Up at the crack of dawn, literally, we had to be at the hospital by 8 am to start the first round of tests. It was a much better trip to the hospital this time. One year ago we did not know what to expect except a very difficult time. Today we thought back to that day with just a little apprehension, but this time with much greater expectations. Wow-what a difference a year makes. We got to the hospital and Sue began with fasting blood tests. She had some difficulties because they needed 8 viles of blood and, lol, Sue’s body did not want to give that much. They got what they needed and the next stop was a lab for what they call a boost test. She drinks 2 containers of boost and then more blood work. This will take a couple of hours so we sit around and enjoy watching the clock tick off minutes, slowly… Just like the surgery a year ago but without the trepidation. By noon, all the blood work is done. During this time, Sue also had a representative from a study she is involved with help her with some questionnaires. Finally off to lunch. At 2pm we were headed back to the hospital to finally see the surgeon Dr. Beilman. Sue was very nervous because she did not know what to expect. She was excited because she was very happy to have him see how well she was doing or so she hoped, but she knew he would have would confirm her progress. The moment arrived Dr. Beilman entered the room and boy was it great!
After a few minutes and lots of excitement to see each other Sue finally got to tell Dr. Beilman everything that she has been doing for the past year. All the progress about her health and the great news, only 4 units a day of insulin! She also told Dr. Beilman that she could never really thank him, except to let him know that she is putting her life to good use by helping others and Dr. Beilman said that is the best thanks he could ever get. We had an opportunity to ask questions and get answers but mostly about things like what exercises are good for her and how to know any bad signs. When she hurt her knee her orthopedic doctor wanted to give her steroids and she knew that just would not be good. She did the right thing by keeping away from those steroids. Dr. Beilman did say if it had to be done she should reach out to him because it would mean a lot of special intense care. Dr. Beilman did an exam and for a moment there was some concern as he checked her abdomen, he paused. Then he smiled. “I see you have been exercising, I can actually feel your aortic vein and it is just right.” Had it been enlarged it would be a concern but for Sue it was good! One of the most important test results was the C-peptide that Dr. Beilman said tells us just how well the Islet cells were doing. A blood value of 1 meant they were working a 4 meant they were working perfectly. Dr. Beilman really was happy when he told us they were 4.3 to 4.4 WOW! An excellent number, better than he could ever expect. One final picture of the three of us, then a very sad and tearful moment but only for a little while, like another year, the visit was over. This year went by so quick but now we can go home happy and excited.
The nurse, Louise, came in to follow up and finish some paperwork. Everything went really well. With these results, she was done. Nothing more needed to be done and we were free to go.
The next two days were days to relax and for us to spend some time together. A chance for us to really reconnect and look forward to getting on with our lives.
Time to talk and ask questions. Dr. Beilman was so happy as he listened to Sue tell him what she is now able to do as she helps others thanks to him and how he helped her.