reference, Andy has thousands.

It was not 100% comfortable for me, walking into a pool hall (billiards, not swimming). But I very much appreciate the safety measures Dusty & Mike are taking and how wearing a mask was enforced. Afterwards I grabbed a quick drink & chatted with Megan and Andy. For a few wonderful moments, it was nice to feel normal.

I guess that’s all that any of us want. With that – hope your week is going well! Cheers!

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