Starting March off with February?
Well, it IS leap year, and there IS that extra little day this month... That combined with the fact that I haven't made entries since December 2003, and having no desire to have one little entry for February 29 2004, has caused me to make this post in the month of March. Make sense? (Did to me...)
About the Impending Transplant...
I spent 3 days last week in UAB (University of Alabama at Birmingham) Hospital for the final phase of kidney (renal) transplant donor evaluation. For those who do not know, I am trying to donate a kidney to my "father-in-law" - in quotes, as my mom-in-law and he date and live separately, but they have been together some time and he is LIKE a father to Richard and a father-in-law to me.
Anyway... Absolutely fascinating! I've got to hand it to the UAB - they have their ducks in a row! The testing was "progressive" - that is, you do not move to the next test until you have passed the prior test. This way, insurance money and valuable time and resources are not wasted. The first day consisted of full blood work, urinalysis, blood pressure, EKG, initial x-rays (no dye injected), and a 12 hour liquid input-output monitoring with subsequent lab testing to ensure proper functioning.
On the second day, there were two dye-injected X-rays (I'll spare you the technical terminology). The first was NPO - no food or liquid between midnight the prior night and the time of the test, plus a laxative (that puts it mildly) the night before to ensure the most empty possible body. First there were a few preliminary X-rays, to ensure they were hitting exactly the right spot, then dye injected through IV (placed the night before) and kidney X-rays were taken. Then, back to the room to have one liter of water, followed by lunch, then the second liter of water, and off to the radioactive X-ray dye-injected (this time directly into vein) session.
Passing those tests, the third day was the final test - a renal arteriogram - where they inject dye, make a slit into the major artery at the groin, then fish up a scope through that artery up to the kidney area. This test is to determine how many arteries you have going to each kidney (one is normal and preferred, but some people have up to four, and there are not always the same number on the left as on the right). At UAB, the surgery can be done with two arteries going to the kidneys, but no more. Fortunately, I had one going to each, and they looked pretty identical to me on the monitor.
That final test (the arteriogram) was this past Thursday morning. After the arteriogram, you have to lay flat on your back (for the most part, your bed may be inclined to 30 degrees) and keep the leg still for 6 hours (aaaaaaaaa!!!). When my time was up, we made preparations to check out, and headed home (three hour drive).
Friday morning, bright and early, I had the required Pap and Mammogram (since I am female and of age to require a clean bill of health on each of those before we proceed). The results will be faxed to my transplant coordinator this next week, and, assuming those are both clear, surgery will be scheduled! We are all VERY pleased with the outcome thus far! :)
The Low-Carb Craze
Since the death of Dr. Atkins and the subsequent publishing of an independent PRO-lowcarb diet study, there has been MUCH "ado" about the Atkins, Sugar-busters, South Beach, and general Low-Carb diets. Personally, I went on the Atkins diet on July 10, 2000 at 172 pounds wearing a size 16 (I'm 5'6"). By Christmas 2001, I weighed 135.5, but the miracle was not the weight - it was the structure of my body - I was down to a size 7 and there just was NOT fat on my body (this is particularly interesting, as I don't exercise).
As humans go, I was tickled to death with myself and fell off the wagon. BIG MISTAKE. Now, for those of you thinking that as SOON as you go off, it all comes right back on, WRONG!!! It took me more time to gain it back than it did to lose it, I'm here to tell you, but, 2 years and 2 months later, I find myself in the same shoes I was in July 10 (except now I'm 4 years older). Virtually same weight, same size.
Two days ago I jumped back on the wagon, and am very upbeat about it. The Atkins way of life (WOL) and way of eating (WOE) is NOT for everyone, but I know it IS for me. It takes commitment, to be sure, but so does keeping a job, raising children, having faith in the Lord. I don't really intend to weigh in daily, perhaps not even weekly, as I know it takes TIME. But, I will keep you posted. I have chosen to use 178 as my starting weight, as that was the weight I had when I checked into UAB last Tuesday.
I'll get to that tomorrow... I think I've written MORE than enough for today!