Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Lonely Adrenal

The adrenal glands live just above each kidney. (Hence the name ad-renal) Even though they are small in size and well hidden deep inside the body, they are very busy. Among the myriad of useful stuff they make to keep us alive and moving, are glucocorticoids or steroids. However, when the 'big guns' move into town, they can't compete. Prednisone would be like the Walmart of steroids. Clearly the low cost leader and used for everything from arthritis to poison oak. (Poison ivy for those east of the Mississippi.) After a transplant, you live on prednisone for months. This would make Decadron the Costco of steroids; buy in bulk and save.
The poor adrenal gland grows locally, (Yes, it is the Farmer's Market, stretching the metaphor a little too far.) And eventually goes out of business.
Then one day you move to a place where Costco and Walmart don't exist, and the adrenal is now your only source. That is a good thing, but now my adrenals have shrunken to the size of two raisins; it will take a few weeks to get production back to normal. What does that mean for me? I am about a half bushel low on energy.

As you can probably guess. I am off steroids now. Yeah!! But my body now has to readjust. Mostly it means I move pretty slow in the mornings. But hey, who doesn't?

I saw Dr Arai on Friday and everything is going well. My chest CT scan show resolution of the pneumonia. I finally rode my bike yesterday. Not too far, but enough to really provide a good workout.

Tomorrow I will drive with Rebecca to Utah, as she returns to BYU for the Spring term. We will miss her so much.


Health Score 83


lmstrobel said...

Kevin, I am so glad when they replaced your heart they didn't mess with your sense of humor. We can't wait for June. Stay well!

Antonella said...

What wonderful news!!! Doing the snoopy dance here, reading your latest posts! :) Isn't the body a fascinating machine? Able to react, adjust, recover, from such adversity? Must say; sounds as if the doctors taking care of you have been doing a wonderful job! Well; just a quick note to let you know I am soooo GLAD to read you are winning this like a real trooper! Then again, I truly believe much needs to be said about your attitude in all of this. You have an incredible inner strength, faith, love, and resolve; enviable traits in any human being, and I think they have served you very well! Good luck, and hope to see you soon!!

Emma and Dan said...

Yay for no steroids! I can't wait to hear an update on those adrenals of yours. I never knew what they did before. Loved the analogies. I'm excited for Rebecca to be back at the Y - I always loved being there spring term. Everything's so much more laid back than fall/winter.