Archive for April, 2008

Fistulaplasty, “Snow Storm”

April 30, 2008 Leave a comment

As we used to say when I worked in a Psych Hospital about the acutely psychotic patients receiving heavy doses of meds, “there was a snowstorm in the room today” when I had my fistulaplasty. in other words, I received ample doses of meds today. Yes, I left there a walking polypharmacy. I had 4mg of Versed, 225 mcg of Fentanyl, 4 mg of Zofran (for vomiting, 5000 units of Heparin (not sure why I got that; doctor’s preference maybe?), Oxygen, and an unknown dose of Reglan, all IV of course (except for the oxygen).

This time, I wasn’t “with it” during the procedure. There were times when I was aware of what was going on (like when I had the dry heaves several times),and the doctor did have a challenge today (it’s the first he’s worked on my fistula). After multiple attempts at ballooning my fistula, he finally decided to end it after almost 2 hours, and is having me come back in 2 weeks.

He explained that my fistula is tortuous, with an area of stenosis followed by a large aneurysm. He didn’t have the correct sized stent today, so they will order it in, and then place it in 2 weeks. He said that the only problem may be that by stenting it, it could reduce blood flow to my hand, and cause Steal Syndrome (a lack of adequate blood flow below the fistula; in my case, my hand and forearm). But that’s a chance I’ll have to take.

Afterwards, I was very nauseous, despite Zofran and Reglan. I did tolerate sips of ginger ale, and came home and
slept it off. I’m still not very hungry, but I’m not nauseous, nor am I sedated.

Cross posted on WordPress.

Categories: Uncategorized

Dialysis Day 104

April 30, 2008 Leave a comment

My RLS (Restless Leg Syndrome) acted up at dialysis yesterday. I can tolerate it much better when it happens at night (because I have both the option of getting out of bed and doing something else, or taking my Tylenol #3, which usually helps alleviate the symptoms). When it happens at dialysis, it’s very frustrating, because I’m chained to the chair, yet I can’t get comfortable, and that’s for 4 hours. Even though I have the laptop as a distraction, it’s still annoying.

I also had an infiltrate of my venous needle. The site initially got hard, then felt like a spasm, and then began to hurt. The nurse was able to turn off the machine to prevent any further damage, and I ended my treatment 24 minutes early (I’m normally on for 4 hours). Despite that, I still hit my dry weight.

Beginning wt: 97 kg. End wt: 93.5 kg.

Last night I felt very washed out. I was dizzy, somewhat weak, had muscle cramps, and was very tired. I fell asleep at 8pm, and got up at 6. Today, I feel much better, although my hands are burny/tingly today. Not sure what to make of last night; does my dry weight need to be increased, or was my potassium too low? Something to continue to watch…

Today, I have my Intervenional Radiology appointment to “tune up” my fistula. I’m working today prior to the procedure, but will call first to see if they are running behind; I want to avoid the 5 hour wait I had the last time. If they are running behind, I won’t have to waste sick time on just waiting.

Cross posted on WordPress.

Categories: Uncategorized

Blog Watch

April 28, 2008 2 comments

Sherlock posts about the food nannies in LA policing the illegal “bacon dog”. (Sherlock is a nickname I’ll use for my college roommate, as long as he doesn’t mind, as he used to wear a Sherlock Holmes hat around campus).

Medgadget gives an example of what we can expect with socialized medicine (I guess we shouldn’t just yet ban smoking; some people may need the empty cigarette packs!)

Dr White Coat reports on something that actually grossed him out (it IS very gross)

Bill has an updated posting of various kidney blogs

ER Stories Blog has a story on a homemade urine collection system (makes you realize that there are a lot of strange people out there).

Overlawyered reports on a prisoner who is just wasting away to nothing in prison, and is suing for “hot meals and more consistent portions”.



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Dialysis Day 103

April 27, 2008 Leave a comment

Quiet day at dialysis. I didn’t have much trouble sticking the needles, and there were very few alarms during the 4 hours.  I spent most of the time surfing the internet and playing a game called Huntsville (very addicting).

One of the patients in my area is only there on Saturdays, and she loves to complain. She’s in her 70’s to 80’s, and although quiet most of the “shift”, towards the end, she complains about how much time there is until the end. There’s other things I would rather do with my 4 hours on a Saturday afternoon, but if I don’t do dialysis, I’ll be popping up daisies, so I don’t complain and don’t let it bother me. Dialysis is better than the alternative….

Beginning wt: 96.5 kg. End wt: 93.1 kg.

I found this cartoon about gas prices:


Gas Prices

Categories: Health Tags: ,

Verizon Wireless

April 25, 2008 Leave a comment

I went to pay my phonebill the other day, and got a bit uptight when I saw it.It was almost $100 more than usual, and when I examined it, the increasewas from my son’s phone for data charges.

Kevin is almost 16, and has had his own phone (on ourfamily share plan) for several years now.When he first got it, weadded unlimited text messaging tohis plan. Lately, he’s been texting quite abit (typical teenager; I guess when you’re an old fart like me, it’s easier to call).

So, I called Verizon Wireless, and got a very nice rep on the phone. I told her my problem, she APOLOGIZED forme having to call about this, and looked upouraccount. It seems that this unlimited text package was discontinued, and when he got his new phone in December, it was dropped. She credited all of the charges up to that call, and we added a text messaging plan on.In all, I was on the phone for under 10 minutes. VERY IMPRESSIVE!

Many timeswhen you call these big companies, you arelost in the phone que, and rarely get your problem resolved without a lot of headache. But this was different, and is consistent as well; whenever I’ve had to call, the reps at Verizon have gone out of their way to makesure I am taken care of. That’s why we continue to useVerizon for our DSL,home phone, and wireless(it also helps that we get a 20% discount on our monthly plan and 25% discount on accessories through my employer).

Categories: Uncategorized

Dialysis Day 102, Upcoming Fistulaplasty

April 25, 2008 Leave a comment

I continue to “self-cannulate” at dialysis. The lower (arterial) needle is a piece of cake, but the upper (venous) needle is more challenging. As the one nurse said, since I’m doing it one handed, I can’t put traction on the skin, and my skin is thicker in the upper end of my fistula.

I go for another angioplasty/fistulaplasty on Wednesday. I can’t assess my fistula too well by touch, because I don’t have much sensation in my finger due to my CMT. Visually, the aneurysms don’t appear to have gotten that much larger. I’m just hoping that the radiologist is a little more liberal with pain meds the next time; the one I had the last 2 times did a good job with the procedure, but instead of being PROACTIVE with my pain, he was REACTIVE.

Beginning wt: 96.5 kg. End wt: 93.1 kg.

The dialysis unit I go to at Geisinger is having a picnic on Sunday to celebrate it’s anniversary. Hard to believe, but they have been doing dialysis since 1963, which also happens to be my birthyear!

Last night we went out to eat with friends, and when I got home I fell asleep. I had a major episode of restless legs, so I took 2 Tylenol #3’s, and slept like a baby all night. I got in almost 10 hours of sleep; I apparently needed it.

Cross-posted at WordPress.

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April 23, 2008 Leave a comment

A lot of you know about our GoldenDoodle named Digger. And you also may have heard me tell of his penchant for getting dirty clothes out of the hamper and walking around with them in his mouth.

This morning, Jackie found my shirt in the empty bathtub. He had taken it out of the hamper and put it in the tub; most likely, he fell asleep in the tub last night, which he has done on occasion. Of course, this was after his midnight “snack”; I took off my 2 bandages from dialysis last night, set them on the nightstand, and he found them and promptly ate them. He’s weird…..

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