Home > Health, May 2009, Uncategorized > Sister’s Transplant Update 5/26/09 and Other Stuff

Sister’s Transplant Update 5/26/09 and Other Stuff

My sister is still in the rehab hospital.  Her face is moderately swollen (from the excess fluids in her tissues), but she is still not drinking enough, which is EXTREMELY important with a transplant.  Her kidney is working well, but she’s still having difficulty walking.

Due to not drinking well, she bought herself another NG feeding tube, and they are giving her water boluses for her to keep hydrated.  She said she would “try” to drink,  but I told her that she HAD to drink, and that if she didn’t, she’d end up with another surgery to put a G tube in (a tube placed in the stomach, which is more long-term than a NG tube).

Her hemoglobin is very low (7-8), so she’s getting 2 units of blood right now.  The anemia could be from the meds she’s on, and it could also explain her weakness.   Her breathing isn’t great; I counted her respiratory rate at 36 when we went to see her. Unfortunately, there’s nothing they can do for that.

I had a nice relaxing weekend.  I worked OT in the hospital on Friday night shift; I enjoy working there. It’s a nice change from working in the clinic.

Saturday, the 3 of us went to Knoebel’s for supper.  It was nice, but I’m glad we live close, as I w0uldn’t want to spend an entire day there.  We’re going back next month for Geisinger’s Transplant Picnic.

Sunday was a do-nothing day, and yesterday, we had a cook out for Memorial Day.

I did have an injury on Sunday.  I was walking out of the bakery with the cake for yesterday, didn’t see that there was a step, and went down on my knee.  It’s swollen, bruised (I’m on aspirin daily), and painful, but I’ll live.

We did see a great movie this weekend: Taken.  I highly recommend it if you like action/suspense movies.

Today, Kevin got home from school, and found foil on the floor, and the cake that was under it on the counter gone.  It most likely is travelling through our GoldenDoodle’s intestines by now.

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  1. May 29, 2009 at 2:44 am

    Hi again Jeff!
    Glad to see you’re still doing well and that your sister got her transplant too! Wow!

    Just a quick question…what is the reason for needing to drink more fluids after a transplant? Everything I read online just says “to avoid dehydration” (duh!)…but WHY are you more likely to get dehydrated? Inquiring minds want to know! LOL Not that I mind of course…I can’t wait actually! Fluid restriction has been one of the hardest parts of being on dialysis, so I can’t wait to be asked to DRINK MORE!!

  2. May 29, 2009 at 9:28 pm

    Kristen,
    Nice hearing from you.

    I believe that the reasons you must stay hydrated are first, so that the blood flow is not disrupted to the transplanted kidney. The body has a goal to maintain blood flow to the vital organs, so if you dehydrate, it first cuts down blood flow to the extremities, and if need be, the kidney(s) are the next to receive less flow.

    Also, with dehydration, the blood becomes more “concentrated”, and thus, the Prograf level could get into the toxic range. If someone is “dry”, labs get screwy, because there is not normal blood volume. A good analogy would be when you are making Kool Aid. If you add a packet to 1 cup of water, there is more Kool Aid in a given amount than there would be than if you added 2 cups. Think of the blood being the water, and the various components of blood (hemoglobin, glucose, an medications, etc) as being the Kool Aid.

    In cases of extreme dehydration, you can go into an acute renal failure (I’ve seen it happen a handful of times with patients in our clinic).

    Believe it or not, you’ll really have to work at drinking, since it’s the complete opposite of when you’re on dialysis.

    Another thing after transplant is that initially, you’ll gain a bunch of fluid weight; I put on 10 kg by Day 2 of my transplant. It takes a few weeks to come off. Additionally, you’re bladder capacity will be very low, until it stretches back to normal size, so you’ll be peeing quite often! (2-3 times during the night is not that unusual).

    Hope everything is going well (at least, as well as it can while on dialysis).

    Have a great weekend!

    Jeff

  3. June 17, 2009 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Jeff, haven’t kept in touch for a while, hope you are doing well. congrats to your sister on her kidney transplant….hope that she will overcome these health challenges soon.

    I’ve been doing really well, 3 years post-tx and kidney is still doing great. Even got pregnant and had a baby girl 4 months ago. She is so much fun now.

    I’m gonna add you on Facebook, hope it’s cool with you.

    Take care!

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