Monday, 10 August 2009

Reading the 'lung transplant patient information booklet' given to me by a co-ordinator

Well I finished my assessment Thursday and was discharged afterwards. I had 3 tests on Thursday, lung CT scan with dye, an abdominal ultra sound and an oxygen study. I didn't hear anything about the lung CT because a radiographer will have to have a look at it but the abdo ultrasound I got to see on screen. The doctor doing the ultrasound was nice and pointed everything out to me and then said "ah, you have gallstones!"
"What?! Seriously?" The student nurse that was accompanying me to my tests that afternoon jumped up out of her chair for a look. The doctor pointed out the tiny white masses on the screen and explained they were gallstones and there were a few of them. I panicked and asked "will they affect the transplant?!" I was reassured no but it was something my doctors had to be aware of and was told 80% of people with gallstones don't even know they have them. That came as a bit of a shocker, I wasn't expecting anything out of the ordinary to come back on an abdo ultrasound, it was the least of my worries! To my relief everything else looked normal.
Next I went to lung function for an oxygen study, the oxygen nurse took one look at me and said "errr yeah how far can you walk?" I told her roughly and she took a blood gas from my ear based on the results she said that was all she needed to do and I could go back to the ward... I was expecting the oxygen study to be difficult and it was far from it.
Later that afternoon, once back on the ward I saw the transplant dietician, very understanding, very nice woman. I told her what an average days food was for me and she was concerned over protein. Protein is one of the main things post transplant that patients need to rebuild muscles and gain strength and its one of the main things my diet is missing. She checked my protein stores using a small hand held device and said despite not getting much from my diet my stores were good, she took note of this and said post transplant I may have to stay on protein shakes a bit longer than their average patients because I don't get enough of it from my diet but that's no problem. She told me to watch my weight and warned if it got any lower I'd need to consider nasal gastric feeds, I've had them before and considered they maybe in my future so I wasn't surprised by this.
That evening I was discharged. Now once again I wait...

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