Saturday, September 30, 2017

Still here

Hello again, loyal blog readers. We've had another really long time period between posts due to lots of other stuff going on, but hopefully I will settle into my new normal and resume posting on a more regular basis.

The first thing I need to mention is the upcoming hereditary amyloidosis support group meeting in Chicago that's held every two years. It is the last weekend in October, which is less than one month away now. Here is a link with more info on the meeting: http://amyloidosissupport.org/support_groups/familial.html. Note that attending the meeting is free, you just have to register for it. They are once again having the meet and greet Friday night at the hotel, which is a great time to meet other people dealing with similar issues. So if you are planning on being there and would like to get together, send me an email to toe at juno dot com.

Health-wise I am still doing fine. Due to our recent move from Texas to North Carolina I had to find a new primary physician. I won't have a physical exam until March, but my new doctor did go ahead and order lab work in August to make sure there was not anything that needed immediate attention. Everything looked good, with none of the biomarkers related to kidney function out of range. My creatinine was 1.03 and GFR was greater than 59. No anemia issues, either, as my hemoglobin was 16.1.

Due to how long it has been between postings, here are the monthly blog stats for the previous four months. In that time period we had three new countries visit the blog (Jersey, Grenada, and Curacao), and there was another day with a huge number of hits (~4000) from Israel for some reason.

=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of May 31, 2017:

Total posts: 176 (1 in May)

Total pageviews: 64,100 (~1300 in May)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 140

One new country viewed the blog in May:


Jersey
=====


=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of June 30, 2017:

Total posts: 176 (0 in June)

Total pageviews: 65,200 (~1100 in June)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 140

No new countries viewed the blog in June.

=====


=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of July 31, 2017:

Total posts: 176 (0 in July)

Total pageviews: 70,300 (~5000 in July)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 141

One new country viewed the blog in July:


Grenada
=====

=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of August 31, 2017:

Total posts: 176 (0 in August)

Total pageviews: 71,300 (~1000 in August)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 142

One new country viewed the blog in August:


Curacao
=====

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Catching up

Hello, loyal blog readers. Long time, no see. I am still here, just super busy with all the stuff going on in my life at the moment, most of it being very good. Today's post will be a quick update on me, a discussion of the blog stats from the past three months, and then some sad AFib family news.

In the previous blog post from three months ago (wow) I reported that my anemia appears to be gone now since my hemoglobin, ferritin, and other numbers from blood work are in the normal range. Since then I was brave enough to schedule another blood donation in April. I donated platelets instead of red blood cells, so there should have been very little stress on my body's ability to reproduce red blood cells. I will definitely wait until this fall before I consider donating again, to be on the safe side.

At the end of this blog post I have not one, not two, but three months of blog stats. One strange blip in the data occurred in February when the blog received 4500 pageviews from Israel in just one day. The average number of pageviews for an entire month, from all countries, is under 2000. So that one day with 4500 pageviews definitely skewed the numbers a bit, as you can see in the chart below which shows monthly page views since the first blog post in September of 2012. I suspect these 4500 views were from a bot of some sort (like most of the hits from Russia and Ukraine probably are). Either that, or a group of people in Israel teamed up to view an average of just over three blog pages per minute for 24 hours.


Israeli Blip


In AFib family news, we lost a member of our collective family in March, at the age of 78. I referred to this person in my blog post about Day 1 of the 2013 Familial Support Group meeting, where I met her and some of her family. As far as I know she did not have any organ transplants for her fibrinogen amyloidosis.

Speaking of the Familial Support Group meeting, the next one (which I will now refer to as the Hereditary Amyloidosis Support Group meeting) is less than five months away. I plan on being there, and it would be nice to meet some of the recently diagnosed people I have been in contact with in the past year or two. Hopefully the Fibrinogen Alliance can make a good showing this year. Here is the link with dates and registration information for the meeting: http://amyloidosissupport.org/support_groups/familial.html.

That's about it for this blog post. I did recently obtain several articles that are not freely available on the internet, so you can expect the article reviews to resume soon. But probably not in June.


=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of February 28, 2017:

Total posts: 175 (1 in February)

Total pageviews: 60,200 (~6200 in February)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 134

One new country viewed the blog in February:


Maldives
=====



=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of March 31, 2017:

Total posts: 175 (0 in March)

Total pageviews: 61,800 (~1600 in March)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 139

Five new countries viewed the blog in March:


Armenia

Botswana
Montenegro
Gabon
Somalia
=====




=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of April 30, 2017:

Total posts: 175 (0 in April)

Total pageviews: 62,800 (~900 in April)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 139

No new countries viewed the blog in April.


=====

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Anemia begone!

Since February is a short month, this will be a short post with a quick but important update on me. As you may recall, in early 2016 I was diagnosed with iron deficiency anemia, which led to a series of tests to rule out internal bleeding as the cause. After having my entire GI tract cleansed, inspected, and photographed from one end to the other and finding no abnormalities, I was referred to a hematologist who had me start taking iron supplements in September. That seemed to turn things around as you can clearly see in the chart below:





I took the iron supplements from the middle of September through the end of December of 2016, which brought my hemoglobin up from 13.3 to 15.3. More importantly, my ferritin level increased over this same time period from 5 to 28. I was curious to see what would happen after I stopped taking the iron supplements, and I received the good news at my annual physical exam on February 24 that my hemoglobin went up to 15.9, which was normal for me before I started donating blood in 2013. The really good news is that my ferritin increased to 41.7 (normal ferritin level is approximately 24 to 336 ng/mL), indicating my body is able to store iron in sufficient quantities again. All the other numbers related to the red blood cells were within the normal range except one, which was barely outside the normal range.

I think it is safe to say the anemia scare is over and appears to have been caused by donating blood more frequently than my body could handle, although the frequency was within the guidelines of the donation center. Lesson learned there. And my kidney function is fine, so I can consider myself asymptomatic for another year. 



=====Monthly Blog Status Update=====

As of January 31, 2017:

Total posts: 174 (1 in January)

Total pageviews: 54,100 (~1300 in January)

Email subscribers: 14 (unchanged)

Total number of countries that have viewed the blog: 133

One new country viewed the blog in January:


Uganda
=====