J: They’ve got me on the Clopidogrel now!

Who thinks up these weird pharmaceutical names? Someone with a sense of humour I suspect – or hope anyway. I was called to the TIA clinic today and they’ve put me on this drug instead of the aspirin. It’s an anti-platelet agent which works by irreversibly inhibiting a receptor called PY2. So now you know.

First I was sent for an ultrasound of my neck. In particular the carotid arteries. These are the ones which take blood up either side of your neck. They branch with one branch servicing the brain and the other the face. I was impressed at how good these ultrasound machines are now – we could see the artery and follow it up to see the branch point, then take a linear view to look along the length of it in cross section. All in a few minutes. With free sound effects of the old red stuff rabbiting round the warrens. Anyway: all good, no furring up etc.

Then I went to see the lovely TIA specialist Dr. Towers who put me through a few paces and concluded that my mini-stroke is indeed possibly a result of my operation but could also be a consequence of the remaining tumours in the lungs. I was not so pleased to hear about that as it looks like a longer term risk. I don’t appear to have any other significant stroke indicators so those two seem the most likely causes.

My haemoglobin levels are apparently a bit low, having dropped since the op, but that is apparently not unusual and probably accounts for my general tiredness at times. Though I did impress myself by walking three miles yesterday with no ill effects other than healthily tired legs. My average speed was only 2.1mph but I only usually do about 2.3 anyway. Dr. Towers sent me for some more blood tests. We had looked at about 15 on the screen since February but none had some of the markers she was particularly interested in. Fortunately Bath have a very quick “drop in” centre for bloods which is in the same department so it only took a few minutes. No news will be good news.

So it’s fingers crossed to stay TIA free!

Also I spoke to the Macmillan Kidney nurse yesterday who told me that:

a) My continuing digestive problems are not unusual – it’s improving slowly.

b) I can’t expect to have another lung scan before my oncology/urology/post-nephrectomy appointment on the 22nd June as they normally do them only every three months. I still find this odd as I’d think they would want to see whether the lung tumours have changed/stopped/grown since the nephrectomy before I start the chemo. I like my reference points!

c) The area of numbness on my stomach is to be expected and could take some time to go as the nerves re-establish themselves.

d) I should carry on with the Dalteparin injections which I take daily, in addition to the Clopidogrel – this was confirmed after checking with the surgeon. These are again anti-clotting, and I am due to continue with them for about another week.

So they are generally pretty happy with things and it looks like I am just being impatient to get back to normal. I have now gone 36 hours without any pain killers so that is a tick!

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