Hold On To Your Hat!

Wow. My hemoglobin was 10.9 today. WOW!  That’s a record-breaker for me! I can definitely tell the boost in my energy over the past week and a half. And that’s not even “normal,” which is 12 or higher. But when I’m in the 10s I can surely tell the difference.

I’m going to assume the increased GFR/kidney function is at least partially responsible for this, combined with the Aranesp. But I asked my PA nephrologist about that some time back: If my kidney function improves, will I see an improvement in the anemia? She said often times not and that Aranesp is always needed. I mean I don’t believe I’ll stay at 10.9 forever, so I’m sure I’ll continue to need the shots on a routine basis. But who knows… maybe as long as the kidney function stays up, I won’t need the shots as frequently. Time will tell.

But god, it’s good to feel mostly normal again. I can’t even put it into words. I really just didn’t think it would ever happen. Ever the optimist.

My creatinine was up a tick to 1.3 (it was 1.2 last week) but I’m sure there’s variance from time to time. This equates to a GFR of 44, so down from last week’s 51.  I am just happy the creatinine wasn’t significantly higher since I’ve added in the blood pressure meds. For now I’m going to keep on with this med regimen (I spell that damn word wrong EVERY SINGLE TIME) since it seems to be working. I’ve had less swelling in my ankles since I cut down the nifedipine. Today at the lab my BP was 129/83, so still high but not “Hey, good luck with that impending stroke!” high.

Oh gosh that poor nurse. She tried again today to get that IV needle in my hand without success, then she tried in my arm, also with no luck. She said, “Now I’ve just psyched myself out that it’s not going to work so it doesn’t work!” I agree. As a matter of fact, I had to talk her into trying it the second time in my arm, but then it still didn’t work, so I probably just added to her stress. The other nurse got it done in my other arm without any issues. I told the first nurse, “You’re going to have try again next week! I’m not letting you off the hook.” I’m a good person to have that happen to because I’m not going to get frustrated or flustered about it, and I KNOW she can do it because she’s done it before countless times! It’s just one of those things that’s in her head now.

[Sorry, Facebook friends… this is all a repeat.]
I left there and went to Walgreens to pick up a prescription. I had gotten two emails from them this week, one stating they have flu shots now, and the other stating they have COVID booster shots for immunocompromised people. But the email didn’t list any New Mexico locations for the booster shots so I assumed they didn’t have them. I was wrong.  I opted to get the booster shot and save the flu shot for next week. (Then in October I’m getting my first shingles shot. EVERYONE tells me that’s the one that hurts!!)

While I was filling out the paperwork for the booster, a woman sitting a couple chairs down was waiting for her second COVID vaccine. The pharmacist asked her if she brought her vaccine card, and she replied that she had not and that she will need another. She had gotten the first vaccine but her mother got pretty sick after getting the second shot, so this woman decided she wasn’t going to get the second shot, and she tore up her card.  But she said she was worried now about the Delta variant and therefore decided to go ahead with the second shot.  Good for her. I almost said something to her like, “I’m glad you decided to get it,” but I opted to keep my big yap shut and butt out of her business. Last week when my mom and I were there, there was a man in line, maybe late 40s, getting his first COVID shot. So even people who’ve waited this long can still be reached and change their minds. Hopefully that trend will continue.

I told the pharmacist I had received the email from Walgreens about the booster shot with no New Mexico locations listed. He said that NM and one other state he couldn’t recall aren’t participating in the nationwide rollout/notification process and that we’re much better for it. Most of the other states are having lots of issues with appointment scheduling, notifications going out, etc. He was on three nationwide Walgreens conference calls today, and stores in other states were having so many issues. Since NM is doing their own thing, they’ve been far more successful with the whole process. He said that’s one of the reasons our vaccination rate is comparatively high. But he also said that he’s seeing about 5 – 7 positive tests per day just at this location. Dang.

And I have to say I did not feel that shot at all! If I hadn’t watched him do it, I wouldn’t believe he actually had administered it. Hopefully tomorrow and the next few days I won’t have any significant effects. But I was very grateful to have received it today.

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