Week 24 (April 13)

Posted: April 13, 2014 in Weekly update
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24 weeks of nonstop meds and the end is finally in sight. Only a little over a week before I can finally stop eating yogurt. Don’t get me wrong, I do like the stuff, but it gets old after 4 months of eating it every day. And now to recap the week:

The semester officially started, which meant it was an incredibly busy week. My body will slowly adjust to the new workout, but until it does, I expect to be hitting the hay at obscenely early times over the next few weeks. I did run into a few old students from last semester who were happy to see me and relieved that I am doing much better. I also got to meet one of the teachers who replaced me. He was a nice guy and seemed to handle my classes well after my sudden departure.

On Friday I headed back to Dr. Tamura for my final checkup. The blood test results were good except for the low INR again. I’m going to bump up the dosage slightly for about a week before reverting back to my regular pre-antibiotic dosage. I had another chest Xray as well. He said that it looked much better but to my eyes the ‘before’ and ‘after’ looked exactly the same! I’ve heard that TB will scar the lung tissue so I guess I’ll have cloudy X-rays from here on out. The next step in my treatment is an X-ray 6 months after treatment is stopped. That has been scheduled for October. If I have a relapse then they should be able to pick it up in the images and with blood tests. There’s only a 1% chance of that happening, but if it’s going to happen, it usually does within a year – hence the need for a follow-up X-ray in October and next April. After a year the likelihood diminishes greatly. Not sure what I can do to avoid a relapse of the disease other than to try to stay away from unwanted germs.

Speaking of germs, my body has finally kicked the nasty cold that took over my respiratory system. Though I do still cough a bit, it is much better than before. The only downside is that I gave my cough to Kanako and now she sounds really bad. Hopefully we’ll be back to normal by the start of summer.

Nurse Yohara came back to check on my medication and to make sure I had enough to last the remainder of my treatment cycle. She will only visit one more time after my treatment is complete. It was nice having that support from Osaka city but I look forward to not having to frantically clean the apartment once a week!

The weekend brought more fair weather, so I headed on another hike with my friend Tomomi. We rented a car and drove to northern Kyoto Prefecture for a walk in a virgin hardwood forest. There was still a bit of snow remaining, and fortunately the pollen counts were low. It was so great to finally be able to breathe in some fresh air with my actual nose instead of behind the fabric of a surgical mask.

This coming week is my final full week of medication. The home stretch to my long road to recovery.

Walking in the forest

Walking in the forest




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