Archive for January, 2008

Dialysis Day 68

January 31, 2008 Leave a comment

It went MUCH better today. I only gained 2.3 kg, so no major fluid and electrolyte shifts and thus no cramps. 

I gave my sister a ride home from the hospital; she had her yearly transplant appointments today (nuclear med stress test, surgeon, social worker, transplant coordinator, business office coordinator…). 

Beginning wt: 89.8 kg. End wt: 87.5  kg.

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Dialysis Day 67

January 29, 2008 Leave a comment

 A day to remember. I had a major weight gain (fluid) since Saturday, and paid the price today. I gained 5.4 kg, which means that they had to take that much off over 4 hours. About 2 hours into it, I started with cramps in my thighs. When I leaned forward to try to massage them, I got cramps in my abdomen. They stopped the part that takes out the fluid, and gave me a half liter of saline, and then a syringe of hypertonic saline, and started the fluid removal several minutes later. I got some more cramps, but toughed it out, but I’m still getting them at home.  I have already begun conserving my intake so that won’t happen again. I was only a half kilo above my dry weight, due to the period of time suspending fluid removal and the normal saline. 

Beginning wt: 92.9 kg, End wt: 88.0 kg. 

My car is fixed; picked it up last night. It was just a radiator hose, and it works fine now.

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Doggy Depression

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

 Kelsea, our 12+ year old Springer Spaniel, was depressed recently. Very mopey, disinterested in most everything, and not overly friendly. However, that all changed this weekend when she got her haircut. 

Amazingly, she gets depressed as her hair gets longer. We get her shaved every 3 months and she loves it! It’s better than any anti-depressant to get her out of her “funk”.  Since her hair cut, she greets us at the door, she jumps up for us to pet her, she sits on our lap, and her affect is definitely brighter! She also plays with Digger more often. 

She has some health problems. She is diagnosed with Rheumatoid Arthritis, which up until recently was well controlled with Imuran, a drug that is used in people with kidney transplants and auto-immune disorders. She doesn’t run as much as before, and is having more problems getting onto the furniture (our dogs are allowed on our furniture). However, she doesn’t whine or “complain”, she just goes with the flow….

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Coming soon to the US?

January 28, 2008 Leave a comment

 This is what you get with a “single payer” healthcare system.  Healthcare is just for the young and healthy?

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Dialysis Day 66

January 27, 2008 Leave a comment

My weight gain between treatments is definitely more (as is my urine output definitely less), but I’m still not going above the 3-5% weight gain between treatments. I’m definitely cutting back on fluids, and when I do drink, I get an overwhelming urge to “chug”. I guess it’s one of those “you want it more when you can’t have it” type of things. 

Dialysis went well. I slept through more than half of it (there is NOTHING on TV on Saturday’s that is worth watching).  Beginning wt: 90.3 kg. End wt: 87.5 kg.  

I took my first monthly dose of Vitamin D yesterday (50,000 units). I noticed that several others at dialysis had been given prescriptions as well. I continue to wonder how many people WITHOUT kidney disease are Vitamin D deficient, especially with the push to avoid the sun and use sunscreen?

We drove to Bethlehem last night after dialysis and went out to dinner with a friend. It’s a 90 minute drive, and on the way back, I heard an intermittent squeal from under the hood, and then noticed that the temperature guage was inching upward. We made it home, but when I parked, there was steam coming from under the hood. It happened to be a small hole in the radiator hose. The coolant was spraying onto the engine as well as the belts (thus the squealing sound was from wet belts). So, I had to call off work today due to lack of transportation, since Jackie needed her vehicle to drive up to her mother’s to pick up Kevin. I felt bad about calling in, but I shouldn’t’; I’ve been on this “case” for 5 years, and only called in three times before; once I had a fever, another time I had emergency brain surgery, and the last time was when I started dialysis. 

I did take advantage of the time off, and took a massive “nap” today (10am-2:30). I find that when I do this, I am able to recharge.  I guess I take for granted how much the kidney failure kicks my butt, and taking a periodic “rest day” seems to be needed/seems to help.

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Dialysis Day 65

January 25, 2008 Leave a comment

 I slept for about 90 minutes of dialysis yesterday. No problems with my access, but I did get some moderate cramping towards the end.  Beginning wt: 90.3 kg. End wt: 87.5 kg.

I had a new prescription waiting for me when I got to dialysis. I’m starting Ergocalciferol, and will get one 50,000 unit capsule monthly for 6 months. I’m assuming they’ll recheck my Vitamin D level again at that point. It’s just amazing how much the kidneys do for the body; you don’t realize how complex an organ it is until yours don’t work.  

I started doing a little research on Vitamin D, and found this website.  While I haven’t gone through the whole site, one of the theories is that autism may be caused by Vitamin D deficiency. Now, I’m not usually one to be a conspiracy theorist (e.g. the evil drug companies know that vaccines cause autism yet continue to push vaccines; vaccines causing autism is for the most part a bunch of bull feces), or one to quickly sound alarms over UNPROVEN theories, yet this one is intriguing: the rate of autism has climbed in recent years, so is it possible that a Vitamin D deficiency contributes to this? Vitamin D is manufactured by the body after exposure to sunlight. And what are Pediatricians telling parents? Sunlight can cause skin cancer, so cover your children well, and slather on the sunscreen! I’m not at all saying I AGREE with this theory, as it’s not been fully studied, but it SOUNDS as though it MAY be something reasonable to look at (the only problem is that when some people get wind of this theory, they accept it as fact BEFORE it is proven, and that’s how you get all of these whacko websites touting a particular theory without scientific basis/study). 

I took a vacation day today so that I could take Kevin for his Pulmonary Function Study. He’s in a chronic disease management program for his asthma, which is sponsered by our HMO and my employer, and offers financial incentives to meet certain goals. So, the nurse asked for him to have the study, which is a good idea, as they now have a baseline for his lung function in case they need to compare it in the future.



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Unintended consequences

January 24, 2008 Leave a comment

Here’s a shining example of what happens when the government tries to “fix” a problem.  

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